Machines for classic slots (or three reel slots) were introduced into casinos as a diversion for casual gamblers. They were first invented in 1895 and machines today are designed to be exact duplicates of that machine. The aim was to provide a game that required no skill or gambling knowledge and could be played without having to place large bets. They became hugely popular and successful and are now a prominent feature in any casino. In fact, they have become so successful that they bring in 60% of gaming revenue in the United States.
A classic slot machine consists of three spinning reels. Each of the reels has 22 positions which are marked with symbols. Once the slot machine reel is spun, they randomly come to rest with a selection of symbols showing on the machine window. The vintage machines (original machines for classic slots) were mechanical with a large lever to pull to begin the reels spinning.
The machines these days are all computer-controlled, but work on the same basic premise as the older machines. Many of the computer-controlled machines still have a lever to pull to give the player the feel of the old machines. Others may simply have a button to push to start the reels rolling. A random number generator is used in the machines. This ensures that each spin of the reels has an equal chance to hit the jackpot. Spins are not pre-programmed.
Payouts are based on certain combinations of symbols from the reels. Of particular interest is which symbols line up along the pay line (the middle reel) once the reels stop spinning. Each slot machine should show the various combinations and their payouts in a window at the top of the machine. In some machines, you will need to click on the payout window to see their payout tables.
There are many advantages to these new computerized machines. The manufacturer can determine how loose or tight the machine is (that is, how often it pays out). The players and the casinos can keep track, more easily, of their winnings and losses. Players can often place bets straight from their credit card account, as opposed to having to drop money into the machine. Also, the machines are simpler to use – they operate by the press of a button.