A slot machine is an electronic or mechanical device of gambling that does not require any particular skill or strategy.
A slot machine comprises several essential components:
- a money entry: coin entrance, ticket acceptor, magnetic card reader, etc.
- a money output: coin tray.
- a display system of the game: rolls, screens.
- a random game engine.
The player must put the money in any form whatsoever to start the game. A game is usually very fast, and very simple to understand. The result, to be random, is simple too: the player wins or does not win money.
The outcome of each game is independent.
Passionate about mechanics, Charles August Fey had a passion for machines such as automatic roulette. He fashioned his own copy in 1894 under the name Horseshoe, a likeness to products from industry leaders, Gustav Shultze. The same year, he left his employer (California Electric Works Company, which manufactures telephones, telegraphs, etc.) to create a competing company. He settled beside workshops of Shultze, even becoming one of its suppliers, he perfected his models by creating the “4-11-44” in 1895, with 3 concentric wheels. Successfully disseminated in bars, several copies of the machine were manufactured and Charles August Fey sells his communications equipment company to a partner and created a slot machine company on Market Street in San Francisco.
The mechanical rollers
Charles August Fey created the first roller slot machine, the Card Bell, in 1898, and then perfected in 1899 to create the Liberty Bell, a more compact and metallic model.
It replaces the wheels and rollers on which include symbols such as diamonds, the ace of spades, heart, horseshoe and the famous Liberty Bell.
The advantage of the machines especially holds in combination: a thousand combinations are possible while a hundred only was previously obtained.
Before the runaway success of the machine, a competition is organized. Since Charles August Fey refused to sell his patent, other companies are forced to build their own devices. After stealing a copy of the Liberty Bell, Mills launched a very similar machine. Other companies, such as Caille, do the same.
During Prohibition, the game of money is banned in the United States. The slot machine industry is threatened. However, Mills found a way by converting its armed bandits in candy dispenser. For this occasion, the symbols are changed into fruit with, for example, a plum, an orange, a lemon, a cherry and mint. The customer buys sweets with money. The rollers start to turn and stop. If he gets a winning combination, he won tokens that can be redeemed against drinks or other prize.
The mechanical slot machines are the norm until Bally launches electromechanical devices during 1963.
Modern slot machines are electronic, although they may take on the appearance of mechanical machines (roller machines). There are several types of electronic slot machines: video reel machines, conventional roller machines, poker, multigames.
In all cases, the operation is identical. A slot machine has a cycle of combinations. This cycle list all possible combinations that may exit the machine. The player inserts money in the machine (coins, banknotes, electronic money) and can run the game using buttons, a lever (slot machine) or a touch screen. When it launches the game, one of the combinations of the cycle is randomly selected and displayed. The player wins a prize or not, and can play again. The randomly selected combination in the cycle at that time will come no more in this cycle. This is the same for all combinations. The cycle is complete when all combinations are outputs. A new cycle can begin again. The size or duration of the cycle is measured in strokes played. Today, with video machines 5 or 6 rolls and many symbols, the rings may have periods of over 16 million hits. It is also aware that a machine be replaced before the end of its cycle.
Each electronic slot machine has a payout. This rate is fixed on a machine and is often between 85 and 99.99%. It varies from one machine to another, which is why on some machines the player feel more winning or losing. This rate is the amount of money initially played on the machine, which will be donated as a winning player. The amount of money not redistributed back to the casino. Depending on the country, the casino is taxed on that amount. For example, statistically, on a machine with a payout of 90%, which puts a player will win 100 credits 90 credits. 10 credits accrue to the casino. Of course, one must take into account other parameters such as chance or jackpots.
A slot machine is usually equipped with many electronic meters and mechanical meters. At any time, a slot machine can indicate the amount of money inserted, played amount, the amount earned, the amount refunded as jackpot, etc. At the end of a cycle on a slot machine, with the meters for money input and output, we find systematically and accurately the value of the payout.
Classic reel slots
These machines usually have 3 to 5 rolls, mechanical, driven by motors controlled by electronics. They are disappearing in favor of videos rolls machines.
New models are emerging in casinos: these are classic reel slots integrated into an LCD. An LCD screen was cut in the middle so as to see 3, 4 or 5 mechanical rollers, while displaying a video image around and above the reels.
Reel slots videos
These machines typically have 5 or 6 rolls on a video screen, sometimes touch screen.
Some machines have two screens one above the other, or a high enough vertical screen.
These machines offer games with symbols, atmospheres, colorful and varied shades, sometimes interactive bonus games that have nothing to do with the rollers.
Video poker (or poker machines)
The game usually consists in 2 phases.
First phase: the game offers the player 5 cards on a screen play. The player must manage to form a winning combination with 5 cards. He can choose to keep or discard cards. Second phase: the game replaces the cards that the player has decided to throw. The game replaces the cards defined by other cards randomly. With the new set of 5 cards obtained, the game determines whether the player has won or not.
If the combination proved winning, the player generally has the ability to play its gain double or quits, one or more times.
These machines offer the player to choose himself the game to play between videos roller games, poker games, keno games, or tactile. In reality, this only affects the appearance of the game (the displayed symbols, animations). The operation of the game remains the same.