Fri, Apr 5, 12:32am by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Tue, Oct 8, 12:39am
Aristocrat got their start in pokie machine manufacturing business back in 1953, long before some of the other big manufacturers opened up shop. The company’s first poker machine is now a classic down under – called The Clubman. This simple little slot game offered little in the way of variation on the simplest type of game play. Originally produced at what was then a fast pace (rolling out two machines per week for a few years), eventually technology improved and the simple little pokie became outdated.
The Clubman was a three reel machine with a single pay line, featuring symbols very similar to the early machines first manufactured in America: fruit icons like cherries alongside stars, bars, and playing card icons. It’s important to note that at this point in its life, the company wasn’t even called Aristocrat. It took two years of producing The Clubman for the manufacturer to earn their name – that happened in 1955 even though the group was profitable as early as the release of the very first Clubman machine to be sold from their assembly line. The big profits available to manufacturers of mechanical games of chance in the Australian market were apparent from the very first pokie to hit the scene.
As early as 1960, Aristocrat (as the company was then called) was starting to sell poker machines to casinos outside of Australia’s borders. Aristocrat’s first sales outside Australia were to various Asian and European markets – the company (probably wisely) kept out of the American gambling market due to fears of the heavy competition taking place among the scores of American gambling supply companies. Remember that in 1960, Aristocrat was not quite a ten year old gaming company, unsure of its ability to compete with groups in the USA that had been in the business already for decades.
In fact, it would take until the year 2000 for the first Aristocrat pokie games to go on sale to any American casino. Part of the reason for the nearly five decades that passed between the organisation of Aristocrat and its sales to the huge US gaming market is that Aristocrat wasn’t actually licensed to sell pokies in America until that year. Even more strange is the fact that Aristocrat set up a corporate presence in the American gambling capital of Las Vegas in the early 1960s, but it took a full forty years or so before all of the legal implications of such sales were worked out. Aristocrat now produces many poker machines found in US casinos and at online casinos facing the US market.
Aristocrat’s most popular pokie available to Australian players is called “Queen of the Nile.” The biggest feature that draws gamblers (both in Australia and the US) to “Queen of the Nile” is the bonus round which can reward players as many as 15 free spins. That may sound like a small prize, until you consider that any money won during those bonus free spins is automatically tripled by the machine. That means a small jackpot prize could instantly become a much more valuable payout.
Another Aristocrat pokie popular around the world is called “Dolphin Treasure.” The game is very similar to Queen of the Nile in terms of scheduled pay outs and in-game features, but the big difference in the way the two games are played comes during the bonus round. “Dolphin Treasure” includes a bonus game which rewards players as much as 150,000 coins on a single bonus win.
“ReelPower” is another Aristocrat title popular around the world; this one was once available only in Australia and Japan. Since gamblers around the world now have access to this game, it’s more popular than ever. Think of ReelPower as similar to a “Buy a Pay” pokie machine game, except on “ReelPower” you buy new reels to make them active, rather than purchasing new pay lines. Unfortunately for Aristocrat, this title did not catch on outside Australia with the same power it latched on to in Australia and New Zealand. This could be because US gamblers recognized that the “buy a reel” feature is nothing more than a multiplier bonus, already available on countless US games.
50 Lions is another Aristocrat free pokie game that made a splash in all gambling markets. An easy way to remember “50 Lions” is to think of it as “50 lines;” that’s because players can active up to 50 pay lines during game play. The trend in modern pokies is to stuff as many pay lines as possible onto poker machines, and the ability to gamble on 50 at once is the largest such selection players will find at any online gambling site that gives access to Australia and New Zealand-based gamblers.
Of course, Aristocrat is far more than just a manufacturer of poker machines. They also produce other casino and gaming supplies, the largest single section of which is devoted to video poker games. Gamblers who haven’t yet played an Aristocrat pokie (but love bonus rounds and a variety of other features) should give the company’s wide variety of titles a shot, especially as the company expands into more and more world markets.