Slots machines are a casino gambling machines with at least three reels, which spin when a button is pressed. Informally, they are known as fruit machines in Britain as the old machines tended to have different pictures of fruit on the reels which can be seen when they are spun.
However, slot machines have also been referred to as one-armed bandits, because many of the old fashioned slot machines worked on the fact that the gambler pulled one lever on the side of the machine to spin the reel and would generally leave empty handed.
This machine can only swallow money
You can’t lay a patch by computer design,’ is a lyric from R.E.M’s song the Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight. It is not known if slot machines were what R.E.M were referring to when they wrote that lyric, but it is very apt even if they were.
Slot machines are typically programmed to pay out 82 per cent to 98 per cent of the money that is wagered by players. That means that, like many other casino games, the house is rigged to win in the long run.
However, that is not to say there isn’t money to be made in slot machines.
In March 21, 2003, a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles won 7m in Las Vegas after putting a 0 into the slot machines at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino. It is the largest jackpot in Las Vegas history, but he is not the only player to have won millions from a very small amount by playing the slot machines.
An Illinois man, aged 49, won more than .3 million Caesar’s Palace after playing the slot machines there. The business consultant deposited and won on the first spin.
Then there was a woman, staying at the Aria, who, on her way back to a room, decided to plunk into a Megabucks machine and hit a 7 million jackpot. However, she is perhaps not the luckiest gambler Vegas has known.
On September 15, 2005, Elmer Sherwin, aged 92, won his second Megabucks jackpot on the slot machines. He hit the 1m top prize at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas. He had previously won a .6 million jackpot on a sin 1989 at the Mirage on their slot machines.
In 1891, Sittman and Pitt, from Brooklyn, developed a gambling machine which was a precursor to the modern slot machine. It contained five drums holding a total of 50 card faces and was based on poker.
Some of the terminology associated with slot machines is as follows Bonus:
This is a special feature of the particular game
which is activated when certain symbols appear in a winning combination. Bonuses can differ depending on the game, but some bonus rounds offer free spins. In other bonus rounds, the player is presented with several items on the screen from which to choose.
As the player chooses items, a number of credits is revealed and awarded. Some bonuses use a mechanical device, such as a spinning wheel, that works in conjunction with the bonus to display the amount won.
Coin hopper: This is a container where the coins that are immediately available for pay outs are held. The hopper is a mechanical device that rotates coins into the coin tray when a player by pressing the cash out button.
Drop bucket: This is a container located in a slot machine’s base where excess coins are diverted from the hopper. Typically, a drop bucket is used for low denomination slot machines and a drop box is used for high denomination slot machines.
A drop box contains a hinged lid with one or more locks whereas a drop bucket does not contain a lid. The contents of drop buckets and drop boxes are collected and counted by the casino on a scheduled basis.
Hand pay: This refers to a payout made by an attendant or at an exchange point, rather than by the slot machine itself. A hand pay occurs when the amount of the payout exceeds the maximum amount that was preset by the slot machine’s operator.
Usually, the maximum amount is set at the level where the operator must begin to deduct taxes.
Hopper fill slip: This is a document used to record the replenishment of the coin in the coin hopper after it becomes depleted as a result of making payouts to players.
Optimal play: This is a payback percentage based on a gambler using the optimal strategy in a skill-based slot machine game.
Payline: This is a line that crosses through one symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated. Classic spinning reel machines usually have up to nine paylines, while video slot machines may have as many as one hundred.
Rollup: This is the process of dramatising a win by playing sounds while the meters count up to the amount that has been won.
Short pay: This refers to a partial payout made by a slot machine, which is less than the amount due to the player. This occurs if the coin hopper has been depleted as a result of making earlier payouts to players. The remaining amount due to the player is either paid as a hand pay or an attendant will come and refill the machine.
Taste: This is a reference to the small amount often paid out to keep a player seated and continuously betting. Only rarely will machines fail to pay out even the minimum placed bet over the course of several pulls.
Tilt Electromechanical: This is a slot machines that, usually, includes an electromechanical ‘tilt switch’, which makes or breaks a circuit if the machine is tilted or otherwise tampered with, and so triggers an alarm.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet: This is a document provided by the manufacturer for all slot machines, which indicates the theoretical percentage that the slot machine should hold based on the amount paid in.
Weight count: This is an American term, referring to the dollar amount of coins or tokens removed from a slot machine’s drop bucket or drop box and counted by the casino’s hard count team through the use of a weigh scale.