History of Liberty Bell

Slot machines are operated by coin. It has three, four or more reels that are spun using a lever found at the side of the machine. The machines also include a detector to validate the token or money that is inserted. If one lines a pattern of symbols vertically, horizontally, diagonally, the machine will pay off. The player can see these symbols as they line up on the front of the machine.

Invention of the slot machine is traced back to a gaming machine used in Brooklyn in 1891 based on the game poker. It was made out of drums with 50 face cards to line up. The invention by Sittman and Pitt became so popular that there was no bar in town without it. Back then the players would insert money and pull a lever. There was also no clear payoff. A flush could mean free beer or cigars.

For it to be favorable to the house, ten of spades, jack of hearts were removed. And further increases the house advantage the drums were also later on rearranged.

But Charles Sey of California invented the one-arm bandit with three reels and replaced the face cards with five symbols. The symbols were diamonds, horseshoes, spades, hearts and a Liberty bell. He had to change the symbols because the probability of winning big with the previous system. He was also the first to mark a clear payoff system. Having three bells in the row constitute the biggest win with 10 nickels.

Charles Sey's machine called Liberty Bells was a huge success and was the catalyst for the gaming devices that function through mechanics or automation.

Nowadays players purchase tokens, coins or even bar-coded tickets to be given right to play. With the token, coin or ticket inserted in to the proper slot and the lever is pulled the game is activated. With today's technology there are some machines that are turned on with a touch screen.

The goal of the player is to match symbols. The symbols could come in as images of fruits or in bells, diamonds or hearts. Each symbol combination has some value that could come in as payoff or as extra games.

Of increasing popularity now are the multi-line slots that have more than one pay line. Mechanical reel slots have around 3 to 5 of them. Video slots could have more than that, up to a hundred more. In both reel and video slots the higher the bet the higher the payoff.

With new innovations, the history of slot machines and mechanical gaming devices will have a long way to go.