Evolution of Slot Machines

The history of slot machines is quite complex. Slot machines are a mainstay in many Casino’s throughout the world. They are also one of the biggest reasons that millions of people visit casino’s each year. It’s not often however, that people stop to think just exactly where these machines came from and who is responsible for inventing them.

Slot machines began appearing in the late 1800’s in California, although the first machines are quite different from what we see in modern day casino’s. The early version slot machines had card numbers in the place of fruit symbols that we mostly see today. The reason card symbols were used, was because it was a familiar gambling symbol which players were easily able to relate to.

In fact, rumor has it that the first slot machines were more used as a way to keep the women occupied while they’re husbands played poker. Ladies weren’t allowed in poker rooms back then.

It wasn’t until 1899 that the first modern day machine was created. Charles Fey created the machine called “The Liberty Bell“. This machine got it’s name from the symbol of a cracked Liberty Bell that was used as the main symbol. Upon placing this first machine in a San Francisco saloon, it caused such a huge sensation that Charles quit his job and concentrated entirely on his new invention.

And then there were symbols!

In 1909, Stephen Mill modified Fey’s design and added a total of ten different symbols to each reel, thus making the machine more compact and easier to install. This machine in turn replaced the original design created by Fey.

It was through these inventions that slot machines became as popular as they are today. During it’s early days the slot machine was heavy and required more elbow grease to maneuver. They old machines also made it easier for one to cheat. You could insert a small stick into the mechanism and cause the machine to stop spinning wherever you wanted.

In 1964 the very first electronic micro-processor slot machines were released on the market. This helped put an end to cheating and also meant that a machine could offer a much larger jackpot than ever before.

In 1975 the very first video-based slot machine was invented by Walt Freely. Freely named his new invention the “Fortune Coin”. This was a simple machine consisting of a TV screen, coin hopper and computer unit. People were at first skeptical of these new machines which meant no more spinning real life reels, instead those were replaced by computerized reels.

Video poker machines helped to make video-based slots a success. Once people found out that video poker games were fair, they all of a sudden decided to trust the video game slots as well.

Three-reeled slot machines have grown from a simple 3 slot machine to well over 9 slots. In some cases there could be even more reels. There is also a huge variety of symbols, pay lines, bet sizes, side games and jackpots.

In most recent years, the slot machines have now arrived online where it’s possible to gamble without ever leaving your home. You can register at the online gambling sites for free and play either for fun, or for money. With hundreds of online gambling sites offering secure connections and huge payouts, it’s no wonder that thousands of people have already signed up to give these online casino’s a try.

Who knows what changes are in store for the slot machines in the next hundred years? It seems that only time will tell what may come of these attractive gambling machines.