Slot machines and fruit machines have been around for a very long time. In terms of history, they date back to 1895 and if you can imagine the technology at that time, those machines were heavy and bulky.
Built with complex mechanical interiors, they were known as One Arm Bandits. The player would get a workout, pulling the huge lever to spin the wheels.
These early machines were incredibly popular resulting in slot machines popping up everywhere and making huge amounts of money for the casinos.
So, as with anything that is popular, better options were developed as the new advances in technology become available. Soon the big arm to pull on the side would disappear, replaced with sleek flashing buttons instead.
But as soon as arcade machines started to appear, the shape and options for the slot machine changed in dramatic ways.
Today, the slot machine is totally unrecognizable to the old machines, particularly online. But knowing the history of the slot can certainly give you a good insight as to how the slot you play today evolved into the all singing and dancing game that you play today.
The Very First Slot Machine
Believe it or not, the very first slot machine was created by a car mechanic from San Francisco called Charles Fey. His simple design had three spinning wheels with a variety of symbols that would payout different amounts when the symbols lined up.
Two ‘horseshoes’ paid 5 cents, three ‘diamonds’ paid 30 cents, and the jackpot game when you got three ‘Liberty Bells’ paid a whopping 50 cents. It seems like a low amount but just consider what you could get for 50 cents in 1895.
Plus it only cost a nickel to pull the lever, so this was very appealing at the time.
This machine became known as The Liberty Bell machine and soon appeared in every casino, creating the birth of the slot machine.
The three-wheel slot machine may be part of history but it is still played today and very popular with beginners. Paying out on a single pay line makes it easy to understand, but even the tactile nature of pulling the arm of a one-arm bandit adds to the fun for the player.
Increasing the Payout Options
Regardless of how popular the single pay line is, it does reduce the number of options for the player to win considerably. So the natural progression to keep the interest of the player is to increase these options. This meant the introduction of the Multi Payline Slot machine.
This simply allowed the pay options to include additional lines, multiplying the payout options. The complexity can then vary from one game to the other and allow the designers to give a unique experience to the machines.
As it stands now, there are games that offer hundreds of ways to win, some more advanced game will even offer thousands of permutation and winning combinations. This gives you an incredible variation on your options to win. But, also gives the machines operators more options to make you lose too.
Digital Arcade Style Machines
Not everything in the 1970s was about getting funky down at the disco hall. This was the start of the digital age, even James Bond had a digital watch. But the biggest thing to hit the world was the creation of animated coin-operated games.
Compared to the games of today, these were simple dot-matrix animated games but at the time were super futuristic and everyone wanted to play them.
Clunky mechanical machines were so yesterday, but what if you transferred the game into an animated screen? Enter the Video Slot, the new dawn that gave the designers limitless options and raised the appeal of the slot machine even further.
By 1994 there were even two screens introduced, just like the ones you see in your local pub or social hall today.
Modern Online 3D Slot Machines
In much the same way as the video game industry has changed dramatically, so did the look and style of the video slot. Let’s be fair, games like Space Invaders look ridiculous compared to the amazingly realistic games we play today.
So with the advances in technology, the options for the game designers became limitless. The result is themed slots with amazing graphics and virtually infinite pay line options plus bonus screens.
One of the biggest changes in recent years is the introduction of the smartphone. Pretty much everyone has a smart device with them at all times, meaning they can access anything online at any time.
So the option to play 3D slots online meant that the developers had to churn out more designs to keep the customers happy. Now we have a slot that is designed for pretty much everything you can think of.
There are slots designed about rock bands, movies, TV shows and even your favorite sports team. Just take a look over the many slots we have reviewed here and you can see the huge variety on offer.
The Dawn of the Mega Jackpot
If you have ever played at one of the many online casinos available today you will know just how many people are online at any one time. So thousands of people could be playing the same game at any one time.
The result is that the jackpot pot could be pooled to create huge wins. Not all games offer this, but you can find a great selection of progressive jackpots that offer the chance to win millions.
In fact, there have been two wins of more than seventeen million Euros on the games Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune. The catch is that with so many people playing the same game, the chance of walking away with the big jackpot is extremely slim.
The History of the Slot Machine
Today slot machines are as popular as they have ever been. If you are a fan of the history and old-style retro slot you will still find them in your local pub. Plus the big casinos will have every kind of slot imaginable for you to play.
Gone too are the days of stuffing coins into the machine to play. All this can be done with the swipe of a card or if you are playing online via a simple transfer.
There is a huge selection of online casinos that you can play at too, with most of them offering great bonuses to get you to join. The choice is huge and you could grab one of these offers just like the one below.