The first slot machine was invented by car mechanic Charles Fey in 1887. Named the Liberty Bell (which is still on view in San Francisco) the first jackpot was a whole 50 cents and was awarded when three Liberty Bells appeared on the pay-line. The Liberty Bell was an enormous success and has led to the modern day slot machines we all know and love. Whether they are the physical ones in a bar or a casino or online slots or free slots, slots are big business. Indeed it is estimated that 65-70 % of most casino’s earnings are generated by the slots! Even the current economic climate has not affected the slots business; indeed it seems now, more than ever, people are trying their luck. The U.K. slot machine market rose 15% last year.
The Liberty Bell was a mechanical slot machine, as indeed all slot machines were until the Eighties. These mechanical slots were replaced with computer controlled machines which use random number generators (RGN), to determine which symbols you are going to see on the slots pay-line. Right, here comes the science bit, concentrate! Random Number Generators do exactly what they say, they generate random numbers. With the old mechanical slots jackpot odds could be calculated. Mechanical slots usually had 22 stops. Thus the odds of hitting the jackpot would be 22 x 22 x 22 which equates to 10,648/1. This meant huge prizes could not easily be awarded as the odds were simply too low. With the advent of computer generated slots more stops could be added and casinos could offer the massive prizes they do today.
You may see other articles on the net which incorrectly state you can calculate the odds of the slots around today by counting the symbols on the reels like you could do with the older slots. Knowing what you now do about the RGN you will be able to see that this is silly. The number generated by the RGN corresponds to a set of symbols. You will not arrive at the odds of winning the jackpot by trying to count the symbols.
Many people are suspicious of slots and have trouble believing the randomness of the RNG owing to the fact it is programmed to pay out a certain percentage of the time. In fact this assumption is quite wrong. Just because something is random does not mean that it cannot be predicted, much like with two dice for example, study a craps table and see how likely the different combinations are. Slot machines are also surrounded by myths, you may give a machine a wide berth if you have recently heard it has paid out but a slot has no memory, the odds do not change. Every spin has the same chance of winning.
One of the biggest questions asked of experts is simply “how do I win on slots?” and the answer is always the same. Winning on slots, online slots and free slots is ultimately down to luck. With video poker machines, however there is an element of skill. It may be worth reading about how to get more value for money with slots but there is no strategy out there which will help you win more often than luck would have it.
One of the best and cheapest ways to test your luck is to try the various free slots out there. You will be able to find all free no download slots and play free monopoly slots amongst many other types of slots based on all manner of things, from your favourite television programme to old style comic heroes. Unlike playing on normal slots you have no need to keep a close eye on how much money you spend, you can play forever if you like and not lose a cent!
By Victoria Fell, June 2009.
See these unbelievable No Deposit Exclusive Bonuses
Cocoa Casino Exclusive Bonus: $125 No Deposit Plus 500% up to $500 Compare Regular Bonus: $10 No Deposit Plus 200% up to $100 NOTE: Exclusive No Deposit Bonus is comprised of 2 bonuses: $50ND initially & $75ND on player's 1 month anniversary.
Paradise8 Casino Exclusive Bonus: $125 No Deposit Plus 500% up to $500 Compare Regular Bonus: $10 No Deposit Plus 300% up to $300 NOTE: Exclusive No Deposit Bonus is comprised of 2 bonuses: $50ND initially & $75ND on player's 1 month anniversary.