In 1895 the first slot machine was produced. The person to invent the slots was Charles Fey. Fey worked on the slot machine until 1907 when he sold the first one through Mill Novelty Company. The first slot machine was called 'Mills Liberty Bell'. The design would probably be a shock to you today as it was cast iron with feet and toes. After this period the slot machines didn't have the toes, but extremely detailed feet.
In the first machine you still had the reels we know today. The reels, instead of having bars, had actual playing cards. The king, queen, and jack were on the reels. There was a bell that would ring every time you won the spin. The bell of course has long been gone. Most of the slots are just going to have the bell signal when the max jackpot has been reached, rather than every time you win.
It should not be a surprise that many of the slot machine companies are still basing their slot designs on the machine from 1907. Most of the older slot machines just have 20 different symbols to obtain. Now we have more than 20 symbols and more than just the three reels of the older machine. The newer machines are also made with computer memory so that they have a random display of hundreds of symbols and special bonuses.
During 1910 another slot machine was produced based on the 'Liberty Bell'. This one was called the 'Operation Bell'. It had a coin entry with the fruit symbols. In fact this slot has several machines mirrored after it such as 'Fruit Mania'. Of course the early machine was over a 100 pounds in weight. They sold about 30,000 of these machines.
Five years later the slot machines changed again. This is when the wood machines came onto the market. A little bit later there were more changes made to make the machine less expensive to the casinos and of course easier to make. The original machines were extremely loud with the clinking of coins and bells. Having machines with a quieter noise seemed to be more appropriate. There was also the double jackpot in these next wave of machines.
Mills decided to go further in developing the different slot machines. They had several themed machines as well as color added to make it a lot more fun. In 1931 the Lion Head, War Eagle, and Roman Head were released. In 1933 the Castle Front was released.
It was 30 years later after the first machine was created by Fey that they became very popular. Bugsy Siegel introduced the slot machines into the Flamingo Hilton Hotel in the 40's which solidified their existence. A lot of the players were female as they would wait for the high rollers to get done playing at the tables. We have seen an increase in North America of the slot machines. So much so, that in the 90's more of the casino floors have been peppered with new and innovative designs. In fact about 2/3 of revenue for casinos around the US get their money from slots.
There are two types of slot machines now. You have the progressive slots and the regular slots often called flat tops. The slots are the same for the most part in how they work, their pay tables, and how you want to play them. There is just one major difference. The progressive slots are going to have a jackpot that grows as you play the game. In other words a percentage of what you wager goes to the jackpot. Sometimes that pot can be over a million dollars depending on the casino and games. The progressive games are all tied together in a carousel. The carousel will pull data from each machine to increase the jackpot, so that one machine in that grouping will be the winner at any given time. It is a random system so you never know which one could win.
The machines are also of a different denomination for money. You have penny, nickel, quarter, and even dollar slots. It just depends on what you can afford to play with and which machines you would like to play on. The nickel machines tend to be more popular in smaller casinos. There are also high roller machines that allow for a higher wager per round. These are usually in a different room.
The older machines have three reels with one payline. However you will find that most of the newer slot machines played by everyone have the five reels. This is because you get more paylines, which translates into a better chance of winning. The more complicated usually have the progressive jackpots as well. Each reel is going to have its own pattern of symbols. It also makes it harder to hit the jackpots as you need a specific symbol to win, and when you have over a hundred it can seem a little impossible.
The computer has a completely random program which means it will not offer symbols in any kind of pattern. The jackpots usually are rare because the machines are a high profit. However you will find that the slots will pay out between 83 and 98 percent for any given cycle, even if it is not a jackpot win.
Most of the slots ask for a max of three coins, but some will take up to 20 coins. You need to play the maximum amount of coins per round in order to get the jackpot. If you play anything less you could get a few bonuses, but nothing serious in a payout. It is more of a nickel and dime operation then. You earn a little then lose a little and it is a nasty little cycle. So play the max coins to be successful. The three coins jackpots usually payout at 150 percent.
The machine will pay out for the smaller winnings when you get the combinations. When the jackpot is won the employee of the casino will have to issue you the money.