Slot machines are very popular around the world. May it be online or land-based, there are thousands of these games available for everyone. Understanding how the first slot machine came into existence can be fascinating. It is also amazing to know the evolution and transformation of these machines over the years.
The developer of the first slot machine was a New York-based company, Sittman and Pitt. There were 5 drums with a total of 50 playing cards in the machine. The cost to play the game was a nickel. People only need to insert their money and pull the lever to play. Lining up Poker hands on the reels gave payouts. There were 2 cards missing from the machine to increase the house edge, the ten of spades and Jack of hearts. The bar pays the wins since there was no direct payout mechanism. Prizes were free drinks, cigars, and the likes.
Charles Augustus Fey reduced the complexity of reading a win for the machine. The result was the first slot machine with automatic payouts, called Liberty Bell. He replaced the 5 drums with 3 reels and the playing cards. His machine only had 5 symbols. Those were the hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes, and a Liberty Bell. The highest payout was for lining up 3 bell symbols. Fey did not apply for a patent for his design so manufacturers copied it.
The banning of slot machines in 1902 did not stop the production of Liberty Bell. There were no more cash prizes so the era of the fruit machine started. The machines used fruit symbols instead of the usual ones. Prizes were candies and chewing gums of the corresponding flavor.
Money Honey was the first electromechanical slot released in 1964. The game still started with a lever but the operation of the reels was electrical. It has a bottomless hopper to enable automatic payouts of up to 500 coins.
Fortune Coin developed the first true video slot in 1976. It was a Las Vegas company acquired by IGT in 1978. It modified a 19-inch Sony TV. The game was available in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. The Nevada State Gaming Commission approved it after several modifications.
1990s and onwards
The development of online casinos, like Joker123, was a result of the birth of the internet. Today, there are various themes and endless symbols in slot machines. The innovative and imaginative bonus rounds attracted more people. The special features made their popularity surging even more.