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  Blog Category - Online Casino
The History of Slot Machines

Slot machines are not just gambling devices; they are also unique works of art that have a long and unique history. The archaic details and symbols that used to characterize brass iron and aluminum machines are now being represented graphically in online casinos.

The very first protype for a casino gambling machine was developed in 1891 by the Sittman and Pitt Company of Brooklyn, New York. This tumbler was actually a form of video poker and contained five drums with 50 spinning card faces.  The cost to play was a nickel and the idea was to score a winning poker hand. These primitive machines were rigged in favor of the house and did not contain a Jack of Hearts or the Ten of Spades, thus cutting the odds of winning a Royal Flush in half. There was no mechanism to dispense coins and the bar owner was in charge of the prizes dispensed. The prize could be a free beer, a cigar and sometimes cash.

The first "one-armed bandit" was called The Liberty Bell and invented in 1895 by Charles Fey of San Francisco, California. He devised a machine with three spinning reels containing a total of five symbols – horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. By replacing ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the inventor reduced the odds of getting a Full House in half. Three bells in a row produced the biggest payoff, which at that time was ten nickels. This simple invention, which also automatically dispensed the winnings, spawned many new UK bingo casinos.

Another early type of slots machine did not dispense money at all, but rather fruit flavored chewing gum. This is why we still see images of lemons, cherries and raspberries on slot machines today. In fact the BAR symbol used to be the logo for the Bell-Fruit Gum company. Character slots came into being in the early 1950s when Frank Polk carved 92 life size statues of cowboys and Indian characters. The torso of these characters held the slot machines. These types of slot machines are now considered to be precious antiques.

In 1964, Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine called Money Honey. From there thousands of permutations of this original design have led to the machines that we are familiar playing with in both offline and online bingo casinos. There are many different kinds of gambling slot machines in places such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Some of the most popular are the video poker machines, in which players hope to obtain a set of symbols corresponding to a winning poker hand. There are standard 5-card draw machines, all the way up to 100-play machines, where you can play 100 hands at a time.

The latest development is the 9 line slots. Usually these are themed to represent a Hollywood movie (such as the Addams family or Star Wars) and they do in a way maximize your chances of achieving a high payout.  However keep in mind that the more reels you play, the more expensive each bet is going to be!

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