The History of Slot Machines

For over 100 years slot machines have been providing entertainment to countless numbers of players

The presursor to the modern day slot machine was developed in New York USA by Sittman and Pitt. This machine consisted of five drums which contained a total of 50 faces that were based on poker.
This machine was so popular that it was soon found in many New York bars. The machine operated much like a moden slot machine. A player would insert a nickle, pull a lever and the drums would spin and when they stopped the players poker hand was revealed. The machines contained no payout mechanism so when a player got a winning hand the establishment would pay the player. The payout varied from establishmnet to testablishment but a typical payout would be a free drink for a pair of kings and a royal flush would pay a cigar and drinks. The make the machine odds a little more favorable towards the establishment the ten of spades and the jack of hearts were removed from the card symbols to make it harder to get a Royal Flush. The drums could be re-arranged to further increase the odds in favour of the establishment.

In 1887 Charles Fey a San Francisco based inventor created the first slot machine with a automatic payout mechanism. The problem with the earlier poker based machines was that there were just too many winning combinations for an automatic payout mechanism to handle. Fey devised a machine with just 3 reels that contained just 5 symbols each instead of the 10 on earlier machines. The symbols were a horse shoe, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell which gave ths machine its name "The Liberty Bell". Three bells on the pay line was the biggest payout which at the time was 10 nickles. The Liberty Bell was a huge success and created a thriving slot machine industry. Even a few years later when state after state was banning the use of these game machines, Charles Fey could not keep up with demand from elsewhere.

Other slot manufactures arrived on the scene and introduced their own version of the slot machine. One of the more important machines to show up happened during the temperance movement. During this time gambling was being outlawed throughout the US and gaming machines were being destroyed. One machine countered this by replacing the symbols on the reels with pictures of fruit and gum sticks. This machine was used to promote the Bell-Fruit Gum Company and winning resulted in sticks of gum being dispensed rather than coins. This machine is important because they symbols used then are still being used today such as the venerable Cherry symbol, Melon symbol and of course the Gum sticks or Bars as they have come to be known as.

By 1964 slot machines were experiencing a resurgance of popularity and the first electomechanical slot machine was introduced by Bally. This first machine was called Money Honey and because it was elctromechanical it permitted a bottomless hopper and of course automatic payouts of upto 500 coins without the need of n attendant. Money Homey was so popular that other machines were introduced and the electronic gaes where everywhere.

In 1996 Slot machines again were in for a revolution with the introductions of Reel 'Em In which was developed by WHS Industries Inc. Reel 'Em In was the first video slot machine to offer a second-screen bonus round and ushered in a new era in Slot Machines.

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Slot Tip:
Casinos don't hide or move their best slot machines around because the are affraid of someone finding them. The casino want these machines to be played because the more they are played the more other machines are played and the more money a casino can make.


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