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We love slots like Fiddle Dee Dough for their easy gameplay and big rewards. The amount of risk involved in the game is what makes it exciting and the use of technology in today’s slots such as RNG guarantees a fair game. That was not always the case though. Back in the 20th century, slot machines were different and a lot simpler than today’s heavily computerized games. There is a reason why people called slot machines the one-armed bandits, after all. The truth behind the nickname and the history of slot machines is revealed in this article. 

First-ever slot 

The first-ever money-operated gambling devices date back to the 1880s United States. These were novelty games where 2 or more toy horses would race after the coin was inserted into the machine. This was a popular game in taverns and saloons, which soon raised the possibility of more elaborate gambling devices and sparked the curiosity of some handymen. 

One of them was a Bavarian-born American inventor Charles Fey, who was a mechanic in the San Francisco area. His first coin-operated gambling machine saw the light of day in 1894. The following year he produced a prototype of a machine called 4-11-44 that proved so successful in the local saloon that he quit his job and opened a factory for gambling devices. He created the Card Bell in 1898 which had 3 reels and a mechanical “hand” that set the reels in motion. The game was won by forming poker hands on the reels. The following year he created his most successful machine to date, the Liberty Bell, which operated just like the Card Bell except it had horseshoe and bell symbols along with playing card symbols. This machine proved so successful that many of Fey’s competitors copied it. We could mark this as the beginning of the slot machine craze. 

The controversy surrounding slots in history 

In the 1890s and early 20th century the players of the first slot machines were rewarded in drinks and cigars, as opposed to real money. Not the fairest is it? However, this was accepted as a part of the gamble and a fun activity to take part in. Eventually, as slot machines became more popular and more expensive to play, people demanded real money rewards for betting, which was eventually granted. But even then people complained about the fairness of the game. 

Slots were interchangeably banned and allowed all around the world during the 20th century. There were moral, religious, and lawful arguments against the use of slot machines as well as pro-legalizing arguments concerning liberty and entertainment. Many people argued that the casino/slot machine always has the edge with rare instances of a jackpot, which makes for an unfair game. The term one-armed bandit was coined to describe the machines that will take your money as fast as a burglar. 

Currently, it is debatable whether the name one-armed bandit suits today’s slot machines. Although they can take your money fast, they can also pay out in colossal amounts. Meanwhile, the use of RNG (random number generator) in slots guarantees a fair game – every spin is random and cannot be predicted. As the history of slots is being written, it definitely seems to have taken a better turn as slots are proved to be the most popular casino game in the world! Try a game today and see what all the fuss is about.