A Short History Of The Most Basic Symbol Of Gambling In Casinos: Slot Machine
If you are going to ask people about the first thing that comes in their mind when talking about casino, it would be the slot machine. No wonder why several casino posters in Nevada feature the slot machine, as it is the simplest and most basic game of chance that even the newbie gamblers could get into easily.
The slot machine is known in many names in different places, such as the fruit machine in Great Britain, Puggy for the Scottish, and of course, the Slots in the United States of America. No matter what the people call it, the slot machine can give you the most fun and thrilling time of your day by just inserting a single coin into it. The mechanics here is pretty easy: you just have to insert a coin or a token to be able to pull the lever and see the combination of symbols that will be displayed by the machine. Depending on the combination that you will get, the slot machine will pay you with rewards.
But how did humankind come up with such an entertaining treat for the rest of our generation to enjoy? Believe it or not, this game was not originally intended for gambling or betting purposes. You have come to the right place if you want to know more about the history of slot machines!
The Birth Of The Slot Machine In The Late 19th Century
The first slot machine created in history was not really called as slot machine at first. This is because it was only inteded to be a simple arcade game displayed in bars. The “first” slot machine can be traced all the way back to the late 19th century as the New York-based gaming company called Sittman and Pitt developed the would-be casino icon in 1891. At its concepcion, the slot machine had 5 drums with a total of 50 playing cards. It would appear like the machine assumes the role of a card dealer. To get the machine to deal your cards, you must insert a nickel before you can pull the lever and get the lucky combination of cards. If poker hands were lined up on the reels, then you would be rewarded with good payout.
At this point, bar owners realized that players could win too much in this version of the machine, so they opted to increase the house edge by removing 2 cards from the original 50. These were, specifically, the ten of spades and jack of hearts. This way, a player would have lower chance of getting a royal flush being displayed by the machine.
The reason this version of the slot machine was not considered to be the real slot machine is that it was not designed to automatically give payouts. If the players got a good combination of cards from the machine, then he would need to go to the bar counter to earn his winnings.
The Father Of Slot Machines
The real first slot machine that resembles the one that we are used to see in casinos today would be developed by Charles August Fey. His invention included the mechanism that makes the machine give out the winnings of the player. Fey made some changes in the machine so that the odds of reading a win would be slashed further. Now, instead of using the original 5 drums from the first version, 3 reels was used, and only 5 symbols instead of all 50 playing cards were included. These symbols are hearts, diamonds, horseshoes, spades, and liberty bell, wherein the highest possible winning can be obtained by flashing 3 liberty bell symbols from the reels. Thus, the first slot machine was then called the Liberty Bell.
In the age of the Internet, slot machines have found their way into online casinos and gambling sites. No matter how things have changed over the years, people still enjoy the classic slot machine. You just need to be careful in choosing the right casino online.