The first slot machine came into being in 1895. Since then, they have witnessed not much of evolution. While early slot machines contained three spinning wheels with a symbol, one of them being the jackpot figure, in modern machines the number of reels has been increased to five. The symbols vary from diamonds, spades, clubs, hearts to fruits. Similarly, while the earlier slot machines had only one row, the present ones have two to three horizontal rows, but only one acts as the pay off. Again, classical model had only one pay line, but today the machine can have as many as fifteen pay lines. The player can decide which one he chooses.
Almost all the slot machines are relatively similar. The one characteristic they differ on is the denomination. Some machines accept a quarter, while others can have five dollars as the acceptable denomination, depending on the intensity of the gambler.
An added attraction some machines today is the ‘double or nothing option’. This slot provides the winner with an option to double his earnings or loose it all. The first lesson in winning is to know the machine well. The denomination the machine accepts, the degree of risk involved etc are a few key points that the gambler should be aware of. Reading the instructions on the machine carefully helps this cause.
Gambling is now a legalized affair. Efforts are being made to legalize slot machines outside the casinos as well. Slot machines can be commonly found in casinos, Indian Reservations, and race tracks. Personal ownership of the slot machine is strictly regulated. One has to be cautious depending on the State laws. A common clause in all state laws is that the machine should either be an antique or a vintage. A machine manufactured twenty five years ago is usually considered to be an antique. Antique slot machines can be found with dealers, at trade shows, at auctions- these being the common sources.
Playing a slot machine is a game of chance. It is a gamble. The outcome of the game is completely random or is it so? The randomness of a machine can be regulated by the casino, to some extent, through computer software known as random number generators. While some machines promise frequent pay offs other are difficult to play with. An accepted and obvious fact is that the slot machines favor the casino.
A good winning strategy can be to play for longer durations on a single machine. Though the initial losses are high, the winning amount more than compensates for it.
With gambling being legalized, more and more casinos are springing up. This has also created more job opportunities. On such job would be that of a slot attendant. This person handles customer complaints, resets the machine after every jackpot, repairs the machines and ensures compliance to safety rules. Though this job is quite stable it is low paid.
Slot machines are a good source of revenue for the sate. It is not only recreational activity but can also be regulated easily.