Finances & Money

What is the history of slot machines?

Slot machines have quickly become one of the most popular casino games. Punters have over thousands of slot games to choose from, whether it is from online casino sites or land-based casinos. We all think that the very first slot machine ever made was the Liberty Bell. However, what is the exact history of slot machines, and how have these changed over time? Let’s find out!

The 1800’s

Ever since the 19th century, slot machines have been in existence. A New York based company, Sittman and Pit, created the first slot game in 1891. The game machine consisted of 5 drums and 50 playing cards, and it could be played in many bars for 1 nickel.  Just like land-based slots of today, players just had to insert the fund and pull the lever, to roll the reels. And, winnings were awarded for lining up poker hands on the reels. However, quickly, 2 card values were removed, to increase the house edge. Also, there were no direct pay-outs; players were paid with free drinks and cigars, at the bar counter.

Charles Augustus Fey, is often believed, to be the inventor of the first slot machine. There’s no exact detail, but it is said that he completed his invention between 1887 to 1895. His invention, the Liberty Bell, would allow automated pay-outs. Instead of 5 drums, the slot machine was made with 5 reels and the card values were replaced with 5 symbols- liberty bell, horseshoe, spade, diamond and heart.

The 1900’s

In 1902, slot machines were officially banned. However, these were still being manufactured and the era of the fruit slot commenced. Given that no monetary prizes could be offered, the fruit slot machine awarded gums or sweets, which corresponded to the fruit symbols aligned. It is only in 1964 that the fully electromechanical slot, Money Honey, was released by Bally. Even if players still needed to pull the lever, the reels were electrically operated. Also, this machine was most famous, as it would award a maximum pay-out of 500 coins.

The popularity of this type of slot game led the way to the release of the first video slot in 1976. Developed by Fortune Coin, the machine used a 19-inch Sony TV for display, and it was available only at Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. The same company was then acquired by IGT, and they released the first online slot, Reel ‘Em, in 1996. This online slot was a revolution as it consisted of bonus rounds and top pay-outs.

The Online World

From 1996 until now, the world of online gambling has known many massive changes. After the success of the first online slot, other slot games were designed and many online casinos were launched. In the beginning, online slots were just online versions of land-based slots; they consisted of the same number of reels and paylines, and the same symbols were used. But, with time and new technologies, other slot games with more reels and paylines, were available.

Today, there are many online casinos which offer top games offered by the best game providers like NetEnt, Microgaming Systems, Play’n Go and DaGacube. But, there’s one casino which still prevails both on land and online. Having land-based casinos in Newcastle, Northampton and London, this brand has recently expanded to launch their online casino, Aspers Online Casino. You can have a look and enjoy the many online slots which are proposed; these can be played on any devices and at any time.


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Susan Paige

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