How Modern Slot Machines Evolved
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If you think that people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Odds now, then the original Video Poker machines would have been a sight to behold!
Many of these Video Poker machines would have payouts as low as For-1 on a Royal Flush, which, given the actual probability of a Royal Flush, is darn near as good as paying a player nothing on that result!
However, there were really no sophisticated sources out there such as this website for letting people know whether or not they were getting a good gamble, what the Optimal Plays were, etc Of course, the players were not the only individuals out there who sought to change the edges one way or another.
The proprietors of the establishments were also greedy, at times, and sought to increase the play as well as the return on their slot machines.
One example of a way to do this was simply to have Shills in there playing the machine or claiming to who might either claim to have hit some of the highest pays with a mathematically improbable frequency, or alternatively, to actually play the devices until they had a good hit and then behave in a very excited way about it!
Obviously, they would have lost money on the overall play, had they been actually playing with their money, but really they would be playing with the money belonging to the establishment so the establishment was essentially paying itself when it came time to pay out.
However, seeing a Jackpot or high-level pay happen would be enough to entice many others present to jump in!
Another similarity between those machines and the machines of today is that misconceptions would often abound.
While certain poorly designed mechanical reel machines may or may not have been predictable, if you knew how many reel positions there were and there was some pattern to how many positions the game moved prior to the reel stopping, then that information could be used-after tracking-to determine when a payout would occur a wide range of absurdities that are still uttered in casinos to this day abounded:.
The above won is my absolute favorite because, if it was true, then every single machine out there would win big amounts essentially infinitely!
If it is true that when a machine hits it is going to hit again in the near future, then all machines would be perpetually hitting from now until the end of time and everyone would win by virtue of walking into the casino!
Anyway, these misconceptions were likely just as prevalent among slot players back then as they are today, which, despite how slot machines have themselves evolved shows that the average slot player has not evolved with them!
The only thing that the average slot player wants now compared to what they wanted then is more features, more sounds and more bright flashy lights!
We've got Buffaloes stampeding across the screen, Britney Spears dancing around all over the place, Mr.
However, people persist in having fun with it, so as long as their, 'Fun,' is actually fun for them and they are keeping it under control, it is tough to fault anybody for enjoying themselves.
There's also the question of Comps in order to keep players interested and actively playing. Earlier on this Page, I postulated that I would hardly be surprised if some of the original proprietors of establishments housing some of the oldest slot machines did not, 'Pay,' for one of their customers' spins from time-to-time, and Complimentaries still work to this day to keep people playing.
Furthermore, the proprietor might have offered free beverages to players, free cigars, or any other number of potential niceties in order to keep the player engaged in the machine.
However, there is some question as to what degree of comps are necessary to keep players involved in the game, in fact, if any.
Perhaps the most fundamental Comp associated with Vegas Casinos when it comes to Slot Players or players of anything, really is Complimentary Drinks so long as the player is actively playing.
For many years, these Complimentary Drinks were all but unconditional, if you were parked at a machine and at least appeared to be playing, you were entitled to free drinks.
Sometimes, people doing nothing but sitting next to you would also get free drinks. In fact, I can verify that such just happened in Atlantic City at the Golden Nugget when my girlfriend was offered a Free Drink sitting next to me though she was not playing anything.
Of course, I tend to tip the cocktail waitresses a dollar a drink with the first tip being upfront, gets me my drink quickly! The point is that the concept of a, 'Free Drink,' is something that has risen to being almost a necessity in order to keep players playing, but is it really?
If you take a look at the State of Ohio, casinos cannot legally offer their patrons Free Drinks, and yet the slot numbers come in month after month and the Ohio Casinos continue to have positive revenues and profitability.
Furthermore, there are casinos that do not, either by way of law or because they choose not to, offer free drinks to players in relatively close proximity to casinos that do and they do not seem to be hurting in all cases for players.
MGM is a chain that has at least tested this theory to a limited extent by way of attempting a voucher system at certain casinos by which players must have a certain amount of play either by way of time or dollars bet at which point the machine will spit out a drink voucher.
In that sense, Free Drinks may still be given, but they might not be a given. Some might suggest that Free Drinks are such an expectation in Las Vegas that no Las Vegas casino could ever get away with refusing to offer them, while all of the competition still is but all successful implementation of a measure such as that would require is effective collusion With respect to the Blackjack, Downtown has somewhat become an exception, or rather an alternative, to the rule as opposed to the Las Vegas Strip and I could certainly see that trend continuing as well as bleeding into the dispensing of Free Drinks by the casino.
All it would really take is effective collusion by the Strip Casinos to simultaneously, or near-simultaneously, stop offering Free Drinks to anyone other than those playing at a certain level.
Many visitors to these casinos frequent the clubs in said casinos in which drinks must be purchased, and often at a huge premium, anyway, that what almost appears to be the target market of these casinos might, by and large, not care too terribly much if players ceased getting Free Drinks, anyway.
Getting back to the topic at hand, Slot Machines essentially entered a period of dormancy for several decades for a number of reasons: The first of which is the fact that Slot Machines developed an increasingly negative reputation as being associated with illegal activity.
There are a myriad of reasons behind that, but perhaps the largest of those is that slot machines, in many jurisdictions, were actually illegal and still being played.
Furthermore, in many other jurisdictions, they may not have been directly determined to be illegal, but may have had the conception that they were illegal attached to them.
In fact, that is largely comparable to Online Gambling throughout the United States in the sense that many people out there actually believe that it is Patently Illegal.
As my study found , there are a great many states in which that is not the case, and furthermore, there is absolutely NOTHING at the Federal level that prohibits a mere player from playing Online.
Though many people erroneously still believe that it is across-the-board illegal in the United States. With many States that illegalized Slot Machines or all forms of Gambling, with verbiage that many current State Laws as relates to gambling still employ the perception may have been that they were always illegal or were illegal unless there was a law in place specifically legalizing them in a state.
Also detrimental to the public perception of Slot Machines was the fact that during the Dark Ages Prohibition Era, Slot Machines became widely associated with taking place in Speakeasies that disseminated alcohol illegally.
After all, even in those jurisdictions in which Slot Machines were illegal, 'Gambling,' or, 'Possession of a Gambling Device,' was effectively little more than an add-on charge to the possession or sale of alcohol.
For that reason, there was little with respect to consequences that would prevent proprietors from making money off of Slot Machines and Video Poker devices as well as their alcohol sales.
The main turning point for Slot Machines, from a design aspect, would come with the Money Honey slot machine manufactured beginning in by Bally Technologies Inc.
Bally Technologies has continued to be on the cutting edge of innovation of devices and it is nearly impossible, if not outright impossible, to go into a Brick and Mortar regulated Commercial Casino without seeing that familiar red, 'B,' on a plethora of the gaming devices.
The Money Honey as well as other Bally machines to come out during this time were the first to make use of Electronic components causing the machine to light up in the actual reels, as well as for the words, 'Winner Paid,' to appear in red lights on the machine.
While such a machine might seem basic to us now, it was definitely something to behold at the time and one would expect that it maintained a player's interest at least as long as the average slot machine that can be found in modern casinos does.
Bally would soon follow this up with a slot machine that offered the capacity to play multiple Pay Lines as well as to play multiple coins on an individual playline.
The ability for Multiple Paylines to be bet upon is nothing new to us in this day and age, in fact, there are a wide variety of Slot Machines out there, including some that are manufactured by Bally, in which it is impossible to NOT play multiple paylines.
This is most often the case with respect to low denomination slot machines, especially machines in which the denomination is a nickel or less, which tends to lead to the player perception that they are not risking very much per game The advent of machines upon which multiple Paylines could be played was huge because it lent itself to player perception that the game was, 'Easier,' to win.
After all, it seems pretty intuitive that having three Paylines as opposed to just one triples the Probability that a player is going to win.
The aspect of such games that did not seem to enter into player's minds at the time was, assuming everything else was equal in terms of probabilities for each line, the player had the potential to lose all three coins bet so that a single loss would actually cost the player more money.
Another effect of this was that players might occasionally not be satisfied with jackpot amounts that would have once left them satiated.
For example, a Line Pay of For-1 represents x the bet if the player is playing a Single-Line game which might be sufficient for the player to quit, however, that same Pay on a single line only represents Therefore, it might require a greater jackpot in order for the player to be satisfied, perhaps only the top Line Win possible would suffice for the player.
Electronic components are also something that players take for granted in this day and age, and that is made obvious by the fact that coin-droppers are largely something of a relic and games that largely resemble multimedia entertainment more than they do a traditional slot machine have gained popularity in recent years.
In terms of the display, slot machines have become ever more complicated, but in terms of the concept of sticking money in, hitting a button and probably losing If anything could be said to have changed, it would definitely be the expectation of how a Slot Machine is supposed to perform for an establishment financially.
The earliest slot machines were something of a novelty, even in the event that one or a few units would be located in a proprietor's establishment, only on extremely rare occasions would the machine be the primary source of revenue for a given location.
When it came to the first legalized and expressly regulated slot machines in Nevada Casinos, this expectation was largely the same. Certainly the Slots were expected to hold their own financially, but even then, they were not expected to be a principle source of revenue As Slot Machines became both more common and gained wide acceptance, at least within the realm of legalized casinos, the devices eventually expanded in both players, numbers of units, and obviously as a result, floor space.
Once viewed as essentially a pastime for women who were with their partners in the casino, Slot Machines then occasionally began to gain the interest of men.
Eventually, Slot Machines would largely pull even with other forms of Gambling within a given House, and only shortly thereafter, Slot Machines began to surpass Table Games in revenue.
These days, if one is to look at any revenue report of a Commercial Casino, it is absolutely no contest despite the fact that the vast majority of Table Games offerings have better Odds than Slot Machines.
One reason for the popularity of Slots, at least as far as their initial popularity was concerned, is how cheap it was to make a single bet!
Much as it is even in this day and age and resources such as this website available for all to see, people do not necessarily consider the House Edge of the game they are playing nor do they take into consideration the Expected Loss per Hour.
Table Games, simply put, take longer to resolve than a pull of a Slot Machine, so in terms of time value alone, one is better off to go with Table Games.
Interestingly, it was the Slot Machines, at least a concept inherent in them, that led to one of the more profound evolution's with respect to Table Games: One component that Slot Machines had that Table Games were missing was the potential for a large jackpot which was significantly more than the amount bet.
It may have been this, 'Jackpot,' potential that led some players that would normally play Table Games to the Slot Machines in the first place, and while each individual house really just has an interest in making money, there are a number of people with a vested interest in maintaining the viability of Table Games.
There will be more on that in my, 'Evolution of Table Games,' page. One thing that did not change was the fact that Slot Machines were around to stay, and they are the largest gambling revenue generator for casinos all the way to this day.
Another similar business venture, competing against a plethora of Honest-to-God Resort Casinos is the chain of Dotty's locations, many of which are located in Las Vegas.
For many of these, 'Parlors,' as they are called in West Virginia, machines are literally the only form of revenue the establishment takes in that is in any way meaningful.
It is true that some of them sell beer, but they usually do so for break-even prices in order to encourage players to play there.
In other words, the Slots went from being something of an add-on, more an afterthought than anything, to being the single most significant gambling revenue generator in the entire country with exception only to State Lotteries.
While it is difficult to pinpoint a date, it was right around the time of the introduction of the Bally Technologies Money Honey that the casinos and manufacturers realized that they could offer potentially huge payouts and the inherent edge of the slot machines that they enjoyed would work itself out over time to such an extent that there is no way they would lose money.
This was a concept that could not be enjoyed as regularly by the illegal operators or operators of varying legality because a huge Jackpot or a few Jackpots in relatively short succession might be difficult for them to recover.
This fact is even reflected in certain casinos today that are hesitant to offer some machines with enormous potential jackpot liability compared to other larger casinos or casinos within the realm of a chain.
While the potential for larger jackpots was quickly becoming a reality for the Slot Players at Nevada casinos, slots were continuing to advance on a technological level, as well.
This fact is evident from the, 'Fortune Coin,' slot machine that was developed in the 's and used an actual projection screen, similar to that on a television, as well as computerized reels by which the results would show up on the projection.
The, 'Fortune Coin,' in terms of presentation, is probably the true predecessor to the modern Slot Machine. Within a few years, the computer technology ended up being such that Slot Machines could be linked in order for a huge Jackpot to be shared amongst a bank of machines.
The popularity has not waned however as they continue to draw some of the biggest revenues in Casino gaming. In order to understand what slot machines are all about, we need to look at the background of the machines.
The following is a quick look at the history and evolution of slot machines. The concept of the slot machine did not exist at this point in the 19th century though and the machine that was invented by these two inventors was quite different from the modern slot machines.
Sitmann and Pitt actually invented what would be similar to the poker machine in the modern day. The invention nevertheless was the chief foundation for the future slot machines.
About four years after the introduction of this machine to the markets, Charles Fey came up with an actual slot machine that featured automatic payouts.
Most people, therefore, consider the machine by Charles Fey to be the most complete embodiment of the modern slot machine. Fey eventually opened a slot machine factory as a result of the success of his original work.
The 20th century is without a doubt the period that has had the most profound impact on modern slot machines and the gambling industry as a whole.
To start with, slot machines evolved from bulky mechanical machines that were operated manually to electronic machines. During this period, gambling laws also changed a lot.
Slot machines evolved from devices that would dispense sweets and chewing gum to machines that would give out instant cash prizes. The development and dominance of online slots , without a doubt, is unshakable in the 21st century.
During this time, the first gaming software programs were developed and they helped power online slots. Various companies would venture into developing flawless user experience where gaming online became more intense with fewer instances of lag over the years.
At the turn of the new millennium, online slots were ubiquitous and they virtually represented the ideal slot machine experience. Software development in the gaming industry has indeed continued and its impacts are still being felt in the online slots realm.
The growth of this particular area has been instrumental in enhancing the accessibility of the available games.
The user experience has also been drastically affected. In the machine was improved and re-released as the Operator Bell, and was again incredibly popular with 30, ordered.
The main problem was the weight and expense when it came to producing these machines. By , Mills knew they needed to do something about this, and decided to use a wooden cabinet design, making them far cheaper to produce and far easier to move.
Today it would be unheard of to not see slot games in almost any casino around the world. And with the prevalence of online gaming continuing to grow, slot games are becoming even more fun and able to be played on both laptops and mobiles from your own couch or bed.
The first online slot game was released in , and now you can find a huge range of games available, especially on online casino Netbet.
If you have some time to kill, jump online today and see just how much slot games have evolved. Izy Berry , November 9, Izy Berry , July 11, Izy Berry , June 18, Izy Berry , December 23,