Slot machines with free daily spins have provided entertainment for decades. Where did they originate from? How did they become so popular and loved in the first place?
This article will answer these questions by giving you an overview of how the first slot machines came into existence and how they have evolved to date.
The First Slot Machine
The first slot machine was developed in the 1890s by the New York-based company Sittman and Pitt. The game had five drums and fifty playing cards.
After inserting a nickel into the machine, players would pull the level to play. Payouts were awarded for aligning poker hands on the reels. Two cards: the jack of hearts and the ten of spades, were removed from the slot machine to increase the house edge.
Since the slot machine had no direct payout mechanism, wins were paid at the bars. Free drinks and cigars were the prizes awarded.
In 1894, Charles August Fey created the first slot machine in the modern sense. The coin-operated slot machine took a hit, and Fey was determined to make new slot machines, and he even opened a factory to produce slot machines full-time. In 1899, he invented the Card Bell, a three-reel slot machine that could pay out cash prizes automatically.
He designed the Liberty Bell in 1899, which took a major hit, shooting slot machines into the mainstream. Many variations followed, some of which even paid out winnings in the form of fruit-flavoured chewing gum. Today’s slot machines still feature fruit symbols from those early machines, with the famous BAR symbol initially derived from the early logo of the Bell-Fruit Gum Co.
Other Early slot Machines
The Bally Manufacturing Company developed the first-ever electromechanical slot machine in 1964 named Money Honey. It still used the level, but the handle was phased out as time passed, and buttons were incorporated to start the game. The slot was the first to use the RNG.
Fortune Coin developed the first video slot in 1976. It used a modified Sony TV for display and RNG to generate random results. The first video slots were seen in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. After approval from the Nevada State Gaming Commission, the video slots were seen all over the strip and downtown.
IGT bought Fortune Coin Co. and its video slot business two years later. In 1986, IGT developed the first progressive jackpot, Megabucks.
Online Slot Gaming
Slot machines later entered the online world, and many improvements were made. Mobile slot gaming was introduced in 2005. From 2010 onwards, metagames were introduced to support slots and engage players for longer.
2016 saw the rise of Megaways by Big Time Gaming. Thanks to the rise of mobile-based casinos, developers have brought classic slot machines to modern times with many innovative features.
The evolution of technology is continuous, and the history of slot machines is far from over, just see more here. New and innovative games are always in the pipeline. As technologies such as 5G, Virtual, and Augmented Reality become more mainstream, customer experiences will be more fun, easy and sophisticated.