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Introduction to Slot Machines Slot machines were introduced in the gambling industry to serve as a diversion to more complicated gambling games. Before slot machines almost all table game and card games relied heavily on strategizing and complex calculation of odds. But when slot machines or poker machines were introduced people breathed a sigh of relief because they found a game that was so easy to play and yet so exciting that one couldn't help but be addicted to it. The classic slot machine was introduced and this is how it works: Basically, slot machines have gears and levers that comprise its mechanism. The first element of a slot machine is a coin detector that informs the machine if a coin is inserted. It then unlocks a braking mechanism that will allow the handle to be pulled freely. The slot machine's central mechanism is the metal shaft that is connected to the reels. A handle is joined together with the metal shaft and this handle initiates the spinning of the reels. There is a brake system that stops the reels from spinning and there is a sensor that relays the position of the reels to another system that dictates the outcome of a payout, meaning if a player gets a jackpot or not. There are various ways on how to arrange these mechanisms but the first basic design is simple. The basic design of poker machines is comprised of three reels that are mounted upon a central shaft. This central shaft also supports three discs with notches on them that are joined together with the three reels. There is a second shaft right under the central shaft, which supports a piece of metal with three paddles called a kicker. These kicker paddles are formed lining up together so that they could push against the notched discs. With the second shaft, there are the stoppers or a series of metal teeth connected to each other that are locked into the notched discs too. Both the kicker and the stoppers join together with the springs that hold all of them in a pause position or standby. The kicker is behind the discs and the stoppers are at the front and both of these metal shafts hold the discs in place. When a player pulls on the lever of a slot machine, these mechanical parts are activated and work the mechanism. When the lever is pulled these actions take place: 1.

The handle activates the hook mechanism which rotates and grabs the kicker and pulls it towards the player.

2.

The catch on the other end of the kicker holds a control cam and pivots it forward. As a result, this action rotates a group of gears that are joined together with the control cam. There is a spring that pulls on the control cam towards its original position, but an assembly of gears slows it down a bit. These gears serve as a mechanical delay.

3.

If the control cam pivots forward, this releases a cam plate mounted on a spring that extends towards the back of the slot machine.

4.

The control cam pulls on the stoppers to move away from the notched discs too. While the kicker moves it also pushes the stoppers on to the many catches built on the cam plate. The catches keep the stoppers in place, in order for the reels and discs to rotate freely.

5.

As the handle keeps on moving the kicker, the discs are pushed by the kicker paddles in a forward position but only for a short time. When the player pulls the handle that the kicker has crossed the discs, the bottom end of the hook mechanism will move up


against a surface that is slanted. This slant pivots the hook in a forward motion that releases the kicker. 6.

Afterward, the kicker's spring pushes the kicker backwards rapidly. The kicker paddles hit against the notches, which spin the reels quickly.

7.

As all of these mechanisms are working, the control cam slowly goes back to its original position. After it goes back, the control cam pushes back the cam plate and this releases the stoppers. The different catches that are holding on to the stoppers are placed in a way so that the stoppers will be released by the cam plate one at a time. As a result, each of the stoppers moves forward and fits into a notch which then hold the reels into position.

That's basically how a slot machine works, even for the online pokies. The difference with the online poker machines is they have digital mechanisms but the whole system works the same.

Author's Bio/Info Lehman Costello is a freelance writer and frequent slot machines player. He currently resides in New South Wales often visiting online casinos that offers poker machines to write reviews about them or simply enjoy letting them take away his hard-earned money.

Introduction to Slot Machines  

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