Slot machines are also known as one-armed bandits because they were originally operated by one lever on the side of the machine as distinct from a button on the front panel and because of their ability to leave the player impoverished or in debt and because bandit can be a synonym for “thief” in modern usage. Many modern machines are still courier collection time slot with a legacy lever in addition to the button. Slot machines include a currency detector that validates the money inserted to play. The machine pays off according to patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops.
Modern computer technology has resulted in variations on the slot machine concept. Slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 percent of the average US casino’s income. The “slot machine” term derives from the slots on the machine for inserting and retrieving coins. Fruit machine” comes from the traditional fruit images on the spinning reels, such as lemons and cherries.
1899 “Liberty Bell” machine, manufactured by Charles Fey. Plaque marking the location of Charles Fey’s San Francisco workshop, where he invented the three-reel slot machine. The location is a California Historical Landmark.
Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, U. 1891 which was a precursor to the modern slot machine. It contained five drums holding a total of 50 card faces and was based on poker. This machine proved extremely popular and soon many bars in the city had one or more of the machines.
Players would insert a nickel and pull a lever, which would spin the drums and the cards they held, the player hoping for a good poker hand. There was no direct payout mechanism, so a pair of kings might get the player a free beer, whereas a royal flush could pay out cigars or drinks, the prizes wholly dependent on what was on offer at the local establishment. To make the odds better for the house, two cards were typically removed from the deck: the ten of spades and the jack of hearts, which doubles the odds against winning a royal flush.
The drums could also be rearranged to further reduce a player’s chance of winning. Due to the vast number of possible wins with the original poker card based game, it proved practically impossible to come up with a way to make a machine capable of making an automatic payout for all possible winning combinations. Somewhere between 1887 and 1895, Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, U. The bell gave the machine its name.
By replacing ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a win was considerably reduced, allowing Fey to devise an effective automatic payout mechanism. Liberty Bell was a huge success and spawned a thriving mechanical gaming device industry.