Throughout the years, slot machines have become increasingly popular, allowing players to enjoy hours of fun whilst having the chance to win cash prizes at the same time. From the historical ‘One-Armed Bandit’ to the video slots that occupy a large section of many online casinos today, these games have witnessed a surge in popularity across the world.
This article will discuss the history of these machines and their progression from land-based games to internet gaming sensations.
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The first slot machine as we might know it today can be traced back to around 1891. Known as the ‘One-Armed Bandit’, this slot was invented in New York by Sittman and Pitt. With five drums acting as reels and a lever on the side to set them off, it had 50 card symbols to land. As is the case with modern fruit machine slots, they were commonly used in bars across the country.
The First Automatic Slot
Not long after the invention of the ‘One-Armed Bandit’, the first automatic slot was invented by a man called Charles Fey in California, in 1895. With just three reels, this slot was widely regarded as running on a much simpler mechanism and only had five reel symbols.
Named the Liberty Bell, this first automatic slot could be seen as an influencer for some modern video slots today that still use three reels and a minimal amount of symbols.
Fruit symbols have long been associated with slots and this perhaps stems from 1907 and the invention of Herbert Mills’s slot machine. Called the Operator Bell, Herbert Mills created it to rival that of Charles Fey.