History of Slot Machines: Who Invented Slot Machines and When?

Fan of gambling and are you curious to know how the first slot machines came to be ? Great, you’re in the right place to learn all about the history of slot machines. From the creators of the popular casino game, Sittman and Pitt, to today’s modern machines.

Knowing the facts related to the history of slot machines. And their development will surely help you to understand more about the subject and to exchange slot machine ideas. Strategies and tactics with other gambling enthusiasts. Prepared? So, check out the timeline of slot machine history and then check out the infographic we prepared on the development of slot machines.

The History of Slot Machines: Predecessors

The history of slot machines may not be as long as that of gambling. But it certainly begins when online gambling was not even an idea, let alone a reality.

Just 2 centuries after gambling was recognized as entertainment across Europe. The first slot machines appeared to make everything more interesting. In 1891, in New York, the first milestone in the history of slots occurred. The company Sittman and Pitt developed the first slot machine. With 5 reels and a total of 50 playing cards.

In 1891, the Sittman and Pitt company developed the first slot machine, with 5 reels and 50 playing cards.

At the time, anyone who wanted could find the machine in several bars in. The city and all it took was 1 coin to play. Similar to today’s slot machines. Players had to put money into the machine. Apply their favorite strategies, pull the lever, and enlist the help of lady luck.

When the reels drew a valid poker hand, the prize was awarded. However, to increase bankroll gains and halve the chances of getting a royal flush. Cards with jacks of hearts and 10 of spades were removed.

Unlike modern slot machines, old ones did not have a direct payment mechanism. Instead, wins were paid out at the bar itself, and the most common prizes were cigarettes. Free drinks, or any other form of reward. How things change, don’t they?

History of Slot Machines Who Invented Slot Machines and When

History of Slot Machines

It is important to clarify one thing. While Sittman and Pitt’s slot machines continue to be regarded as the first to be made, their concept and mechanism are quite different from. What, years later, became known as the “first slot machine”.

In fact, given what we already know, Sittman and Pitt’s slot machines are more like a poker machine than today’s slot machines.

While both feature payouts through various combinations. They differ in the sense that video poker combos consider a deck of 52 or 53 cards. On the other hand, the slot machine game does not have a specific reference. In fact. The first slot machine as we know it today allowed automatic payments.

The First Slot Machine: History of Slot Machines

Charles August Fey is considered to be the creator of the slot machine. And the inventor of the first automatic version, although the exact date of creation is not known. According to some data, Fey developed the first machine between 1887 and 1895. Right, but how did he manage to make the automatic version?

He used 3 reels instead of 5 and thus reduced the complexity for the machine to identify a win. In addition, playing cards have been replaced by 5 symbols — heart, diamond, suit of spades, lucky horseshoe, and liberty bell.

The Liberty Bell slot machine was the first Twin automatic and with the famous symbols of heart, diamond, suit of spades, horseshoe of luck and bell of liberty

In the Liberty Bell slot machine , the biggest prize was awarded when 3 Liberty Bell symbols appeared, which is why the game was named Liberty Bell. As slot machines became quite popular and Fey did not patent his design, numerous manufacturers copied the invention, but with variations.

Operator Bell: First Fruit Slot with Bar Symbol

The slots story wouldn’t be complete without Hebert Mills. Even though in 1902 slot machines were officially banned, Liberty Bell production did not stop.

However, as it was impossible to offer cash prizes, fruit slots came to have a prominent position as gambling entertainment, rewarding everyone with candy! Yes, you got it right! At the time, new fruit-symbol slot machines granted payouts in candy and bubble gum.

In 1902, slot machines were banned. However, fruit slots have come to have a prominent position, awarding payouts in candy and chewing gum.

The machine that became famous was the Operator Bell , produced in 1907 by the manufacturer Herbert Mills. In just two years, Mills’ slot machine was already present in several places in Chicago, in the United States, such as bars, shops, bowling alleys and tobacconists. By the way, the BAR symbol, one of the most popular of this type of betting game, was introduced precisely in this period and inspired by the Bell-Fruit company logo.

Money Honey: History of Slot Machines

In 1964, the Money Honey slot machine appeared , which changed everything that until then was known in the history of slot machines.

The shift from purely mechanical to electromechanical slots was a landmark innovation for the industry, although it was met with some skepticism. After all, moving from machines that gave the impression of being controlled by the fact that they were manual to a fully electromechanical one was quite a novelty!

However, the new slot machine kept the lever, as it is something familiar and quite popular among players. Let’s agree that this is why so many people loved classic slot machines. By the way, did you know that the lever is also the reason for the nickname “ one-armed bandit ” given to slot machines? The interesting expression in English can be understood as one-handed bandit and is very popular to this day.

The lever is the reason for the slot machines nickname, one-armed bandit , popular to this day.

The Money Honey slot machine was not only innovative because of the fully electronic reels, but also because it was the first to have a device that allowed an automatic payment of up to 500 coins. It may not seem like much, but this was something spectacular at the time! Thanks to gambling, slot machines have become much more popular. Subsequently, the lever ended up being removed from all the new slots.

Fortune Coin: The First Video Slot

If something is present in the history of slot machines, it is innovation and, in fact, the universe of gambling is not at all stagnant. About a decade after the release of the Money Honey slot machine, the first of the video slot machines was developed.

In 1976, the Fortune Coin slot was produced by the company of the same name located in Las Vegas. The game, available for the first time at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, used a 19-inch Sony TV and was unlike anything that had existed up to that point.

Shortly thereafter, the video slot machine was approved by the Nevada Gambling Commission and became very popular in the region. After only 2 years of launch, Fortune Coin game was acquired by IGT.

Reel ‘Em: The First Slot with Extra Screen Bonus Spin

If you look closely, the history of slots is full of significant twists and turns that take gambling in a much more interesting direction. Undoubtedly, 1996 is an important year that should be remembered. After all, this is the date when the first Bonus Spin video slot on extra screen was released.

The name given to the slot machine was Reel ‘Em and its success was huge! This video slot was the first to feature an extra screen bonus round with a different design and features than the main game. Thus, players could earn additional victories. The 1996 Reel ‘EM slot was the first to feature Bonus Spin on extra screen and was a big hit at the time.

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Released by WMS Industries Inc, the game may have been responsible for the rapid growth of slot machines in general, making them the most popular form of entertainment in casinos. The success was so great that slot machines took up 70% of the space in physical casinos and were responsible for about 70% of the revenue from this type of establishment!

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