Slot machines are one of the most popular forms of gaming in the United States. In modern times, there are thousands of different brands, styles and options to choose from. Finding the right slot machine for real money could be your ticket to the big prize.
The first gaming machines were invented less than 150 years ago and appeared only in bars. Fortunately, we have come a long way since the first poker machines. In the 21st century, we can use slot machines in casinos, gas stations, online and on cell phones.
Slot machines are undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games in the United States. To understand how far we’ve come, let’s take a closer look at the history of slot machines.
When was the first slot machine invented?
There is some debate as to when the first slot machines were actually made. However, what we do know is that the history of slot machines dates back to the late 1800s. It all started with the card machine invented by Sittman and Pitt in 1891. This simple machine could hold 50 cards and deal a hand to the player. Prizes were awarded based on the quality of the player’s hand.
The card machine does not have a built-in payout system, so the prizes vary from place to place. To help the house win, two cards were intentionally left on the machine’s deck. Those cards were the ten of spades and the jack of hearts, which reduced Sittman and Pitt’s chances of a straight and flush by 50%.
Seeing the success of games such as Solitaire, other inventors were inspired to make their own games. One such person was Charles Fey, the mechanic. Between 1887 and 1895, Fey created several versions of new, simpler machines. By 1895, Fey had created the first slot machine, Liberty Bell, which had three reels and used the familiar symbols of spades, hearts, and diamonds. A fourth symbol, the Liberty Bell, was also used.
Fey has invented other versions of his machine, but the Liberty Bell is his most popular machine. He would rent out his machines to local bars and saloons to share in the profits. The original model was on display at the Liberty Belle Saloon & Restaurant in Reno before it closed.
How do slot machines work?
Fey’s original slot machine consisted of three spinning reels activated by levers. Each reel has a total of 10 symbols drawn on it. The money is paid according to the alignment of the reels when they stop spinning.
Fey’s machines were so popular that many companies tried to buy the rights to make them. When Fey refused to sell his designs, other companies began to make their own versions, and Herbert Mills was the first to use the fruit symbol on a slot machine with Operator Bell in 1907.
As more and more companies create their own slot machines, more innovations come along with them. For example, Mills Novelty Co. first used the Skill Stop feature in the 1920s. Many gaming machines began incorporating electronic devices into their design as early as the 1930s. However, it was not until 1963 that Bally released its first electromechanical slot machine, Money Honey.
More than a decade later, the first video slot machines were released in 1976. Since these machines do not rely on physical reels, they are able to add more reels, symbols and payout opportunities. Video slots are also able to offer bonus rounds to players.
In 1986, IGT released Megabucks, which contained the first progressive jackpots. These types of machines gradually increase the maximum jackpot per bet between jackpots. The more bets between progressive jackpots, the larger the pool.
The invention of online slot machines
With the advent of the 1990s came the age of the Internet. Real money online slots quickly emerged, as did pseudo-random number generators (PRNGs). The early online slots eventually led to video game terminals (VGTs). Today’s slots, both live and online, use PRNGs to determine the outcome of spins.
As computers become more and more advanced, so do slot machines. Modern slot machines can offer several different bonus levels based on the results of the spins. They can also be linked together for larger progressive jackpots. Some states even allow interstate progressive jackpots.
The increase in reels, symbols and betting lines is good news for the casino. Being able to bet more per spin does increase a player’s potential progressive jackpot. However, it also means that players are betting more per spin. Modern slots like the house more than the players. As a result, they bring in huge profits for the casino.
Slot machines win the most money
Modern slots like this house very much. However, there are still some players who have managed to succeed. Recently, a player in Washington set a new state record for the largest slot machine jackpot. Jose Lopez won a jackpot worth $2.37 million at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
There is no doubt that $2.37 million is a life-changing sum of money. However, it is far from the biggest slot jackpot in the U.S. In 1998, a woman playing Megabucks machines at the Palace Station in Las Vegas won $27.6 million.
A few years later, another woman named Cynthia Jay Brennan was also playing Megabucks machines. Brennan hit a jackpot worth nearly $35 million while playing at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, and in 2003, a player at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas hit an even bigger jackpot.
Once again, the bettors were using Megabucks slot machines. The lucky players won the largest slot machine jackpot in history. Their total jackpot was $39.7 million. Oddly enough, all three of the largest slot jackpots came from Megabucks slot machines. For two of the winners, their big wins came from betting less than $200.
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