one-armed bandit


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one-armed bandit

A slot machine designed for gambling in which you pull down a lever on one side that generates a random combination of three shapes, which may or may not award the player money depending on the combination received. After my wife lost her entire month's wages to the one-armed bandits in Atlantic City, we've decided to stay away from casinos altogether.
See also: bandit
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

one-armed bandit

A slot machine, as in It's amazing how many people think they can make money playing a one-armed bandit. This term refers to both appearance and function: the operating lever looks like an arm, and the machine in effect robs players, since it "wins" and keeps the player's money in an overwhelming majority of instances. [c. 1930]
See also: bandit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Just check your number against the Sunday People one-armed bandit above right and you could "hit the jackpot" in an instant.
Because of connections with the lucrative fruit machine business, which were being put in nightclubs in the region at the time, the death of 33-year-old Sibbet became known as the 'one-armed bandit murder.'.
It adds: "In his dramatic, but above all, honest, autobiography, Dennis tells of daring prison escapes, living on the run in the Caribbean and South Africa, how he survived a shooting attempt by a jealous girlfriend, and, for the first time, the full story on the miscarriage of justice surrounding the One-Armed Bandit Murder."
Check your SIX Hit The Jackpot numbers with the numbered boxes on our Sunday People one-armed bandit. For example, if 01 is one of your numbers, look for box 1 which contains a symbol (for example, a bunch of grapes).
Sleepless Scot's internet win from pounds 1 bet From Page One is like a computer version of a one-armed bandit. He was up to pounds 250 after a few wins in a row.
As he runs away in jubilation, his eyes roll maniacally, spinning like the reels of a one-armed bandit before locking on the jackpot winning line.
Midland brewer Bass has hit a pounds 70million jackpot by selling off its big fruit machine distributor BLMS, completing its withdrawal from the one-armed bandit business.
Now things at the Plume And Feathers at Weedon, Northants, have been going kerchunk in the night as flutter fan George takes to the one-armed bandit for his nightly poltergeist pay-out.
Cisse got less change out of former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong and ex-Sunderland centre-back Michael Turner than a penny gambler from a one-armed bandit, but Pardew's problems run deeper than results on the pitch.
The killing became known as the One-Armed Bandit murder and partly inspired the 1971 gangster classic Get Carter, starring Michael Caine and Britt Eckland and set in the North-East.
I had just kicked and furiously shaken one of the one-armed bandit machines which had swallowed all my money without paying out the jackpot.
However, the way certain sections of the right-wing Press are behaving you'd think that anyone who sets foot in a casino or puts a few pence into a one-armed bandit is on the road to financial ruin.
"He staked a pound on a slot machine game, - like a computer version of a one-armed bandit. He was up to pounds 250 after a few wins in a row.
Both men say they were at La Dolce Vita nightclub in Newcastle when the killing, dubbed the One-Armed Bandit Murder, occurred.
Luvaglio, his brother Vince Landa and Sibbett were partners, supplying one-armed bandit machines to clubs throughout the North-East.