An Introduction to Fruit Machines
Liberty Bell – does this name ring any bell? If you are a fan of slot machines or looking to embark on a reels spinning mission, then you need to be aware of the Liberty Bell. Well, this does not in any way mean that knowing the meaning behind Liberty Bell will enhance your chances of winning, no. Rather, it just helps you to appreciate the beauty and history behind slot machines. Liberty Bell is the name given to the first slot machine to be ever produced. Between 1887 and 1895, a San Francisco gaming enthusiast by the name of Charles Fey in his determination to improve the mechanics of the popular game enjoyed in bars during his time ended up designing the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was an automatic payout machine which was playable on a 3-reel grid. The symbols appearing on the reels were playing card suits (spades, diamonds and hearts) as well as horseshoes. Such was the huge popularity and uptake of the Liberty Bell machines that by 1907, Charles Fey entered into an agreement with Herbert Mills, a local manufacturer whose task was to develop the Liberty Bell machines in many quantities.
The Genesis of Fruit Machines
Many casino players nowadays interchangeably used the terms fruit machines, slot machines, one-armed bandits or pokies when referring to slots. Technically speaking, however, fruit machines differ from modern video slots. As we trace the history of fruit machines in this guide, we will simultaneously expose the technical differences between fruitmachines and modern video slots. When talking about fruitmachines – the first fruitmachines – we need to go back to the Liberty Bell era of the early 1900s. After Charles Fey designed the Liberty Bell and subcontracted the mass production of the machine to Herbert Mills, Herbert Mills started designing new games based on the same concept as the Liberty Bell. While the mechanics remained the same, Herbert Mills changed the type of symbols (theme) that the new machines came with. The American flag and symbols associated with it, as well as fruit symbols (melons, cherries, apples, lemons), were some of the symbols Herbert Mills interchangeably used on its Bell machines. It was however the machines featuring fruit symbols which quickly became a hit with many players. The massive uptake of games featuring fruit symbols forced the hand of Herbert Mills to continue developing such games on a bigger scale. It was at this point, that fruit machines came to the fore.
Fruit Machines ‘Hiatus’
As more and more people expressed great interest in the fruit machines, several game developers joined the frenzy of designing fruitmachines. The fruitmachines gambling frenzy however took a nosedive when U.S. authorities (other countries followed suit) banned the games as they aided and promoted gambling. Game developers tried to circumvent the authorities by renaming fruit machines as gum vending machines but this didn’t help much. Gum vending machines paid out candy to winners and not coins (cash) as such game developers argued that they were not gambling games. However, in the Iowa cases of State v. Ellis and State v. Striggles, the courts rules that “the machine appealed to the player’s propensity to gamble, and that is [a] vice.” The ruling, therefore, maintained the ban on fruitmachines. It was only several years later that individual states lifted the ban on fruitmachines that the fruit machine gambling frenzy returned. Since then, things have continued to brighten day after day.
Fruit Machines in the Modern Times
As earlier alluded to, modern players interchangeably use the terms fruit machines, slot machines and pokies. However, there are technical differences between these machines. To expose the differences, we will start by briefly explaining what fruit machines are and then proceed to expose their key characteristics. There are two types of fruitmachines that modern players can enjoy. These are as follows: True Fruit Machines: True fruitmachines are games developed all the way back from the early 1900s up to the new millennium that came with fruit symbols as the most common reel symbols. . Modern Fruit Machines: Modern fruitmachines are slots developed in contemporary times but inspired by the earliest slots to be designed. These games come with the fruit theme, a limited number of reels (often 3) and paylines (often 1) and limited to zero bonus features. Some of the modern fruitmachines blend the characteristics of fruitmachines with those of modern video slots such as high-resolution graphics and bonus features. Fruit Machines Key Characteristics • Comes with limited reels often just three • Comes with limited paylines often just one or up to three • Comes with limited to zero bonus features • Comes with dated graphics