The evolution of the slot machine
When one looks at a slot machine one gets drawn in due to its bright colors and noisy sounds. Just looking at a slot machine may surprise you as to how far this machine has evolved. In fact the slot machine is over 115 years old.
It was in the year 1891 that a machine that resembled today’s slot machine was invented. Sittman and Pitt invented a gaming machine that became the ancestor of slot machines today.
The Sittman and Pitt machine contained 5 drums that hold 50 card faces based on poker. The machine became very famous and almost every bar in Brooklyn, New York had one. A nickel would be placed on the machine to be able to pull a lever that rotates the drums and holding cards. In order to win, the result of the return had to yield a good poker hand.
The problem of the Sittman and Pitt machine is that it had no disbursement mechanism. This caused the establishment to decide which prize to give to the winner. For example, the player gets a real flush; He or she could get free drinks.
To make favorable odds in the establishment, two cards are removed. The cards usually removed were the 10 of Spades and the Jack of Hearts. This cuts the odds of winning a royal flush in half.
Four years later, Charles Fey designed an even simpler automatic machine. In 1895 Charles Fey designed a slot machine that remains the model of modern slot machines. Some even claim that he created this machine in his own basement.
Since the payout of the Sittman and Pitt machines was based on poker it became difficult to device a disbursement scheme for all possible winning combinations. Instead of using poker combinations, Fey only used 3 spinning reels with 5 symbols. The 5 symbols are horseshoe, diamonds, swords, hearts and the Belle of freedom. Because symbols have been reduced Fey was able to design a disbursement system.
When Fey successfully designed the machine he was later known as the Belle of Freedom. His machine became more famous throughout the United States than the Sittman and Pitt machine.
Being able to continually improve his machine Charles Fey joined with the Mills Novelty Company in 1907. The Charles Fey slot machine became even better when he and the Mills Novelty Company worked together in an successfil partnership.
It was because of the Mills Novelty Company that the many variations of slot machines exist today.