Slot machines or fruit machines, because they are known in England, have been with us for over a hundred years. That is due to the excitement that they bring to the player. With every individual pull or game, there’s a chance of hitting the life span changing jackpot. The initial slot machine was the liberty bell which was invented by Charles fey a German immigrant who worked as a mechanic in San Francisco in 1899. All slot machines both at online and land based casinos have descended in some way from the first liberty bell machine.
The Liberty Bell slot machine had three spinning reels. Diamond, spade, and heart symbols were painted around each reel, in addition to the image of a damaged Liberty Bell. A spin resulting in three Liberty Bells in a row gave the greatest payoff, a great total of fifty cents or ten nickels. Calculating odds in days past was easy. 3 reels with 10 potential stops give these odds: 10 X 10 X 10 = 1000 combinations. Only 1 of these combinations yielded the big jackpot.
In 1902, Slot machines were banned in many states. Charles Fey then had to get creative. He changed the symbols on his machines and started offering candy, drinks, and gum as prizes candy. The owners of the machines which were already out redecorated the wheels with pictures of the gum and fruit instead of the card suits. Cherries have remained a constant on slot machines even today, and the sticks of gum eventually changed into the bars that you still see on plenty of common slot machines.
Slot machines weren’t really popular before the 1970’s in casinos. The older machines were limiting, because the greatest reels had only 25 different stops, which gave 15,624 to 1 chance of hitting a jackpot. The jackpot had to cover out significantly less than that to ensure that the casinos to make enough profit for the machines to warrant that kind of floor space.
Then a pinball machine company Bally, invented a brand new slot machine that had both electronic AND mechanical parts. The newer machines also allowed for bigger bets and larger hoppers which could hold larger payouts. This made machines a lot more profitable.
The random number generator became popular in the 1980’s and everything changed. The random number generator is simply a little computer that simulates the sinning reels from the computer program. This changed the entire face of casinos. The reels could possibly be much bigger than the actual reels, since these were powered with a computer program instead of a mechanism. The spin arms became unnecessary, since the spin button activated the random number generator program and the machines paid out a predetermined percentage.
The new technology has caused it to be easy for the equipment manufactures to produce virtually a unlimited amount of attractive and entertaining slot games. Slots now take up over 80% of many casinos’floor space. It’s eye candy of the greatest order, and gamblers gobble it up like it were popcorn.