hook3670
hook3670
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May 14th, 2015 at 11:37:07 AM permalink
I was wondering, what were the old original casinos from the 1940's and 1950's like. What games were offered at what denominations? Were all the slots the exact same?
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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May 14th, 2015 at 5:33:56 PM permalink
I remembered watching this video (below) a few months back, and they discuss some of this, with a lot of old footage. It's worth the trip to watch it.

You might also watch "Bugsy", the movie about Bugsy Siegal developing the Flamingo, think it was 1947. They get into a lot of detail about what games are going in, and other denominations.

My best understanding (my dad's stories) is that they played $1-5 Blackjack with no sidebets, $1-5 Craps, $1-10 Roulette, had a Big Wheel, some had a big Baccarat table (not many), some had poker tables (5 card stud/draw, 7 card stud). Some Faro. Red Dog was popular for a while in the 50's. Some slots with 1 line, 3 reels, but they weren't all that popular back then. I could be wrong.

If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
BoulderDamIt
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May 14th, 2015 at 5:59:16 PM permalink
Babs,

I thought slots were popular all the way back to the 20's?
The history of slots is fascinating all on it's own. The different places they used to be, the prizes (gum, cigarettes, tokens, etc.. ), the methods used to get around gaming laws. I love watching documentaries on the subject. Tons of great books too.
And this is coming from a guy who doesn't go anywhere near slots.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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May 14th, 2015 at 9:34:53 PM permalink
Quote: BoulderDamIt

Babs,

I thought slots were popular all the way back to the 20's?
The history of slots is fascinating all on it's own. The different places they used to be, the prizes (gum, cigarettes, tokens, etc.. ), the methods used to get around gaming laws. I love watching documentaries on the subject. Tons of great books too.
And this is coming from a guy who doesn't go anywhere near slots.



I'm sure you're right, they do go back that far, or at least the 30's? I just didn't have the impression that in Vegas they had hundreds of slots lined up in rows (40's and 50's he was asking about) like they do now. More like they had a few dozen against the walls and on the bar at most. I don't think it went crazy until the 70's, probably a ramp-up in the 60's. Again, I could be wrong.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
FleaStiff
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May 14th, 2015 at 11:25:17 PM permalink
Slots were always popular in bars or other places where they were all that was available. In Vegas, slots were for craps players who brought their wives/girlfriends along.

I've seen a few old movies but its hard to get an idea of what a "normal" game would be in Vegas. Bugsy Siegel did not design his casino to have "bird games" ie, craps games with quarters flying everywhere. Bird Games were common in other casinos though. Quarters all over the place. Its been an interesting question to me because of the complaints about five or ten dollar tables and I wondered what the historical sums were. Its seems even back when, casinos varied and "went with the flow of traffic".

One casino had a parade of armored cars just carrying the silver dollars needed to stock their slot machines for opening day. The Casino spent a fortune for a parade permit and police overtime but it was the best advertising move ever!! Photographs of over one hundred armored cars lined up on the Vegas Strip made headlines even in the Bible Belt. There was no real need to have hundreds of shot gun toting cops marching along beside those slow moving armored cars but impressive photos made people think of all that money just waiting there for them.
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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May 15th, 2015 at 6:14:14 AM permalink
This thread prompted me to do a google search.



The caption says: Las Vegas Club – downtown Las Vegas, 1954 | Photo: Loomis Dean


A cool site with Vintage Pictures
Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same
DJTeddyBear
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May 15th, 2015 at 8:06:58 AM permalink
Quote: BoulderDamIt

I thought slots were popular all the way back to the 20's?
The history of slots is fascinating all on it's own. The different places they used to be, the prizes (gum, cigarettes, tokens, etc.. ), the methods used to get around gaming laws. I love watching documentaries on the subject. Tons of great books too.
And this is coming from a guy who doesn't go anywhere near slots.

"Popular" needs a reference. As in, compared to what? Sure, every rinky dink watering hole in Nevada had a couple, but in casinos, they were an afterthought used as a diversion for the wives, while the husbands did the serious gambling.

Note in the photo above it is only women playing slots.

Also note that they're standing. I don't know about Nevada, but when Atlantic City opened, the slots had no chairs. The bus day trippers quickly learned to bring chairs like this one:



Prizes? Yep. The cherries, lemons, oranges, etc. referred to the flavor of gum. The bars represented candy bars.


FYI: Like you, I tend to ignore slot machines, but am fascinated with their technology and history.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
kenarman
kenarman
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May 15th, 2015 at 8:34:12 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

"Popular" needs a reference. As in, compared to what? Sure, every rinky dink watering hole in Nevada had a couple, but in casinos, they were an afterthought used as a diversion for the wives, while the husbands did the serious gambling.

Note in the photo above it is only women playing slots.

Also note that they're standing. I don't know about Nevada, but when Atlantic City opened, the slots had no chairs. The bus day trippers quickly learned to bring chairs like this one:



Prizes? Yep. The cherries, lemons, oranges, etc. referred to the flavor of gum. The bars represented candy bars.


FYI: Like you, I tend to ignore slot machines, but am fascinated with their technology and history.



My understanding on the bars DJ was that they represented the size of the prize. You would get 1, 2 or 3 sticks of gum depending on the number of bars.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.

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