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Slot Machine History

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The History of The Slot Machine

Slot machines and real money slots, you’ve heard of them, right? Who hasn’t! They are at the centre of casinos and have the honour of being the most popular casino games ever! But where did they begin? And who invented them and when? We answer all of your pressing questions about the slot machine, so make sure you read on for a mini history lesson!

Read below to learn the history of the slot games of today and how we got here - or play now the best games Slots Racer has to offer:

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Origins of Slot Machine

Let’s take things back to 1891 (a while before www.slotsracer.com entered the video casino world), and a New York based company called Sittman and Pitt as the origins of the slot machine can be first traced back to them. The machine was present in lots of bars in New York, and was made up of 50 playing cards and 5 drums. People would have to pay a nickel for the honour of playing the game. Once they had fed their nickel into the machine they would have to pull a lever to begin their game. So how was it played? Poker card hands were needed to be lined up on the reels in order to win, and the 10 of spades and jack of hearts were removed from the machine in order to increase the edge for the house. The machine didn’t offer any cash prizes, neither did it have the ability to give payouts. This meant that players had to go to the bar to collect their winnings, and this could be things like free snacks and drinks. This is how it also acquired the now famous name, fruit machine!

Charles Augustus Fey – the Liberty Bell

Who is this you ask? Well this is the man who is actually credited with being the inventor of the first slot machine. He invented it sometime during the years 1887-1895, but it’s not known exactly when it was supposed to have happened. He was a very clever man, as he adapted a machine into giving automatic payouts, he achieved this by simplifying things for the machine. Reels were cut down to 3 and replaced the drums completely. What’s more, the playing cards were replaced with the following 5 symbols: spades, diamonds, hearts, a liberty bell and horseshoes. The machine actually became known as the Liberty Bell as they awarded the highest payout! Unfortunately for Fey, he didn’t get a patent for his machine and this meant that the design was used by lots of other companies. 

The Gambling Ban

In 1902 slot machines were banned in the United States, and this prompted the fruit machine to be created! In 1907 the Operator Bell was invented and this marked the first machine to have a BAR symbol in play. At first money wasn’t used as payouts, instead players could expect sweets or chewing gum. By 1908, this version of the slot machine was in bars, clubs and pubs. Bally invented the electromechanical slot machine, and it was named Money Honey. It was still operated with a lever, but then the machine did the rest electrically! This was a big step in the evolution of the slot machines that we know today. Not long after this, the lever was removed completely from new slot machines.

1976 – 1978, The First Video Slot

1976 was the year of the slot! The slot machine business really came into full force as the first video slot machine came into existence. It was brought to the world by a company called Fortune Coin, and their machine used a modified Sony TV screen for the display part. It was first used in a Las Vegas hotel, but the craze soon spread and it became the most popular machine in the Las Vegas Strip. During that time the uk gambling laws and across the world also took up to protect both the casinos and the players.

Slot Machine Games in the UK

Up until 1960, because of laws in Britain, a machine had to have a skill involved in order to win a cash prize. But that all began to change with the invention of the slot machine! As we have discovered, they were created in the US, but their popularity soon spread to Britain. They found happy homes in arcades and pubs, attracting a lot of players. This escalated into the 1980s and 1990s, as slot machines reached the height of their popularity thanks to new video technology – they completely revolutionised slot machines. Reel ‘Em by WMS Industries Inc. would have the honour of being the first video slot that had a bonus round. This would appear on a different screen entirely, and the player had the opportunity to win more prize money during the bonus round. Not only this, but companies were using fun new themes to attract more players, and it worked! During this time, video slots were solely responsible for 70% of some casinos income. They also took over 70% of the floor space, so you can imagine just how popular they were! Visit this website to learn the current state of your favourite games!

The Online Slot World – How are things today

As technology changed and evolved, so did slot machines. With the advent of the internet, it seemed inevitable that slot machines would move into the online world. It was around the mid 1990’s that the first online casino occurred, and there were only a few games on offer like blackjack and roulette. It wouldn’t be long before new and exciting games were created, and they actually gradually became more popular than the traditional ones! There are hundreds of online casinos out there, all offering a wide variety of slot games of varying themes, imaginative bonus features and jackpots. There are so many developers out there, from Microgaming, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play and so many more – too many to list in fact! These companies can be considered the most successful, in particular Microgaming as they are one of the oldest and most established iGaming software suppliers. They have so many games on offer, over 850 original and imaginative casino games to be precise! The online world has enabled so many new players to access slot games, and enjoy all that they have to offer, from free spins to bonus games! Follow this link to find the best slots promotions now!

So there you have it! The slot machine has certainly been on an interesting journey, beginning back in 19th century America and ending up in the online world. However you choose to play slot machine games, in land based casinos or online, we’re sure you’ll have an entertaining gambling experience! For more here!