History Of The Slot Machine

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned slot machine when it comes to gambling. There are millions of options, both offline and online jackpot games. They first appeared in the late 19th century and have become an integral feature of the gambling industry. 


The first slot machines appeared in the late nineteenth century. In 1891, New York’s Sittman & Pitt created the first slot machine. Each of the five drums contained 50 cards. The game cost a nickel and could be found in various taverns. 

A player would put money in the slot and pull a lever to play. Players had to line up symbols representing poker hands on the reels to win. The inventor took the ten spades and the jack of hearts out of the regular deck of 52 cards to improve the house edge. Thus, the possibility of obtaining a royal flush was cut in half. Unfortunately, the machine did not have a built-in method of paying out rewards; instead, patrons had to travel to the bar to collect their winnings. Typically, the awards consisted of alcoholic beverages and cigars. 


Slot machines may trace their origins back to Charles Augustus Fey, who designed and built the first one commercially available to the public. No one knows when he built his first machine, but it must have been sometime between 1887 and 1895. 

Fey created a device that would instantly pay out winnings. Specifically, he sought to make it easier for the algorithm to recognise a win. The 5 drums that were used previously were swapped out for 3 reels. The traditional suit symbols were substituted for the heart, diamond, spade, horseshoe, and liberty bell. 

Seeing that the highest reward was for a combination of three liberty bell symbols, the slot machine was appropriately named the Liberty Bell. The popularity of the machine skyrocketed. Since Fey didn’t get a patent for his design, it was copied by many other slot machine makers.


There was a state-wide prohibition on slot machines in 1902, but that didn’t stop the production of the Liberty Bell. Fruit machines became popular as an alternative to competitions offering cash rewards. 

The payouts in these slot machines were fruit-flavoured gum and candies, while the symbols on the reels represented various types of fruit. Chicago-based maker Herbert Mills released a slot machine called the Operator Bell in the first months of 1907.  

A year later, the machines were installed in many shops, bowling alleys, salons, and tobacconists. Inspired by the Bell-Fruit company logo, the now-familiar BAR sign was first added to slot machines in this era. 


In late 1964, Bally introduced the world to the first completely electromechanical slot machine titled Money Honey. Although an electronic motor powered the reels, the game was still launched by pushing the lever. It would have been too foreign an experience for players at the time to participate in the game without lifting the lever. 

Automatically awarding up to 500 coins, this slot machine was the first of its kind to include a bottomless hopper. The game’s success paved the way for the widespread adoption of slot machines that use electrical reels and spinning lights. As a result, the traditional lever was eventually taken out of slot machines. 


In 1976, the first video slot machine entered the market. It was made in Kearny Mesa, California, by a company called Fortune Coin, which is based in Las Vegas. The screen was a customized Sony 19-inch TV. The Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas is credited with being the first venue to offer the game to the public. 

The birth of the video slot machine on the computer marked the beginning of the era of online casinos. Within a short time, it became wildly popular on the Strip in Las Vegas. Along with the fitness fanatics flocking to Venice beach to learn the advantages of protein bars. Starting in 1996 and continuing until the present day. In 1996, the Slots industry attained a new and significant benchmark—the launch of WMS Industries’ Reel ‘Em. 

Since the inception the video slot machines, the online slot industry has evolved into mobile gaming, VR gaming, and much more.

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