The popularity of modern slot gaming is a phenomenon few could have predicted. Now that the majority of smartphone users also consider themselves gamers in one form or another, the market for casual gaming, in which traditional casino games are a major player, has exploded.
The humble slot machine began its life over one hundred years ago in the United States with the now legendary Liberty Bell gaming machine. Complex internal machinery for its time made up the three reel game of chance that took the gaming community by storm.
The physical engineering of the Liberty Bell was superseded in the 1970s with the introduction of the video slot. These allowed casinos to update games without having to replace their entire army of machines; instead all it took was to load new software onto the existing units.
One of the most enduring and popular series that has become a mainstay in casinos across the planet and is now also available on laptops and smart devices is the Buffalo Slot systems. More information on the buffalo slot machine series can be found here including details on the range of titles they now offer.
We take a deep dive into the tech behind this national pastime and what keeps gaming fans returning to Buffalo Slots time and time again.
How Modern Slots Work
Gone are the days when precisely machined components were required to construct a gaming machine, they have instead been replaced by equally precise code which is then converted into 1s and 0s that a computer can interpret as a set of instructions. And at the heart of a game of chance is the RNG (random number generator).
Without a functioning RNG, the games would not be fair and would see either every player walking away a winner or the machine never paying out. The RNG combines with the rest of the game’s features to create its own unique RTP (return to player).
- RTP is usually presented as a percentage and describes a player’s likely return against their bet. A slot with an RTP of 96% will pay out 96% of what has been wagered if a player were to play for an infinite amount of time.
But this is where volatility comes into the equation and an RTP should only be used as a guide since playing in the short term can yield wildly different results. Consider the rare occurrence of a player winning the jackpot from just one spin – their RTP would be exponentially higher than the games declared return percentage.
RNG will put into operation the likelihood of each symbol appearing per spin of the reels. Higher value symbols are rarer and will appear less often than more common symbols.
The Buffalo titles you’re likely to encounter on the casino floor utilize expansive split screen consoles with high definition touch screens and tuned speaker systems that create an immersive experience. The challenge arose when reducing the interface for personal computers and even handheld devices but thankfully developers Aristocrat have triumphed.
Graphics have been modernized and refreshed so the mass of mammalian bonus symbols – elk, pumas, wolves and of course buffalo – are more detailed than ever before. The interface is perfectly suited to input from a mouse or touch screen of a smartphone and the sound design has been tweaked for the smaller devices, but you’ll still instantly recognize the inimitable “Buffaloooo!” call.
The house edge of online casino operators can be much lower than brick and mortar venues that have significantly higher overheads and can therefore pass on some of those savings to their players in the form of a more attractive RTP. You’re often statistically more likely to be successful playing the online version of the Buffalo slots than you would be on the Vegas Strip.
What attracts slots aficionados most of all to the range of Buffalo slots titles are the bonus features. You just need to conduct a cursory YouTube search to see how these features have helped countless players win eye-watering jackpots.
A payline or winline is how the symbols of a slot machine can be arranged in order to count towards a win. The simplest of paylines is a horizontal line across the center of all visible reels but paylines can be unnecessarily complex and numerous on some games, zig-zagging their way across the screen.
Thankfully Buffalo doesn’t rely on paylines that need memorizing, instead every symbol in view can form a winning line on every subsequent reel. For this reason the five reels of four symbols multiply to create 1024 different winning combinations.
It couldn’t be simpler, winning combinations are achieved from the left to the right of the screen which is part of the reason why Buffalo is so popular among newcomers and experienced gamers alike.
Buffalo has proven over the decades to resonate with the clientele of some of the most renowned casinos in the States and beyond. And with the recent introduction of an online version, all the fun can now be accessed by millions more worldwide.