History of the Slot Machine
In online gaming, slots are the most popular of all. Irrespective of where you play – online or land-based casino, there are thousands of thrilling games to choose from. Have you ever wondered when it all started? How casinos and slot machines came into play? Surprisingly, it has a rich history as it dates back more than a hundred years now!
With evolving technology and gaming demands the trend and popularity of slots and casino keep establishing new benchmarks year on year. In this blog, let’s have a look at the history of slot machines which has come a long way starting from 100 years ago.
Sittman and Pitt – the Inventor of the Slot Machine
Sittman and Pitt was a New-York based company that developed a slot machine in 1891 which is considered as the first slot machine of all time. It was based on poker, using 50 card faces. It was not having 10 of spades and the jack of hearts, thus increasing the house edge and cutting down the chances of a royal flush. It was having 5 drums and 1 spin which cost a nickel. It became very popular and several bars started keeping this machine for the entertainment of their visitors. At that time this machine had no direct payout system and the prizes were declared by the establishment where the game was played which often included cigars or frees beers.
Liberty Bell – the First ever Real Slot Machine
The first real slot machine was created by Charles Fey in 1895, who was a car mechanic in San Francisco. He reduced the machine to just 3 drums and added to it the automatic payouts for winning symbol combinations. This replaced the earlier machine with just 5 symbols; spades, diamonds, hearts, horseshoes and a liberty bell.
Operators Bell – the First Fruit Machine
With the growing demand and popularity of Fey’s slot machine, another developer Herbert Mills, a Chicago based manufacturer created and introduced his first slot machine in 1907 and called it Operators Bell. It was packed with fruit symbols which are still there in today’s slots. Owing to prohibition and gambling laws, slot machines could no longer pay out cash prizes. It was during this time that the BAR symbol was integrated with the reels, which was actually the logo of the Bell-Fruit gum company.
Money honey – the first electromechanical slot machine
With these inventions, the slot machines remained popular all over the year with many more companies manufacturing machines creating a new one which was found in bars, casinos, and tobacconists. The next major slot machine was introduced in 1963. The gaming machine manufacturer Bally introduced money honey which was a fully electromechanical slot machine with a new feature a bottomless hopper. In this, the lever was replaced with buttons and it could enable automatic payouts of up to 500 coins.
Fortune Coin – the first Video Slot
The first true video slot was introduced in 1976, by a California based manufacturer which was named Fortune Coin Co. In this, first time a 19-inch Sony television screen was used as a monitor to display. It was also having the logic boards for all the slot machine functions. It was a full-sized slot machine cabinet and the Nevada State Gambling Commission instructed many modifications of the original game to prevent cheating. But it was then introduced in the infamous Las Vegas strip where it became very popular.
The first online casino was launched in the mid-1990’s with the boom of the internet. This resulted in advancement in the slot machine. Nowadays, you can select from hundreds of online slot machines with a diverse range of themes and cutting-edge graphical and sound quality. There are several types of slots like progressive jackpot slots which have wagers on selected games across all casinos, offering the life-changing prizes.
With the growing popularity of mobile gaming, manufacturers of casino games started investing in the development of mobile-friendly slots also. By developing slots using HTML5 technology, it could create a responsive design and are compatible with most modern devices running on iOS or Android both. New slots are introduced every day by game developers, for both mobile and desktop gaming.