The Slot Fan’s Guide to Olden Day One Arm Bandits
- Antique Slot Machine Values
- Mechanical Slot Machines For Sale
- Real Slot Machines For Sale
- Slot Machines For Home Use
A quick search on eBay reveals some interesting results for antique slot machines. Few people would believe that archaic devices with minimal spinning reels and a handful of symbols could be worth a small fortune. Collectors know better. Slot machines from the 1930s and 1940s can fetch a pretty penny, depending on their condition, brand name, and rarity. For example, an Antique 1930s Mills War Eagle 5 cent Nickel Slot Machine can fetch as much as $2,595 on the market. These contraptions are typically a little worse for wear, and they may not have all their original working parts. In the United States, there are rules in place which regulate the sale of antique slot machines, and certain states may not qualify.
If you’re looking to spend a small fortune, you may be on the prowl for an antique 1899 Mills 5c Dewey slot machine. This device retails for $16,800, and it is in its mint, original condition. These devices were expertly crafted, full of intricately detailed artwork and mechanical parts. If the sticker price is a little steep, you may wish to consider the Mills Novelty Company Owl Slot Machine antique at a price of $15,750. These slot games are worlds apart from the video slots we see nowadays at land-based casinos and online casinos. These are fully functional freestanding machines with ball and claw feet, solid oak carved frames, and beautifully-furnished metal housing. It’s always important to check for damage, especially with the wood items.
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Specs of Antique Slot Machines
The Antique range of slot machines are extremely expensive, and can retail at $19,000+ apiece. The original machines were created around 1906, and have a devout following among slot machine collectors and gaming experts. Many slot fans choose to refurbish their antique slot machines, to keep them in pristine condition. The antique slot machines business is a roaring trade, with a niche market of highly motivated buyers and sellers. Only the most skilled technical experts in slot machine restoration professionals can work in this arena, since customers are highly specific and detail oriented when it comes to these high-priced antiques. The typical weight of an antique slot machine ranges from 75 pounds through 100 pounds. Their dimensions are typically 16” x 16” x 28” in height.
There are many examples of popular antique slots, including the following:
- 1941 Mills Diamond Front
- Mills Hi-Top
- Mills Bursting Cherry
- 1938 Mills Roman Head 5 Cent
- 1946 Jennings Super Deluxe Club Chief
- 1935 Watling Coin Front 25 Cent
- 1947 Mills Black Cherry 5 Cent
- 1933 Watling Treasury 5 Cent
- 1948 Mills Blue Bell 10 Cent
- 1950 Pace Four Reel Harrah’s Club 10 Cent
The price of an antique slot machine may range from a few dollars to as much as $50,000 +, depending on its condition, rarity and how much the buyer is willing to pay for it. Many antique collectors seek these devices as decorative pieces, or as investments for posterity. The most common brand is Mills, both with its Golden Nugget slot machine and its Orange Front QT slot machine variants.
Slot Game Variety Over the Years
Believe it or not, various slots enthusiasts consider any slot machine created after 1930 as a contemporary slot machine, and not an antique. These contemporary machines are largely comprised of replacement parts, and many of them have been fully restored and tested. The cost of these machines is less than those with a limited number of replacement parts. If you’re looking to buy an antique slot machine, it is best to select a machine that is relatively untouched, and in its original mint condition. Once restoration work has begun, the perceived value of the machine diminishes. If you find an e-commerce platform selling a 1930s/40s slot machine under $3,000, it is likely a contemporary machine with replacement parts.
The strict definition of an antique is a collectible object that has a high value because of its considerable age. In the United States, the Customs Service regards antiques as items that are at least 100 years old. With slot machine games, antiques are considered old-school slot games – typically the 3-reel classic slots. Nowadays, players can enjoy sophisticated HD slots with 5 spinning reels and hundreds of paylines. Video animation, 3D technology, and a virtual presence are worlds apart from the physical nature of antique slot machine games. Online slot games offer a modern-day perspective on this age-old pastime. You can still experience the classic slot titles online, except that now you have far more variety in every way.
Owning a vintage slot machine is one of those fun yet daunting ideas. Many old school one-armed bandits are beautifully designed and instant conversation pieces. Plus slot fans who own a machine don’t ever have to worry about losing money to the house.
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Antique Slot Machine Values
Charles August Fey, a Bavaria-born inventor, was living in San Francisco when he invented his first gambling machine in 1984. His games grew to be so popular at local bars, he quit his day job and opened a factory to start mass producing them, most notably the Liberty Bell machines in 1899. A lot of the functionality from that early game remained in place through much of the 20th century. Watch this video to see the seven mechanical actions set into motion when you pull back the bandit’s arm. The inner workings are probably a little more complex than you expect.
Mechanical Slot Machines For Sale
Real Slot Machines For Sale
Given that a lot of old slot machines are hand built, it isn’t surprising that coins can get jammed on their way through the mechanism. Big warning: If your machine jams, don’t force the arm or you can break, twist or damage a part inside. Different models and makes tend to have common jam points. The Mills model shown in the above video can have coins stuck in the “elevator” section that displays the last five coins dropped into the machine. Getting the slot working again can be as simple as cleaning the gunk off of an old part. You just need to be smart when you’re disassembling and reassembling the machinery.
Okay, there are plenty of more places where a coin can get stuck and the above video demonstrates how to fix a variety of jams. It also explains how to disassemble the major parts of the machine and where common problem areas are.
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Curious how an antique slot machine knows how much money a winner gets? This video shows the punch-card like communication that trips payouts and how. If you ever need to replace the reel symbols or calibrate the machine you’ll need to understand how these work. Even if you don’t ever plan on owning a machine, the metallic “circuitry” is interesting to see.
Want to own a modern slot machine? New ones have plenty more bells, whistles and dings, and also a lot more advanced parts. If you plan on getting one, you may want to have an idea of what’s inside. In addition to the classic reels, there are speakers, motherboards filled with programming chips and plenty of wires. Unless you have a way with a soldering iron you probably won’t try and fix it. But in case you do, here’s a clip from Discovery showing what’s inside.
Slot Machines For Home Use
Did you know newer slot machines are smart enough to test themselves when a problem happens? This video shows you the procedure for having the machine check its own system. The host’s desert dry delivery is also enough to make this vid worth a watch.