Definition of One-Armed Bandit

What does the term "one-armed bandit" mean? What is the definition of the term "one-armed bandit"?

The term "one-armed bandit" is a phrase used to describe slot machines.

THe origin of the term One-Armed Bandit - Illustration.The term was first used back in 1895 following the invention of the three reel slot machine with the large arm on one side. This was considered to be the first true "slot machine", and was invented by Charles Fey in 1895.

Let's break down the term:

One-armed: as mentioned, the slot machine had a large arm on its right-hand side, which people would pull down to activate the machine

Bandit: A bandit is another word for a robber or thief. This is derived from the idea that slot machines will leave you lighter in the pocket if you play them.


Given the amount of technological innovation in the world over the past 100+ years, slot machines haven't actually changed that much.

The term "one-armed bandit" is still used to this day.