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One of the most iconic games of any casino is its slot machines, but many gamers do not realise the long and interesting history that these devices hold.
The first casino slot machines were developed in 1887 by Charles Fey of San Francisco, California. His original machine consisted of three spinning cylinders with five symbols on each - horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and liberty bells.
In this original design, three liberty bells on the winning line delivered the largest payout - ten nickels - but it was a winning formula that was to prove exceedingly popular with players and heralded the dawn of the mechanical gambling machine age.
Today, millions of people across the globe take advantage of the ease with which they can gamble using slot machines, with these devices some of the most popular types of gaming in any casino. In fact, slot machines make up approximately 70 per cent of all casino revenues for most operators.
While live gaming tables are always popular with players, it is the simplicity of slots that can be an attraction for many, as all the player has to do is put in their money and press a button to be in with the chance of winning a fortune.
An array of styles are available for players to choose from, with classic three-cylinder models still in use in many casinos, to more complex five-reel and video slots games that have been introduced in recent years.
Nowadays, big casinos provide many options for players in terms of betting levels and prizes, with some of the biggest often being those where multiple machines are linked together.
In this format, players choose an individual slot machine to play, but the money they put in will be added to a cumulative cash pot for all the linked slots, meaning players stand the chance of winning much higher prizes.