View Full Version : Monday Trivia: Slot Machines

Star lover
June 4th, 2018, 07:10 AM
Slot machines were intended to pay winners in cash. You pop in a nickel, spin the wheels and hope to increase your "investment."

But that changed temporarily in 1909 when local anti-gambling ordinances were enacted throughout the United States even in Las Vegas.

Because there was nothing to prohibit machines paying benefits other than cash, some slots were reconfigured to pay off in chewing gum with cherries, melons and other fruit on the wheels indicating the flavor you'd get if you won.

The forerunners of the modern day slot machines were based on the card game poker. Cards attached to drums spun and players hoped for a good poker hand. Certain cards were removed to give the "house" an advantage and pay outs were random and included beer and cigars.


Somewhere between 1887 and 1895, Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, U.S. devised a much simpler automatic mechanism with three spinning reels containing a total of five symbols horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell.


The bell gave the machine its name. By replacing ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a win was considerably reduced, allowing Fey to devise an effective automatic payout mechanism. Three bells in a row produced the biggest payoff, ten nickels (50). Liberty Bell was a huge success and spawned a thriving mechanical gaming device industry.

Other early machines, such as the trade stimulator, gave out winnings in the form of fruit-flavoured chewing gums with pictures of the flavours as symbols on the reels. The popular cherry and melon symbols derive from this machine.

Trade stimulators were countertop machines widely used to encourage shoppers to indulge in a game of chance. They became popular in American saloons during the 1880s, their use spreading to cigar, confectionery and general stores. Produced in a wide range of designs, they were developed during the same era as slot machines and were operated by inserting a coin and pulling a lever, the player standing to win prizes of cigars, cigarettes, candy and other goods if a winning combination came up. During periods when gambling was prohibited or in states where gambling was illegal, these machines could be used with little fear of prosecution.


Never played "a one armed bandit" and really don't have the desire to do so. Not much of a gambler.....but still found this interesting. Hope you've enjoyed it too.

June 4th, 2018, 09:28 AM
CASH OUT!! If I am up a little I take my winnings and RUN Forest RUN!!!! lol

Star lover
June 4th, 2018, 09:44 AM
CASH OUT!! If I am up a little I take my winnings and RUN Forest RUN!!!! lol

......and buy fabric!

June 4th, 2018, 10:13 AM
Oh, I am fascinated by the slot machine and have played a few times but found that I have to set a monetary limit because I love playing and it doesn't matter about the win.

Judy, USMC
June 4th, 2018, 10:47 AM
Olden days - go home with your gum. Recent yesteryear go home with dirty fingers and a cup full of pennies or nickles. Now you get your ticket out of the machine and go to a kiosk where it converts it into cash. The clinking of coins when you won on a machine has been replaced by melodic tones. Push buttons have replaced pulling the mechanical arms making it faster to play. And, in many states, drinks that contain alcohol are no longer complimentary. Rewards cards are in place ... the more you play the more points you can rack up (no matter if you win or lose) that can be used for food, gifts from their shops or even free rooms.

Penny slots are still around but now the minimum bet is 30 cents. And in the high roller section you can bet $5 per line. My how times have changed!