The Evolution of Slots

If you’re a regular player of online casino games and familiar with the now-thriving selection of online Slots that are now available to play from the comfort of your own home, then you might have wondered where this iconic game began.

And if not, we’re about to tell you anyway!

The Evolution of Slots: eAskme
The Evolution of Slots: eAskme

Other people are at: Global Gambling Giants – The Casino Capitals of The World

As one of the most popular online games today, video Slots have a rich history that’s ready to be discovered.

Now straying away from a lever-triggered format, read on to find out how far Slots have really come.

Let’s take things back to the very beginning.

In 1891, the very first slot machine was developed by New York gaming manufacturers Sittman and Pitt. As you’d expect, these machines were fairly simple, consisting of five metal drums and a deck of 50 playing cards rotating inside.

This original machine was distributed to various bars across America, costing just one nickel to play.

Once the money had been inserted, the player would then have to pull a lever on the side of the machine to get the reels spinning. 

Fun Fact: This is where the nickname “one-armed bandit” was coined from.

To trigger a payout from this machine, players would need to line up winning Poker hands with the spinning cards inside of the metal drums.

With Poker also being a popular game at the time, it was soon found that this format made it a little too easy to win – so, the ten of spades and jack of hearts were soon removed, decreasing the chance of forming a royal flush by a whopping 50%.

In terms of the form of winnings that were available from this machine, there was no direct payout mechanism, so the most that could be earn from lining up a lucrative Poker hand was drinks or cigars collected from the bar.

Meanwhile…

Charles Augustus Fey is also sometimes hailed as one of the first inventors of the slot machine, building several different models on his own volition.

Although he may not always be credited as the inventor of the slot machine, Fey is recognized as the first person to manufacture a machine that could perform its own automatic payouts.

In order for the machine to dish out its own payouts, the reels and symbols had to be simplified.

The slot machine now contained just three reels within the five drums.

And, instead of playing cards, the slot used the following five symbols: diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes and a Liberty Bell icon.

To win the jackpot prize, players had to roll in three of the Liberty Bell symbols.

Fun Fact: Because of this, Fey’s machine was later known as the Liberty Bell!

In 1902, a Chicago-based developer called Herbert Mills created the next big name in the history of slot machines – the Operator Bell.

This machine was met with great success, and by 1908, Mills’ machine could be found in most shops, salons and bowling alleys.

The Operator Bell was also where we first saw the BAR symbol being introduced into the gaming industry, still remaining a prominent and recognized icon in slot games today.

Then came new and improved technology.

By 1964, the first fully elector-mechanical slot came onto the scene, thanks to the still-successful Bally.

This slot was named Money Honey and still required a lever to be pulled in order to get the reels spinning, despite being powered by electricity.

This was nothing more than an attempt to keep the one-armed bandit name alive.

What’s more, Money Honey was also the first slot machine to have the ability to make automatic payouts with real coins.

These were capped at 500 but still an incredibly impressive feat in comparison to the machines that punters were used to.

The dawn of the internet.

Throughout the ‘90s, slot machines continue to progress. The next huge step was undoubtedly the invention and rise of the internet.

Whilst Roulette and Blackjack were the first casino classics to make their debut on the online gaming scene, Slots weren’t far behind.

In 1996, WMS Industries Inc. released an online slot called “Reel ‘Em” – the first video slot to include more than one screen and way to win.

From here, it’s clear to see that online Slots have continued to develop further, with even more themes, features and even the ability to play live from your own home.

Who knows what new aspect will hit the online slot scene next!

Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.

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