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Slots are one of the most fascinating games in the casino. They combine colorful, and increasingly sophisticated graphics, with music, noise and always the promise of winning big. You’ll hear that slot games became popular when they were added to Las Vegas casinos to give the wives something to do while their husbands were at the tables. It’s still true that slot games are the easiest game for the inexperienced player to play, but their history goes well back before the Rat Pack and the big Vegas casinos.
Slots have a history that goes back to 1895 and the Liberty Bell slot machine invented by Charles Fey. Fey’s slot game was a simple three reel machine with a single pay line and landing three Liberty Bells on the reels paid out 50 cents. At the turn of the century, the demand for slot games took off and never looked back. The original machines were mechanical devices, the so called one-armed bandits, where pulling a lever spun the three hoops that made up the reels. The mechanical nature of the early machines created certain restrictions as far as designs and game play went. Using physical loops meant the designs were restricted and play was simple and straightforward.
Yes, Las Vegas casinos did bring in slot games to appeal to the wives of the high stakes players at the casino tables. They discovered that the men played longer when their wives were happily occupied at the reels. But slot games weren’t seen as the major attraction for a casino. The big players still came for the table games. Then in the 1970 slots underwent a rebirth and boom in popularity. Developers began using microchips to run the machines and the new electronic machines gave the designers more freedom when it came to graphics and game play. Players responded by playing more and casinos devoted more and more space to the slots floor.
In the 21st century, slots have become interactive to keep up with consumers who are used to playing arcade games and computer games. The latest slot games even offer 3D game play with characters that interact directly with the player. Today, slot games still take up most of the floor space at a traditional casino. They are the perpetual money maker for the casinos who can determine the house edge on their slot games over time and even for individual machines. Gamblers won’t give up on these fun, fast playing games, but more and more people are exploring the fun of slots online – and often without risking any money. The fun of the games has moved beyond the simple win or lose equation, and players continue to enjoy the game inspired by that 1895 invention – the slot machine.
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