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History of Slots: Evolution of the Most Popular Casino Game

Rate this Article How did slot machines come to be? Well, let's take a look at their history and evolution. Slots & Bingo Games - History of Slots: Evolution of the Most Popular Casino Game

Currently, slot machines form the foundation of online casino gambling for real money. In terms of popularity, only "Roulette" can be compared to them. However, Roulette is a faster and more complex game. Furthermore, it lacks the same level of excitement as hitting the third bonus symbol on the last line or winning free games with a triple multiplier while betting the maximum.

This article will discuss the history and future prospects of slot machines and video slots, tracing their evolution from their inception to the present day. What might video slot emulators resemble in the future? Find out in the article below.

First Slot Machines

The first slot machines appeared in the 19th century. In 1891, New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed a machine with five reels and 50 cards. The player's objective was to create the best poker hand, so it's fair to say that the predecessor of modern slots was a poker machine.

Slot machine

Then, in 1894, Charles Fey introduced the world's first slot machine, the Liberty Bell. It featured three spinning reels and five symbols: horseshoes, spades, diamonds, hearts, and a bell icon. It was the first machine to accept coins and achieved tremendous success. Instead of selling them, Fey rented them out for half of the profit they generated.

In 1907, slot machines underwent their first significant changes, notably by introducing well-known fruit symbols alongside the card suits.

Electromechanical Slots

The world's first electromechanical slot machine was created by Bally, the world-famous casino software company. In 1963, they introduced the renowned Bally three-reel machine, which could be activated by pulling a mechanical lever. This led to the nickname “one-armed bandit,” a term still used today to refer to any slot machine.

The development of audio and video technologies in the early '70s paved the way for the emergence of video slots. In 1976, the Fortune Coin Company created Fortune Coin, the first slot machine to utilize a 9-inch display from Sony to showcase symbols instead of traditional mechanical reels. Fortune Coin made its debut at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. In 1978, the company was acquired by IGT.

Age of Online Slots

In the late '90s, with the emergence of online casinos, online slots rapidly gained popularity. The classic three-reel slots with simple graphics and gameplay were replaced by games featuring elaborate themes, bonus rounds, and playing fields with multiple reels and paylines.

Compared to land-based slots, online slots offered higher and more flexible RTP percentages and lower betting limits.

Today, slots employ many innovative mechanics. For example, there's the Megaways feature, which can increase the number of paylines to over a million. There are also global progressive jackpots worth millions of dollars.

It was hard to imagine during the early stages of online gambling, but now gamblers have access to thousands of slots with intricate plots and multi-level features. Furthermore, these games can be enjoyed not only on computers but also on mobile devices. This means that you can jump into the slot casino action
right now, regardless of the device you’re using. All you need is access to the internet, and you can simply give slot games a try.

With the wide variety of online slots currently available on the market, it could be confusing for a newcomer to choose a slot machine. To help you with that, we have prepared a guide to online slots that will nudge you in the correct direction.

Invention of Progressive Jackpots

It was IGT that brought another significant invention to the world of slots. In 1986, they introduced Megabucks, the world's first progressive jackpot slot. These machines didn't have fixed jackpots; instead, they were part of a network, and their jackpots could grow indefinitely.

The machines in the US were connected via phone lines, and the prize pool started at $1 million. Consequently, the first progressive jackpot was won in Reno, Nevada, and amounted to almost $5 million.

The next significant event in the history of slots was the release of Reel ‘Em In by WMS. It was the first slot to feature a bonus round played on a separate screen. When the bonus was triggered, a completely new game would appear in front of the players, offering them the chance to win additional prizes.

Future of Online Slots

It's safe to say that online slots have a promising future. With the development of 5G networks, virtual and augmented reality, and other technological innovations, slots are poised to become even more immersive.

In general, it seems that the future of online slots has already arrived. What remains to be seen is how providers will adapt to these innovations and what unique novelties will emerge in the market.

One can only speculate how the evolution of slot machines will continue. There will likely be various game variations with new ideas for implementation. It's possible that some games will be interconnected, and development may follow the concept of a game within a game. Alternatively, there may be a combination of several functions from existing machines into one.

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