Slot machines are well-known in gambling circles; in fact, slot machines bring in somewhere around 70% of income for casinos in the United States on average. These statistics are a pretty big deal and should give you a good idea of how important slot machines are to gamblers. Slot machines are the number one method of gambling in casinos. If you are a beginner looking to learn more about this popular gambling method, you have come to the right place. The following information will help you understand the history, facts, and fun behind slot machines. What Is a Slot Machine? On the most basic level, a slot machine is simply what it sounds like: a gambling machine comprised of at least three reels (“slots”) that spin rapidly when a user hits the startup button. The idea is to align the images on the front of the machine in a “winning set,” which is often determined by the type of slot machine being played. Obviously, slot machines are purely based on odds—or, as we seasoned gamblers like to say, the luck of the draw. The fact that slot machines take very little foreknowledge or advanced gambling skills make slot machines an ideal choice for beginners who are interested in getting in on the gambling scene. If you want to experience the fun of gambling but are a little too intimidated to approach one of the card tables, a slot machine may be one of the best ways to ease you into the atmosphere of gambling. Where Did Slot Machines Come From? The ancestor of the modern day slot machine was a poker slot machine invented in the year 1891 by two men residing in New York. Players were to insert a coin and pull the machine’s lever, causing a spinning and whirring until a (hopefully) good poker hand appeared. The machine did not reward users with any kind of payment; however, bartenders generally gave out a free drink to those who won. Rewards were decided by each individual establishment where the slot machine was located. The first slot machine to resemble the slot machines we know and enjoy today was invented somewhere within the same time period, soon after the successful introduction of the slot machine mentioned above. A man named Charles Fey from California invented a slot machine with a simple and efficient automatic mechanic system. Poker was far too complicated and was comprised of too many variables for Fey to incorporate the game into a direct payout slot machine. The technology is present today, but was certainly not available during the 1800s. Instead, Fey made a system using only five different symbols: the heart, the diamond, the Liberty Bell, the spade, and the horseshoe. He named his new game “Liberty Bell,” and it was instantly a popular and successful gaming system demanded by establishments everywhere, including barber shops, brothels, bars, and bowling alleys. It was so popular that it became the slot machine that spawned all slot machines. If you are fascinated by this interesting machine, you may want to visit Carson City, Nevada, where the original machine is available for public viewing even today. Chewing Gum Slots Interestingly, slot machines became so popular that they became banned in some areas during this time period. In order to get around legal guidelines, slot machine developers created a system involving non-cash winnings. One of the most successful of these included the payout of chewing gum. Fun fact: the cherries and melons so often seen on the front of slot machines today originated from these fruity chewing gum slot machines. Pretty cool, huh? Slot Machine Mechanics A slot machine’s operation looks pretty simple to an onlooker. It simply involves the pull of a lever, a clunk, the stopping of three or more individual pictures on the front of the machine, and (if you are lucky) the final payout. However, the mechanics in a slot machine are far more complicated than you may think at first glance. It may not be rocket science, but it is complicated enough to confuse those of us who are not mathematically or scientifically inclined. When you pull the handle on a slot machine, a small hook initiates a sequence that triggers a set of rotating gears that then set an entire system of springs and pulleys into play (we will refrain from going into the details here so as not to bore you with overly science-y mechanics and terminology). To make a long story short, the different gears are stopped individually at different times until each reel stops and locks into the winning or losing position. Modern day technology has allowed for the use of entirely electronic based slot machines, which are becoming more and more prevalent among gaming communities and especially via online gambling forums. A Helpful Hint Remember that, above all, slot machines are supposed to be fun. Since you have no control over how the reels will finally turn, there is no reason to get all worked up (in a bad way) about winning or losing. It is very important to keep in mind that a slot machine is simply a game of chance and that it is okay to lose sometimes. The fun part is pulling that lever and enjoying the suspense between each of the following click, clickety, clicks. So put on your favorite pair of lucky socks and try out a shiny slot machine. No stress should be involved since gambling is all about enjoying yourself and having a good laugh. Slot machines are a quick, fun way to learn a little bit about gambling. If you are a beginning gambler enthusiast, slot machines are the perfect way for you to get your feet wet and get a little experience in your local casino or reputable online gambling forum. If you have any questions about how slot machines work or any other slot machine related questions, don’t be shy. Most trustworthy online gambling forums are happy to answer any questions you may have.