The history of slot machines

Walk into any casino, and you’ll be greeted by a queue of slot machines constantly being fed by avid players. Slots have also made their way into nearly every UK pub, takeaway, and taxi stand, enticing us to try them and let the flashes spin. But where did slot machines come from, how did they evolve, and why did they have such a strange choice of symbols?

The First Slot Machine

The first slot machine ever invented was designed by Sittman and Pitt in 1891. Their device has five drums with playing cards on them. Prizes are paid based on the best poker hand that can be made with five cards. It was hugely popular as the first game of its kind. Still, the game’s complexity, with fifty different cards and thousands of possible combinations, meant there were too many ways to win to allow for automatic payouts.

The slot machine as we know it today was invented by Charles Fey around 1895. He understands that simplicity is the key. Fey reduces the device to just three reels with five possible symbols, reducing the number of possible combinations and making automatic payouts easy. Fey first gave us the bell symbol, or the Liberty Bell at the time.

Over the next decade, slot machines were popularized by Herbert Mills, who sold them all over the United States, from bars to barbershops to brothels. To circumvent some state gambling laws, machines paid fruit-flavoured gum as prizes and gave us melon and cherry symbols. The “bar” symbol appeared a little later, an adaptation of the logo of Bell-Fruit Corp, one of the largest slot machine manufacturers in the 1950s.

The Design of the Slot Machine

The design of the slot machine, or fruit machine known for its symbols, remained unchanged until Bally Manufacturing released the first fully electronic slot machine called Money Honey in the early 1960s. It was the first machine to have many features we take for granted today, such as B. Character holding and pushing. It was also the first to be activated by pressing a button rather than pulling a mechanical lever.

The first video slot machines appeared in 1976, followed by second-screen games in 1996. Despite these technological advances, many casino customers still enjoy the physical thrill of pulling a lever on traditional machines. You will likely see these “slot machines” because you are the high-tech version.

Of course, these days, you can play many slot games online without going near the casino or pulling any levers. These range from traditional games that still use symbols like cherries, melons and bells to the latest themed games covering everything from historical stories to shortcuts to the latest mobile apps.

As slot machines moved online, land-based casinos had to find new ways to attract players to keep their reels spinning and increase their winnings. One idea proposed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board is to add a skill element to the game by rewarding players with successful skills by combining popular video game culture with slot machines.

Whatever the future of slot machines, whether online or at a casino, one thing is sure: there will always be players waiting to play slots.

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