Slot Machines or One Armed Bandits as they are known for their ability to take a players money, were invented by Charles Fey. In 1887, Mr. Fey made a few machines by hand for his Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Reno, Nevada, where one of the original machines can still be seen today. Slot machines really caught on in the late 1940’s in the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel owned by Benny “Bugsy” Siegel.
Originally intended to entertain the wives and girlfriends of high-rollers, slot machines have gone on to become the most popular form of gambling today as well as the major source of gambling revenue for casinos. It is not unusual for a major casino to have over 5000 slot machines in their casino offering dozens of different variations on the game with all sorts of amazing graphics, bells and whistles. With the growth of gambling on the Internet, Slots have become even more popular as they are easy to learn, fun to play and can provide hours and hours of entertainment for a very small investment.
What is a Slot Machine and How Does it Work?
A Slot Machine is a mechanical or electronic machine with three or more reels that spin when a lever is pulled or a button is pushed. The object of the game is to win money by matching symbols in a pre-determined combination on the various reels after they stop spinning. The symbols are usually brightly colored and easily recognizable, such as symbols of fruits, numerals or letters, and shapes such as bells, diamonds, or hearts; newer video-based machines use animated cartoon characters and images of popular actors or singers, especially in the case of themed slot machines.
The player activates the machine by first putting a coin or token, or in more modern machines, a pre-printed, bar coded ticket, in the slot and then either pulls the lever or pushes the button to play. Bets may vary from one coin of a penny all the way up to special machines that take 100 dollar and even 500 dollar bets. Machines allow the player to play multiple coins and some machines may require multiple coins in order to trigger a bonus round and win the jackpot. There are also progressive machines with multi-million dollar payouts. The current world record for a progressive slot payout is for over 39 million dollars in Las Vegas in 2003 and your author had the pleasure of being 5 feet away when the machine lit up to announce the winner. (One can only dream that one day it may happen to me.)
The variety of winning combinations and possible bets is almost unlimited in modern casinos. It is up to the player to become familiar with what their land based or Internet casino offers and play the machines that are both within their budget and offers the most fun for the longest playtime. One can have a great time and play for hours on end with a bankroll of 20$ in a penny slot machine. The idea with slots is to have fun while trying to win money as the odds really do favor the house in slot machine games.
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!