General

The History Of Slot Machines

In 1891, Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn created the first slot machine. It has five drums with 50 card faces each and was based on poker. The machine was so popular that many bars in the city had one or more. Players would put a nickel in and pull a lever, spinning the drums and cards, hoping for a good poker hand. There was no set payment system, so a pair of kings might net you a free beer, while a royal flush would get you cigars or beverages. The ten of spades and the jack of hearts were usually removed from the deck to increase the house’s odds of winning a royal flush. The drums could also be adjusted to limit winning chances.

A computer capable of automatically paying out all conceivable winning combinations proved unachievable due to a large number of possible victories in the original poker-based game like on mega888 game. Between 1887 and 1895, Charles Fey of San Francisco, California invented a simpler automatic system with three rotating reels and five symbols: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell. The simplicity of reading a win was achieved by substituting ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums. Three bells in a row paid out ten nickels (50). This developed a lucrative mechanical gaming gadget sector. After a few years, California prohibited the devices, but Fey still couldn’t meet demand elsewhere. Many slot machine makers replicated the Liberty Bell machine. The first, commonly known as the “Liberty Bell,” was manufactured by Herbert Mills in 1907. By 1908, most cigar businesses, saloons, bowling alleys, brothels, and barbershops had “bell” machines. The Nevada State Museum’s Fey Collection includes an 1899 Liberty Bell.

Mills’ early Liberty Bell machines used the same reel symbols as Charles Fey’s original. Then came a version with patriotic emblems like flags and wreaths on the wheels. Later, a machine called the Operator’s Bell was manufactured with a gum vending component. Due to the fruit flavoring of the gum, lemons, cherries, oranges, and plums were used as symbols. A bell was kept, as was a depiction of a Bell-Fruit Gum stick, which inspired the bar symbol. This collection of symbols was so popular that Caille, Watling, Jennings, and Pace all utilized it in their own slot machines.

In several states, giving away food was a frequent way to circumvent gambling rules. As a result, judges viewed some gumballs and other vending machines with suspicion. It is used in criminal law lectures to teach the concept of dependence on authority in relation to the axiomatic ignorantia juris non excusat (“ignorance of the law is no excuse”). In these circumstances, a mint vending machine was designated a gambling device because it gave the next user a number of tokens redeemable for more candy. Contrary to what the machine’s outcome indicated, the judges concluded that “the machine appealed to the player’s desire to gamble, which is a vice.”

Although earlier machines such as Bally’s High Hand draw-poker machine had shown the foundations of electromechanical architecture as early as 1940, Money Honey was the first entirely electromechanical slot machine. Money Honey was the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper and automatic payout of up to 500 coins. The popularity of this machine led to an increase in electronic games, leaving the side lever obsolete.

WMS Industries’ Reel ‘Em In was the first American video slot machine to feature a “second screen” bonus round. The Three Bags Full game appeared in Australia in 1994. This machine’s display flips to a separate game for an extra reward.

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