Playing Old Vegas Slots
Who doesn’t love slots? The beauty of the modern slot machine is that they let you gamble in peace. It’s just you and the game, and that ever present hope for a huge jackpot.
Over the course of their existence, slot machines have gone through many transformations, from the first extremely basic models, to the introduction of celebratory bells and lights, to modern graphical video slots that entertain and dazzle.
We’re going to give a quick summary of the history of the slot machine and talk about some modern versions that try to recreate that old time feel.
The First Slot Machine
The first slot machine was invented at the end of the 19th century by a man named Charles Fey. Charles Fey was born in Bavaria, but emigrated first to Europe and then to the United States, where he eventually found employment at the Western Electric Works company.
Fey’s slot design, known as the “Liberty Bell Slot Machine”, was simple. When three bells aligned, it paid a massive jackpot of 50 cents. That was about the price of a man’s dress shirt at the time.
Slot machines first showed up in Vegas in the 1940s. Bugsy Siegel (the titular character of Hollywood blockbuster “Bugsy”) added them to his hotel, the Flamingo, and quickly proliferated through the desert gambling oasis.
While originally envisioned as something to keep your wife or girlfriend busy while you lost big money in the pit, casinos moguls and executives eventually realized that slots where the real money maker because they required limited staffing and have a sizeable house edge. Table games can also be slower than slot machines, which reduces the house’s take.
Early slot machines were simple mechanical devices. During the 1950s, electro-mechanical models were created, which had flashing lights and celebratory music played whenever you hit a big win. These newer models were extremely expensive to produce and offered very low returns to players.
During the 1980s, computerized slot machines were developed. These newer machines accepted bills, so you wouldn’t have to sit at the machine pumping in quarters. Newer all in one slots were developed, where you could play multiple games from the same machine.
RTG’s Classic Vegas Slots
Many gambling software providers have attempted to recreate the old time feel of the classic Vegas slots. One such example is RTG’s 777 slot machine. This simplistic 3 reel 1 line slot has an average volatility and is very reminiscent of the slot machines of years gone by. It has all the classic symbols you might see in one of those older machines, the bar, double bar, triple bar, and 7s.
At the same time, it has the crisp, clean graphics of a modern video slot and realistic background music to complete that Vegas casino feel. To win, you just need three symbols of any of the various winning combinations to align on the payline. Any three of the same symbols is a common theme for winning combinations.
The card and gold coin pay out either 1000x your bet, 1680x your bet, or the progressive jackpot, depending on whether you made a normal bet, a high bet, or a super bet. You can also win with one bar, two bars, three bars, or any single card and coins icon on its own. Another interesting feature of this slot is the hold function.
Now that is probably something you wouldn’t find in a classic Vegas casino slot. With the hold function, you can keep up to two different symbols fixed in place, and only spin the last reel. This makes it easier to hit a payout, but simultaneously you have to up your bet significantly to take advantage of this feature.
Sevens and Stripes
Another slot from RTG that is reminiscent of those Vegas casinos of the 50s and 60s is their Sevens and Stripes Slot. A relatively simple three reel and one line slot, the player wins when any three of the same symbol land horizontally across the payline. Players can wager either one, two, or three coins, and if they do bet the maximum three coins, they qualify for the progressive jackpot if they get the red, white, and blue sevens.
Naturally, the colors of the different sevens represent the colors of the American flag. Even the name of the slot, sevens and stripes, is a play on “stars and stripes”, the nickname of the American flag. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies which signed the Declaration of Independence, and the fifty stars that represent all states in the Union. Sevens and Stripes is a great way for Americans to get in a little gambling action, while also reveling in patriotic fervor.
We’ve come a long way from the original classic Vegas slots. Modern video slots and packed full of shiny new features, bells and whistles. They’ve got the sound track of a modern motion picture, complex bonuses, free rounds and respins.
But sometimes gamblers yearn for a simpler time, when all they needed was three sevens to line up just right, and the jackpot bell would ring its shrill but beautiful tone. And that is where RTG’s classic Vegas slots excel. In allowing gamblers to return to a simpler time, if only for a few spins, to a day when everything seemed possible and the future was always bright.