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The Evolution of Slot Machines

You cannot talk about casino games without a mention of slot machines. They are the most popular in casino games whether offline or online. There are thousands of slot machine games so a player has a wide variety of choices to make.

Slot machines have a beautiful history – something we are going to visit in a jiffy. This aspect of casino games has evolved over the years to what we have now.


  • Early Years

The earliest traces of slot machines would take us late into the 19th century when Sittman and Pitt (a company based in New York) built it in 1891. It was built to hold 50 cards with 5 drums and usually placed in bars.  

Whilst winning against the house was difficult, there were no financial rewards except for free cigars and drinks on the bar. To win, one had to have a lineup of pokers displayed on the reels.

From 1887 to 1895, the world witnessed an upgrade of slot machines thanks to C.A. Fey. His machine was said to be the first to allow auto-payouts. 

Instead of 5 drums of the older slot machine, Fey built his with 3 drums and discarded all other cards leaving just the spades, diamonds, hearts, liberty bell, and horseshoes.

To make higher winnings, one had to deal with a lineup of 3 liberty bells. As such, the machine became popular by the name Liberty Bell. The only problem was that Fey refused to apply for a patent – so several manufacturers stole his design.

In 1902, slot machines were banned but this didn’t impede manufacturers from making more of the machines. However, giving out cash prices became a problem. 

So manufacturers replaced the slot symbols with fruits and a winner would be given a sweet or chewing gum with matching flavor as the one won.

Till 1968, slot machines were quite mechanical – you pull a lever and the reels swing into motion. In 1964, an electro mechanical slot machine was built and was dubbed “Money Honey.”

Although Money Honey was electronically operated, it was started with the familiar lever and it could make payouts of around 500 coins.

Twelve years later, video slots were invented by Future Coin, a company based in Las Vegas. The machine had a display of a 19-inch Sony TV and gained the approval of the NSGC. As the machine became widely used, IGT attempted and successfully bought Future Coin.

In 1996, WMS Industries developed the Reel ‘Em video slot which allows for bonus games and players more likelihood of earning payouts. This game became popular in casinos and made up around 70% of both physical space and income of these game centers.


  • Online Slots

In the ’90s, the internet led way to the development of online casinos and hence, online slots. At first, these online slots had the same theme and symbols as the land-based game centers. 

However, programming and improving computer graphics have now turned things around and we can see several slot structures, symbols, and layouts. These are way different from what we know in the beginning but share the same techniques.

Casinos that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies started emerging and players embraced them because of so many benefits. They can now enjoy lower fees, better security, and better accessibility.   

Bonuses are no longer a strange concept in online slots and casinos generally. Several punters take advantage of them to improve their bankroll. 

These bonuses also help to play free games whether you’re playing in cryptocurrency casinos or regular ones. Other top trends in cryptocurrency casinos include high security and fast payouts.

Slot machines will continue to evolve. The best operators are trying their best to stay on top of the trends. This will enable them to offer their teeming customers excellent service from time to time. 

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