History of Slot Machines
The ever-popular slot machine is a gaming staple the
world over. From the time the first ones were invented, through the
entire history of slots, they have become increasingly popular and
addictive. They range from penny and nickel slots to the quarter or
fifty cent slots. Many less-skilled gamblers enjoy the fun without so
much risk on the slots. Less skill is required by slot machines.
Slots got their start in 1891 when a type of slot machine was
developed in New York. This machine was a tad different than the slots
we know today. It worked with drums that rotated that had different
cards on them. When a nickel went in the slot, the drums moved to give
the player a set of cards. The point was to get a good poker hand. These
popped up in bars everywhere. The prize was not given by the machine;
instead the bar tender would offer free rounds or a pack of smokes for a
“One-armed bandits,” as early slot machines were known, were
pioneered by Charles Fey in San Francisco in the late 1800s. These were
called such because of the lever that had to be pulled to play. The
machine’s actual name was the Liberty Bell. There were three wheels with
five symbols each. Getting a set of three matching symbols was the way
to win; certain symbols were more valuable. This machine had an
automatic payout system built in.
Charles Fey did not stop there. He invented many a slot machine. Some
notable ones were the Klondike, The Draw Power, and the Three Spinde.
Fey was also the first to make a draw poker slot machine game. His
designs included the “trade check separator” which could identify real
money instead of fake coins or other items. The business arrangement
instituted by Fey was to rent the machines to bars and split any
Beginning in the thirties, electric gambling machines started
cropping up. These came in many varieties, including other types of
games of chance. With the advent of casinos in the United States, slot
machines found another home. Slot machines can be found in other venues
as well. Many race tracks possess slots to occupy their customers
Today’s casino slot machines come in many varieties.
Nearly all of them involve dropping a coin or token into the slots and
pushing a button to spin the “wheels.” These wheels are mostly digital
nowadays. The wheels incorporate symbols that must be matched with
others to win. Getting three cherries or three stars will win a prize.
An advantage of the digital age is that online casinos with internet
slots are now being widely played.
Many of these slot machines incorporate a theme from
a famous movie, television show, or even a celebrity. They are often
themed with music and décor. There are traditional reel slots and ones
with digital screens. The way the payout is calculated depends on the
type of game being played.
Slot machines have become a favorite among gamers. They are easier to
win than most card games that require skill. They can also be less
costly. Since their invention in the late 19th century, slot machines
have flourished as one of the most prolific ways to gamble.