History and Evolution of Slot Machines: A Century of Spinning Reels

Your average online slot machine lover probably has no idea that slot machines have actually been around for over a century now. It's crazy to think about it, but gambling as a pastime has been around for ages, and not long after we had the technology to develop slots, they were invented. Slots are iconic, after all - there's a reason why classic slots still remain a popular subgenre on most modern casino websites. These machines started in the early 1900s, and you'd probably not recognize an early slot machine compared to its sleek and modern counterpart. The design of the slots, along with the mechanics have evolved into the elegant and easy to use machines we all love today, but have you ever wondered about the origins of slots themselves? in this article, we're going to explore in depth the history of slots and jackpots. This is a mystery worth unraveling!

The Beginning

In 1895 Charles Fey of San Francisco was the first man to ever create a slot machine. This slot machine starred classic symbols like diamonds, spades, hearts, and horseshoes. The liberty bell was also a predominant symbol, and the earliest slot was played with three reels. The liberty bell is the highest paying symbol on the first slot machine, and if a player hit three of these symbols, they'd land a jackpot of 50 cents. Fey noticed quickly the popularity of his first machine, so began producing more. These machines became readily available in saloons, barber shops and whatever public place they suited. While the machines were banned in certain states, they continued to grow in popularity. The earliest slot machines were all mechanics. They require a level to physically spin the reels. In the 1960s, electronic slot machines were introduced to the world, which opened up the possibilities for more complex games. By the 1970s, electronic slots were thriving. Electronic slots were truly revolutionary for a plethora of reasons! You had a larger variety of games and jackpots, and while all of the basic elements of the first slots remain the same, technology has changed the experience of spinning the reels quite a lot.

It was quickly becoming obvious an entire slots based industry was emerging in the early 20th century. These games were rapidly gaining traction, and in 1964 the first electronic slot machine was introduced to the public, which only skyrocketed the popularity of the game. By the 1970s, Las Vegas itself had 150,000 slot machines and they were generating 590 million dollars from them. In the 1980s, slots quickly became the casino's most popular game.

What's funny is in the modern day, this hasn't changed that much. Online slots are still the most popular game in any online casino, and slot games make up the majority of the revenue for online casinos. The internet changed the gambling industry as a whole forever. They allowed players to access tons of games from the comfort of their homes, and video slots became a new standard for slot machines. The first online slot was introduced to the industry in 1996 by the company Microgaming. When online slots were unleashed, it became pretty obvious that slot games were here to stay forever. Jackpots and slots in general continue to endure the changing market, as technology increases, the game changes. Nowadays, gamblers can access slots from relatively anywhere. They can play anywhere they have internet, and thanks to smartphones they can also play places where they don't have internet. Slots started on three reels, and a single pay line. Now people can play with multiple pay lines, special features and so much more.