Slots unlike most of the casino games is invented by an American. It has become very popular in many parts of the world. The most notable places include Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Charles Fey, a 29 year-old Mechanic manufactured the first reels for gaming in 1887. The first machines were manufactured by hand by Fey himself and placed in the local gambling palaces on a 50% rental basis. So in addition to being the inventor, Fey was also the first proprietor of the machines. The slots he developed did not have fruits like we do today, but they contained symbols of our standard 52 card deck. It also contained a horseshoe, bells and stars. This original machine can still be seen today in a collection at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Reno Nevada, which is owned and operated by Fey’s own lineage.
The San Francisco Chronicle described Fey’s machine: “A machine featuring 3 reels mostly hidden with Horseshoes, Spades, Diamonds, Hearts, Bells symbols on reels. The device is operated by depositing a nickel in a slot to release the handle, when the right combination of symbols stop in the window the player is awarded coins ranging from 2, on 2 Horseshoes to 20 for 3 bells. Most of those present agreed the machine should be a great success”
The details of the slot machines (not online) we’re discussing are necessary knowledge for anyone who wants to make this an important part of their day. Essential, a cabinet housing contains three or more narrow cylindrical drums, commonly called reels, which are marked with symbols. Vertically disposed on a common axis, the reels are caused to revolve freely when a player activates the machine and pulls a lever-like handle affixed in the side of the cabinet. Payoffs are handled instantly, based on the horizontal alignment of symbols after the reels come to rest. Umm, you get a line of bells you win. Simple.
Nickel and quarter machines are the most popular, and account for about 85% of reel action in any given year. This popularity is followed by the dime boxes, then half dollar and silver dollar machines. You can now find machines that accept $5 bills, and some rather large progressive jackpot machines that take $100 bills!
The modern, deluxe, single coin one armed bandits with a nice shiny chrome finish can run you as much as $1,700 to own for yourself. But even if you’re thinking of dropping that coin, check and make sure its legal to own a slot machine in the state or country you live in.
You may be familiar with the name ‘Big Bertha’ when it comes to the reels. This machine was designed to accept half dollar and dollars, and to pay back about 80% of what it takes in. The box is made for the most part to be a propaganda machine, catching customers imaginations and desires in one big metal mental image.
Well it worked, which is proofed by the appearance of the Super Big Bertha. This six by ten foot super slot machine is said to have cost more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to produce. A Five horsepower electric motor is needed to power the twenty-inch wide chain driven wheels. With eight reels containing 20 symbols each, there are 25.6 billion different possible combinations. That’s right BILLION. Only one of which actually pays the 1 million dollar promised prize. A little more basic math shows that with these odds, one individual would have to put about 205 billion one dollar spins to work to mathematically hit the million dollar prize. Not the best return on investment ever conceived, except from the casinos point of view.