Today the largest group of casino players are playing slots. It wasn't always this way, as late as the mid-seventies slots were not thought of serious games of chance. They were often played
by the female companions of male table players, husbands were often seen giving their wives money to play the slots with while they went off to play the more serious table games. In those
days a "respectable" table player wouldn't be caught playing the slots.
The original slot machines were mechanical devices and some cheats tried various ways to beat the house. People tried everything from the use of magnets to drilling a hole through the
side of the machines, all in an attempt to influence the mechanism. There was even a legal method discovered by a few that involved a style of pulling the handle that controlled the drop of
one or more of the reels. This increased the players odds greatly, and caused the casino operators some concern until a method was devised to remove this advantage. The manufacturers
have kept modifying and refining the machines to keep the games honest.
Today the vast majority of slot machines are electronic and computer controlled so that outside manipulating of the machines by cheaters is now just a part of slot machine history.
It was the introduction and rapid acceptance of video games that changed the slot machine forever, the casino operators developed a new line of electronic slot machines, ones that offered
vivid graphics and exciting sound effects. The casino operators also added further refinements such as connecting several machines together and taking a small percentage of every play and
adding it to a jackpot total. If no one hits the jackpot for some time it can grow into a huge amount, and although the odds are small it will payoff and one lucky player will win big. These
"jackpots" also helped to increase slot popularity to where it is today.
Today slots are the most popular form of casino gambling, with up to 40% of casino revenue originating from these "one armed bandits".
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