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Potless
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Mayfield Electronic Dice & Streets Spot Luck identified

Postby Potless » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:48 pm

Way back around 1967-69, I can recall playing on a fascinating multi-player dice machine in the Oasis amusement hall at Gt. Yarmouth. The darn thing has been on my mind ever since, because I cannot work out exactly how they made it work!

It was a pretty massive unit, which featured several playing stations located around a huge glass case, in which a rotating dice cage (resembling an egg timer in shape) would tumble two enormous felt-covered dice, on a playing cycle of around 15 seconds. Players would bet on the outcome of the dice throw, e.g. double one, double two, etc. (I am not sure of the exact betting possibilities), to win anything from 2d to 12d.

I was always amazed at how the machine knew exactly which sides of the dice had been thrown, as there was no electrical connection between the dice and the floor of the rotating cage. There were of course six sides to decode for each die.

It could not have used magnets and reed switches, as there were too many possibilities to decode. I doubt that the system used infra-red, or radio transmission/reception, as this was the era of electro-mechanical machines full of relays and motors.

So, who can remember the machine, who made it, and above all HOW ON EARTH DID IT WORK?

rippyspennyarcade
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby rippyspennyarcade » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:48 pm

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I also saw this machine in Great Yarmouth in 1969. A fascinating machine, and to be honest, unless you actually saw it, then it's really hard to imagine what this machine looked like. As to the payouts (which you described well) , around the same time STREETS made a machine called SPOT LUCK, the only difference being that each dice was kicked forward, as this machine was flat, compared to the egg timer shaped cage of the slot you mention. I obtained one of the worn dice from Spot Luck, and noticed there were holes in certain positions on the white SPOTS on the black dice!!! So this MUST have been for payout purposes.

Very pleased that someone other than ME remembers this GREAT machine. There was also one in Skegness, which is just up the road from me. Finally, the tough part is FINDING a picture of these LARGE electro mechanical machines. I remember many fantastic larger machines, but pictures are nearly impossible to come by. Let's HOPE that SOMEONE can come up with a picture of this machine...

Potless
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby Potless » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:16 pm

I obtained one of the worn dice from Spot Luck, and noticed there were holes in certain positions on the white SPOTS on the black dice!!! So this MUST have been for payout purposes.
Thanks for that, at least I now know I am not alone in remembering it, and that it wasn't just a dream!

It sounds as though the Spot Luck might work on the same principle - I wonder what the holes in the spots do?

Any Streets fanatics got any ideas?

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pennymachines
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby pennymachines » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:02 pm

It may have worked along the same lines as the mechanical dice gambling machines of the mid '30s, like Mills Dice. These gave the illusion of freely throwing dice, but actually contained many identical dice showing different faces which were contained in compartments. When a set of two dice were thrown into view, they could spin in one plane only because a piece of glass prevented them from overturning. This gave the impression that they were freely thrown.

There is currently a large and sophisticated electromechanical dicer for sale on eBay U.S. called Seven Eleven. This uses the old Mills system (notice the dice loaded in the carousel below). Maybe this is the game you remember? The dice window is sort of egg-timer shaped.
dice1.jpg
Dice2.jpg
One of a kind Craps electromechanical dice machine made by J.J.Parker company of Las Vegas Nevada in 1964: serial # 96 out of 100 made. Have not heard of another one so I believe it might be the only one left. Holds 1600 quarters for payouts. Works and plays craps just like a casino but without the dealer. Made for small gambling parlours and bars. Has the same odds and and real dice that roll in the center under the glass. It is a real money maker. Built in cabinet 36 in. high 48 in. wide 24 in. deep, wgt.600 pounds. P.S. it plugs into standard 120 volt wall outlet.
A different trick was used on the electromechanical Western Equipment & Supply Company's Mysterious Eye (later Rockola's Black Magic). The dice remained in view all the time and were thrown freely. The machine then gently raised them to the top glass to read them. The dice were manufactured to be slightly shorter in their one-six dimension, so the position they landed in would determine how high contacts in the mechanism were raised.

Potless
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby Potless » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:42 am

Thanks a lot for the information and photo - however, the machine I remember was a very tall unit, with a large vertical glass case containing the rotating dice cage, located in the centre of the machine. I would estimate the cage was about two foot long, each end being about a foot in diameter (pretty huge!). The hourglass-shaped cage was like the ones used in the old casino game of "Chuck-a-Luck", except there were only two dice instead of three.

The baffling thing is, there is no way the dimensions of the dice could have been measured as with the Western system, or even "forced" like the Mills version, because the dice remained in view at all times, and were not touched by anything except the base of the cage.

Thanks again for your help though, the descriptions of the machines are very interesting.

malcymal
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby malcymal » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:24 am

On my YouTube section, username malcymal, there is a comment posted from a bloke who said he used to work for Streets based at Eastbourne. (I posted a Streets Colorama video up there). I can't get access to YouTube at work right now but if you find his comment to my video he will have a YouTube user ID. Perhaps you could then email him for info! I shall try and steer him to this post when I have time - perhaps he can help and give us some valuable information in general about Streets.

rippyspennyarcade
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby rippyspennyarcade » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:01 am

Hi Potless,
It was A NICE try by Pennymachines, but the machine we remember was nothing like that. The plastic dice were much LARGER than a standard dice; the egg timer shaped cage would tip up, dropping the 2 dice to the base, revealing the winning combination. I spent many hours watching and playing this machine. If only someone could come up with a photo!!! It really was a big attraction at the time. And I doubt we will EVER see anything like it again. Let's just HOPE that a photo can be found.

malcymal
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby malcymal » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:18 am

Bumped. Last post please see my previous post for possible contact (ex-employee of Streets).

cheeky
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby cheeky » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:59 am

Potless wrote:It was a pretty massive unit, which featured several playing stations located around a huge glass case, in which a rotating dice cage (resembling an egg timer in shape) would tumble two enormous felt-covered dice, on a playing cycle of around 15 seconds. Players would bet on the outcome of the dice throw, e.g. double one, double two, etc. (I am not sure of the exact betting possibilities), to win anything from 2d to 12d.
I remember it well. It never seemed to work properly so I was always getting a refund at the desk but it was fascinating and brilliant when it worked. Actually, I'd forgotten all about it.

I have only ever seen the machine in Barons arcade in Great Yarmouth and knowing the owner's Grandma (Ruby), I could have bought it. Not sure it would have fitted in the car though!

Interestingly, it was still in the arcade in the late 1990s.

Now for the bad news. I really can't remember who made it and I never worked out how it functioned. Still, a fond memory and it would be great to see a photo again.

All the best!

Greg

Potless
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Re: Who remembers this amazing dice gambling machine?

Postby Potless » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:53 pm

Amazing that it was still in the arcade in the '90s (I stopped going to the arcades in the mid '80s, so would not have seen it then) - it was probably on its last legs then, being an electromechanical machine. No wonder it kept going wrong!

I have a feeling that it could have been imported from the USA, as it was a high quality unit which had a feel of Las Vegas about it. Maybe it was a Bally product converted to UK coinage?


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