A Quick Walk Through the History of Slot Machines

A Quick Walk Through the History of Slot Machines


Is it possible to imagine a casino without the slot machines? Undoubtedly, the answer is a ‘no’. The flashing lights of the slot machines, the sound of crashing coins, and the ringing bells are what attract more players to the casinos. The interesting slot game themes also keep the players engaged. The online casinos UK are also incomplete without slot games.

Online slots are the favourite casino games of a majority of players around the globe. But have you ever wondered about the history of online slot machines? If not, it is time to explore now. Continue reading to find out how it all started.

1887: Slot Machine Origin

The first step towards the slot machine dates back to the year 1887. Sittman and Pitt invented and released the first device to the public. It mainly consisted of a dial having five different drums. Each of the drums had the capacity to hold fifty playing cards. In order to spin the drums, placing a coin in the device was required. 

However, the device invented by Sittman and Pitt could not get the title of the first slot ever. It is mainly because it was not able to provide any payout to the players. For winning hands, the bar owners used to provide prizes like a beer and more. Another flaw in this device was that it could only hold 50 playing cards at a time. That means two cards were removed from the standard deck. As a result, getting certain hands becomes completely impossible.

1895: The First Mechanical Slot Machine

The next advancement in the history of online slots is the invention of the first mechanical machine by Charles Fey. The slot machine was named Liberty Bell. It had fewer winning combinations in comparison to the device made by Sittman and Pitt. However, what made Liberty Bell more popular was its ability to provide mechanical payouts. 

The Liberty Bell consisted of three spinning reels. Each of the reels had spades, hearts, and diamonds painted on them. There was also an image of a liberty bell. In order to win big and get lucrative payouts, the players would have to land on three liberty bell symbols in a row. 

Wondering where the original slot machine is now? Well, the Liberty Bell can still be found at the Liberty Belle Saloon & Restaurant in Reno, Nevada. 

Apart from Liberty Bell, Charles Fey is well-known for various other inventions in the world of gambling. He is the inventor of the Three Spindle and the Klondike and a popular draw poker machine. Moreover, he also invented the Trade Check Separator. It is a device that helps in the detection of fake coins that were placed in a machine. Charles Fey used to rent all his devices and machines to the bars and saloons on a 50/50 profit basis.

1907: The Introduction of the Fruit Slot Machine

Ever since the development of the first slot machine, the demand for slot games started increasing. The demand was so huge that it was not possible for Charles Fey to build more machines faster in his small shop. He struggled hard to keep up with the demand but failed. Eventually, a number of imitators started entering the gambling industry.

In the year 1907, a Chicago manufacturer named Herbert Mills started the production of a slot machine. As a homage to the Liberty Bell, he developed a slot machine and called it Operator Bell. At that time, cash-based machines were banned.

So, the device that Herbert Mills developed was capable of dispensing fruit-flavoured sweets and gums. It was the first slot machine that included fruit symbols like plums, cherries, and lemons, instead of playing cards. The famous bar symbol was also included in the slot machine. Owing to the presence of fruit symbols on the slot machine, it was termed as ‘fruit machine’.


1961: The Emergence of Electromechanical Slots

With the growing demand for slot games, the slot machines underwent a lot of changes. After the war ended, the US government started promoting money-based gambling again due to the tax incentives it received. So, people started improving the mechanical slots to attract more players. 

In the year 1964, a Chicago-based company named Bally introduced the Money Honey machine. It was the first electromechanical slot machine ever. In this slot game, all the reels functioned with the use of electricity. However, the operating mechanism still involved pulling the arm. This machine came with a number of new features that grabbed the attention of more players. 

1976: Video Slots Games into Light

In the year 1971, the Pong video game was released by Atari Company. It paved the way for the emergence of the video slots. Finally, the first video slot named Fortune Coin was developed in 1976. It made a grand appearance at the Las Vegas Hilton. After receiving approval from the Nevada State Gaming Commission, it started being introduced in the remaining Vegas strips.

1986: Progressive Jackpot

The first progressive jackpot was introduced in the year 1986. These machines involved a pot that collected a small fraction of all the wagers placed by the players. The progressive pots would keep increasing and finally one of the players would win the enormous amount.

1996: The Introduction of Online Slots

It was only during the mid-1990s that online slots came into existence. Microgaming developed the first online casino ever. The popularity of online slots grew at a rapid pace owing to the convenience they offered to enthusiastic players. In no time, mobile slots were also introduced in the market. It allowed the players to engage in the slot game on their smartphones. Ever since that, the craze for slot games is on the rise and is not likely to slow down any time soon.


By now, you must have a complete idea of the history of online slot machines. It is time to engage in live casino games. Whether you want to play penny slots or any other slot variants, make sure to look for reputed platforms only. Gain an idea about the scatter symbols in slots and go through the basic rules to enhance your gaming experience like never before. 

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Post Name : A Quick Walk Through the History of Slot Machines

Posted On : 23/06/2023

Author : Edward Lucas