The History Of Slot Games

Online slots are hugely popular with players of all ages but they have their roots in the traditional slot machines, or fruit machines as they were often known.The very first slot machine appeared in the 19th century and the demand for them has steadily grown ever since.

The beginnings

In 1895 the first slot machine appeared, the creation of Charles Fey, a mechanic, and was known as the Liberty Bell.The Liberty Bell had five reels, each of which held five images including a cracked Liberty Bell, horseshoes and suits of cards. Notching up three bells in a line led to the biggest win, 50 cents. There was a precursor to Liberty Bell but the results couldn’t be read automatically plus it was much more complex, being based on poker. Charles Fey is therefore widely credited with the creation of slot games and for inspiring the rise of the mechanical gaming industry.There was huge demand for Liberty Bell, so much so that Charles Fey simply couldn’t keep up. And it was at this point that the industry really started to take off.

The spread of slot games

By 1907, the concept that Charles Fey had devised was being copied by others, most notably the Operator Bell by Chicago-born Herbert Mills. In the year that followed an enormous number of these slot machines were installed in all kinds of establishments including bars, cigar stores, barber shops, bowling alleys and brothels.The BAR symbol which is still seen in modern day slots was first seen on the Bell-Fruit Gum Company. Gambling laws prohibiting betting had the potential to cause problems for some manufacturers so to sidestep the legalities, they gave out food as prizes instead of money.

Full automation

The first slot machine to be fully electromechanical was Money Honey, released by a company called Bally in 1963. This followed slots such as High Hand which was produced almost a quarter of a century earlier in 1940 and offered the rudimentary beginnings of the electromechanical technology.Money Honey had the capability of paying out up to five hundred coins without any manual intervention by an attendant. And it was this development that led to the true explosion of truly electromechanical slots, which were to go on to capture the imagination of the world.

Modern slots

Modern slots come in a wide range of variations, which started with the appearance of the video slots in 1976 in Las Vegas.In 1994, a new feature arrived which would allow players to try their hand at a second type of slot – a game within a game – where bonuses or additional cash payouts can be won.The demand for slot games has spread online, where it’s now possible to try your hand virtually. Bingo and poker based slots are two of the most popular types of game, with payouts and bonuses varying from small, regular wins to much bigger jackpots which pay out less frequently.Retro slot games are very much in vogue, combining modern technology with a more traditional appearance plus more contemporary-looking machines based on TV shows too.

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