The first slot machines appeared in the late 1800’s in San Francisco. These slot machines featured card symbols, and they were very different from the flashy video slots that we play today. The slot machines had 5 reels with 10 cards on each reel. The 10 of spades and the jack of hearts were left off of the reels. The bigger prizes were awarded when a player hit a royal flush, but this could only be done in the diamonds and club suit since the 2 cards were omitted from the reels. When players won on these machines they would receive prizes such as free food, cigars, or free drinks. These machines were an instant hit, and grew to become a common fixture in stores and bars around the world.
Real Money Slot Machines
Slot machines that accepted coins and paid out money were introduced in 1899 by Charles Fey. His first slot machine was called “The Liberty Bell”. It was a 3 reel slot machine with various symbols including the featured symbol which was a cracked liberty bell. The first machine was placed in a San Francisco saloon as a trial. The machine was so popular that Fey quit his job and started developing as many slot machines as he could. He was the only person at this time developing slot machines, and he made a very nice living for himself.
In 1909, Stephen Mill saw the opportunity to capitalize on Fey’s invention. He altered Fey’s original design making the slot machine smaller and easier to install. The smaller machine was widely accepted by businesses and quickly became a hit.
The Slot Machine Boom
After Mill introduced the more compact slot machines, they started spreading rapidly. You could find slot machines in almost every saloon. These early slot machines were loud and could only be operated by pulling the arm to spin the reels. This all changed in 1964 when the first slot machines that used micro-processors to determine the outcome of the game were introduced. This invention made slot machines more secure which allowed operators to offer bigger prizes. This is when large jackpots starting being offered to slot players. This immediately increased the popularity of slot games and attracted a lot of newcomers hoping to win a massive jackpot. After all, there is something very enticing about the knowledge that a single spin of the reels could be your passport to life changing sums of money.
Video Slots Today- A Different World
Video slot games were introduced in 1975 and quickly gained popularity. The video slots have evolved today into multiple pay line games with bonus features, free spins, and much more. The video slot games are the same games that so many of us enjoy even today, although technology has allowed then to evolve far beyond their simple beginnings. Online video slots today utilize state of the art graphics, crystal clear audio and some serious imagination to provide an outstanding online gaming experience. It’s crazy to think that it all started with a deck of cards put on 5 reels.