Charles Fey

The slot machine might appear to be a recent invention, although that is not true-chance games have been played since ancient times. Even though the exact time period when casino games first started is not known, but the slot machine was present in the 19th century in San Francisco. The United States is the place where most of the very popular casino games of present times originated from and continued to be played.

One of the most famous casino games was designed by Charles Fey in the year 1887. Contrary to what one might think, the slot machine is not the first coin game based on chance and probability-there have been games before the slot machine came into picture.

There were poker machines before the slot machine which were coin based, and which people played with and would earn drinks and cigars for free by winning. These games had a name-they were called trade simulator games-with the usage on the term based on the fact that every game would end up with a winner being paid with merchandise.

Fey's Machine-How it worked

Initially listed in the list of machines which paid out in drinks etc., so as to conform to the laws during the time Fey's machine was invented-the reason it was different was because it paid out in coins. With ten symbols printed on each of the three reels that were there, to become the winner-the player would have to end up with three bells to win the highest prize. This machine, because of this reason, came to be called as the Bell Machine.

The basic procedure to go about the playing the game was simple-you inserted a coin into the machine. Pulling the handle would make the wheels spin in the machine. What followed was the instant success of this machine, and now, after modification and evolution, slot machines, of different types, are hugely famous.

Slot Machines-gaining universal appeal

The design given by Fey formed the basis on which the subsequent slot machines were designed and they met with instant appeal across the world. Flamingo casino in Las Vegas, in 1940, was the first one to get a slot machine, put in by Bugsy Siegal. Now, slot machines in casinos form a whopping 80 per cent of the profit.

Fey chose not to sell machine, and in addition, they were no patent laws to guard his design. What Fey did was just collect the rent for putting his machine in saloons and other places. Transforming the face of gaming in the world, slot machines didn't prove to be profitable for him.