The Slot Machine
The very first slot machine (called 'Liberty Bell') was created by a
man called Charles Fay from his workshop in San Francisco in 1887.
Slightly smaller than today's average slot machines, Liberty Bell
contained 3 reels and 20 symbols and operated pretty much in the same way
as today's slot machines. Within a relatively short period of time, Fay's
creation became so popular and successful that he began to work overtime
in his workshop to meet the demand for his slot machines. Capitalizing on
their success, Fay rented the machines to gambling establishments at a 50%
commission rate, refusing to sell the manufacturing and distribution
rights of his slot machines to gambling manufacturers.
In 1907, Herbert Mills, a Chicago manufacturer created 'Operator Bell',
a slot machine similar to 'Liberty Bell' in design. Produced and
distributed at a greater rate than Fay's 'Liberty Bell', the 'Operator
Bell' slot machines experienced even greater success and by 1910, slot
machines were very common in the United States of America. As soon as slot
machines had reached a new peak in popularity and became common throughout
the USA, new laws were introduced and passed to ban slot machines. In
spite of this, slot machines continued to be popular throught America
during the 1920s and 1930s. During the late 1940's, Bugsy, a well known
gangster, added slot machines to his Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas
where the profit from slot machines eventually exceeded that of table
The objective of the slot machine is to try and spin a winning
combination of symbols on the payline.
There are basically two types of slots.
Straight Slots: A Straight slots jackpot will remain at a set amount of
money until it is won, after which it resets and starts over again at that
same amount. For example, a straight jackpot may be set at $20,000 and
will remain at $20,000 until it is won, no matter how many coins are
deposited into the slot machine.
Progressive Slots: On the other hand, the amount of money that may be
won playing progressive slots is determined by the amount of money
deposited into the machine. Thus the progressive jackpot continuosly
increases with each player until it is won.
To play straight or progressive slots, the player deposits a coin or
set of coins into the slot machine and selects the number of coins to bet
per spin. The player may then either press the 'Spin' button or pull the
arm of the slot machine to spin the reels. Once the reels stop spinning,
the player will either win or lose that spin. Whether the player wins or
loses, he may 'Cash Out' his share of money from the machine or continue
Today, slot machines are amongst the most popular games found in
casinos, accounting for over 30% of casino profit. This is due to a number
(1) Slot machines are very easy to play and require no real test of
skill or knowledge. A player simply deposits coins into the machine and
presses a button. Once the reels stop spinning, the machine will alert the
player if the winning combination is struck or not.
(2) There is no pressure to play against or interact with other players
as one may do in games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and
(3) There is no risk of someone trying to cheat during the game or of
the dealer making an honest mistake during a bet.
(4) There is no time frame for one to make the next move. A slot
machine may be played at one�s own pace without the player feeling the
need to hurry because someone else is waiting for his/her turn.
(5) The game is played with real money and not casino chips. This makes
the game much more exciting in the sense that the player has the
opportunity to gamble with real currency.
(6) The payout is instant and can sometimes run into the thousands of
dollars, especially if one is playing progressive slots.
For these set of reasons, the slot machine is currently one of the most
popular games found in a casino.
Adel Awwad is the webmaster of Free Casino Cash Guide.