Slot machines were once an outcast on the casino showroom floor. They were an afterthought for the big boys, where poker and roulette were the premiere events; they ruled supreme. That was until they were discovered to be the perfect money making machines, perfect for lulling people into an unthinking flow state that has them putting in one coin after another.
How did it come to this? How did this relatively simple device revolutionise not just the casino, but bars, restaurants, and rest stops the world over? How have they even carved a niche in online gambling? Let’s delve in for a deeper look at just what happened to make the slot machine the king of the gambling world.
History in the Making
One has to go back to turn of the century in 1898 when Charles Fey designed the Liberty Bell machine as the first three reel, coin payout machine. Each time, a player had a one thousandth chance of hitting the jackpot of $0.50, which was worth a lot more back then than it is now. Table games ruled the roast, though; even though they were a small, niche hit with wives of players who were busy with poker, they were relegated to corners.
That all changed with the introduction of the electromechanical slot machine which crucially let players insert more than a single coin on individual bets. What this meant was that there were greater risks, and greater rewards. Any time that risk can be escalated for the player, that usually means greater wins for house. Multi-line play was a scientific innovation for the gambling industry, indeed. It meant that there was a great chance of winning than the one in a thousand chance from the earlier prototypes, which had the effect of encouraging more gambling.
Entering the Digital Realm
Video slot machines that operated on random number game algorithms were the natural successor to the electromechanical slot machines, and now they have taken over the world. They are ubiquitous on people’s cell phones and computers on sites like mobile casino 200% casino roller, in the bathrooms of hotels, and even thousands of feet in the air on planes. They exploded in popularity as they were determined to be complete cash cows to the point that they are at today: total ubiquity.
The machines did not operate on elaborate schemes of gears and levers, but the basic idea was essentially the same. Yet, the question remains: how random actually are the numbers, and what are the odds of the player making off with winnings? According to the recent reports from reputable resources from December of 2012, there was an average win rate of 6.58%, which increases to 10.77% for bets of one cent, and decreases to 4.73% for bets of $100. While these statistics for win rates that are available to the public, the programmed chances of winning are a company secret and not disclosed publicly, thus keeping the player in the dark.
This is unique. In other casino games, if someone is savvy enough in statistics, a few simple calculations can tell them how to play the odds depending on the context. This allows developers to maintain their advantage and keep on earning hand over fist. Meanwhile, players remain in a zone, a hyper-focused, numb state where they zone out from everything else in a pleasant buzz. It creates addictive behaviour patterns on the part of the players, and it is the single biggest reason for the success of the slot machine.
No doubt about it, slot machines are a fixture in the gambling world, and will continue to grow in ubiquity and profitability.