When it was created during the 1950s, Big Bertha was the biggest slot machine in the world. It is also the first electro-mechanical slot in history. The slot cost more than $150,000 to make, which was a huge amount at the time. It needed a 5 hp engine to operate and was six by ten feet in size. Its wheels, propelled by a chain, were 21 inches. Players had to pull the lever with both arms and some weren’t strong enough to do it. Still, it promised such an impressive payout that players were motivated to use what strength they had.
Big Bertha was the prototype of many modern slots. It’s an important part of slot machine development history. But what were your real chances of winning?
Not unlike many modern slot machines, Big Bertha had a large number of reels. Each reel held 20 symbols, yielding a total of 26 billion combinations. Your chance of winning the jackpot was practically one in 26 billion as just one combination would win it. Chances were slim, to say the least. The fact that the jackpot was a million dollars did little to help your chances. In theory, you’d need to play 26 billion times to hit that one combo. With each spin being a dollar, players would invest 26 billion to reach the jackpot of a million. If that’s not good business!
Unlike this kind of investment, one in creating slot machines is worth its weight in gold. The odds of winning on Big Bertha were practically nonexistent, so she made her makers a lot of money. Millions of people tried their luck in vain.
History of jackpots
The second biggest win someone achieved playing Big Bertha was $65,093, which happened in 1973 in Reno, Harold’s Club. In 2001 in Ontario, a woman won one million dollars. In every event, your luck is all you can rely on, which goes for all slots, not just BB. What’s most notable about it is that it became so popular when it was created that all of the slot manufacturers of the time started making similar machines.
Big Berthas today are few and far between. Those who want to experience it should do research on the venues that provide it. Today, the regular BB has been replaced by Super Big Bertha. SBB has 8 reels with 20 different symbols per reel. Usually, wealthy gamblers choose this slot because of the amount of the jackpot offered. Like most slots, SBB uses a Random Number Generator to choose different number combinations to select a winner. In his case, the numbers are the symbols that appear on the screen once the reels stop spinning.