Casino Slot Machines: Then and Now

Before speaking about slots let’s see when the first gambling machine appeared. Be aware that a gambling machine and a slot machine isn’t the same. So, the first gambling machine appeared in the 19th century and it was invented by Sittman and Pitt. In fact, it was like video poker as there were used playing face cards as symbols and the payout depended on poker hands. But if you had played then you wouldn’t have got money in the case of a win. Your win would have been food or drinks from the bar in which the gambling machine was situated. A little later there appeared the first slot machine, which was based on the same principle.

Nearly everybody knows what a slot is. Even if you have never played slots you have seen them for sure. Nowadays slots are an integral part of all modern casinos. Gamblers take slots for granted, millions of people play slots, but very few know when they were invented and who was the inventor.

All slots at modern casinos are based on the construction, which was invented by Charles Fey in 1887. The first slot consisted of three mechanically spinning reels. Every reel had ten sections with different pictures on them. If three equal pictures come out at the same time it was a win. In 1889 there appeared slots, which gave an opportunity to win the jackpot. Then the jackpot was paid when the total weight of all coins in a slot machine ran up to a certain edge. But slots of this kind didn’t exist for a long time, as they didn’t make a profit for slot owners as players found a way out. It was enough to punch a playing machine and the coins came out. The next version of the game was much simpler. There were three sections (or slots) inside of a playing machine. When a player made a bet to play a slot the coin fell in one of the 3 sections. One of the sections was a winning section. If the coin fell in a winning section a player got three coins back. Later slots became more and more popular. For example, there were up to 2000 slot machines only in San Francisco. In 1895 there was invented a slot machine, on which all modern slots are based. Fey’s slot was called “Liberty Bell”. The slot consisted of three parallel discs with numbers on them. A player pulled the lever, which made the discs reel. A certain number combination was a winning combination. Then the combination of numbers “4-11-44” was a winning combination.

There were a lot of disputes about slots and their right for existence. In the 20th century they were forbidden in the USA. As a result there appeared so-called “Liberty Bell Gum Fruit” slots. The principle was the same, but people used these machines for buying a bubble gum and with the bubble gum they got an opportunity to win money, they were given a spin. The symbols were different fruits, the most popular tastes of a chewing gum. That’s why these machines were called “fruit machines”. And still a lot of slots have the same symbols. Moreover, the BAR symbol, which still exists as a wild symbol, came from those slot machines.

Other slot machines were an electro-mechanical slot machine “Money Honey”, which appeared in 1964 and “Dollar Slot Machine”, which appeared in 1970. Later in 1980 the first video poker slot machine was invented. You can see yourself that the development of slots is very fast and the main reason of it is their popularity.

Of course the modern slots are different. There is no lever to pull, it is enough to push the button, there are no mechanical reels, and you can see everything on the screen. The computer will do everything for you, you just make bets you want and push the button. The choice of slots is very wide. Everybody will be able to find something to his liking. There are different wild and scatter symbols, different bonuses and bonus rounds, and the jackpots are also different. You are only to make a choice!

The slot machines have been existing for about 120 years and one can find them nearly everywhere: at casinos, cafes, different stores and even at online casinos, which give you an opportunity to play your favorite slots at home!

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