Slots History

Charles Fey from sunny California was the man believed to have invented the first ever slot machine. This was in 1887. Others believe that Charles created the first slot machine in 1895 though (still a long time ago!). Mr Fey managed to create a device that had 3 spinning reels – collectively with a total of 5 symbols. These were hearts, spades, diamonds, horseshoes and a Liberty Bell – this is why the first slot machine was known as Mills Liberty Bell.

The idea was to get 3 symbols in a row with 3 bells rewarding the highest prize (10 nickels). The game was instantly popular and is the foundation of the modern slot game. Then, Herbert Mills produced the Operator Bell slot machine in 1907 – this used fruit symbols instead. The Fruit Mania slot game, which can be played today online, is inspired by this Operator Bell slot. Back to the slot game, you could win it in barber stores and saloons.

Moving on, Sittman and Pitt (from New York) create a machine which is very similar to the now seen slot machine – this was in 1891. The machine used 5 drums and had a total of 50 card faces (like poker). The game grew in popularity overnight – players needed to insert a nickel and pull a lever. Prizes included beers or cigars. Another variation of the device was created and prizes included fruity chewing gum which has pictures on them this is where the classic melon and cherry symbols come from. Gambling was illegal in these times so giving away these kinds of prizes didn’t break any laws.

In 1963, Bally produced the first electromechanical slot – named the Money Honey. It has a top payout of 500 coins and is considered the inspiration for the modern slot machine you see today. Furthermore, WMS Industries Inc. created the first ever video slot in 1996 – it was called Reel ‘Em In.

Couple these developments with the introduction of the internet created new opportunities – online slots can be found in their 10s of thousands with online casinos an extremely popular pastime amongst general society. There are so many different types of slots out there – this means different styles and themes will appeal to various types of people too. With modern technology, graphics and animations have become slicker and better – this has resulted in better quality slots for online casino players.

Want to know what terms used for slot machines mean? Read the next article – the Slots Glossary.