History of Slots
Slot machines are synonymous with the casino and gaming industry; in fact, the slot machine does in many ways 'make' the casino, since it is easily the most popular activity for gamblers in casinos worldwide. This is the case to the extent that slot machines consistently contribute more than two thirds of the revenue produces by any casino worldwide. The popularity of the slot machines can been attributed to the fact that the player is free from the feeling of intimidation of the gaming table, which is common during games of poker or blackjack, when the player can sometimes feel obliged to make higher and higher bets in order to compete with their fellow players. However, with a slot machine, the player can still have the thrill of the game, but the play is much more personal and follows are relatively simple set of rules.
Slot machines are the invention of Charles Fey, who produced the gaming machine in 1895. The product was perfected by 1907, after Fey had collaborated with the 'Mills Novelty Company' and the slot machine was manufactured under the name the 'Mills Liberty Bell'. The first machines were made completely of iron, but more ornate details and decoration soon evolved. The slot machine became especially popular in the Las Vegas area, after Bugsy Spiegel began to include them in his famous 'Flamingo Hilton'. They were initially intended as entertainment and distraction for the wives and girlfriends of the 'high-rollers', who were involved in big money games in the casinos, but their popularity soon spread to these gamers themselves. There were also discussions around this time, to include a bell to sound and indicate a winner, but manufacturers scrapped the idea. However, this concept was of course not lost, since today bells sound on the machines to indicate when a player has secured the jackpot. There was also another change and revolution in the design and manufacture of the slot machine around this time, because in 1910 the fruit symbols, which still feature on machines today, were first introduced on the new 'Operator Bell' model. Previously the picture card images of the 'King', 'Queen' and the 'Jack' were used in the slot machines.
The popularity of the slot machine continued to increase throughout the twentieth century, but its peak came in the nineties, when slots began to account for well over two thirds of all casino profit and revenue. Currently quarter and dollar games are the most popular type of slot machine, although the original nickel slots still exist, but very much in a minority. Some casinos have sought to cash in to the slot machine boom even more, by introducing five, ten and even one hundred dollar slot machines. These are popular principally amongst the most wealthy and serious gamblers, and are often found sectioned off, in special VIP areas of the casino. There are two main types of slot machine- the flat or straight slot which means that the player stands to win a predetermined jackpot amount, which is usually printed on the front of the game, and secondly progressive slot machines, with which the final jackpot amount depends on the amount of coins that have been played in that game. As with many other casino games, professionals have begun to develop strategies and game plans for the shot machine, in order to improve their chances of winning. A 'basic' slot machine strategy has developed, along with the far more advanced 'Play Through' slot machine strategy.
The appeal of the slot machine has advanced even more so in recent years, with the introduction of the online gaming industry. Players can use virtual slot machines on the Internet, all day long and all year round.
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