History Of Slots

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 01:07

History of Slots

An article about the history of slots.


Slots is among the popular games played both in live casinos and online gambling sites. Slots earned much fame and support from around the world that its machine has different variations: slot machine in America, poker machine in Australia, and fruit machine in the United Kingdom. Basically, a typical slot machine is coin-operated whose reels spin whenever its lever is pulled.

The Sittman and Pitt Machine

The earliest record of slot machine dates back in 1891 when Sittman and Pitt created a gambling machine in Brooklyn, New York. The said machine had five drums that held 50 card faces, which were derived from poker cards. Deemed as the first slot machine, it became popular in Brooklyn that almost every bar in the said city has it. Similar to the modern slots and slotscalendar.com, players would insert a coin and pull the machine's lever, which would then spin the cards and the drums. A player should be able to produce a good poker hand to win a prize. Prizes during the said time weren't as sophisticated and as sought-after as they were today for they only include a free liquor or a couple of cigars for every pair of Kings or a Royal Flush.

Liberty Bell and Charles Fey
The Sittman and Pitt slot machine offered several number of winning combinations, which made it difficult for the machine to give payouts for all possible wins. Charles Fey, a native of San Francisco, California, developed another machine with only three reels that held the symbols: Liberty Bell, hearts, spades, diamonds, and horseshoes. The slot machine was then called Liberty Bell because the combination of three bells offered the biggest prize, which was ten nickels. Made of pure cast iron, Liberty Bell, also known as one-armed bandit, was first used in Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas. Fey's slot machine earned a huge following because it made it easier to read a winning combination compared to the 50 card faces that the first slot machine has. In the pursuit of preserving his legacy in the slot machine history, Fey's grandchildren displayed the oldest Liberty Bell at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Nevada.  

The Fruit and Gum Machine
After the success of his Liberty Bell, Fey developed another slot machine, but instead of poker cards, he used fruits for the reels. Fey's fruit machine soon became the benchmark of the modern slot machines that people see both in online and live casinos. The fruit machine concept created by Fey was allegedly stolen by The Bell-Fruit Gum Company, which sold the first biggest production of slot machines.  As a way to advertise the gum manufactured by the company, this variety of slot machine dished out bubble gum whenever a player pulled the lever,

The Dark and Difficult Times
Contrary to other's belief, slots also had its share of dark and trying times in the gaming history. From 1909 to 1911, slot machines were confiscated and dumped to comply with the anti-gambling movement being implemented in every US state. Slot machines and even legal vending machines were seized by officials led by politicians to show their people that they were taking measures against illegal gambling in the US.

The 70s and the World Wide Web
During the 70s, manufacturers made sure that all slot machines will be powered by microchips. This technology led to stable and hard-to-cheat machines that disposed of the usage of levers. The modern-day slot machines used pre-programmed generators to produce random numbers that match the symbols on their reels. As the gambling world evolved, its gamers have turned to online slots that introduced the coin-less period of Fey's machine. Today's slots is very different from its ancestor since the game can now be played in a box filled with gigabytes and wires in the comfort of the player's home. Furthermore, the prizes were no longer bottles of beer nor boxes of cigar, but winnings that can turn a person into an instant millionaire.