Slot Machines History
Without any doubt, slot machines have enriched the world of entertainment from the moment they were introduced.
Slot machines as people in the US call them, or poker machines/pokie in Australia as well as fruit machines in the UK, are machines that have an interesting history. Modern slots are very different compared to their predecessors. Modern slot players can make a selection from a long list of online slots and they can also enjoy incredibly high progressive jackpot wins too.
Those who have knowledge in this field agree that Charles Fey was the person that has invented the slot machines, but there is a disagreement about the exact date when the first slot machines were introduced. Namely, some say that this inventor displayed the first slot machine in 1887 while others say that it was in 1895. But, what is important is to understand that modern slot machines are almost nothing like the first slot machines which were using cards.
Of course, Charles Fay was not born to create this incredible machine. In fact, he was born in Germany and had 15 older brothers and sisters. Just like most of his siblings, he started working at early age – 14. Since he was afraid that he will be drafted as a soldier during the First World War, he migrated to France where he was working as an instrument maker.
A year after his uncle migrated to New Jersey, USA, Charles Fey (23 years old then) made one of the most important decisions in his life – he moved to America. Prior to going to New Jersey he visited San Francisco and worked at Electric Works. Charles and one of his coworkers have founded a company in the same industry. During this period of time, he invented the popular slot machine.
The first machine of this kind acted as a mechanical gambling machine. It was based on poker and Charles was inspired by poker automation when he designed this machine. The first slot machine had three spinning reels and five symbols – the Liberty Bell, spades, horseshoes, hearts and diamonds.
The name of the machine is based on the Liberty Bell which was the first symbol for a jackpot. Three liberty bells in a row brought the highest payout. The slot machine became an instant hit. Even though such form of gambling was illegal in California, there were many other states where Charles promoted his invention.
Some of the first slot machines were using fruit symbols too and they gave payouts which consisted of fruit flavored gums. Today, the symbols of melons, cherries, and bars have become classic symbols. The well-known bar symbol is the original logo of the Bell-Fruit Gum Company. The prizes in the form of candies and gums were here to avoid the legal consequences under the anti-gambling law.
Another important year in the history of slots is 1963. This is the year when Bally Technologies introduced the Money Honey slot machine – the first electromechanical slot machine in the world. The popularity of slot machines has increased significantly after the introduction of this first completely electronic slot machine. Players found them quite convenient because the only thing they had to do is to press a button (instead of pulling the lever). In addition, the new machines had some unique features like the ability to keep reels for another spin or the chance to nudge reels.
The technology was advancing rapidly and so did the electronic casino games. It didn’t take much time before the video slots were introduced. They didn’t rely on physical reels – they were replaced with graphics. This was the first time when players got a chance to play second screen slot games. In other words, they could play bonus rounds on a completely new screen.
We should also mention another crucial event in the history of slots. Namely, at the end of the 20th century, people got a chance to play online slots. The majority of online casinos back then (and today) had different slot games in their offer. Today, slots are one of the top 5 most popular casino games. There are hundreds of different games like this found online.
So, even online slot games have been improved significantly in the last few years. If you take a closer look at the offer provided by the most popular casinos, you will notice that there are many different games based on various themes and all these games haves specific features and rules. There are also many online slots that have attractive progressive jackpots.
The creators of online slot games are doing their best to improve them and they keep adding new features that will make their games stand out and satisfy the needs of modern slot players. Playing online slots is definitely a very interesting activity.