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From The History Of Slot Machines

Slot machines gained general acceptance in the casinos and gaming centers, because, unlike other games (desktop), the pace of the game is defined by the player, and the player does not require any special skills – everything depends entirely on the fortune. The aim of the game with a traditional gaming machine such as “one-armed bandit” is to spin the reels so that the symbols on the discs line up in a certain winning combination.

caille antique slot machine

When this happens, the machine gives a winning amount according to the winning table. Usually much higher chance of getting into a combination are with a modest gain, than to rely on a combination of a winning Jackpot.

Interestingly, the original term «slot machine» was used to describe shopping and gaming machines (slot – a slot for receiving coins). And gaming and vending machines were identical. But later the term “slot machine” wad entrenched in those machines, which in exchange for a coin did not provide the goods, but allowed to play some games.

The history of slot machines dates back to the 1884-88, when German-American Charles Fay (1862-1944) created his first slot machine which worked on the 5-cent coins in his garage.

The name to the machine was given loud and patriotic – Liberty Bell. He made ​​these machines by hand and leased them to local gaming and drinking establishments for half the profits from the machine. Liberty Bell was a 3-reel machine. Each of the reels worked independently, and their speed was different. Each of the reels has the symbols of cards and bells. The maximum gain of the first slot machine was 10 coins for 5 cents – just half a dollar.

These machines were very popular, and soon the inventor had no time to produce them manually. In 1896, Charles Fay opened the factory for the production of slot machines, but the earthquake in San Francisco and a fire in 1906 destroyed it. Many larger manufacturers of gaming technology of the time offered him to buy up the rights to produce and distribute his machines, but Faye always refused.

Nevertheless, in 1907, Herbert Stifer Bell, an industrialist from Chicago began manufacturing of very similar to the Liberty Bell macines. In 1910, the slot machines can be seen in every town and village of the country. Meanwhile, in 1901, Faye designed a mechanical machine to play poker, the harbinger of modern electronic poker machines.

The slot machines were semi-legal in California, but soon became completely illegal (with coins falling into the machine, and wins no taxes were paid!) due to the appearance of a law prohibiting gambling.

The slot machines have been converted into vending machines for chewing gums and candies. Fruits that we are now seeing on the reels of the machines (plums, pears, cherries and the words “bar”) is nothing more than a reminder to us of the difficult relationship between the slot machines and the law. By the way, in the UK reel slot machines are called fruit machines. Despite the fact that slot machines were banned in California, Faye continued to produce them illegally, for which he was arrested and fined.

And slots were gaining momentum – their popularity was not affected even by the Great Depression!

In the late 40s the slot machines appeared in the Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas.

Originally they were supposed to entertain the wives and girlfriends of wealthy players who spent their money in a casino at the roulette or cards. But soon the machines took over the market and in the middle of the 80s the popularity of slot machines and table games was about the same, but in the 90s of the 20th century the slot machines took up and began to bring two thirds of the profits to the owners of the casino! Yes, we must admit that slot machines are very popular because they do not involve personal contact, they often offer a high prize for a comparable small fee for the game, and the pace of the game the player chooses himself.

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