History of Slots

Slots in Popular Culture

Most casino games have appeared in popular culture through references in music, movies, games, and TV shows. This is also true in slots but has generated a reverse phenomenon: slot machines based on elements of popular culture.

In 1997, International Game Technology ( IGT ) began with the modern trend toward slots based on popular culture themes. And it was the Wheel of Fortune machines , licensed from the popular American TV show of the same name, which featured the bonuses that incorporated the images and sounds into the show. They also began licensing celebrity resemblances with their Elvis series of slots started in 1998.

Casino slot machines from around the world are based on the most popular references in celebrity culture. Wheel of Fortune has created slots based on TV shows such as Jeopardy , American Idol , Amazing Race , Price is Right , Who Wants to be a Millionaire , and Deal or No Deal . The films also spawned their own slots, including various titles such as Forrest Gump , The Good the Bad and the Ugly , Sex in the City , Scarface , Star Trek , Star Wars , Legally Blonde, Rocky , and Avatar . Celebrities followed Elvis in the slots, including Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Andre the Giant, and Bruce Lee. The victory of Italian jockey Frankie Dettori’s ‘magnificent seven’ one day at Ascot led the machine Frankie Dettori Magic Seven . There are Hulkamania slots, slots ‘The Hoff’ (David Hasselhoff), and thematic slots of the talk show presented by Ellen DeGeneres.

Slots Technology

The Traditional Mechanical Machinery

The slot machines worked essentially after their invention in the late 19th century until the early 1960s. First, the player inserted a coin. This coin is unlocked on the side of the machine. Second, the player pulls the handle, which begins to rotate. Thirdly, the rolls, which contained a series of symbols, stop in sequence. (An innovation was to stop the rollers from left to right. This ensured that the players would spin the wheels independently and intensify without suspense over the result.) Fourth, plate holes inside the roulette wheels matched with the symbols . When they stopped in a winning combination, the holes were aligned so that it triggered one side of the coin to pay off the winning amount.

The standard three-roll machine initially had 10 symbols on each roll, creating 1,000 possible combinations. (10 times 10 times 10.) Another recent innovation was the 20th symbol on the roll. With 20 stops per roll, a three-roll machine could stop at 8,000 combinations (20 times 20 times 20), offering a greater variety of winning combinations of different payouts.

Electronic Machines

During the 1960s, Bally Manufacturing (started in 1963 with a slot machine called Money Honey ) led manufacturers to introduce electronic resources into slot machines: random number generators ( RNGs) rather than manual, multi-currency and multi-line game wheels and video display screens. Virtually all machines, including those that appear to have windlasses, now use this most accurate technology. After the player inserts the coins (or, more likely, paper money or a ticket representing a cash value of credits), the player selects the number of credits to play. When the player presses the button on the surface of the machine (or pulls the handle on some machines), the game processor translates the RNG to the symbols that appear.

Once the symbols are displayed, either by the video screen or by mechanical rollers programmed to stop in correspondence with the RNG, the machine pays winning combinations.

The electronic machines transformed the slots, maintaining the ceremony and tradition that made the game popular. First, while the RNG determines the result in an instant, the program can replicate the visual experience and even the audio of the traditional machine. Second, the RNG makes billion combinations possible, allowing manufacturers to offer gigantic multi-currency payments on progressive machines like Megabucks in Nevada, USA. Third, the currencies are disappearing in favor of TITO (ticket-in, ticket-out). Instead of carrying rolls of coins, buckets, gloves and disinfectants with your hands, players can enter more tickets that represent money or coins. The slot machine then accumulates credits and waivers based on the game. When players complete, they receive redeemable tickets for the remaining credits.

The Famous Slots Jackpots

The first slot machine was the famous Charles Fey’s , Liberty Bell , in 1890. Its maximum payoff, by aligning the freedom bells on all three rolls was 20 coins. By 1900, machines designed by Herbert Millscould pay up to 100 coins, dispensing them through a tube, one at a time. The first modern slot machine to Bally Manufacturing’s Money Honey in 1963, featured electronics and a funnel that could hold 2,500 coins. The development of progressive jackpots in the 1980s increased the popularity of slot machines and, by linking payouts between machines, the size of slot jackpots. The most popular progressive slot machine,Megabucks of International Gaming Technology (IGT) , introduced in 1986, has been responsible for many of the largest payouts of slot machines. When a player enters the maximum of three coins and each roll stops in the Megabucks logo, that player wins the accumulated jackpot.

$ 5,000,000 – On February 1, 1987, at Harrah’s Casino in Reno, Nevada, USA, Terry Williams won the first Megabucks jackpot and huge $ 5 million.

US $ 4.6 million in ‘Mirage Opening Day’ – On November 22, 1989, Steve Wynn opened the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the first new casino on the Las Vegas Strip in nearly two decades. On opening day, Elmer Sherwin won a $ 4.6 million Megabucks jackpot. This started the myth that the big jackpots of the slot machine happened in the openings of the casino. Disappearing behind this myth is the incredible luck of Mr. Sherwin in the Megabucks 16 years later. On September 19, 2005, he won his second Megabucks jackpot.

$ 27,000,000 – On November 15, 1998, at the Palace Station in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, a retired 67-year-old flight attendant won the first Megabucks jackpot of more than $ 20 million for a total of $ 27,580,879.60. The same player had already won $ 680,000 in the Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Palace Station.

US $ 34.9 million – On January 26, 2000, at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the clerk cocktail Las Vegas Cynthia Jay won a Megabucks jackpot of more than $ 34.9 million. Six weeks later, she was seriously injured (and her sister dead) in an automobile accident. This coincidence has fueled the myth ‘the Megabucks curse’.

$ 39,000,000 – On March 21, 2003, a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles won a Megabucks jackpot valued at $ 39,710,826.36 at Excalibur in Las Vegas, Nevada.

$ 21,100,000 for the second Megabucks jackpot – On September 19, 2005, Elmer Sherwin won his second Megabucks jackpot. (His first was on the Mirage opening day in 1989, it was $ 4.6 million.) At age 92, Mr. Sherwin hit the jackpot at Cannery Casino at Norted Las Vegas for $ 21.1 million.

Slot Machines Random Facts


In Australia and New Zealand, they sometimes refer to slot machines as ‘ pokies ‘. This is an abbreviation for ‘poker machines’, although the term covers non-poker machines. Australia is home to about 0.3% of the world’s population but about 20% of the world’s gambling machines.

Fruit Machines

Slot machines are often referred to as ‘ fruit machines ”. This originated the first machines that counted on symbols of fruits (cherries, oranges, lemons, plums) in the rolls. The nickname has expanded to include slot machines, especially in the UK and Europe. To break the US monopoly on Charles Fey’s American slot machines, Herbert Mills of Chicago, USA, in 1907, developed a sufficiently different hunting machine to receive a separate patent. In addition to the mechanical differences, his machines used fruit symbols on the rollers instead of numbers of game cards hitherto customary. At the same time, the game owners claimed, when questioned about the legality of the machines, that they dispensed the gum. The fruit symbols represented the gum flavors that a player could win.

An American Tradition

A Gallup poll in 1938 found that 23% of Americans have already played in a slot machine. He also revealed that 29% played in church lotteries, 26% played punchboards, 19% bet on elections, 13% bought lottery tickets, and 10% bet on horse races.

One-Armed Bandit

Several people have been giving credit for calling the slot machines slot game . According to one version, American bank robbers John Dillinger and Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd created the term while playing in a slot machine. Dillinger fell back, commenting, “You sure do not need any weapon to steal someone if you have one of those things for him to play.” Floyd, pulling the handle, nodded, adding ‘and this thug has only one arm’.

Near Miss

On March 14, 2001, Kirk Tolman pulled the handle on a Megabucks machine in Wendover, Nevada, USA and aligned the three Megabucks logos. Unfortunately he was distracted by a friend and played the machine with only two coins instead of the three coins needed to be eligible for the jackpot. He won $ 10,000, but was left out of the $ 7.96 million jackpot.

Operation Between Two People

On March 6, 2009, Marie-Helene Jarguel placed € 50 on a slot machine at the casino in Palavas-les-Flots in southwest France. Fortunately, his friend Francis Sune pressed the button to start the game. After 12 frustrated rounds, they lined up 7-7-7 and won a casino Megapot of € 2,200,000. After Ms. Jarguel receive payment. Mr. Sune sued her. In December 2009, a Montpellier court ordered Ms. Jarguel to pay Mr. Sune 20% of the payment. The judges noted “there was no judicial definition of the winner in a slot game.”

Lion’s Share

After opening the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA in December 1993, one of the slot machines was Lion’s Share , 50 machines on the property linked to a single jackpot. As the machines aged and were replaced by different slots, the petty jackpot became a problem for the casino. The jackpot was technically played for cash, so the MGM Grand had to keep offering the machine. Finally, there was only one Lion’s Share machine in the lobby, and it continued to operate only by cannibalizing other machines. In 2012, the machine had its own Facebook page and developed an international follow-up. By mid-2014, the Wall Street Journalreported on the stubbornness of the machine and the cult. On August 23, 2014, a New Hampshire couple visiting Las Vegas played Lion’s Share after reading about the online story. Walter and Linda Misco hit the jackpot, earning $ 2.4 million and finally allowed the MGM Grand to retire the outdated machine

Megabucks – Twice

The world’s richest slot jackpot is the Megabucks, a progressive jackpot that connects machines across Nevada, USA. One player has won two Megabucks multi-millionaire jackpots. Elmer Sherwin hit a $ 4.6 million jackpot in November 1989 at the opening of The Mirage . Mr. Sherwin, at age 92, won a second and much larger Megabucks jackpot (over $ 21.1 million) almost 16 years later at Cannery Casino .

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