The first mechanical slot machine was invented in 1895 by a car mechanic from San Francisco. Because of the liberty bell painted around the reels it was named Liberty Bell. This was a heavy, weighing over 50 kg., iron case with diamonds, spades and hearts painted on the three reels.
The first slot machines made a huge success, and the inventor was unable to build them fast enough in his small shop. Later, the solution was found and slot machines were manufactured with less expensive wood cabinets. Then a number of additional changes were made. They became much quieter. Then a possibility of the double jackpot was added and that stimulated players to play more and more. To attract more gamblers, different cabinet designs were presented, cabinets of different forms and themes, which were new to people.
The design and working mechanism of gears and levers of the One-Armed Bandit became classic and underlaid in all next types of slot machines. The simple handle mechanism gets all the reels moving. A braking system when unlocked, allows the handle to move and also brings the spinning reels to a stop. A coin detector which is still used in most slots checks out if a coin has been inserted and then unlocks a brake so that the handle can move.
Then the player pulls the handle. And the game is started with reels spinning. Then the reels stop in the different order or in some winning combination, you have to wait until all the reels - three or more, depending on the type of the game - stop. If all three display the right winning symbol, the player wins. And that is all the magic.
The technology of slot machines has also changed, developing through the years. The classic mechanical designs have been completely replaced by the computer-controlled machines. But the original concept wasn't lost and still exists - the player still has to pull a handle making the reels rotate and then stop with different pictures on them. When the winning combination is lined up in the middle of the screen, a bell rings to announce that a player has hit the jackpot.
Computers inside the machines have made them easy to adjust, a player can select from the option of games available. Nowadays there is a possibility for the players to bet money by credit cards. All modern machines have a handle, but they are also equipped with the buttons to press and it is much easier than pulling the old-style handle to play the game.
The main advantage for the machine owners is that they can configure how often the machine pays out.
Most modern slots are designed to look like the old mechanical ones, but the working mechanism have been changed completely. Now the computer tells the reels where and when to stop. The microchip inside the machine controls everything and the motion of the reels is just a visual fake.
You may find two essentially different kinds of slot machines: Flat Tops or Straight Slots, and Progressives. The jackpot in progressive slots grows step by step from each coin played, but flat tops don't take it into account. The other slots variations have much in common and simply are aesthetic.
Almost in every casino you may find slots, slot machines are installed there in huge amount and are popular among the gamers. Unlike the traditional table games such as blackjack or classic craps, slot machines don't require any gambling knowledge from you, and anyone can afford it, because you have a selection of the games with a very small bet to start.