History – The Slot Machine Is American
Current versions of the slot machine are all descendants of the Liberty Bell, created in 1899 by Charles Fey, a German immigrant working as a mechanic in San Francisco. This machine operated in much the same way that slots today work. Within the machine’s casing, there are three reels or metal rings, each with 10 symbols on it. When the slot machine’s lever (or arm) was pulled, the reels would spin and stop sequentially. If three of the same symbols lined up horizontally across the main window, then a prize (determined by the slot machine’s pay table) would be awarded. At the time, the slots were called the “Liberty Bell” because one of the symbols on these reels was a picture of the liberty bell, and three liberty bells being aligned usually gave the largest prize.
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