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From Charles Fey To Contemporary Slots

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The contemporary “one-armed bandit” is based on a machine designed by Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, in 1887. His simple machine employed an automated mechanism that turned three spinning reels that displayed different images. Fey’s original machine used several different symbols, including card suits, fruits, and Liberty Bells. The image of the famous Philadelphia Liberty Bell became an instant sensation and caused the game’s popularity to skyrocket.

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The primary idea that powers today’s slot machines hasn’t varied at all since Fey’s days. A player still tugs on the arm (or presses a button) to start the machine. If the images on all the reels line up, the player wins. Some differences between the older machines and recent games, however, lie in the how the machine determines likely successful symbol combinations and how they pay out winning plays.

Computer programs, rather than mechanical gears, control today’s slots, so newer games can spin many more reels. Games with five reels are among the most popular in the casino, with seven-reel games often available for more extreme and adventurous players. As the number of reels on a game increase, the odds of winning for the player decrease accordingly.

One advantage that computerized slots have over their mechanical ancestors is that the old-style machines only paid a winner on one payline. Modern games let players win on multiple paylines – some offer as many as fifteen paylines on a single play. However, players must pay to play on each payline, so chasing a jackpot on these games can get much more expensive.

Make no mistake; slot machines are strictly games of chance. Online slots and every computerized slot machine has a program called a “random number generator” (RNG) that sets the reels spinning in a different way each time you start to play. No special technique or timing method can beat the RNG. The only people who can alter how often a slot machine pays out work for the casino itself. They can “tighten” (pay out less often) or “loosen” (pay out more often) the machine as they see fit

The likelihood of hitting it big also shifts if the player is on a progressive slot machine. As opposed to the single slot machines of days gone by, progressive slots are joined together by a computer network as if they were a single slot machine with a huge jackpot. The network records the play on each machine and adds a portion of each bet to the growing progressive jackpot.

Because the jackpot grows with every play, popular progressive slots can compile jackpots much bigger than conventional gambling schemes would permit. Players are frequently expected to play the maximum number of coins to qualify for the huge progressive jackpots. When a player plays multiple paylines while betting the maximum number of coins at a time, he will qualify for the biggest possible payout if the machine hits the jackpot.

The method of disbursing jackpots to winning players has likewise transformed noticeably since the days of the original “fruit machines”. The most primitive machines didn’t even deliver payouts automatically. Instead, an attendant would pay the players their winnings. Payouts could be in the form of cash, candy, gum or drinks. These days, modern machines dispense paper tickets that show the exact amount of a player’s winnings. Players then take the ticket to the cashier’s cage or use a machine similar to an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) to cash their tickets.

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