The History of Slot Machines

A slot machine is the most popular casino game. It is an American term, but it has been called a lot of things like a fruit machine in British, the slots in Canadian pokies or poker machine in Australia. The machine is primarily made up of three or more spinning reels which are controlled by a button. It has features like currency detector and is developed through time.

The history of slot machines began in 1891, a company – Sittman and Pitt – from Brooklyn, New York thought of an idea to develop a “gambling machine”. This kind of machine enclosed five (5) drums that holds an entirety of fifty (50) card-faces and was primarily based on the game of poker. It became extremely popular among customers that even bars had machines. The dynamics of the gambling machine is this: you insert a nickel, pull a lever, the drums would spin, the card would also spin, while the player is dependent on purely a game of chance. Back then, there were no coins that would pop out of the machine. Depending on the result, a player could get a prize like free beers cigarettes or anything that the establishment could offer. Gambling machines, however, can be manipulated. Some reshuffle the drums to make the winning less likely while some remove two cards – the jack of hearts and the ten of spades. The gambling machine was the known antecedent of the slot machines.

It was only in 1895 in San Francisco, California that the real slot machine was devised. Even though the date is still contestable, as some would say it was in 1887 – even before the gambling machine – Charles Fey invented a slot with automatic mechanism. The first slot machine was designed with five (5) symbols–diamonds, horseshoes, hearts, spades, lastly, a Liberty Bell – and it has three (3) spinning reels. The dynamics, however are these: you put the money, the reels would spin, the result is out and there is now an automatic payout system. The machine called Liberty Bell became a hot topic everywhere in the United States that manufacturers stared duplicating it and by the year 1908 a huge number of “bell” machines were installed in most saloons, cigar stores, bowling alleys, brothels and even barber shops. Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nevada still holds the original Liberty Bell machine.

In 1963, there was a new development in slot machines when Bally developed the first fully electro-mechanical slot. It was called Money Honey. It has features like no other. It has a bottomless hopper and automatic payout system that reaches up to five hundred (500) coins devoid of the help of any attendant. The fame of this new machine has led to the increasing prevalence of electronic games.

In 1976, the first true video slot machine was developed five (5) whiz namely N. Cerracchio, W. Beckman, R. Greene, L. Black J. Reukes. Their breakthrough was mainly sponsored by Fortune Coin Company. This new slot has used a modified 19 inches Sony Trinitron color receiver for the display and logic boards for all slot machine functions. It became increasingly popular and later, Fortune Coin Co. and their video slot, were purchased by International Gaming Technology (IGT) two (2) years later.

The latest kind of slot machines offers a “second screen” bonus round. In 1996, Reel ‘Em In was developed by WMS Industries Inc. This type of machine had appeared in countries like Australia from 1994 with the “Three Bags Full” game. Up to the present, several changes are being made that fandom of slot machines cannot be taken away.

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