You might not think much of the history of slot machines when you are having fun pulling the lever and watching the icons and pictures streaming past on the roller. However, the history of the slot machine has humble but impressive beginnings that led to its massive success in today’s gaming world, especially in the realm of online casinos which have taken slots to even greater heights.
The slot machine dates back to the 19th century, when some individuals and companies began toying with the concept. While many attribute the first machine to a mechanic by the name of Charles Fey, who created a slot machine in San Francisco in 1895, a company called Sittman and Pitt had begun creating its own machine in 1891. However, it was Fey’s machine, called Liberty Bell and composed of physical reels and levers, that truly ignited a fire in the hearts of players. Fey’s background in mechanics was evidenced through the machine’s highly sophisticated design, and it would go on to inspire decades of devoted gaming.
Liberty Bell was composed of three reels with images of playing cards that lined them, as well as one picture of a cracked Liberty Bell. Users would pull the lever at the side of the machine and set the reels in motion. If the three Liberty Bells lined up once the reels stopped spinning, then the player could win the grand-prize jackpot of 50 cents. The games had begun! This original machine constructed by Fey can be visited in Nevada.
Gambling bans in the early 20th century posed a challenge to slot machine manufacturers. However, manufacturers found ways to get their machines into the market by replacing the playing cards on reels with fruits and packs of gum. Now, instead of dispensing cash prizes, which were considered a component of gambling, machines dispensed chewing gum and sweet treats that corresponded to the flavours on the reels. In some parts of the world, slot machines are still referred to as fruit machines almost exclusively as a result of this era of the machine’s history. Both these stages of the game's development are brought to life right here on Bitcasino, with slots like Diamond Strike which has fruit as well as the cracked Liberty Bell on its reels.
Pulling a lever to make the gears and reels turn was an exciting way to play and led to the machines becoming so popular and successful. Advances in technology did not reduce the games’ popularity. In the mid-20th century, modern technology began to change the exclusively mechanical nature of slot machines. In the 1960s, electricity took hold and electromechanical slot machines became more commonplace, eventually being replaced by fully electric-powered machines. These machines enabled players to place bigger bets, leading to the possibility of bigger payouts.
It is these electronic slots that would pave the path for the online slots that so many enjoy today. Casinos can offer a seemingly endless array of options for games that suit every individual’s tastes, and Bitcasino is proud to be an online casino that offers many of these games for your enjoyment. On top of the traditional, single-player slot machines, we also offer fantastic opportunities for you to truely cash in big with our progressive jackpot slots like 5 Reel Drive. These games suddenly make the slot experience so much more social as you no longer have to play alone but can race to the jackpot with other players from around the world. What's more, as a licensed bitcoin casino, we also offer a unique opportunity to play with cryptocurrency. This way, you can increase your bitcoin bankroll and have fun while you are doing it.
Be a part of history and sign up today to play the many slots available in Bitcasino’s extensive collection! Create your account today and join the number one licensed Bitcoin casino in the world.
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: PA and Deposit Photos