Among professional gamblers, slots are perceived to be the least glamorous of all gambling games. And it’s easy to see why. It requires little or almost no skill to play, and high rollers (people who bet large amounts of money) are rarely found gambling their money on slot machines.
Though slots may have a less than savory reputation on the casino floor, its popularity just simply cannot be ignored. The earnings from slot machines constitute nearly 70 percent of a casino’s total income, leaving other more “glamorous” games like poker, blackjack, and roulette in the dust.
The first and original slot machine still exists to this very day. Invented by mechanic Charles Fey in 1895 and dubbed as the “Liberty Bell” (since the reels featured an image of a cracked Liberty Bell along with symbols such as hearts, spades, horseshoes, and diamonds), the machine can still be viewed at the Nevada State Museum.
Ever wondered why slots are sometimes called as “fruit machines” or why they have fruit images on their reels? Well, here’s the answer. After the popularity of slot machines imploded in the early 20th century, some states have sought to ban them. To get around this legal predicament, slot machines were marketed as vending machines that would give out pieces of gum that correspond to the fruit that were displayed on the reels. The fruits (cherry, orange, lemon) would determine the flavor of the gum that the player receives.
The gums are of subpar quality though, and are generally not worth anything. They were just used as a front for the gambling that takes place. Some machines also give out cigarettes and chocolates instead of gum.
Most superstitions related to slot machines are false. There are no “loose” machines, and no special strategies that can increase your chances of hitting a jackpot. It’s all about chance.
Always keep in mind that slot machines are pre-programmed with a house advantage. This means that the odds are always in favor of the establishment, and that you will always lose money if you play too many games or bet too much money. So always play for fun!
Slot machines are also programmed according to a designated payout percentage. This is usually about 85% to 98%, depending on the casino’s management. Do take note that this figure is for the whole lifetime of the machine.
Slots may not be as glamorous as poker or blackjack, but you can still earn a lot of perks and freebies while playing.
Seasoned slot machine players use player cards to earn comps and even cash backs from the casino where they are playing. Make sure you get your own player card too especially if you are a regular at the establishment.
If you’re extremely lucky, you can make millions at slots. The largest recorded win was in 2003, when a software engineer won a whopping $39.7 million in a Megabucks machine (he wagered only $100). In online slots, the largest win was $22million, won by an anonymous player in Finland.