Today, slot machines in a variety of forms may be found in bars, cafes, clubs and casinos worldwide. If their number is added to those found across the internet in online casinos bestecasinonorske.com , their total becomes staggering. Despite this, when first introduced into casinos towards the end of the nineteenth century, they were intended as a mere entertaining diversion for casual visitors. This was because their use required no special knowledge being games of pure chance and ideal for the less serious punter. Today the majority of online games are slots and more punters play them than any other form of online gambling.
The slot machine first emerged in the late nineteenth century and was the result of a drive to design a totally automated gambling machine that would require no human intervention beyond that of the player. Earlier attempts failed due to the inability to achieve satisfactory levels of randomness and to automate payouts and it was not until 1897 that the first working slot machine was released.
Mr. Charles Fey, a resident of San Francisco solved all of the associated problems using a combination of three rotating drums or “reels” adorned with five sets of symbols. The machine had to permit play only upon payment of a stake and this was achieved through inserting a coin that then released the brake on a handle. Pulling the handle set all three reels in motion and a selection of gearwheels and ratchets gradually slowed them at differing rates until bringing them to rest and displaying their symbols in a window. Certain winning combinations of symbols would then release a variable number of coins from a coin store into a payout tray.
Because slot machines allowed punters a chance to play for very low stakes, typically 10 cents, and offered instant rewards, their popularity was immediate and soon their inventor could not cope with the demand for his automatic gambling machines. There seductive nature soon led to the downfall of many undisciplined gamblers and they soon became known as one-armed bandits due to the single handle and the capacity to rob a man of every cent.
Gambling laws influenced the nature of slots and, in the US in particular, it was often illegal to pay cash prizes. Instead, tokens, redeemable for goods, were often paid to winners. One company rewarded its players with gum of varying fruity flavors and used the fruits as the symbols on their reels. Not surprisingly, these soon became known as fruit machines. The slot machine has undergone wholesale evolution since Fey’s first purely mechanical devices although whether it takes the form of a physical entity or a screen rendition, the fundamental appearance remains unchanged and would probably still be recognized by its inventor today.
The first step in evolution was the electro-mechanical slot. Here the randomizing mechanism remained mechanical but their operation and other functions such as initiating play and making payouts were now governed by electronic circuitry and servomechanisms. Further evolution along these lines saw the disappearance of the much-loved handle in favor of buttons and machines that accept credit or prepaid casino cards as well as coins. The most recent metamorphosis in slot machines has been the emergence of video slots. Electronics and mechanics have disappeared to be replaced by randomizing software and high resolution graphic displays. Although it appears some still distrust this new technology, it is clear that it offers far greater security and assurance of fair play than ever achievable by mechanical and electro-mechanical devices.