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Slot Machines: A History of the Popular Gambling Game

Slot Machines: A History of the Popular Gambling Game

It was relatively late on that the original slot machine that resembles play as we know is, was created. It was in 1895 that Californian resident, Charles Fey, was invented. Though he did have a useful background of working in mechanics, he did not have any known experience of working on gambling machines, but obviously, this did not hold him back. His mechanical expertise was all he needed to be able to create the clever combinations of levers, reels and mathematics to be able to release the Liberty Bell, and Viking slots machine for gamers to play on.

The Liberty Bell Slot

The Liberty Bell was the main winning feature involved on the original slots game created by Fey. The majority of the symbols the reels were that of playing card symbols which were scattered across three different reels. This founding game aimed to see if you could align three Liberty Bell images at the same time and if you were able to do so, then you would receive the jackpot prize of 50 cents. This does not seem like a particularly impressive prize now but at the time, this was a jackpot like no other. The slots game was started when money was put into a slot at the side of the machine and to initiate the reels to get them moving, you had to pull the lever that sat to the side of the machine. This activated the reels and made them turn when they would then hopefully land on the three aligning Liberty Bells to win the greatest jackpot of all time for you. It did not take long for this concept to take off and within just a short time, the Liberty Bell Slots game was one of the most popular past times for residents of San Francisco. Little did Fey know that his mechanic-based hobby had started a slots game epidemic across the country. But this was not to last for long.

Slot Machines Banned

Only seven years after Fey created the hugely popular slots game, the Liberty Bell, did the first problem occur. The majority of American states saw the implanted ban of slot machines. This could have been problematic for Fey and it was for many other games producers who had caught on to the success that Fey had had with his early creation of slots game. But Fey was not deterred and managed to get around this legality by changing the symbols of the slots games he created. What he did was change the playing card symbols to images of fruits or sweets, that we are much more familiar with today. The Liberty Bell symbol was swapped for a picture of chewing gum which meant that when there were three of these symbols aligned at any one time, then the player would receive a pack of chewing gum instead of winning a prize of monetary value, such as the original 50 cents. Cleverly, making these few simple changes enabled Fey to get around the gambling ban in America with very little disruption to his creativity or new venture. It also allowed players who had fast become so keen on playing slots games to continue to play the same game but with different symbols and without money being won. This innovative modernisation of the change of symbols from playing cards to icon fruits, such as lemon, watermelon and cherries, is where the idea of Fruit Machines come from and are still widely used worldwide today.

Original Slots Mechanics

Though the method behind the mechanics of slots games when Fey created them was rather simplistic, it worked perfectly, and there was no need for this to be altered at all for around 70 years. Players enjoyed being a part of the process needed for the game to be undertaken and the pulling of the lever to the side of the slots machine was a clever way to both keep the player feeling involved whilst actually be the way in which the motor was started. Interestingly, this style of slots game was loved by people who liked being in control and who liked have the control taken away from them, in equal measure and their reasoning for this was both down to the lever.

After a certain amount of time after the lever had been pulled downwards and the motor had been kicked into action, the reels would start to slow down more and more until they stopped altogether. This was due to the motor being of a clockwork style where it applied its own brake after a certain period of time. This was the deciding factor as to whether the reels would align or not on to the big win jackpot symbol combination, either the Liberty Bell or chewing gum trio. As just one lever needed to be pulled to kick start this popular game, this version of slots game was quickly renamed the “one-armed bandit” and was not given any sort of reboot until the middle of the 1960s.

Electromechanical Slot Machines

It took over seven decades for the electro world to catch up with the invention of Fey when the first electromechanical slot machines were developed. The most well-known variant of this style of the slots game is that of “Money Honey” created by Bally. Though Fey’s version of slots games had lasted over 70 years, Bally’s creation of the electromechanical slots game saw just 20, and by the time the 1980s had appeared, the majority of electromechanical machines had been replaced by that of electric machines. The more technologically advanced, the more slots gaming machines advanced and this means that it was not long before slots games were powered by electric microprocessors. But why was this the case and how was this advantageous to the gamer and the owner of the slots gaming machine? This is simple to answer, as with most business decisions, it was all about money. With the use of the electric microprocessor, gamers were able to place larger bets and this meant that they could win more. Due to the increase in the size of the wins, the excitement surrounding slots gaming increased at great speed and the popularity of slots games soared. It was not long until they were seen, quite literally, everywhere, from leisure clubs to pubs, and service station on the side of the motorways, along with many rather unexpected places.

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Slot Machines and RNG

Once it was realised just how popular the latest style of slots machines were and that they were here to stay, the compute processing behind them needed to be updated to ensure that demand could keep up with the ever-increasing popularity of this fun past time. This was how the concept of the RNG or Random Number Generator was created which ensured fairness between players when they were participating, help to prevent cheating and also meant that casinos and other places where slot machines were popular did not have to cost so much money to be repaired so frequently when the arms broke. The RNG, still to this very day, works by creating a unique code for every time the game is played. It does not matter how long you have played for, if you are a frequent player or if you have contributed a large amount of money to the jackpot, every time you spin the reel, you are seen by the slots machine as a completely new player. This was one of the main reasons that slots machines grew even more so in their popularity as people started to realise that absolutely no skill was required in order to play this sort of game which meant that it was open to anyone. As the computer system behind the slots games progressed, the external process of the slots games could too. This was the stage at which the lever was lost from many of the traditional styles of slots games and a button could be pressed instead. This meant a lot less room was taken up by each machine, more machines could be housed in one place and there were fewer breakages of the lever which were costly to the owner. The RNG was responsible for the change in theme as well. It is merely the concept of how the slots game works and not responsible for the aesthetics which meant that the different theme styles could be explored in a huge array. It is also the reason that we have such a wide selection of different themes to play on now, from animals to fruit, from country to era themes, from pop stars to film stars – there is a slots game within a casino setting especially for you and when you know that over 70% of the average casino’s floor space is taken over by slots games of one form or another, you will completely understand this.

Online Slots Game

The Liberty Bell and the modern online slots game that we see today have some big differences and some incredible similarities. Though there have been lots of modernisations over the decades from the original slots game to the one we play on most commonly today, it is in the online gaming world where the biggest amount of change has occurred. As of the 90s, slots games of the online nature became a very fast hit, and due to their ease being transferred from bricks and mortar casino-style play into the online world, it was slots games that made the first move. Thousands of people all over the world play slots games online every single day of the week now and they have increased the gaming sector to record rates. With so many sites and games to choose from, there is little wonder why gamers get so excited to be able to play their favourite slots games online but let’s take a look at why they have been so incredibly successful…

Slots Games Online

There are many different reasons why players have become so accustomed to playing slots games online so let’s discuss some of the most popular reasons:

  • Online slots games can be played from literally anywhere. You do not have to go out of your way to make a special trip to a brick and mortar casino to be able to play and there are no specific hours that you need to stick to in order to participate either. You can play from the comfort of your sofa or as you commute to work. You can play in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.
  • The graphics and excitement of online slots games are so much better than they are when you play slots games in an original style casino. This means that as you are having more fun then you are also more likely to be in with a better chance of being able to win.
  • Your selection of the games you are able to play online is so much bigger than even the biggest of casinos. You can choose from so many different types of slots games, with different themes, different RTPs, different betting limits, different amounts of pay lines and different jackpot sizes - plus online offers.
  • Become an instant millionaire if not multi-millionaire with the impressive sizes of the jackpots available to players of online slots games. The jackpots are so big and available for anyone to win that they are able to change the lives of people within literally one spin of the reel. This is not based on how much money you have put into the game or the length of time you have been playing on the slots game online because it is all based on the RNG. Anyone can win and everyone has an equal chance of doing so.
  • There are lots of bonus offers online which are not available in casinos. These can include multipliers, wilds, free spins and double credit to assist with the enjoyment, variation and the increased amount of gameplay you can obtain. This might even be the way to some of the biggest wins you’ve ever had yet, on your favourite Viking slot games!