History of Online Slots

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If you’ve ever been to a casino, you’ve probably noticed how popular slot machines are. Their simplicity plays a big part in this success: just one lever to pull or button to press, and you can potentially hit the jackpot! A very addicting game of chance, for some.

Born in the 19th century in the land of Uncle Sam, they are still one of the best hits among casino games. It is estimated that about 30% of the profits of casinos come from these machines!

Whether we call them “slot machines” (France), ” pokies ” (Australia, about the poker symbols that the very first machine displayed) or ” fruit machine ” (in England, because many classic machines had fruits for symbols), these games have a long and rich history behind them.

Who invented slot machines?

Sittman and Pitt, the precursors

The earliest occurrence of what most resembles a slot machine dates back to 1891. It was invented by the Sittman & Pitt company, based in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York.

Although the essentials are there (the lever mechanism and the game’s principle), this slot machine was more like a poker machine. Indeed, the symbols are cards, and the concept is that of poker. On the machine are five drums containing 50 cards, face down.

Instead of pushing a button, the machine was equipped with a lever that you had to pull after placing money inside. Then the drums would spin the cards, and the goal was to get a firm “hand” (= a right combination of cards, like in poker).

The rewards for these machines were not automatic. Sometimes the prize could be a beer to collect at the bar where they were available!

We can therefore see this machine as the precursor of a real slot machine.

Charles Fey and the Liberty Bell

The first to adopt the principle of symbols was not invented until 1895 by a man called Charles Fey in California. His machine (the Liberty Bell, or “freedom bell,” a symbol of American independence) had three reels and could trigger payments automatically.

Unlike Sitmann & Pitt’s cards, Fey’s machine included symbols: hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes, not to mention the famous freedom bell that gave it its name!

These symbols had to line up to create a winning payout. Its operation’s simplicity earned it a colossal success, so much so that the competition quickly copied the machine.

As his popularity grew, people began to call him the one-armed bandit about the single-lever placed on the side of the machine.

With great success, Fey ended up opening the Slot Machine Factory in 1896. Today, the original Liberty Bell can no longer be played but can be admired at the Reno Museum (a gambling town like Las Vegas), where it is. Exposed.

The evolution of slot machines: a long history of innovation

Since their creation, these gaming machines have come a long way and have continued to improve.

The launch of electronic machines brought about a very symbolic change in size: removing its lever!

You no longer need to pull the latter down to spin the rollers; a push of a button was enough to activate them. The rollers have also evolved, passing to the number of 5 instead of the three original rollers.

Here is a brief history of these developments

1891  – Sitmann and Pitt invent the first gaming machine based on the lever principle.

1895  – Charles Fey invents the Liberty Bell, the first slot machine with automatic payout and three reels. At the time, the biggest payout from this machine was ten pennies.

1907  – After slot machines were banned in 1902, a new machine was started by a man named Herbert Mills. It is when the first fruit symbols appear on the reels. Instead of coins, the rewards are in the form of fruit candies, hence its nickname.

1963  – Bally introduces the first electromechanical machine. It was called Money Honey and incorporated electronic rollers but retains the famous lever. It also allows you to pay up to 500 coins automatically. After a while, having gained popularity, the lever is removed from the machine and replaced with a button.

1976  – The very first video slot machine is invented. It is created in California by a Las Vegas company called Fortune Coins. The original machine is equipped with a Sony TV to display the machine’s videos and is shown for the first time at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. Shortly after, the machine was very successful and was installed in almost all the hotels on the Las Vegas strip.

1994  – A turning point with the appearance of the very first online casino (Gaming Club Casino) to introduce video slots. A massive success in the gaming industry is played by millions of people worldwide without physically visiting a casino.

2012  – A study in England concludes that citizens of that country spend around £ 5 billion on video slots, both online and in physical casinos. Now imagine the sums generated by these machines on a global scale!

3D slot machines

A few years ago, a whole new generation of 3D video slots hit the market. Available online and in land-based casinos, they do not require special glasses to enjoy them.

That’s why designers try to make symbols and characters as lively as possible. These slot machines’ graphics look so real that it sometimes seems like they jump out at you. They are quite similar to video slots, except for their significantly higher quality.

Always as attractive as ever, these state-of-the-art machines are proof that the slot machine industry continues to grow and develop every day.

No one can predict which innovations will come to renew this more than century-old invention. But what is impressive to note is how such a simple machine has become so important in the entertainment industry!

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