Technology has dramatically changed the gaming industry. Perhaps nowhere is this more pronounced than in the "simple" slot machine. The one-payline slot that Charles Fey invented in 1895 has changed so much that even he wouldn't recognize it today. We usually just push a button to play rather than pull the one arm that gave it its nickname. At one time the nickname was well-deserved. Today's online slots return between 95% and 98% of all bets to the players.
Every land-based casino has rows and rows of slots. It was once believed that some machines were loose and others were tight. These days, every pull of the arm is a random event, completely unconnected to the next or the previous pull. Land-based casinos have space limitations so their bank of slots will be no match for the "bank" of slots available online.
Of course Charles Fey would have no idea what the term "online" means! First, it means that online sites can have hundreds of slot games. It means that you can always get a game you want to play. There's no waiting online; and if you go to the bathroom or the kitchen, no one will take your place. It means that online casinos have to innovate to keep your attention. This means that computer programmers and graphic artists can and do go wild creating ever-more-attractive games for us to enjoy. Where once you won when three symbols lined up in the middle of the screen, today's 5-reel slots can zig-zag their way crazily across the screen and return many coins or credits before you have a chance to see exactly how you won! The newest craze is 3-D slots which combine the cutting edge technology of computerized animation with a high-speed super-multi-payline slots game.