Slots are probably the most popular casino game to have ever been created. Today, they can be found at nearly every casino around the globe, from land-based to online, with thousands of titles for players to choose from.
You can find them in any land-based casino, where their number ranges from only a few to hundreds of them at bigger venues. At the same time, slots have become the ruler of the online gambling segment.
The first slot machines appear many, many years ago, evolving and changing over time. In this article, we’ll try to cover their interesting history, from the first steps they made in the gambling world to modern days.
The Early Years
The first slot machine was created in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt, a company based in New York. The game consisted of five drums, offering a total of fifty playing cards. Soon it found its place in bars across the Big Apple, with players needing only a nickel to get it started. After inserting the money, they would pull the lever to play, while prizes were awarded for successfully landing poker hands on the reels. It should be pointed out the machines didn’t have a payout mechanism, so wins were awarded at the premises. Unfortunately, the list of awards didn’t include money, but cigars and free drinks.
Charles Augustus Fey created the first slot machine that awarded automatic payouts. This occurred somewhere between 1887 and 1895. Fey replaced the five drums with three reels and used five symbols instead of the playing cards. The machine was named the Liberty Bell after its highest-paying symbol. The Liberty Bell became very popular, and its design was copied by other manufacturers as Fey didn’t apply for a patent.
Slot machines were banned in 1907, while the fact cash prizes were no longer awarded led to the rise of the fruit machines. They used fruit symbols, paying out sweets and chewing gums instead of money. The BAR symbol was introduced in 1908.