What casino spins games are there?
One of the things that most Canadian casino goers don’t really notice is that a lot of casino games share a unique element: spinning. And in this article we’re going to take a closer look into what these casino spins games are, how they came to be, and why they spin in the first place.
We are already aware of the fact that the casino has all sorts of gambling games, not to mention the many dozens of variations of these games that take the classic gaming experience into new horizons.
But in the context of casino spins games, there are only really a handful of titles that contain the spinning elements that we are looking for. We have, of course, listed them all down below.
With the name that is derived from the French word for “little wheel”, roulette is arguably the definitive casino spins game. Typically played on a physical table with up to a dozen or even more participants at a time, the core component of roulette is the ball as well as the wheel from which the game takes its name.
For those of you who have never played at a roulette casino before, the game is actually quite simple. The only real interaction that players have in the game is betting, which is done by placing chips on a grid laid out on the roulette table with all of the numbers and colors that players can bet on. You can follow different roulette strategies by using different positions on the grid, which indicate bets on specific numbers or groups of numbers.
The spinning action kicks in once everyone has placed their bets, at which point the croupier spins the roulette wheel in one direction, waits a few seconds and then throws the roulette ball onto a guide channel spinning in the other direction. After a while, the roulette ball will eventually lose momentum and fall into one of the slots on the roulette wheel that correspond to one of the 36 or 37 numbers on the grid.
Another casino staple that revolves around a spinning element is slots games. Derived from a mechanically operated machine invented at the turn of the 20th century, slots games feature a set of anywhere between 3 and 5 reels that contain a certain set of numbers or symbols.
This a simple game to play, with a handful of slot machine strategies that can be followed. You simply need to do is to insert cash or coins into the slot machine, then pick a bet amount based on denominations set by the game, and press a button or pull a lever to make the slot machine spin the reels. If you manage to land a set of symbols across a predefined payline on all of the reels, you will be awarded a corresponding payout.
It’s important to note, though, that most slot machines you will find at Canadian casinos nowadays don’t actually have mechanical reels. Instead, most modern slot machines are in fact completely digital, with all of the game’s mechanics handled by computers that display graphics on a screen.
In the online casino context, spins now refer to every instance of playing slots.
Later on in this article, we will discuss how this works and what they mean for slot machine games going forward.
Big Six Wheel
A game that is notably more popular in Las Vegas casinos than other regions in the world, the Big Six Wheel game revolves around a large, six-sectioned wheel (pardon the pun).
Just like roulette, Big Six has players betting on which number the wheel will stop on. Once players have made their calls, the game operator spins the big wheel that has a rubber flapper (almost akin to that of the Wheel of Fortune game show, which is what Big Six is sometimes called). Alongside friction, the rubber flapper hits tabs along the edge of the wheel to help slow it down to a stop.
Outside of cards and chips, dice are one of the most common small implements used in casino games. They are most notably used in a craps casino or in a game like sic bo, although the latter is a game that is more popular in Asian markets. Generally speaking, though, their use cases are quite similar.
In the case of playing craps, players bet on certain outcomes of a 2-dice roll in the first phase of the game, which enters into a second phase if the player rolling the dice lands within a certain range of numbers. In this second phase, the player can roll over and over (with the other players around the table betting on what result lands) until the roller lands a 7 and “craps out,” after which the next player gets the chance to roll the dice.
Sic bo, meanwhile, is a much simpler game of chance that has players betting on whether or not the value of the three dice thrown by the dealer lands on a high value, a low value, or one of many different patterns.
Whilst online bingo in Canada might not be quite as common, it is still an extremely popular gambling game nonetheless. Unlike what you might be expecting, however, the key spinning element in this game is not the bingo balls (although the balls themselves do spin), but it is actually the drum, which is responsible for shuffling the balls during gameplay, and thereby making which number is called next impossible to predict.
Now, the players themselves don’t interact with the bingo balls in any way; instead, they purchase cards that contain a random collection of games. The goal of the game is to be the first player to mark off a line or pattern on their bingo card based on the numbers that are called by the game operator.
Why are spinning elements common in casino games?
As we’ve seen from all of the examples above, spins are found in just about all of the games you can play at an online casino aside from card-based games. In fact, spins are so integral to the online casino experience and culture that the word "spins" has itself become one of the industry's key buzzwords, with many casinos even incorporating it into their names. We’ve analysed & reviewed many ‘spin’ online casinos in Canada and here are some of the best:
So why are spinning elements actually so common in casino games? Well, if you are at all familiar with how physical games are designed, you will find that a lot of these spinning elements (wheels, dice, and balls) are all the result of finding a way to produce randomness in these games.
Every casino game, one way or another, is designed to be a game of chance. In games of chance, the factor that determines if the player wins or loses has to come from a source that is completely random. This is in contrast to games of skill, which determines the winner based on who is able to complete the game’s objectives the most effectively.
As the history of slots machines and spins games shows us, when the games we’ve mentioned above were created, there was no easy and reliable way to produce random numbers the same way we do today. This was the 18th and 19th centuries, after all, and computers were very much a ways away before they would even be able to do the basic functions of a random number generator.
Knowing this, where else would the inventors of these casino spins games go except with spinning implements? Dice, for instance, had been in use since ancient civilizations to randomly determine numbers thanks to the highly chaotic nature of shuffling and throwing out dice. Wheels are also quite effective at producing randomness, especially as the spinning speed, momentum, friction, and other factors can make it practically impossible to determine where the wheel would stop every time.
Now, does this actually mean that spinning objects are truly random? Not necessarily - it is technically possible to predict where the roulette ball would land on the wheel if one is able to perform the necessary calculations. While this is possible in theory, the same isn’t true in practice, as roulette odds would need to account for a lot of variables, such as how fast the wheel is spun, how fast the ball is thrown, and how quickly each component slows down to the point that the ball will fall into the wheel.
How does randomness work in modern casino spins games?
Given that we’re in the 21st century, it should be a surprise to no one that the ways we generate randomness in casino spins games today are vastly different from the ways they were done hundreds of years ago.
Never is this more apparent than in modern renditions of the classic game of slots. As we mentioned earlier, most if not all of the slots games you will see at casinos in Canada are fully computerized, with each reel containing dozens, if not hundreds of randomly-generated symbols to practically guarantee an astronomically large number of possible combinations. And that’s not even mentioning the many hundreds of online slots games that push the boundaries of this classic casino spins game now that it has been freed from the shackles of physical interfaces.
Online versions of these casino spins games are developed by companies such as Evolution Gaming and they operate on a function known as a random number generator, which is handled by the software that contains and runs the game. To avoid having to explain its intricacies (which itself could fill up a chapter of a college textbook), random number generators basically use certain mathematical equations and algorithms to produce a set of numbers at random. These algorithms are kept locked tight as a trade secret by the developers of these casino spins games to ensure fair play and minimize the incidence of cheating.
Now, if you head down to your local casino in Canada right now, you might find that roulette and craps games all seem to be using physical wheels and dice instead of going digital the same way that slots games have. Why is this?
The reason could mostly be chalked up to a combination of tradition and nostalgia. The fact of the matter is that, for a lot of veteran casino players, casino spins games are just better experienced when you get to see, hear, and feel the actual objects you need to play them. Digital games are more convenient, sure, but interacting with a touchscreen does not hold a candle to the visceral experience of live play.
There is no doubt in the minds of punters in Canada that digital implementations are the future of casino gaming. Even so, that hasn’t stopped players from continuing to seek out the “authentic” casino experience by playing casino spins games like roulette, slots, craps, bingo, and Big Six.
While software random number generators will serve as the foundation for all games of chance in the future, there is at least some worth in looking back and appreciating the creativity and ingenuity of the people who managed to make it work all those centuries ago, paving the way for the casino spins games that players in Canada will continue to enjoy for centuries more to come.