May 25, 2024

Who Invented Slots – The History of Slot Machines

Slot machines are very popular among the players and almost every casino has them as a gaming option. That’s because the game is based on luck and it’s easy enough to learn. Many don’t know, however, how long history slots have. 

Card games are older, but given that slots are tech-driven they do go way back into the early days of gambling history in the US. It’s therefore a game with both a long history and one with which you can actually pinpoint where and when the game started. 

The First Slot Machines

The history of slot machines starts with Charles Frey who started the first slot game in 1894. The game was popular in saloons of the old West. It didn’t have the mechanism that pays out the winners, and instead, payments were made at the bar. 

These slots didn’t have the symbols that we now know. Instead, they used the symbols used on playing cards and the goal was the same – meaning to get the payout line in a row and therefore win the jackpot

How The Reels Have Changed?

The reels that we know the name came in 1907. That’s because the slots were banned and the saloons started making an alternative version with bells and fruit symbols with rewards changed to candy. The game itself held together even when it was banned because it was still fun to play even without money. 

The symbols remained even when the anti-gambling laws were no more and the games started paying out cash once again. These symbols are now widely associated with the games even though they aren’t used in some that have a specific theme and aesthetic.

The Changes in the 1920s

The biggest change in how the machine operated came in the 1920 and it soon caught on since it improved the machine and the gameplay significantly. The players were now able to push the button and the reel would start turning. This is how the game was operated from then on.

Mills Novelty Co. created this feature and at the time it was Skill Stop. The mechanism was used to operate the reel and to produce the payout and therefore it eliminated the need for the bartender to keep up with the game. 

An Electro Mechanic Game in the 1960s

The game was operated mechanically until the 1960s when a new version came out that used a different electro-mechanic principle with no gears whatsoever. The first game that operated on this principle was called Money Honey and it came to be in 1963 after which the concept caught on.

The games still operated with a button or a leaver in some cases, which was used to turn it on and start the process. This design was a leftover from the mechanic games and it’s still used in most slots.

Video Slot Machines

Since slots were always a game that depended on tech and innovations in this field. That’s why the tech boom of the 70s brought the video version of the slot game. There was no reel in this version and the whole game took place on a screen but worked on the same principles as the traditional version. 

This also gave a chance to animators and game designers to improve the look and feel of the game. Different aesthetics and themes were now available and each game became a work of art of sorts. These games are now rather rare and they are collector’s items for those who are into the history of gaming. 

Progressive Jackpots

The next innovation came with the invention of progressive jackpots. They were invented in 1986 and they revolutionized the game because they changed how much you can win within a game. With progressive jackpots, every player adds to the potential winnings and the winner takes it all.

The network of connected slots can be small and restricted only to the machines that are occupying the same physical space. That’s how it was at first. Now, the machines are connected over the internet and the network can be huge. 

Mobile Games

The latest innovation in slot machines is the one that’s affecting the whole industry – it’s about the move towards mobile gaming and pushing the real-life casinos out. Slots can be played on a phone or any other mobile device and the process is the same as it would have been with a real game.

There’s also an increased interest in live events that can be played on your phone or tablet. These events are there to replace the look and feel of actually going to the casino. The technology is now there for the events to mimic all the features of a real game.

Using Bitcoins

Using cryptocurrency as a payment method is a new addition to the world of gambling and it caught on with slots as much as it did with other games. That’s because there are many advantages of using cryptocurrency that are well suited to the world of gambling. 

Using Bitcoin means that your online transactions will be quick and that you won’t need to leave any personal data in order to use the service. This is becoming increasingly important recently when all of our online activity is being recorded. There are also fewer fees with Bitcoin since there’s no middleman involved and this means a lot for small-time players. 


Sneha Shukla

I am an admin at shayarikidiary. I like to share information and knowledge. I love expressing my thoughts through my articles. Writing is my passion. I love to write about travel, tech, health, fashion, food, education, etc. In my free time, I like to read and research. My readings and research help me to share the information through my thoughts.

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