Fun Facts About How Slots Have Become A Historical Marker For Social Fun
One of the most emblematic games in any casino are the slot machine. I think there aren’t many people on this Earth that haven’t hit that magic button expecting to win a jackpot.
Funny enough, slot machines used to be called one-armed bandits because of the lever that operated the first machines, now replaced by buttons. That was not the only reason, gambling was as entertaining then as it is now, so they also had the capacity to take all the money from the more enthusiastic player. Still today we have machines with a touch of nostalgia that have a decorative lever to remember the past.
The popularity of this game gives it different names in different regions of the world, from the most common slots, to fruit machine, puggy or poker machine. The explanation for this last name goes back to the origins of the game in 1891, when a gambling machine with five drums was created, and these drums had 50 cards faces based on poker.
It’s easy to understand what followed, the game was so popular that quite a few bars wanted to have one or more of those machines. At the time the machine was not paying us money, but a good hand could get us a cigar or drinks. The simple gameplay, the low spending and the possibility to win prizes made slots popularity boost.
The poker symbols and the five drums were replaced by simpler icons and just three reels and this allowed the direct payout by the machines. After cigars and drinks, not only money could be won playing the slots, but also some machines winnings were chewing gums with symbols. Curious that some of the symbols still existing today in our current slot machines (the cherry, watermelon and BAR) come from that time.
Already in 60s the technological development enabled the automatic payout of 500 coins, and in 1976 the first video slot appeared. The luxury of this production deserved nothing less than a trial at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and was later approved by the gaming commission.
Did you know?
The mechanism that makes slots work has a currency detector that validates the inserted coin. Americans insert so many of these coins that they can sum up to 70% of the casino income. A great reason for the casinos to have large rooms filled with them right?
Nothing like a little gaming magic to makes us believe we have more chances to win and that magic was created in 1984, with a patent called “Electronic Gaming Device Utilizing a Random Number Generator for Selecting the Reel Stop Positions”. Why is this device so important? It’s the device that make us perceive that we have greater chances of a payoff than we actually do, as it makes the icons appear more often on the screen than the number of times they will actually be selected.
Complicated? Not really, just hit the button, have some fun and some faith and you will win. 🙂