What Is A Slot Machine – “One-Armed Bandit”, “Slot Machine”, “Fruit Machine”, and “Pokies” redirect here. For the album, see One-Armed Bandit (album). For the group, see Slot machine (group). For other uses, see Fruit machine (disambiguation) and Pokey (disambiguation).
A slot machine (American glish), fruit machine (British glish) or poker machine (Australian glish and New Zealand glish) is a game of chance that creates a game of chance for its customers. Slot machines are also known pejoratively as one-armed bandits due to the large mechanical levers attached to the sides of early mechanical machines and the games’ ability to empty players’ pockets and wallets like thieves would.
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The standard layout of a slot machine has a screen showing three or more reels that “spin” when the game is activated. Some modern slot machines still include a lever as a skeuomorphic design feature to trigger play. However, the mechanics of early machines have been replaced by random number generators, and most are now operated using buttons and touch screens.
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Slot machines include one or more currency detectors that validate the form of payment, whether coin, cash, coupon or token. The machine pays according to the pattern of symbols displayed when the reels stop “spinning”. Slot machines are the most popular method of gaming in casinos and make up about 70% of the revenue of the average American casino.
Digital technology has resulted in variations on the original slot machine concept. Since the player is essentially playing a video game, manufacturers can offer more interactive elements, such as advanced bonuses and more varied video graphics.
A plaque marking the site of Charles Fey’s San Francisco workshop, where he invented the three-reel slot machine. The location is a California Historic Landmark.
Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York developed a gambling machine in 1891 that was a precursor to the modern slot machine. It contained five drums holding a total of 50 card faces and was based on poker. The machine proved extremely popular, and soon many bars in the city had one or more of them. Players would insert a nickel and pull a lever that would spin the drums and the cards they held, the player hoping for a good poker hand. There was no direct payment mechanism, so a pair of kings might get the player a free beer, while a royal flush could pay for cigars or drinks; the prizes were entirely dependent on what the establishment would offer. To improve the odds for the house, two cards were typically removed from the deck, the t of spades and the court, doubling the odds against winning a royal flush. The reels could also be rearranged to further reduce a player’s chance of winning.
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Due to the vast number of possible wins in the original poker-based game, it proved practically impossible to make a machine capable of awarding an automatic payout for all possible winning combinations. Sometime between 1887 and 1895,
With three spinning reels containing a total of five symbols: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and Liberty Bell; the bell gave the machine its name. By replacing t-cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a win was considerably reduced, allowing Fey to design an efficient automatic payout mechanism. Three bells in a row produced the biggest reward, t nickels (50¢). Liberty Bell was a huge success and spawned a thriving mechanical gaming industry. After a few years, the devices were banned in California, but Fey still couldn’t keep up with demand for them elsewhere. The Liberty Bell machine was so popular that it was copied by many slot machine manufacturers. The first of these, also called the “Liberty Bell”, was produced by the manufacturer Herbert Mills in 1907. By 1908, many “bell” machines were installed in most cigar shops, bars, bowling alleys, brothels and barbershops.
The first Liberty Bell machines produced by Mills used the same symbols on the bobbins as Charles Fey’s original did. Soon after, another version was produced with patriotic symbols, such as flags and garlands, on the wheels. Later, a similar machine called the Operator’s Bell was produced that included the option of adding a gum-vding attachment. Since the offered gum was fruit-flavored, fruit symbols were placed on the reels: lemons, cherries, oranges and plums. A bell was retained, and an image of a stick of Bell-Fruit Gum, the origin of the pub symbol, was also prest. This set of symbols proved very popular and was used by other companies that began to produce their own slot machines: Caille, Watling, Jnings and Pace.
A commonly used technique to circumvent gambling laws in several states was to award food prizes. Therefore, several gumball and other vding machines were viewed with distrust by the courts. The two Iowa cases of State v. Ellis
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Are both used in criminal law classes to illustrate the concept of dependence on authority when it relates to the axiom ignorantia juris non excusat (“ignorance of the law is no excuse”).
In these cases, a mint viding machine was declared to be a gambling device because the machine, through internally produced randomness, would sometimes give the next user several tokens that could be exchanged for more candy. Despite the showing of the result of the next use on the machine, the courts ruled that “[t]he machine appealed to the tendency of the player to gamble, and that is [a] vice.”
In 1963, Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine called Money Honey (although earlier machines such as Bally’s High Hand draw poker machine exhibited the basics of electromechanical construction as early as 1940). Its electromechanical operation made Money Honey the first slot machine with a bottomless jump and automatic payment of up to 500 coins without the help of an assistant.
The popularity of this machine led to the growing dominance of electronic games, with the side lever soon becoming a trailblazer.
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The first video game machine was developed in 1976 in Kearny Mesa, California by the Las Vegas-based Fortune Coin Co. This machine used a modified 19-inch (48 cm) Sony Trinitron color receiver for the display and logic boards for all slot machine functions. The prototype was mounted in a full-size, show-ready slot machine cabinet. The first production units are being tested at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. After some modifications to defeat cheating attempts, the video game machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and eventually found popularity on the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown casinos. Fortune Coin Co. and its video game machine technology were purchased by IGT (International Gaming Technology) in 1978.
The first American video slot machine to offer a “second scre” bonus round was Reel ‘Em In, developed by WMS Industries in 1996.
This type of machine appeared in Australia from at least 1994 with the Three Bags Full game.
With this type of machine, the screen changes to provide a different game in which an additional payout can be awarded.
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Depding on the machine, the player can insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a bar code, into a designated slot on the machine. The machine is activated by a lever or button (either physical or on touch), which activates reels that spin and stop to rearrange the symbols. If a player matches a winning combination of symbols, the player earns credits based on the paytable. Symbols vary according to the theme of the machine. Classic symbols include objects such as fruit, bells and stylized lucky sevs. Most slot games have a theme, such as a specific aesthetic, location, or character. Symbols and other extras of the game are typically aligned with the theme. Some topics are listed from popular media franchises, including movies, television series (including game shows such as Wheel of Fortune), tertainers, and musicians.
Multi-line slot machines have become more popular since the 1990s. These machines have more than one payline, which means that visible symbols that are not lined up on the main horizontal can be considered as winning combinations. Traditional three-reel slot machines usually have one, three or five paylines while video slot machines can have 9, 15, 25 or even 1024 different paylines. Most accept varying numbers of credits to play, with 1 to 15 credits per line being typical. The higher the bet, the higher the payout will be if the player wins.
One of the main differences between video slots and reel machines is in the way the payouts are calculated. With reel machines, the only way to win the maximum jackpot is to play the maximum number of coins (usually three, sometimes four or even five coins per spin). With video machines, the fixed payout values are multiplied by the number of coins per line that is bet. In other words: on a reel machine, the odds are more favorable if the gambler plays with the maximum number of coins available.
However, depending on the structure of the game and its bonus features, some video slots may still include features that improve chances of payouts through increased bets.
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