Slot machines are gambling machines used by a casino. The slot machines are known as fruit machines in the United Kingdom and as poker machines in Australia. These machines would normally have three or higher number of reels that could be spun by pushing a button. The original machines had a lever on one side of the machine for operating the machines. Due to this one-side lever and their capacity to clean up the funds of the players and leave them bankrupt, they were termed as one-armed bandits. Even many modern slot machines have a lever in the side, along with a button in the front.

The slot machines have a built-in detector that could detect either the currency or the coin that is inserted for the purpose of operating the machine. These machines are still the most popular among gamblers in majority of the global casinos, contributing around 70% of the income of such casinos. The advancements in computer technology had resulted in lot of changes and improvements in slot machines, introducing several new variations.

The first slot machine was invented in the 1890s by Charles Fey in San Francisco. That machine was designed by Fey with three spinning reels that had 5 symbols of diamonds, hearts, spades, horseshoes, and a Liberty Bell. If the player was able to generate three bells in a row, the machine would pay ten nickels, the biggest payoff at that time. The first complete electromechanical slot machine was developed in 1963 by Bally. This machine was capable of paying up to 500 coins automatically without the assistance of any attendant. This machine led to higher predominance of various electronic games in slot machines.

The modern slot machines have touch screens in the front and they accept coins, currencies, or bar-coded paper tickets that should be inserted into a designated slot. Even though the game requires some amount of skill to play, mostly winning is a pure game of chance.

The player should try to match symbols either on the mechanical reels of the older machines or the simulated reels on the video screens of the modern machines. The symbols could be anything, such as diamonds, hearts, bells, or even cartoon characters, images of famous actors and singers, etc. If the player is able to match a combination that complies with the rules of the slot game, the machine would pay cash to the player. In some machines, the player would be allowed certain number of free extra games instead of cash.

By Jacob Dunner
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