Slots are the most popular casino games. Many players around the world enjoy this interesting form of entertainment. The question is when the first slot machines were created and how their development went.
The first slot machine with a simple mechanism was made by Sittman and Pitt in 1891. The game had five reels with 50 playing cards. The player would simply insert a coin, pull the lever and wait for his pair of poker cards. These appliances were placed in bars, and the payments were mostly in the form of drinks. In order to avoid higher payments, the owners of the bars took out two cards from the machines – a ten and the heart. In that way, they reduced the probability of getting a flash. The Sittman and Pitt machines are considered to be the first slot machines, but their concept and mechanism were different from what would later be known as the first slot machine.
The first slot machines
The first slot machine is considered to be the invention of Charles Augustin Feya, the Liberty Bell slot. There is no precise information when Faye invented this machine, but it is known that it was in the period between 1887 and 1895. Faye reduced the number of possible gains by replacing the existing five reels with three reels. So, his machine had three reels with five symbols – a diamond, a leaf, a heart, a horseshoe and a “bell of freedom”, that is Liberty Bell, after whom the machine was named. The machine gained great popularity, and as Faye did not apply for a patent for his design, many other manufacturers copied it. So it happens that Chicago leaders in the mechanical gambling device industry make a machine with a similar name, Operator Bell.
Slots – the first video slot
In 1902, slot machines were banned, winnings could no longer be monetary, but were chewing gum with thumbnails of flavors marked with symbols. In this way, the era of machines with fruit symbols begins. The famous cherry and watermelon symbols come from the Operator Bell machine, and the BAR symbol that has become common on today’s slot machines comes from the earlier Bell Fruit Gum logo. It was this company that developed the first electromechanical video slot machine called Money Honey. The game was extremely popular, but it kept the leverage because the players had the impression that they controlled the game that way. Shortly afterward, the lever was removed from the slot machine.
The Fortune Coin Company from Las Vegas created the first video slot in 1976! The game used a modified Sony TV for display. The game was first available at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas and then experienced incredible success.
The next milestone in slot history came in 1996 when WMS Industries Inc. created by Reel ’Em. This is the first video slot to have a second-round bonus on the screen. When the bonus round started, a completely different screen was displayed, on which the bonus game took place. The additional payouts could also be obtained during the bonus round. During this time, slots became incredibly popular.
Development of online slots
Online slots are on the rise in the mid-90s! The great boom of the internet also brought the development of the first online casinos. Initially, only classic casino games such as roulette and blackjack were available, but soon there was an expansion of slots. Slots are taking precedence and becoming more popular than classic casino games. In the beginning, the style of games was simple, but with the development of programming, the restrictions were removed and soon new types of games appeared with interesting themes and unusual appearance and structure.
Today, there are online slots with more than five reels and an unconventional look. Slots delight with a multitude of different themes, beautiful symbols with innovative and imaginative bonus rounds. There are many manufacturers of online games, one of the most famous and oldest is the company Microgaming. Their collection of slots exceeds 500 different titles. As for jackpot slots, they are also booming with the advent of the online gaming world. The first online jackpot slot was Cash Splash, a Microgaming provider.
As we can conclude, slot machines have changed and improved over time, but their purpose has always been the same, and that is fun! You can read other tutorials here to get acquainted with casino games!