Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Evolution of Slot Machines

Throughout the years, slot machines have become increasingly popular, allowing players to enjoy hours of fun whilst having the chance to win cash prizes at the same time. From the historical 'One-Armed Bandit' to the video slots that occupy a large section of many online casinos today, these games have witnessed a surge in popularity across the world.
The Evolution of Slot Machines
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This article will discuss the history of these machines and their progression from land-based games to internet gaming sensations.

When Was The Slot Machine Invented?

The first slot machine as we might know it today can be traced back to around 1891. Known as the 'One-Armed Bandit', this slot was invented in New York by Sittman and Pitt. With five drums acting as reels and a lever on the side to set them off, it had 50 card symbols to land. As is the case with modern fruit machine slots, they were commonly used in bars across the country.

The First Automatic Slot

Not long after the invention of the 'One-Armed Bandit', the first automatic slot was invented by a man called Charles Fey in California, in 1895. With just three reels, this slot was widely regarded as running on a much simpler mechanism and only had five reel symbols.

Named the Liberty Bell, this first automatic slot could be seen as an influencer for some modern video slots today that still use three reels and a minimal amount of symbols.

Reel Symbols

Fruit symbols have long been associated with slots and this perhaps stems from 1907 and the invention of Herbert Mills's slot machine. Called the Operator Bell, Herbert Mills created it to rival that of Charles Fey.

Despite the evolution of slot machines and reel symbols being comprised of just about anything, many video slots still choose to use classic fruit symbols. The likes of Double Bubble, one of the most popular video slots around, draws on classic features and symbols while still providing players with a modern spinning experience.

Slot Machines As We Know Them

In 1963, Bally Manufacturing managed to produce a slot without a side-mounted lever. As the first electromechanical slot machine, it could reward coins automatically without an attendant to help. Called Money Honey, this slot machine paved the way for electronic games of the future.

The Introduction Of Video Slots

Although Bally Manufacturing managed to bring electronic functionality to the slots scene around 13 years earlier, the first real video slots were invented in the mid-70s in California. Fortune Coin Co developed video slot technology in 1976, mounting a display on a slot machine cabinet and gaining approval from the Nevada State Gaming Commission.

Video Slots Today

The video slots we know today and their place in gaming can be traced back to the 1990s and the launch of the first online casinos. In 1994, the first online casino launched featuring a range of video slots to play.

There are currently hundreds of online casinos at which to play thousands of video slots. They're provided by a number of software suppliers and seem to span across all types of categories and genres.

The chances to win huge cash sums are ever-present, more so with the introduction of progressive slots. With these games, some are linked up to wider networks, allowing prize funds to grow at a rapid rate and regularly reaching the millions.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Craps With Cards Vs Craps With Dice

There are laws in place in certain states where an outcome may not be determined through a toss of the dice. This means Craps games, as we know them, are prohibited. However, clever casino operators have installed Craps games using cards instead of dice. Contrary to popular belief, this is a great opportunity because it offers an advantage to the player that is not available in a standard dice game of Craps.

The game of Craps played with cards is played exactly as is Craps with dice. The table layout is the same (with the possible addition of two colored boxes that determine the shoe to be used. You can also bet on those colored boxes.

The casino uses cards numbered ace through six (1 - 6) instead of dice. They also use a shuffle machine known as a "constant shuffle machine" because they don't bury cards as they are exposed, instead, they are immediately returned to the shuffle machine (that's why it's called constant). The same cards used to get a point on the come out roll may not be available to be drawn again until a new shelf is hit, making it disproportionately likely to throw a seven instead, resulting in a win for the wrong bettor. Remember that fact - we'll use it later.

After the point is established, two more cards are dealt to represent the next roll of the dice. That continues until the point is made or the "shooter" sevens out.

For the purpose of this article, I'm not going into the rules and/or strategies of the game of Craps. I'm assuming you already know them, and the purpose of this article is to point out differences and similarities of the Craps game played with cards as opposed to the dice Craps game.

The short and very sweet difference between the two is this: there is a very distinct and big advantage to playing Craps with cards if you are a "wrong bettor". You, the player, actually have the advantage over the casino and that is not found in any other game nor in any dice version of Craps.

Conversely there is a bigger advantage for the house if you're a "right bettor".

Is there any question as to how you should play the card version of Craps? The answer is obvious - you must be a wrong bettor. Put aside all objections you ever had to betting with the house and against the shooter. You are playing Craps to make money - not friends.

Why are the wrong bettors now in a position of positive odds? In other words, why do we players have an advantage over the casino? That's unheard of - after all, there are strategies that get the house advantage down towards "0" where the house advantage is small (in dice Craps as well as in other games), but nowhere at any time has the player actually had the advantage over the house - until now.

Here's the amazing news:

first, as stated above, the cards that established the point cannot be used again during a shooter's attempts to make the point. This makes a seven even more likely to come up before the point, resulting in a win. That's important, but that's not the best part...

In a game of Craps played with dice, laying odds is the way we get the overall odds against winning down to the lowest (best) number possible. That means we can reduce the house advantage to near zero.

However, in a game of Craps played with cards, by knowing when to lay odds against a number and how much to lay against a number, we get the odds down, past zero and into a very healthy advantage for the player. Here are the numbers:

laying odds against a 4 or 10 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house (after figuring the don't pass and or the don't come - the actual odds give the advantage to the house: 1.364)

but, laying odds against the 4 or 10 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.253. Yep - that is a negative number, and thus the advantage goes to the player - absolutely unheard of! California casinos like the Viejas in San Diego generously offer 10x odds (up to $1,000 winnings), so you should take full advantage of maximum odds against a 4 and 10.

Laying odds against a 5 or 9 in both games remains at zero - no advantage to the house nor to the player. So, lay your "normal" odds against a 5 or 9.

Laying odds against a 6 or 8 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house.

But, laying odds against the 6 or 8 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.207. Yep, another advantage for the player! Again, in California, lay maximum odds.

So, if the player laid the maximum odds on points of 4, 6, 8, and 10, then the overall player edge between the don't pass and laying odds would be +0.022%. That's amazing!

So, take advantage of this golden opportunity, and gratefully play Craps with cards instead of dice!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hidden Treasures Banquet


The first annual Hidden Treasures Banquet on Saturday, June 19, 2010 was a huge success. Over 840 guests poured into 707 West Broad Street- the former Graham Ford Dealership for a lovely dinner and program ("Pro-Graham") to help support the museum and Holy Family Soup Kitchen.

Our keynote speakers were Doctors Peter Kreeft and Kenneth Howell. They each gave a beautiful appeal to help support the museum. Dr. Howell spoke on the importance of continuity with the past, and how our museum keeps alive the important art and history of the Catholic Church. Dr. Kreeft spoke on the importance of both the soup kitchen and museum. As it is important to be fed physically, it is more important to be fed spiritually. The museum, he said, is food for the soul.
In all, it was a wonderful evening with many blessings. The outpouring of support from the community was simply overwhelming. Our sincere thanks to the many dedicated volunteers and benefactors who helped to make this a truly memorable evening.

Devotionals— Holy Cards


Did you receive a Holy Card for First Communion, Confirmation, a significant event such as an Ordination or anniversary, as a reward from nuns and priests, or perhaps as a memorial of a deceased family or friend? Flip through a missal, bible or prayer book, and more than likely a holy card can be found tucked between its pages, often used as a bookmark. On the back of the cards can be found prayers, novenas, and remembrances of those who have preceded us in death. Childhood friends often used them as trading cards. They are, indeed, cherished items.

An early example of a holy card, or holy picture, is a wood block print of St. Christopher from the year 1423. In France and Germany during the 1400’s, the art of making hand-made paper holy cards featuring saints with decorative borders became popular and were often used as gifts or commemorative cards. They were likely the precursor of the greeting cards with which we are familiar, a 19th century custom that continues today.

The late 1700’s saw the invention of the print process of lithography and the 1800’s yielded the production of color prints, known as chromolithography. This period experienced a growth in the mass-production of holy cards, which were also becoming popular in the United States. Quick to seize an opportunity, many European printing companies opened locations here in the States.

The Swiss company, Carl Benziger and Sons, founded in 1792, set up shop in Cincinnati, OH in the year 1838. Their name was later changed to Benziger Brothers, becoming the most important printing company in the U.S.

Not limited to Catholics, it was during the mid-nineteenth century that Protestants began to use cards depicting biblical scenes and texts instead of pictures of saints, and were often used for bible studies. The Victorian era saw the production of small embossed lace-edged holy cards, while many private businesses utilized similarly-sized cards for advertising purposes.

After a waning of interest in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the popularity of holy cards is now on the rise. Some antique holy cards (over 100 years old) and many vintage ones hold great appeal to collectors from an aesthetic and historic viewpoint. While many of the newer ones being produced today are laminated, paper versions evoke great sentiment, recalling an earlier time, with their colorful pictures and golden edges.

Care should be taken in preserving holy cards; use acid-free materials for long-term storage.