Today, slots make up the majority of most online casinos, with thousands upon thousands of different games that countless millions of players enjoy every day. It’s a relatively simple game, comprised most commonly of reels, paylines, betting options, and often a number of bonus features designed to help the player accumulate winnings.
But the multi-reel, advanced online slots that we’ve become so enamoured with have changed and evolved over the years, and were once nothing more than a simple pastime before they took off and changed the world forever.
The Beginnings of The Slot
The very first machines can be traced back to the 291th century, with a machine that was developed by a New York-based company called Sittman and Pitt, in 1891. The game consisted of 5 drums that had a total of 50 playing cards, and featured many bars that resemble the reels we know and love so much today. The player would insert a coin and pill the level and if the poker hands lined up on the reels, the player would win. It didn’t immediately take off in popularity, but it set the stage for what came next.
Charles Augustus is often named the father of the first ever slot machine, and while re there aren’t any concrete details on the date that his machine was first released, it’s believed to be around the end of the 19th century. It was a refined version of the Sittman and Pitt creation, and Augustus replaced the drums with three reels, along with replacing the cards with 5 symbols: hearts, spades, diamonds, horseshoes, and the liberty bell. It was known as the Liberty Bell due to the fact that landing three bells paid out the highest reward, and it set the benchmark for slot machines for years to come. Some of these early machines can still be found on betting sites, where they are digitally emulated.
The First Electronic Machine
In 1964, the very first electromechanical slot, known as the Money Honey, was released by Bally. The reels were operated electronically, but still retained the level and the popular reels. It proved immensely popular, and it didn’t take long for developers to begin creating more modern solutions. In 1976, the first video slot was manufactured by Kearny Mesa California, and was based in Las Vegas. It ran off of a simple computer system, and after some refinement, modification, and cheat proofing, the game was made available within the gambling capital.
Reel Em, released by WMS Industries Inc. was the casino world’s first foray into the online sector, and was the first machine that features a second screen bonus round. It was a resounding success, and more companies began to emulate that WMS Industries that created, and within a decade there were already hundreds of slots available online. The industry continued to flourish, with other big names entering the scene and releasing more advanced games that could be played on smartphones and computers alike.
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