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A Brief History of Slots

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Slots machines are the game that everyone can appreciate in a casino. Mainly because it is a no-brainer game. Anyone who is out to just try their luck without having to think about strategies will surely enjoy using slots machines. There's no confusion about trying to read other people's poker faces or set up cards, which can definitely take some time. All you have to do with a slots machine is just insert a coin, pull the lever, and watch the results.

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What makes slots machines so fun is that you can never really guess what combinations are going get with each pull of the lever. It is pure luck. That is why people who play at slot machines never go home with a sour face even if they lost some money. The thrill and the suspense are already more than enough to make the experience enjoyable for the player.

Everything has a beginning, so they say, Slot machines, just like anything else in this world, have a history. In particular, slot machines originated in the United States during the late nineteenth century.

It would be worth noting that the term "slot machine" did not only apply to machines used in casinos and gambling houses. The term also applied to vending machines and jukeboxes. The reason is simple: all of them have slots that accepted money so they would function what they were programmed to do. The British also called them "fruit machines". Moreover, because of the machine's use of one lever and the odds that the player can lose his money on a bad day, the slot machines also earned another nickname: "one-armed bandit".

Now, the first gambling slot machine was first seen in 1895. It was invented by Charles Fey who, interestingly, was a car mechanic. The first slot machine, which was dubbed the Liberty Bell, was purely hydraulic. A pull on the lever operates a mechanism that spins three reels. The rules were similar to today's slot machines. Three similar symbols have to line up for the user to win a prize from the machine. The Liberty Bell was called such because, aside from the heart, spade, and diamond symbols, there was a fourth symbol that depicts a cracked Liberty Bell. This is the jackpot, which can earn a player fifty cents or ten nickels.

Fey was prolific. He invented other machines used for gambling as well as a mechanism that allowed a machine to detect if the user is using fake coins. It was later known as a trade check separator. Fey earned a living by renting off his machines to saloons with a 50/50 split in the daily earnings, and he earned a good income from it since the gambling public easily embraced his machines.

Slot machines began growing in popularity during the early twentieth century. During this time, Charles Fey was unable to keep up with the demand and thus was only able to answer a small percentage of it through his shop where he created each machine on his own. In 1907, after being refused a purchase deal of the manufacturing rights to Fey's machine, Herbert Mills created a spin-off slot macine and manufactured it through his arcade machine company so that the demand can be answered.

Mills called his machine the Operator Bell, a direct reference to its predecessor. Since he did not have the rights to Fey's machine, Mills used a derivative design: his machines used plums, cherries, lemons, and other fruits instead of Fey's card-deck designs. These machines were also considered improvements over Fey's initial slot machines, which had noisier and crude mechanisms. Mills corrected these deficiencies and made it possible for slot machines to operate quietly.

Slot machine technology made a breakthrough during the mid-twentieth century, when electronics were first introduced into the trade. In 1964, slot machines with electronic microprocessors were introduced into the market. Barely ten years later, Walt Freely invented and put into the market the first ever video-based slot machine. The machine, called the Fortune Coin, met criticisms initially as the use of a TV screen and a simulation of reels spinning were things that people had not encountered yet. However, through time, the machine was slowly accepted until it became the mainstream form of slot machine gaming until today.

Fortune Coin singularly set the stage for better slot machine gaming. The use of computers made better odds for the casinos. It also opened up several innovations in slot machines like the addition of two or more reels, aside from the original three This makes the games more exciting than before. The computers also made it possible for more rules to be introduced and more jackpot prizes to be offered.

Over the years, several companies have capitalized on the fame of the early slot machines and took to creating their own as a way to keep up with their competition. Demand also grew for slot machines throughout the previous century, a fact that is aided by the introduction of video-based machines.

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