Slot Machines History
Slot machines were invented in the late 1800’s by a man named Charles Fey, but did not become popular until Bugsy Siegel installed them in his Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Slot machines owe a lot of their popularity to the fact that they can be played at the player’s own pace with no skill required. They have evolved over the years from simple three reel machines with each reel containing 20 symbols to the random number generated machines in today’s casinos with each reel sometimes containing hundreds of symbols.
The most important feature in older slot machines is the number of reels and the number of symbols. The fewer the number of reels and symbols, the easier it is to get a winning combination.
To determine the odds of let’s say a three reel machine with 20 symbols where the object is to get a jackpot symbol on each reel, you multiply 20 X 20 X 20 which equals 8,000. The odds of hitting the jackpot on this machine are 7,999 to 1.
Now lets take another example where there are 120 symbols per reel rather than 20. You multiply 120 X 120 X 120 which equals 1,728,000. The odds of hitting the jackpot on this machine are 1,727,999 to 1!
The newer slot machines found in casinos today feature random number generators that determine the number of symbols per reel based on the amount of the jackpot. The higher the jackpot the greater the number of symbols per reel. This is done to assure that the jackpots are hit rarely enough for the casino to generate enough money to pay off the jackpot and produce a profit.
Most slot machines are programmed to payout between 80 and 99 percent of coins played which includes jackpot payoffs. Although several machines may be located beside each other and look identical, they could each be programmed to return an entirely different percentage rate.
There are basically two different types of slot machines; flat rate and progressives. Flat rate machines have a set jackpot payoff while progressive machine’s jackpot continues to grow with each coin inserted until hit.