The History and Evolution of Slot Machines
We are currently living in a fascinating time for the online casino industry. The business is absolutely booming thanks to the rise of smartphone gaming and the subsequent popularity of the many ways to gamble such as live sports betting, online poker and online slot games; if you are looking for the right place, check the best 2020 casino. The slot game in especially has come a long way and the history and evolution of online casino slot games is very interesting indeed.
From basic but mechanical marvels, to the modern video slot game of today, there have been a lot of stages in the history of the slot machine. It is a timeline that takes us through the legalisation of online casino gaming and the birth of the internet, as the taboo and general love for gambling often fluctuates both here in the UK and across the pond in the United States of America. With gambling more popular than ever right now, it seems a good time to revisit the history of one of the most loved formats of gambling there is, the slots game, fruit machine or slot machine.
The Invention of the Slot Machine
The first gambling machine of it’s kind was invented in the late 19th century, with 1891 often being noted as the year in which Sittman and Pitt developed their precursor to what would become the slot machine. The game was largely based on poker and of course, was completely mechanical. It would conjure up random combinations of cards, with winning combinations allowing gamblers to cash in their prize. Back then, this would mean drinks and cigars from the bars in which the rather clunky devices were stored.
This poker machine became very popular in bars across New York at first, having been invented in Brooklyn. At some point between 1887 and 1895, though work had begun on something very similar that we now know as the original slot machine. Charles Fey from San Francisco had developed a similar but much more simple machine for gambling, with it’s spinning reels containing five symbols. Developed with the company Liberty Bell who would go on to become a legendary company in the history of gambling, the original machine was named after the brand and featured a bell on the reels.
Back then, three bells in a row on the reels was the jackpot, paying ten nickels. Small change to the modern gambler, but rather a decent amount of money back then. Again, the gambling machine was a hit in bars and taverns, that is until gambling was outlawed in much of the country. Then, the prizes changed from drinks, cigars and money, to candy and gum, spawning the fruit machine that was aimed for at children than at gambling adults. But regardless of the prize, people were fallen in love with the format and it was only natural that it should evolve into one of the western world’s most beloved pastimes.
The first Electronic Game
The history and evolution of slot games hit a landmark in the 1960s, when electricity was shot through the reels, adding a new lease of life to the slot game format. Still activated by a lever as the slot machines already had been, this first step into electronic gaming was an exciting time for gaming technology. After configuring these newly invented machines to be foolproof and impossible to cheat, the craze began with casinos beginning to order these slot machines in bulk.
The One Arm Bandits trend began, with those who spend massive amounts of time gambling on slot machines in casinos being dubbed as such. Lines and lines of slot machines could be found from the 1960s onwards in massive Las Vegas casinos, where the profitable format began to flourish. Electromechanical slot games meant more possibilities with symbols on the reels and more lighting, music and sound effects than ever before. It was a glitzy and glamorous time to be in a casino and the slot machines for the 1960s embodied this.
Transition to Video Slot Machines
By the late 1970s and into the 1980s and 1990s, the video game was growing and growing. An amazing invention for home entertainment when it was first unveiled, it was long before video technology was being used in gambling games. And it was slot games that benefited massively from the growth in technology.
With all the tech used in a video game, slot games began to prosper with the new possibilities that video slot games could achieve. Suddenly more themes were emerging and the quality of graphics and possibilities were no longer limited to any mechanical means. While some slot games merged the two technologies together, some would rely solely on the video game technology and even do away with the levers that had traditionally been the way to spin.
Online video Slot Games
By the mid-nineties, the internet was growing into the behemoth that it is today.
As the most forward thinking brands expected the growth of the internet and accessibility to it, gambling companies were right on time with delivering an online casino format for playing a slot game. Online gambling had been a steadily growing industry for some time with the technology and graphics to create such game improving rapidly. Then, with the rise of the smartphone, we arrived at where the modern online slot game is today. There are now thousands of online casinos offering a seemingly endless selection of slot games. Developers are doing some amazing work in creating online slot machines that have top graphics, incredible themes and original layouts that have reinvented the reels.
Also, with the rise in amount of people playing slot games, the jackpots have got even bigger than you could have imagined. Jackpot themed slots bring huge wins and progressive jackpots to the reels, as this loved format of online gambling continues to grow and evolve. Where will the slot machine go from here? Things are good for the online slot, but they can only get better. Virtual reality and even better graphics are just around the corner, for sure.
Check out this slot strategy guide to increase your winning chances against the house!