The History of Slot Machines


When you walk into any casino, if there is one machine that you will always find, it is the slot machine. At the Royal Vegas Casino, slot machines are readily available to anyone who wants to make some easy cash. Few people know the history of slot machines, which have evolved significantly from what they used to be. Read on to learn more about the history of the slot machine.

The Liberty Bell

This is the earliest form of the slot machine that was developed by Charles Fey in the year 1895. This was in San Francisco, CA. The liberty bell was a simple slot machine, not the complex machine you know today as the slot machine. It had three spinning reels with a total of 5 symbols – spades, hearts, bells, diamonds and horseshoes. The small number of reels made reading of results much easier, so a system for automatic payments could easily be developed. This is what made the Liberty Bell incredibly popular. The highest payment on the Liberty Bell came from a combination of 3 bells in a row. The machine became a huge success and created a booming industry in gaming machine production. A few years after the machine was developed, the use of the Liberty Bell in the United States was banned, but the machine was so popular overseas that Charles Fey could not meet the demand.


The Operator Bell


Due to the high demand for the Liberty Bell, other manufacturers copied the design and produced their own machines. For instance, Mills, a Chicago manufacturer, produced the Operator Bell in 1907. A year later, these machines were installed in most cigar stores, saloons, barber shops, brothels and bowling establishments among other types of establishments.


While the Liberty Bell and the Operator Bell were incredibly popular, the precursor of what we now know as the slot machine was created in 1891 by Sitman and Pitt from Brooklyn, NY. The machine contained five drums with 50 card faces. The card faces were based on poker. To play the game, players only had to insert currency into the machine and pull a lever. The concept proved extremely popular and soon all the bars in the city had at least one slot machine. After pulling the lever, players hoped for a good poker hand, but there was no direct payment system, so players got cigars, soft drinks or beers, depending on the type of hand they got. For instance, a pair of kings would get you a free beer while a Royal Flush would get you a free drink or a cigar. It is important to note that the owner of the establishment determined the prize players got for getting a good hand.


The Money Honey


In 1963, Bally developed the first truly electro mechanical machine, which was nicknamed the Money Honey. The slot machine had a bottomless hopper and automatic payment combinations. The machine could make payments of up to 500 coins without the help of an attendant.


Video Slots


The first electronic/video slot was developed in 1976 by Fortune Coin Company in Las Vegas, Nevada. The machine had a modified 19-inch color screen. The first machine was placed inside Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. In 1996, the first video slot with two screens was installed in Australia in the year 1994.


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