The History of Slot Machines

slot1The brightest, loudest and most commonly featured part of a Casino floor, the well-loved slot machine can be found in pubs, bars restaurants and hotels across the globe. Perfect for the casual player looking to kill a few spare minutes, or the professional gambler looking to win big. The slot machine has been evolving since its humble beginnings all the way back in the 1800’s.

The invention of the machine as we know it today is often credited to San Francisco based mechanic, Charles Fey. Fey was born August Fey in Bavaria in 1862, and worked in both France and London before setting his sights on America, landing in New Jersey where his uncle lived at the time. Having travelled across the US, Frey eventually settled in San Francisco where he began working for Electric Works, an electrical engineering and manufacturing company. In the 1880’s, slot machines were already popular, although vastly different from the ones we know and love today. Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Schultze’sdeveloped the Horseshoe Slot Machine that featured the first automatic pay out system, which Fey modified to pay out coins, laying the groundwork for the industry we know today.

The credit for the first ever “gambling machine” goes to New York manufacturers Sittman and Pitt. However, instead of having reels, their original machine had five drums holding 50 playing cards each. The cards would spin in the drums when the player inserted their coin, and once the spinning stopped, five cards would line up to form a poker hand, resulting in either a win, or a loss.In 1898, Fey took this initial concept anddeveloped the now infamous Liberty Bell Slot Machine, with the player winning 50 cents every time three bell symbols were aligned. Jumping forward nearly seven decades, the biggest adjustment in the gambling machine world was the invention of the Money Honey in 1963. The first evercompletely electronic slot machine, Money Honey changed the industry completely, as players could now start their games simply by the press of a button instead of just pulling a lever.

In the 21st century, slot machines don’t need the fancy mechanics like the machines of old, as they can be pulled up on our phones, tablets and laptops, with cooler designs, brighter lights and more importantly bigger prizes easy to access at the touch of a button. This makes it easier for anyone to take part in the thrill of slots online, whether they’re tucked up at home, hitting the town or even just killing a few minutes on the train.