How FRUIT MACHINES first appeared on the scene

Over the the last few hundred years, man had experimented with many sorts of amusement ,with which to play luck and chance games, in fact the first ones were almost certainly what we know today as …..the simple dice. But in fact it was not until the 19th century and the age of engineering than an American, Charles Fey, who was an enterprising businessman and had a great imagination began inventing and manufacturing fruit machines in 1894 from his small factory in San Francisco. Fey pioneered many variations of coin operated gaming devices, including the original three reel, bell slot machine in 1898. In fact one of our most successful UK fruit machine manufacturers has indeed named themselves after the simple Bell.

This \”Liberty Bell\” is well known to be the first one of all modern American fruit machines as its basic design continues to be used in mechanical gaming machines today.

It was during the 1930\’s that slot machines began to spread across America, and in the late 40\’s the infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel added fruit machines to his Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas. They were originally installed as a way to entertain the wives and girlfriends of high rollers, income from the slot machines soon began to have more significance than that of the table games. In the mid 1980\’s the popularity of fruit machines and table games were just about equal with each other, but by the 90\’s fruit machines had taken over and now account for over two-thirds of casino takings in the US. We wont even mention that for decades ,the major UK pub chains have placed utmost importance on the placing of fruit machines in their pubs, and having the latest and most popular models has certainly been at the top of their priorities, it has been a fact that on many occasions the majority of their profits have come this way. Of course now the UK Bookmaking chains have also found this to be the case, although the last couple of years the F.O.B.T. the roulette slot machine as you may know it has achieved high importance to them.

Fruit machines gained their universal appeal in land casinos because unlike the other games, the fast paced excitement ensures that they are played at the pace of the player and don\’t require the player to have any skill.A good example in the UK is the ever popular Super Bar X, there can be no simpler game but its popularity in UK Amusement centres is everlasting. Sometimes simple slot machines are spoken about with the name one-armed bandits, the whole idea is to spin the reels so that the symbols on all reels line up on the payline in a winning combination. When this comes about, the fruit machine pays out according to the win table show on the front glass of the machine. This tells players what the winning combinations of symbols are for that machine and what each combination pays based on the number of coins put in for the spin. Players have a much greater chance of winning any of the lower-paying combinations.


There are basically two kinds of fruit machines: straight slots, and progressives. These slots are essentially the same, but for one feature: straight slots will pay the winner a predetermined sum, whereas progressive slots have a jackpot that grows by a percentage of each coin played. so if you play with 2 coins you can win twice as much in some cases. A little more to the liking of the more serious gambler. Sometimes a number of progressive machines feed into one jackpot where any machine in the group can win, and the jackpot grows into great fortune. It is not unusual to see players attempting to feed more than one machine at a time. These groupings can be a number of fruit machines in one casino, or can be connected to all of the same machines in a whole area. Progressive machines can be identified by flashing electronic payoff signs displayed either on top of the machine or above it. You will most certainly have seen such machines in today\’s UK amusement arcades, Party Time Etc.

Since the low stakes are the most popular, they can be found in many areas on the casino floor. 5p and 10p machines can still be found in small pockets, depending on the casino ,you certainly will get a longer run for your money and the chance to get to know how the machine plays this way. For the high-rolling player, US casinos have instituted $5, $25, and $100 fruit machines segregated to special VIP areas. These machines are made to use special coin tokens or cash notes.

The most widespread machines have three reels, but casinos do offer machines with four or five.There are even machines with 2 sets of 4 reels on the top and bottom glass like the Grand Slam as an example.In the social clubs in the UK today ,the 4 reel machine has certainly been the norm for 40 or 50 years. When it comes to the odds of winning what is most important are the number of reels a machine has, and how many symbols are displayed on each reel. Basically, the greater the number of reels and symbols, the harder it is to hit the jackpot or any other winning combination. The number of symbols on each reel is programmed into the computer that operates the fruit machine, and the actual number of symbols depends on the size of the jackpot that the machine can pay. The reason for the programmed symbols is to make the jackpot rare enough that the machine will collect enough money to cover the jackpot and yield a profit for the casino. Most machines are set to pay out anywhere from 83 to 98 percent of the amount that is played in the course of a pay cycle.

Winning Game

Mostly, these machines operate on a two or three coin maximum. When it comes to multiple coin playing machines, there are slightly differing variations. With some fruit machines, the number of coins played is proportional to the payout, and with others, the payout is more than proportional. Some machines don\’t even pay a jackpot on one coin, and the three-coin jackpot often pays 150% of a two-coin win. In this case it is best to play the maximum number of coins.

The standard fruit machine has one payline, but three paylines are not that unusual. We have even seen Spanish machines that run on 2 or even 3 sets of reels. For multi-lined paylines, a coin must be played for a definite payline in order for that payline to be eligible for a win.

When players get lucky and win one of the smaller winning combination they will be paid automatically by the machine. The larger jackpots however, will be paid out directly by a casino employee who can verify the win by a light on the top of the fruit machine. I bet you have seen the rows upon rows in the Vegas Casinos stretching over enormous areas. Each casino\’s slot payout percentages will vary. So now you know the whole story, and hopefully will be on you way to a major win tonight. So good luck and bon voyage and thanks for taking the time to read our little story. We have tried to make it as factual as possible ,but using these methods does not guarantee any one a win, but you know the game, there may be one just around the corner.



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