The Good Old Days of Slot Machines

It is a fact that all slot machines you can see today, whether in land-based casinos or online casinos, are descendants of the Liberty Bell, the original slot machine that was invented in 1899 by Charles Fey.

The Liberty Bell worked exactly like the slot machines today but the machine is mechanical in nature. Inside the casing of the slot machines were three reels and each reel has ten symbols. The symbols that were first used are card suits and a liberty bell. Players must pull the lever to get the game going and a jackpot is won is all three reels of the slot machine have the same symbols.

The highest jackpot was the symbol of the liberty bell. If you get the three liberty bells in a row, you will win ten nickels or 50 cents, which is a big money already in those days.

Calculating the odds of the past slot machines is quite simple because there are only three reels and ten symbols involved. The odds would be 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000 combinations and one of those combinations will let you win the jackpot.

Not long after the invention of slot machines, they were prohibited by law in 1902. But slot machine owners were so much innovative that they were able to modify the coin slot machines into offering drinks, candy, and gum. The reels were redecorated with pictures of fruits and gums replacing the card suits.

Throughout the slot machine history, the symbol of cherries has remained constant and the bars commonly found in regular slot machines are previously sticks of gum.

The popularity of slot machines surged in the 1970’s until now in all casinos. The biggest reels then were having 25 stops, giving the odds of 15,624 and with only one chance for the jackpot combination. The jackpots then were not that large because the casinos’ priority was of course, making profit out of slot machines.

Thanks to Bally, the pinball machine company that invented new variations of slot machines that are electro-mechanical in nature. The newer slot machines require larger bets as well as larger hoppers that larger coins would be accommodated. Because of these inventions, slot machines are now much profitable to all casinos.

During the 1980’s, the use of random number generator in slot machines have become popular, thus making everything changed. Since slot machines are now powered by computers, the levers have become insignificant and were replaced by spin buttons to activate the random number generator.

The new technology of random number generators has empowered the manufacturers of slot machines to create endless number of attractive and very entertaining slot machine games. And today, almost all casinos are allotting 80% of their floor space to slot machines and also about 80% of the casinos’ profits are generated from slot machines.