The reason that many players avoid the table games is because they feel that the games are complicated to learn and they do not want to become embarrassed if they make a mistake. So they settle for the simplicity of the slot machines and the lonely existence of the slot player. For these players the newest technology in slot machines will bring a welcome change with the introduction of community slot games.
Server Based Slots
Over the last several years the major slot makers have been working on the technology for server based slot machines. The server based slots are also called downloadable slots and they are the wave of the future for the gaming industry. Server based slot games are connected to a central computer system.
The “slot machines” on the casino floor are generic terminals. Different slot games can be downloaded into the slot cabinets. Slot managers will have the ability to change a slot machine's game, denomination, bonus payouts and promotions from a central computer server. The server based technology is still being field tested but there has been a related aspect of this technology that has been incorporated into some of the slot games already on the casino floors. Wide Area Progressive games such as Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune and others have been on the casino floors for several years. These progressive slot machines at different casinos across the country are linked together to create a single large jackpot that will eventually be won by a single player. This technology of being able to link machines together has recently created an interest in making games that could link players together so they can share in a communal playing experience. Several of these games are on the casino floors around the country and there are two different types of games being offered.
Some of the community slot games consist of a bank of machines that contain the same game. Each player is playing on their own machine but at random times there will be a bonus event in which all players take part. The event is usually shown on a separate screen connected on top of the bank of machines. All players taking part in the bonus event will share in the jackpot. The amount won by the individual player is based on the amount they are betting per spin. IGT’s eBay machine is a perfect example of a shared jackpot community slot machine. WMS Gaming has produced community games based on their popular “Monopoly Big Event” and “Press Your Luck” games with more on the way. Many players like the shared jackpots because when one player wins, everybody wins.
Community Play – Single Winner
The progressive slot machines have always been a “community” game because everyone playing contributed to the jackpot. However, they are rarely hit and there is not much interaction between players.
AC Coin & Slot, has developed some multiplayer community slot games in which players compete for the top jackpot within a bank of machines. They introduced their popular “Empire” game that simulates King Kong climbing the Empire State Building to collect a bonus into a community game. The player who gets Kong to the top first wins the whole jackpot. WMS Gaming has plans to make their “Reel’em In” game into a community fishing derby with a single player winning the bonus event.
I think that the community slot games are going to be very popular with the players. We are social creatures and most of us enjoy socializing with others. Playing together adds to the excitement of the game and makes are playing experience more entertaining.