Slot machines or fruit machines, because they are known in England, have existed for over 100 years. This really is because of the excitement they bring to the player. With every individual pull or game, there is a chance of hitting the life span changing jackpot. The very first 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 for some reason from the original liberty bell machine.
The Liberty Bell slot machine had three spinning reels. Diamond, spade, and heart symbols were painted around each reel, plus the image of a cracked Liberty Bell. A spin causing three Liberty Bells in a line gave the greatest payoff, a great total of fifty cents or ten nickels. Calculating odds in those days was easy. 3 reels with 10 potential stops give the next odds: 10 X 10 X 10 = 1000 combinations. Only 1 of these combinations yielded the big jackpot.
In 1902, Slot machines were banned in lots of states. Charles Fey then had to obtain creative. He changed the symbols on his machines and started offering candy, drinks, and gum as prizes. The owners of the machines that were already out redecorated the wheels with pictures of the gum and fruit rather than the card suits. Cherries have remained a consistent on slot machines even today, and the sticks of gum eventually changed to the bars that you still see on lots of common slot machines.
Slot machines weren’t really popular until the 1970’s in casinos candy. 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 less than that in order for the casinos to create enough profit for the machines to warrant that kind of floor space.
Then the pinball machine company Bally, invented a new slot machine that had both electronic AND mechanical parts. The newer machines also allowed for bigger bets and larger hoppers that could hold larger payouts. This made machines much more profitable.
The random number generator became popular in the 1980’s and everything changed. The random number generator is simply a tiny computer that simulates the sinning reels from the computer program. This changed the entire face of casinos. The reels could possibly be much larger than the specific reels, since they certainly were powered with a computer program rather than a mechanism. The spin arms became unnecessary, as the spin button activated the random number generator program and the machines paid out a preset percentage.
The newest technology has made it feasible for the equipment manufactures to make virtually a unlimited number 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 down as if it were popcorn.