The evolution of Casino Slot Machines
Table games have been around almost as long as the casinos themselves. Many of us remember playing our hearts out at arcades and clubs back in the days of our youth when we were simply out to have some fun with our friends. Of course, today we take our table games for granted and often treat them as just another piece of entertainment that is integrated into the games that we play. While many of us may not realize it, the game of table has a very interesting history that still holds many secrets that we might not be aware of.
The first table games to be introduced to casinos were, of course, card games. Blackjack, craps and roulette were all designed to take the edge off of the gambling experience and help the “gamblers” to have an advantage over their fellow” gamblers” at the casino. The original idea was to eliminate any possibility for an “edge” that an “edge” could have on the gambler. It was just a matter of eliminating any possibility for the casino to win.
The next type of table games that were introduced to American Casinos were Penny Games. Penny games simply meant small inexpensive cards that players would place their money on and use to try to determine if they had “won” the game. Often times these small cards would have no face value but would carry some kind of slogan, “won” or “proved” printed on them. Because of this lack of authenticity, the penny game soon fell out of favor as the competition increased and more Americans began placing their bets with real money.
The next table games to enter the world of American Casinos were Craps and Poker Games. Like the card games, poker was designed to eliminate any possible edge that a player might have on the competition at the casino. As with the card games, there were rules that dictated the betting amount, the betting time, the type of chips that were involved in the game, and the types of cards that could be used. In the beginning, the casinos used printed slips of paper with a number on them to represent the different betting amounts.
One of the first changes that casinos made to their table games came about during the nineteenth century when they began to have only one casino per casino floor. The reasoning for this was that it was believed that people wouldn’t be inclined to stay for long periods of time at one casino. This one dealer system did prove to be very effective in the elimination of “shorts” or “fortunes” from the games. However, because of the fact that the odds of winning were not as great, more people were encouraged to stay longer, which led to more “bar rooms” being opened in casino after casino.
Eventually the “one dealer” concept became a worldwide phenomenon. When live dealers began to be installed in all of the various casino games across the world, people no longer had to be concerned with whether or not they would win the game since they would be playing it with only one dealer. Another major change came about when progressive slot machines began to replace the “dollars” in many of the earlier table games. People were still able to wager actual money on the machines, but since the slots also had a maximum re-spin limit, the jackpot size also grew.
In the United States, the Progressive slot machine revolution became especially controversial. Many individuals were upset with the increasing prize money, which they felt were designed to encourage gambling rather than being a means of providing residents with an income. Eventually the American Gaming Association got involved and many states passed laws requiring that casinos offer at least two table games such as Blackjack and Craps. The association further made their demands known by sponsoring a campaign that called for college students to register to play Blackjack and Craps at designated casinos across the country. This effort, while perhaps not directly responsible for the creation of the modern casino war, did increase the awareness of slot players of their rights regarding the machines in their casinos.
Today there are literally hundreds of slot machines spread throughout the United States and Canada that offer an assortment of table games in addition to the traditional slots. One of the most popular choices is baccarat, which has been offered at casinos since the mid-nineteenth century. Today baccarat tables can be found in homes, restaurants, hotels, motels, and even some strip clubs. No matter where it is played, baccarat offers gambling fun without the danger of losing any real money. For this reason, baccarat has become one of the best-known games at most casinos and pubs.