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October 25, 2014

The one armed bandit, both real and virtual


Old one armed bandit slot machineGambling activities frequently take place in bricks and mortar casinos. However, there are many online or virtual casinos too. They are just as viable as a means of gambling as their bricks and mortar counterparts. They are also far more convenient, as gambling can be done online from the comfort of the home computer. Video lottery terminals are a kind of slot machine that connects to a central database or system.

It is a good way for a casino – whether virtual or not – to monitor winnings effectively. Although it is illegal in many territories to undermine the chances of a player if another player wins big while playing these games, there is certainly technology available to guarantee that a big win will be compensated for by the casino by undermining the chances of another big win.

This practice may be illegal in some countries and legal in others, so it may be worthwhile perusing the gambling laws of the country in which you gamble in order to ascertain the “rules” that pertain to slot machines and other gadgets that are used in gambling. Other technologies are available to ensure that all players have an equal chance of winning a limited amount of prize money.

The first slot machines came about before the 1900s. The first simple slot machines built to accommodate gamblers were in response to the complicated manner in which poker wins were made possible through so many permutations of hands, such as a royal flush or two pairs or a full house, and so on. Machines based on poker had already been devised but were regarded as quite complex. Inventor Charles Fey of California came up with the simpler concept of three spinning wheels, each of which contained five symbols, including symbols from cards such as diamonds, spades and hearts.

Slot machines or fruit machines can be used from the comfort of the home computer today, but their provenance stems from similar machines found in casinos. Originally they were pejoratively nicknamed One armed bandits because they were used by first inserting money and pulling a single lever at the side of the panel rather than by a button at the front of the machine. In keeping with tradition, many machines not only have buttons but the lever as well, even today. Currency is validated when it is inserted so as to guarantee that the coin is of the right value to play.

Computer technology has enhanced the kind of play and interaction that such gambling machines allow. There is also sandbox technology and various other techniques through which software can be downloaded and launched securely in order to play.

For example, a sandbox or similar technology will operate on a client machine owned by the gambler and work independently of the other systems on the computer in order to mitigate the ability of a gambler to tamper with the service and to protect against security breaches by hackers or the software developer or gambling company.


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