The first ever slot machine was acclaimed to be invented by Charles Fey from California. This was way back in 1887. Others attribute the founding of the game in 1895. Charles created a machine that had 3 spinning reels that contained a total of 5 symbols – the symbols were horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. As a result, the first ever slot machine was called ‘Mills Liberty Bell’.
The concept behind it was simple – getting 3 bells in a row produced the biggest win which was 10 nickels at the same. The game was hugely popular back then and has inspired what we see today at online casinos. In 1907, Herbert Mills produced a slot machine called ‘Operator Bell’ which used fruit symbols. The popular Fruit Mania game is based on this original. The game was so popular that it appeared all over the place such as saloons are barber stores.
Then in 1891, Sittman and Pitt of New York developed a gambling machine which is similar to the modern slot game. It used 5 drums holding a total of 50 card faces – based on poker of course. The game took off and was available in many bars across the city. Players inserted a nickel and pulled the lever and could win a few beer or cigars for example. Another machine developed which gave our fruit flavoured chewing gum with pictures of the flavours as the symbols. This is where the cherry and melon symbols derive from. Prizes such as chewing gums and drinks were given to combat the anti-gambling laws of the time.
Then in 1963 Bally created the first electromechanical slot machine which was called Money Honey. The game was the first of its kind as it had an automatic payout of up to 500 coins. This game was to pave the way for what you see online nowadays. The first video slot to offer a bonus round was Reel ‘Em In which was developed by WMS Industries Inc. back in 1996.
The boom of online gaming propelled the game into a new dimension and now is the most popular game by a mile. There are now many variations of the games with video slot games being the way forward. The game requires a click of the mouse and the payout percentages are much higher than they are at the old-school slot machines. Finally, you have slot games that offer progressive jackpots – this means that a small portion of what you stake goes into a pot. This pot accumulates until someone is lucky enough to win – these sums can be in the millions.
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