Slot Games – The History and Evolution

Slot machines are almost inevitable in all casinos around the globe, both online and land-based. The reason is simple, they are incredibly popular! In the leading online casinos (check out free slot games with bonus rounds no download no registration), you’re probably going to find a massive variety of slot games available. But, how did everything start? Get ready for a brief history of slot machines!

The history of slot machines goes back many years and there are two accepted accounts of who and how originally came up with this idea. According to the first version, the Liberty Bell machine was the first slot machine. Charles Fey, an American, invented it in 1887. The Liberty Bell was rather simple and it featured only 3 reels and five symbols: a Liberty Bell (that’s why it got that name), a diamond, a heart, a spade and a horse shoe. The second version is that two guys Pitt and Sittman inaugurated the machine in 1891 (and that Fey invented his own version not before 1895); it was based on poker and the cards were featured on 5 spinning drums (10 cards on each, because there were only 50 cards used) that would display on each spin a five-card hand. The better the poker hand, the more a gambler could win.

slot machine 2Apparently, these two devices had both similarities and differences. A player was required to pull a lever in order to start the drums or reels spinning; that’s why the slot machines became referred to as “one-armed bandits”. Another similarity between these two devices was the basic principle: the players had to insert a coin and the amount they won depended on the result of the spin.

When it comes to the main difference between the Liberty Bell and the device developed by Pitt and Sittman, the first had a mechanism that dispensed coins automatically based on the results of the spin, whereas the latter did not. The reason was simple; the five reels with 50 cards gave more possible combinations compared to 3 reels with only 5 symbols. And, although both machines were installed in saloons and bars, the simpler version became more popular. In fact, the Liberty Bell was the machine that actually began the slot machine boom around the globe. Other companies soon started with manufacturing their own versions of slot machines and the industry was truly and well established.

Even though the early versions served a purpose and apparently entertained and attracted many people, they were rather basic. As time went by, the slot machines became improved and more sophisticated. Among the most significant developments in the history of slot machines was the use of fruit symbols on the reels. As a matter of fact, in some countries, slot games are still known as fruit machines.

Many years later, Bally Manufacturing made probably the most significant development; in 1963 the company made Money Honey, the first electronic slot machine. Instead of pulling a lever, the players started games by pressing a button. The electronic slot machines evolved even further, following the invention of video games. There were no physical reels and everything was displayed graphically on a screen.

slot machine 3Finally, the last big development came approximately 2 decades ago when online casinos emerged. Early online casinos were offering a wide range of slot games and, in general, they still do this today. Slots are among the most popular online casino games with deluxe casino bonus offered to players.

The slot machines have evolved a lot since the early versions. Nowadays, it’s possible to find games based on almost any theme and there are new features and rules. This is especially true for the companies that create and develop online slot games; they are continually improving offers and features in order to provide players something fun and unique.