Initially installed in casinos, casino slot machines where used as a diversion from the usual table games such as cards roulette etc, with the benefits that anyone can play them without any general gambling knowledge and very small stakes. They were originally introduced to entertain the wives of high rollers at the casinos but soon became widely popular. They take many shapes and forms nowadays, and can be found anywhere from casinos to hotels, bars, clubs, fair grounds etc and are still hugely popular today.
The idea took off hugely taking the slot machines from the sidelines to one of the biggest sources of revenue, bringing in at least 60% of the annual profits from gaming in the US alone.
Slot Machines Invention
The technology has developed from the original classical mechanical design to the more recent computer operated versions. Still with the same gaming technique involved, the player pulls a handle to rotate usually three reels to spin them, depending on the play the player matches three items to reveal a winning line, sometimes these are in the form of symbols or sometimes these symbols carries bonuses depending on the game play. The winnings are determined on what symbols carry what value.
Slot Machines History
It all started with the original one-armed bandit, when the player pulls the handle it turns a hook mechanism, which then grabs hold of the kicker, pulling it towards the player. This sends the reels spinning, and then the reels slow down and reveal the worth of each symbol. Match the appropriate symbols to reveal either win or lose the play, each reel stops one at a time to elaborate the suspension for winning, if the first reel stops on a jackpot symbol, then the second reel stops on a jackpot symbol the suspension is heightened. If the third reel reveals a jackpot symbol, then the player wins and is paid out automatically via the cash tray. Casino slot machines have become very popular with gamblers.
Nowadays computer operated slot machines have taken over, electronically operated slot machines, usually by the push of a button, they work usually along the same principles, some of them even giving the option to halt individual reels along the play, with each reel having individual electronically operated button to control play to give the player a heightened chance of controlling the game and better odds of revealing winning lines. Every slot machine is fitted with a RNG… a random number generator and cannot be altered by the player. The slot machine is programmed for winning and losing combinations. There are more losing combinations, few winning combinations and very few jackpot combinations.
Slot machines have been around since the 19th century, the first one being built in San Francisco in 1895 by a German inventor Charles August Fey, who moved to the US. He opened a slot machine factory in 1896, which was destroyed in 1906 by the great San Francisco earthquake and fire. The first electro- mechanical slot machine was developed in 1964 by Bally named the “Money Honey”. Slot machines are a popular choice for gamblers, the ability to play at your own pace, small stakes and the increasingly high jackpots available, some even offering up to a million! With slot machine percentages usually set to 82-98% of a payout from what the machine takes. Standard slot machines the chance of hitting a winning line is the same every time you play.
European slot machine also referred to as fruit machines as the most common symbols to appear on them were fruit! Differ from US counterparts. These machines commonly have 3-6 reels with 16-24 fruit symbols around each one. Match the fruit symbols and win or receive bonuses. These machines are very similar to the machines found in the large casinos but are more commonly found in pubs and arcades. These slot machines tend to offer loads more extra features than your usual reels. The difference with these fruit machines is that they often tend to have limited jackpots paying out a maximum payout of around ?25 or so. The US counterparts are programmed to payout a percentage over a long run, whereas the European machines take on an amount before paying out i.e.; a machine will make a player lose ?10 before paying out ?9.50.
Nowadays there are many different types of slot machines; in Las Vegas for example the video poker is hugely popular, with the winning combination matching that of a winning poker hand. Themed 9 reel slots are also growing very popular with reels based on themes such as movies like the Addams Family etc. The main difference between slots and reels are the payouts and how they are calculated. The only way to win the maximum jackpot on the reels is play with the maximum number of coins depending on the spin. On the video slots they recommend you play the maximum number of lines, as it has a fixed payout values multiplied by the number of coins bet per line. Nowadays you can choose to play with tokens rather than coins, with these tokens you can choose your denomination whether it be 20p 50p or ?1, and choose to take credits which can be used for additional spins rather than cash in your winnings.
In some establishments machines are linked up to offer the player a bigger jackpot. Each machine offers a small amount to a progressive jackpot; this will be awarded to the player that hits the winning combination e.g. Royal Flush on a video poker game. It is not unusual for multiple machines to be linked across several casino establishments offering huge cash payouts. A linked jackpot offers a much higher payout than any single machine could offer. Slot machines remain popular, as the stakes are so small, usually people play them because they have small change in their pocket and it’s no great loss if they lose, but the temptation of winning is worth that small stake!