The History of Slot Machines: From the First Mechanical Slot to the Online Slots of Today

Slots have come a long way since their invention more than a century ago. They are now at the heart of the gambling industry and are famous, thanks to their simple rules and straightforward gameplay at Pay by Mobile Slots.

From the traditional one-armed bandits to online slots, let us look at the history of one of the industry’s most enduring and popular games. 

The Beginning

The history of slots starts with the New York-based company Sittman and Pitt in 1891. The company manufactured a machine with five drums and 50 playing cards. It costs a nickel to play. Players could pull the lever to line up winning poker hands on the reels. Payouts were in the form of free cigars and drinks.

The First Slot Machine

The first proper form of the slot machine can be traced back to 1895 when Charles Fey invented the first three-reel slot—the Liberty Bell. The machine featured diamonds, hearts, spade symbols on each reel, and an image of a cracked Liberty Bell. Wins were awarded for arranging three Liberty Bells in a row. The maximum prize was ten nickels or fifty cents.

This machine’s popularity grew quickly, leading to variations and improvements over time. Some of these machines paid out winnings as fruit-flavoured chewing gum. Some modern slots still feature the popular melon and cherry symbols inspired by those early machines.

The Operator Bell

In 1907, Herbert Mills, a Chicago-based manufacturer, produced the slot machine dubbed Operator Bell. The machine was based on the now-popular Liberty Bell. By 1908, this machine could be found in many bowling alleys, salons, and shops.

The Money Honey

The Money Honey by The Bally Manufacturing Co. was the first electromechanical slot machine. It was developed in 1964, and though it still had a lever, the reels were entirely electrical. The slot also had a bottomless hopper and was the first machine to pay out 500 coins. With time, the lever was replaced by buttons.

The Fortune Coin

  Another notable invention in the history of the slot comes from Fortune Coin, the creators of the first video slot, in 1976. The slot used a modified Sony Tv screen for display. The game was first played in Las Vegas Hilton Hotel before being approved to be played across the state by the Nevada State Gaming Commission.

Online Slots

The internet boom in the 1990s began the era of online casinos, which ushered in a new age in the history of slots. Initially, it was met with much disapproval and scepticism from gamblers, and authorities were concerned that it would encourage illegal activities such as money laundering. Gamblers also feared that it would limit the enjoyment factor that came with the physical game.

In 1994, the first online casino was created by Microgaming. Around this time, the developer also released a new slot game, Cash Splash. Since then, there have been thousands of slots of games released.

The history of slots is far from over. As technology continues to evolve and the continued improvements in mobile devices and internet speeds, there is hope for slot machines.

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