The history of slots is an exciting one.
Slots developed together with casinos were always combined with the latest technological breakthroughs. Join us in this short overview of their creation and development.
The First Slot
Long before online casinos and other similar sites had appeared on the market, we lived in an age where everything was mechanical. It was only a matter of time when someone would use the technology that existed in the late 19th century to create a game of luck.
The first slot was created by Charles Fey who lived in San Francisco. He was a very experienced mechanic back in the day and decided to call his creation Liberty Bell. The machine itself had a couple of levers and reels which loosely resembled modern slots. It had three reels with several cards on them. Every reel contained one card with a picture of a cracked Liberty Bell. As soon as someone would hit all three bells, they would receive an “amazing” jackpot which was 50 cents worth. This started a real craze among the citizens of San Francisco and so the slot culture had begun.
Slots and Fruits
The slots became so popular that many states had to ban them. This did not stop Mr Fey and other competitors that joined the industry to work hard and upgrade their products. Sometime around 1902, the first fruit slot was created. The slot inventors decided to replace the traditional Liberty Bell with fruits and candies.
Furthermore, they found a loophole in the law. Rather than giving cash prizes, the slot would actually give candy rewards. For example, people who would manage to get three bubble gums would receive a pocketful of them. That made fruits and candies inseparable from slots, and many countries use the term “fruits” or “fruit machines” for slots even today.
The mechanical nature of slots would go on for the next sixty years. Players enjoyed pulling the lever and setting the things in motion. The engine controlling the slot had a clockwork nature, and this made the whole experience rather special.
The Slot Mania
The ‘60s witnessed the first electromechanical slot. Some of the slot developers emerged back then, and Bally created Money Honey, a slot that would eventually become legendary. Both during the ‘70s and ‘80s, slots went through mass expansion and so microprocessors replaced mechanical engines. This allowed players to place big bets and win big cash prizes. Las Vegas suddenly became the center of the Universe, with millions of people dropping by to play these slots that featured legendary symbols, such as 7s and Bars, next to the fruits, bells and candies.
You might think that they are not popular anymore, but classic Vegas slots haven’t lost their charm. People still like to play them online, as well as offline, in land-based casinos, every once in a while, despite the fact that we have plenty of alternatives nowadays. This leads us to the latest slots revolution. Read on!
The invention and popularization of the Internet were closely followed by the first online casinos where you could play online slots. It solved one huge problem that the casino industry faced – the lack of available slot machines. Hundreds of people on the web can now simultaneously play one slot game, and there is no more waiting for the slot to become available. Many online slot developers have emerged in the meantime, and some are pretty famous today – Microgaming, NetEnt, Quickspin, and more.
Online slots also offer progressive jackpots. This type of prize existed in the pre-Internet era as well, but it wasn’t as massive. If you are familiar with the concept of progressive jackpots, then you already know that every player who doesn’t win it must devote a part of their bet to it. Since millions of players can play a single progressive jackpot at the same time, we can witness some lucky spinners become multi-millionaires overnight.
Finally, online slots challenge the rules set by traditional ones by introducing various elements such as special symbols, a unique grid structure, and different bonus games (free spins, multipliers, and more).
As you can see, slots have come a long way, from starting as a mechanical machine to becoming one of the most significant industries related to gambling. There is a bright future ahead of video slots as hundreds of developers and innovators redefine the concept and offer numerous possibilities with every new release.