Jackpot Mini Slot Machine
I was never one for
gambling, but I always harbored an attraction to slot machines. I had a
little green toy slot machine made from plastic when I was a little kid
that ran on batteries, and then my grandpa gave me a nicer one whose
front was made from real metal and only allowed you to pull the lever
after you inserted a penny, which could of course be easily retrieved
of these toy slot machines however had only a single reel, so there was
no variety in the symbols which rolled up. I have little affection for
the flashy electronic video slots of today’s casinos, the
little, humble mechanical devices that took (and sometimes gave)
nickels and quarters and worked by old fashioned clockwork are always
While visiting a friend, I came across a little game called Jackpot at
a game store in the board game section. A little red device the size of
an old fashioned pedometer with slot machine symbols on
its reels that included chips for betting with. It looked
interesting enough, so I brought the game home as a souvenir,
Upon return home I opened it up to find that though it looked nice in
the pictures, it was far less of a toy than the packaging may have
implied. Apparently this device is a reproduction of a miniature slot
game played during the later phases of the Great Depression as a form
of “income” between friends.
It comes in a sturdy, storage box covered in the green felt of gaming
tables. I likely damaged the upper left corner of the box not carrying
it gently due to me assuming that the box was just disposable
packaging. I didn’t realize the box was reusable until I
removed the outer packaging.
miniature “slot machine” has three levers, one for
each reel. It would perhaps have made more sense to have all three
levers be connected by a single bar so that pressing one would press
them all, but they are variants of gameplay recommended in the little
instruction card in which a player can pay to re-spin one of the reels
to improve their result, so having separate levers is really a
necessity and increases the variety of games that can be played.
Simply pressing the lever will turn the reel to a random new symbol,
but it takes a good hard tap to send the reels spinning rapidly like
the real thing. The only complaint or improvement I'd suggest for the slot machine device would be a grip for the base so that it doesn't slide around the table when the levers are struck.
Aside from the slot machine itself, Jackpot also comes with an
instruction card with several suggestions for games for one or multiple
players, a score chart, and 100 plastic chips, (25 red, 25 blue, and 50
white). The chips of course can be replaced with coins for actual
gambling, or better yet, chocolates or jelly beans, which is
appropriate enough as many old slot machines were really
“candy machines”, whose candy could by coincidence
could be “returned” to the shop keeper for money
should the winner not be in the mood for a snack.
I’ve only had the chance to play Jackpot solitaire, and in
this form it’s a fun, somewhat mindless game in which the
odds are greatly stacked against the player, yet is oddly satisfying
and exciting, probably just like an actual slot machine. It’s
probably fun in groups as well.
A video demonstration seems to be in order.
The company that makes Jackpot also made a miniature bingo game with
little cards and spots, and adapted the slot machine into a number
caller, which just like Jackpot, be used for either innocent
non-monetary fun, or actual gambling depending on the
player’s intent, and are fun games of chance for either
children or adults.
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