Fruit Machines - A Brief History

Slot Machines or Fruit Machines as they are known in the United Kingdom are a huge attraction of modern casinos. This is mainly due to the fact that they are easy to use, have easy to learn and generic systems of play. Plus are used for all bets from the very tiny to the quite large! It’s fair to say that Fruit Machines have been around for a very long time. They have changed dramatically over the years too, but how and why. Well here is our brief history of Fruit Machines for you to get a clearer understanding.

The First Slot or Fruit Machines

The first slot machine ever to have existed was made by a man called Charles Fey. Fey, a mechanic invented the Liberty Bell in 1895, and it quickly gained huge popularity, becoming the first technologically sophisticated piece of machinery to be found in casinos.

The popularity of slot machines spread around the globe and were mainly to be found in bars. In order to try and make them more acceptable to have in public places such as shops a man called O D Jennings, who ran the Industry Novelty Company replaced the card symbols with pictures of fruit and rebranded the machine as a chewing gum dispenser!

The legality of the gum dispenser was often disputed in court, but the manufacturers usually won. Replications and variations were quickly designed such as Herbert Mill’s reengineered version of the Liberty Bell which he invented in 1907, which took on the fruit symbols of the gum machines, which led them to be called ‘Fruit Machines’.

100 Years of the Slot Machine

Advancements in Fruit Machines

The first electric machines were electromechanical, which made pulling the handle of the machine less satisfying! The electromechanical machines were replaced in the 1980’s by microprocessors, which controls the exact stopping position of the reels. It’s fair to say that the slot machine changed forever from this point on. With what seemed to be endless options. Multiple reels, Multiple options, and even multiple screens.

With slot and fruit machines the player makes their bet and wagers on the odds in a bid to determine how large the payout could be. It is interesting to note that they have been banned in almost every country at some point or other, although quickly reinstated. This may be due to the fact that a lot of people – usually those who have never played a slot machine – think that they are a waste of time, never giving a return for what is put in.

This couldn’t be further from the truth, it is an assumption based on the fact that most people who have ‘given it a go’ put just a few coins in and then give up because they haven’t seen any return! However, if you use it approximately 20 times you are quite likely to win. UK machines have to state the percentage of coins they payout, which is at least 80% of the coins inserted! Hardly a ripoff – a fairly good gamble if you think about the odds!

Also, gambling, in general, is more accepted nowadays. For example, most countries now have a national lottery; it is difficult for the notion of slot machines being bad to remain true! Gambling on slots is also more acceptable because of the fact that they are quite strictly regulated now.



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