The era of slot machines can be divided into three periods: Mechanical era, Electromechanical, and Computer. The first mechanical machine was invented and made in 1895 in the USA by the mechanic from San Francisco – Charles Fey and received the name of “Liberty Bell”, that is, in translation the bell of liberty. The symbol of the cracked bells, that appeared for the first time in the machine and still used in modern video slots, serves as a reminder of this first one-armed bandit. “The Liberty Bell” was a typical three-barrel slot, with the ten symbols on each wheel. In the case of coincidence of three identical symbols on one line, the gambler received the prize – up to 50 cents. It is still unknown exactly why the first slot machine was named as such – the “Bell of Freedom”. Some believe that this is the inventor’s tribute to the North-American United States. Others consider the name to be more philosophical. If there were three identical symbols on the slot machine – the ringing of the bell was heard, it meant a cash prize for the gambler, and, accordingly, a certain degree of freedom and independence which money give. Well, and in 1907 the production of slot machine was put on stream by the Chicago industrialist Herbert Milz. The “Bell of Freedom” was taken as the basis, and the slots produced by Milz received the similar name – “the Bell of the Operator”. By the way in these slot machines appeared such well-known to lovers of slots symbols as: cherries, lemons, and plums. In Britain, for example, slots are still called “fruit bandits”.
Later, slot machines became electro-mechanical. The principle remained the same, the machines were put into motion not with the help of a mechanical spring, but by means of electric motors. At the same time, the number of reels and inflicted on them symbols was increasing. Well, the real revolution in the field of slot machines began with the 70-ies of the last century, together with the wide spread of computer technologies. Video poker, the rotation of the barrels simulated on a computer monitor, – all this became the harbinger of a new revolution in the world of gambling.
Modern slot machines are tremendous and various, and like computer games from year to year become better and better. Game of the dozens of lines, hundreds of different characters, different bonus games, it is far not everything that provide modern video slots. Moreover, today many thousands of slot machines are united in networks, allowing gamblers not only play against the casino jointly, but also to play with each other, as well as to win giant jackpots of several million dollars at the expense of deductions from each bet made. However, this is not the most important thing in the slot machines of the new generation. Their main value is that in the acute competitive struggle the manufacturers of slots and gambling programs, minimize and reduce the casino advantage to the level of 1-2%, and sometimes to a smaller amount. And some of the slots at certain hours and days even become profitable for gamblers, encouraging them to play further on.