What did the first slot machines looked like

  • Written by News Co

For more than a century of history, slot machines have evolved from mechanical devices to computer games. It all began with the invention of Sittman & Pitt Co., which received a patent for a card poker machine.

Sitman and Pitt poker machine

In 1891, the Sittman & Pitt poker machines appeared in the bars of New York, the mechanical part of which consisted of five reels, each of which held 10 playing cards of one poker deck. Ten of spades and a jack of hearts were removed from a standard 52-card deck, thus increasing the house edge. If these were winning poker hands, the owner of the casino www.aussiecasinoreview.com where the poker machine stood would pay the winner. The machine model made it possible to compose your payouts on standard poker combinations. As a rule, these were cigarettes, beer and other alcoholic beverages, since the laws prohibited gambling and the payment of winnings in cash in public places.

But the coin acceptor was already in this machine.

To start playing, the player lowered a penny (penny) or five cents (nickel) coin and pulled the lever. It is reliably known that dishonest owners cheated, replacing significant cards from the deck. This led to the fact that the loss of the highest winning combinations (for example, Royal Flash) was minimized, turning these machines into a profitable business. I will not say what was the mechanism for starting the machine, but it is believed that this poker slot machine served as the ideas for the creation of the "One Armed Bandit" by Charles Fey.

The price for a vintage Sittman & Pitt poker machine from the end of the 19th century at modern auctions can reach four thousand dollars and more. The poker machine in the photo on the right was sold at an online auction for $ 3,000.

Charles Fey Slot Machine

So, I have already mentioned that the first slot machine or "one-armed bandit", as they began to call him very soon, was invented by Charles August Fey. Fay received a patent for his car, called the Liberty Bell, in San Francisco in 1895. And from the same year began a triumphant boom in mechanical slot machines produced by Charles Fey & Co., San Francisco.

Charles Fey's Liberty Bell had three reels rotating on an axis, a lever for starting, a coin acceptor and, most importantly, an automatic payout system. Of course, the laws of many states of the United States did not allow the betting of slot machines with cash withdrawal in public places, however, in gambling establishments and casinos, slot machines of Charles Fey paid for winnings in cash. The reels were started mechanically by means of a lever, which gave rise to the name of the slot machines “one-armed bandit”.

Among Fairy's innovative inventions for the slot machine was the coin verification mechanism, i.e. now the slot machine could detect counterfeits among nickels and pennies. The player's chances on the Liberty Bell slot machine were 50/50. The format of the three-reel slot has become a classic for all subsequent slot machines created.

The first slot used the card symbols diamonds, hearts and spades; horseshoes as a symbol of good luck, and Liberty Bell as a symbol of the United States. The maximum win was paid for the combination of three Liberty Bells.

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