The Evolution of the slot machine

If you are a fan of slot machines, you will probably be aware that they have changed drastically over the years. The fact is, the very first slots go back as far as 1891. So let’s put that into perspective because everything else has changed significantly since then.

Just like everything else, the slot machine has evolved when technology has allowed it to. The huge bulking machines that first appeared have gradually become smaller. But that does not mean they have become simpler. Quite the opposite, even though you can play your favorite slot now on any mobile device. It’s fair to say that the games are far more complex today than they have ever been.

But how did the slot machine change so much over the years? Well, we have taken a look at some of the key changes that have contributed to the evolution of the slot machine.

Who Invented the Slot Machine

Let’s say this has caused some debate over the years. But it is generally accepted that there are two main contributors to the invention of the slot machine. Many would argue that Sittman and Pitt’s development of a spinning reeled Poker machine should be credited as the first slot machine. They developed their machine in 1891, this machine simulated playing poker by spinning a sequence of five reels with cards attached to them. Whilst this machine was popular, it was relatively complex. But more importantly, even though it was coin-operated, it did not spit out the coins to you when you had won. So, it is hard to see this machine as a close resemblance of the machines we widely accept as slots.

However, when a car mechanic called Charles Fey developed his first machine in 1894. You could say, that the world was truly introduced to the first slot machine. It’s fair to say that his Liberty Bell machine really caused a storm at the time. This fully automated, simple mechanical design also had an automatic payout that dispensed the winnings to the player straight away. So, the player got an instant feeling of gratification as soon as they won. His design consisted of three spinning reels with five symbols scattered across the reels. Just pull the handle, watch the reels spin and if you got three Liberty Bells in a row. Yes, you guessed it, you win the jackpot, a whopping 50 cents. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, 50 cents isn’t a great win. But back then, let me tell you, you would be happy with a win like that.

The big difference between these two machines is that the Liberty Bell really exploded onto the market. People just loved the simplicity of the three spinning reels. So much so, that the Liberty Bell soon appeared everywhere from Bowling Allies to every casino across America. In fact, these one arm bandits truly created the birth of the industry. As multiple other companies created their own machines, all trying to pick up a piece of the success from the Liberty Bell.

Improvements to the Payouts

It’s fair to say that the three reels slot, with a single pay line, is still popular today. The paytable is so simple that it can fit on the front of the machine. So they are great for beginners. But for more advanced players, developers started to increase the number of payout options.

Put simply, the developers started to introduce more symbols and used Multiple pay lines. So the variance of the payout increased significantly. But more importantly, the manufacturers could now create machines that were unique to the player. Today’s machines will offer wilds and offer around thirty pay lines.  The catch is, wild you seem to get more options to win. There are also more ways to lose.

The Dawn of the Arcade Slot

Coin-operated machines really started to take a new route in the 1970s. Digital was super cool, but when games like space invaders, asteroids and Pac-Man appeared everything changed. Let’s say the old mechanical one arm bandits were so yesterday and the industry had to catch up quickly. So, firstly they started to introduce buttons instead of the big puller arm. But this was not good enough until the reels were transferred to an animated screen and the video slot was born.

Let’s say, this was one of the biggest developments in the evolution of the slot ever. As with the arcade machines, the technology was improving rapidly. Resulting in a huge choice for the player as each company tried to improve on their last model.

It was not just the graphics that improved either, in 1994 machines started offering multiple screens. These video slots are much the same as the games you will see in the pub or casino today. It’s fair to say that the modern video slot is more popular now than ever, easily becoming the biggest revenue generator for Casinos across the world.

Playing Slots Online

Now, the improvements in the design of the modern video slot machine are amazing. Game designers take advantage of the improvements in graphics allowing them to create themed slots. These slots are very attractive to players as they have an instant association with the theme. But the most important thing about the advancements in the design is that they can easily be transferred onto an online platform.

It’s fair to say that one of the biggest changes to the modern world was the dawn of the internet. Everything is done online today. As download speeds increased, so did the options available in the online world. We can now watch our favorite movies online and we can now access a whole heap of online games too. Now, the gaming industry does not miss a trick. So now you can play bingo, live casino’s and a choice of thousands of slot games online.

On top of that, the online world is now in your pocket. Every smartphone is now able to access fast mobile data. The result is, that you now can play a slot game anywhere you like. As long as your phone has a signal, you could be spinning your favorite movie slot on the bus home.

Bigger Jackpots

You guessed it, things have moved on significantly since the Liberty Bell offered 50 cents as a jackpot. Now, the first thing you will notice when you join an online casino. Is that, the number of people all playing online at the same time is huge. You only have to look at the chat rooms to see how much activity there is.

The result is that thousands of people could be playing the same game at any one time. So this means that the prize pool can reach insane amounts. These are commonly known as progressive jackpots. Now, not every online slot offers a progressive jackpot. But let’s say if you win one of these, it could change your life forever. The downside is, the chances of you winning one of these huge jackpots are very low. But, some people do and the standard jackpots provided by online slots have increased significantly too.

So it’s clear that the evolution of the slot machine has moved with the advancements in technology. However, even though the online gaming world has exploded. You will still find some of the older style mechanical machines available. People still love playing these old-style machines. But, if you are looking for a reputable online casino to kick-off your online experience. Why not check out our recommended sign up offer below and get a nice new welcome bonus too.


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