Somebody knows... Maybe you?
quadibloc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:28 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Contact:

Reel Strip Question

Postby quadibloc » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:42 pm

I am familiar with both Rick Frink's catalogue (and his site on sites.google.com) and the site https://www.slotmachinereelstrips.net/apps/webstore/ but while I have found near-matches in the former, neither has yielded an exact match to what I'm looking for.

A number of books on gambling have illustrated how a slot machine works with listings of the distribution of symbols on the strips of a typical slot machine.

John Scarne's Complete Guide to Gambling gave a specific example, the Mills "Twenty-One Bell", which has pairs of overprinted symbols in some positions. At least one other book on gambling quoted that example. The book "The Casino Gambler's Guide" by Alan N. Wilson gave an example which was unusual enough that if it actually does refer to a real machine, it is sufficiently atypical in its payout structure to be of limited interest for my purpose.

But two arrangements of symbols on slot machine reels have been quoted in a number of books on the subject of gambling.

I have found that the source for the first one is the booklet "The Facts of Slots", and its source is the slot machine provided by the police to a Wisconsin statistics professor:

Lemons 3 - 4
Cherries 7 7 -
Oranges 3 6 7
Plums 5 1 5
Bells 1 3 3
Bars 1 3 3

(unfortunately, I tried to use the Code modifier with these, but it does not work properly, as it removes the carriage returns between lines; I was trying to get a monospaced font so as to align the columns)

He is pictured with a Mills Extraordinary in one photo, so that could be the type of this machine. The arrangement of symbols is close to that of the Mills SP strips, but it is not exactly the same.

This is clearly from an old-style machine, which pays on two cherries, and on two cherries with a bell or a lemon. What I'd like to know is the name of the machine it was used on, or the designation for the set of strips.

The same is true of this arrangement, about which I have less information:

Cherries 5 7 3
Oranges 4 1 10
Plums 6 1 4
Bells 1 9 1
Horseshoes 2 1 1
Bars 2 1 1

It's clearly for a new-style machine, which pays on one, two, or three cherries. Some sources give "Horseshoes" for the symbol so shown, others give "Melons". Also, at least one of the books in which I saw this arrangement came from the UK.

It's very similar to the V-12-70 set of reel strips from Jennings.

In the book "Slot Machines" by Dieter Ladwig, a postwar machine by Jennings, the "Standard Chief Bell" is pictured that does have the horseshoe symbol in addition to the usual slot machine symbols excluding the lemon. However, the payout schedule for that machine, if applied to this arrangement of symbols, would result in the machine paying out over 9000 coins for every 8000 put in, thus losing money. He notes that the machine was also made for export.

Thus, two of the most often cited sets of reel strips, back in the days when mechanical slot machines were in active use instead of in the hands of collectors, are mysterious, but I'm hoping someone here might be able to settle the details so I can share them on my own web site.
Last edited by quadibloc on Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gameswat
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Re: Reel Strip Question

Postby gameswat » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Hey Quad, some of the slot machine books get right into working out the odds, and off the top of my head the usual percentage of return in the 1930s for a factory new slot was approx 78%. The problem with the slot provided by the police to the Wisconsin professor is that by this point it was a second hand machine. Nearly every vintage slot I've worked on has been messed with in some way to change the odds and almost always to lessen the payouts to the player! So there's a high probability the reason you can't match those strips in your books to factory strips is that they were customized.

quadibloc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:28 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Reel Strip Question

Postby quadibloc » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:58 pm

Thank you, that's one possibility I hadn't considered. However, the arrangement as described returns 75.7% of the amount wagered to the player. As well, the Mills SP reel strips differ from it in this way: exactly one orange is replaced by an additional lemon.

I suppose that doesn't eliminate the possibility that the machine originally came with Mills SP reel strips, and the owner decided to modify it to improve the odds for the player in order to encourage business. Oh, wait: since the chance of two cherries on the first two reels was more than twice as large as that of two oranges on the first two reels, this change did decrease the odds; the original Mills SP reel strips returned 79.25% of the amount wagered. So even though it involved changing a lemon to something else, it still decreased the payout.

User avatar
gameswat
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Re: Reel Strip Question

Postby gameswat » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:10 pm

Quad, it also depends on the coinage being used as to the percentages they could and would offer. It was common for operators to have higher payouts on lower coinage slots. Having lots of happy punters around would make the location more inviting, which is why they happily give away free booze in Vegas. And of course there were local operators who would try to undercut their competition. Plus if a location owned the slots themselves then they could work on a lower income since they were taking all the money. When my father was operating machines in the '60s to '90s he had to give away between 20% to 50% to the location owner.

User avatar
coppinpr
Posts: 3958
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:01 pm
Location: Lewes, East Sussex
Contact:

Re: Reel Strip Question

Postby coppinpr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:59 pm

quadibloc wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:42 pm
...while I have found near-matches in the former, neither has yielded an exact match to what I'm looking for.
If it's an exact match to all three reel strips that you are looking for, I don't think you will find it... not quite.
The nearest I can find are (reel 1) SP1= CC-236-2 (reel 2) SP2 = CC-236-2 (but that is +1 plum - 1 BAR) (Reel 3) CH-3-A =CC-537-3. That's just the one change between all three reel strips.

These were found on Bursting Cherries and Castle Fronts and with the original set up (+ the BAR - the plum) paid a staggering 96.4%, which I guess is why the BAR got removed.
This info is from Daniel Mead's "Hand book of slot machine reel strips".

quadibloc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:28 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Reel Strip Question

Postby quadibloc » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 pm

coppinpr wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:59 pm
This info is from Daniel Mead's "Hand book of slot machine reel strips".
I don't have a copy of that book at the moment, but I have one on order. Thank you.

In the case of the Jennings machine, though, even less than an exact match would be helpful. As noted, the machine pictured in Dieter Ladwig's book had payouts that couldn't work with that set of reel strips, but it was similar, so I'd like to know if there was a similar machine which only paid 2 for a single cherry.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests