If you go to downtown Las Vegas, you might find a curiosity of a slot machine in some of the casinos, featuring tokens in the upper section. The Silver Strike slot machine is a bit of a novelty today, but in their heyday they were found at casinos across the country.
The tokens they dispense were originally made of silver and came in a variety of valuations and sizes. Over the years, the formulation of the token itself has changed to keep pace with inflation, and nowadays most coins are simply clad and don’t have any real quantity of silver.
IGT, who developed the game, stopped supporting the machines, and with that change many casinos over time removed them, until there were only a few casinos left with them.
The game is pretty straightforward, as a three-reel slot machine in format. Land the Silver Strike symbol on the payline and you win a token. You can redeem the token at the cashier for the value on the token, but many keep and collect them. This becomes a win/win for the casino, which doesn’t spend the amount on the token to produce them.
Each machine has a cabinet that has on the left and right sides above the reels a display to show what tokens are available. In between those columns is a spinning container with six pods, each of which hold Silver Strike tokens.
By far the largest supporter of the format is the Four Queens, which features multiple token sets, has the only $40 token dispensing machine that is active right now. The $40 coins are distinguishable by its gold-colored casing in the machine.
Only one machine out of the dozen or so at Four Queens offers this coin, and it’s located near the front of the building with a stanchion sign nearby. It’s a challenge to get one, but I managed it during my visit.
Four Queens is also the only casino to have a multi-line Silver Strike machine. And they even host a Silver Strike tournament periodically. So their commitment to the program is rock solid.
Four Queens offers different series of tokens over time to keep the game fresh for players. This includes special editions and higher valuation tokens, many of which are marked with different cap colors to help them stand out in the machines. This can encourage more play from players chasing a special token.
El Cortez has also kept their machine active as well over time, but they don’t update their tokens as frequently. They, too, occasionally will offer special tokens.
With a new company now installing and supporting them, they’ve been popping up in a few new casinos:
- The Plaza in downtown Las Vegas
- Route 66 Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Coushatta in Kinder, Louisiana
It remains to be seen what they’ll do around token rotation, but the fact that casinos are bringing them in is an exciting development.
As you can expect, their is a collector’s market for out of circulation tokens, and you can find them on eBay and in various circles. A Silver Strikers Club, with a website and forums, offers a lot of great information for fans of the slot and its tokens. You can become a member for a modest donation annually.
For players who visit downtown, visiting all three casinos to collect the tokens available can be a fun pastime. I collected all four of the Plaza tokens, all four of the active Four Queens $10 tokens, the $40 token, and what appeared to be the two available at the Plaza (the Silver Strikers website says there’s three, but only two were displayed at the machine in the top box).