History of slot machines

Slot machines are common both in land and online casinos. They are a must have in every casino you walk into. There are several slot machines in land-based casinos, and there in bigger casinos, players will have access to hundreds of these slot machines. A large number of virtual online slots are also common in online casinos. Gambling machines go back to hundreds of years ago when the first slot machine was invented. Sin embargo, there are some debates on who originally came up with the idea of developing slot machines and when these slot machines were developed.

There exist two theories of the history of slot machines evolution.

Invention of slot machines theory

Slot machines Theory

One of the existing theories on slot machine development is that the first slot machine device was known as Liberty Bell machine. It is believed to have been invented by Charles Fey an American in the year 1887. Charles Fey resided in San Francisco California. In the beginning, these machines were not termed as slot machines as the name meant a machine that accepted coins. The Liberty Bell machine comprised of three reels and five symbols including the bell, a spade, diamond, a horse shoe and a heart.

In the second theory; Fey was shown to have developed the Liberty machine in 1895. The first machine was, in fact, proved to have been installed in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt. In their invention, the machine developed mostly featured poker which used only 50 cards. The cards were features on five drums that were spinning where each drum held ten cards. The drums displayed a five card poker hand on each spin. A player won depending on the hand revealed, thus, the better the hand displayed, the more a player won.

In Fey’s Liberty Bell slot machine the largest prize that could be won from the slot machine was from landing on three Liberty Bells after spinning the reels. Players were awarded a total of 50-cents which was issued in 10 nickels which were a great amount of money back in 1895. Continue reading our guide for more details about the history of slot machines.

Similarities and differences between the two slot machines

The two machines that were developed in the 1980s had some similarities and differences. One of the similarities is that both required the player to pull the lever to start spinning the drums or reels. This act of pulling the one arm led to the machines been referred to as one-armed bandits. Players also inserted a coin and won certain amounts of money based on the results of the spin and this applied to all two slot machines.

The differences between the two machines were that the machine that was developed by Sittman and Pitt did not have a mechanism that automatically dispensed coins depending on the results of the spin, while the machine designed by Charles Fey knew as Liberty Bell had this mechanism. Liberty Bell had three reels and five symbols while the Sittman and Pitt’s machine used playing cards. Liberty Bell was the most common type of gambling machine. The two slot machines were produced in high numbers and were located in bars, saloons and some other venues. The slot machine era was mostly started by the Liberty Bell machine. Most casino developers then took up to developing their versions of slot machines, and this became a trend up to the latest times. Continue reading our guide for more details about the history of slot machines.

The rise of online gambling to the present times

After the development of Liberty Bell slot machine in 1895, Charles Fey then developed the first Draw poker style slot machine in 1901. He also went a step further and developed the first trade check separator which was located on the slot machines. This device used to detect the use of real nickels and also discovered the fake ones otherwise known as slugs. He was able to distribute his slot machines to various bars and saloons and was given a 50% profit share management.

The rise of online gambling

The demand for the Liberty Bell slot machines was very high, and Fey was unable to meet these demands. He received some offers from various manufacturers of gambling supplies who wanted to purchase the rights to Liberty Bell slot machine, but he declined all those offers. In the year 1907, Herbert Mills who was a Chicago-based arcade manufacturer copied the Liberty slot machine idea and released his version of the slot machine.

Herbert Mill’s machine was known as the Operator Bell, and it used fruit symbols as compared to playing-card symbols by Liberty Bell. It was otherwise known as the first fruit machine. The fruit symbols included lemons, plums and cherries. He also developed a more lightweight and practical machine that was more mobile. Sin embargo, the excitement of the development of slot machines dwindled when San Francisco banned the slot machines in 1909. They were later followed by the state of Nevada. In 1911, California followed suit and forbade slot machines in their state.

Slot machines only made a comeback in the 1930s when they were legally re-introduced by Nevada in Las Vegas Casinos. In the same year, Mills Novelty which was Herbert Mills manufacturing company developed more fruit themed slot machines which were quieter in nature. In USA slot machines were not quite common but this abruptly changed when the mobster Bugsy Siegel lined his casino floor with the slot machines otherwise known as one-armed bandits. Most of the slot machines used Liberty Bell’s design up until 1960 when electronic slot machines were introduced in the casino market, and they were able to eliminate cheating and also offered greater jackpot prizes.

The first video slot machine was invented in 1975 by the Fortune Coin Company. Sin embargo, they were not common to players simply because players could not see the reels spinning and therefore could not entirely trust them. Video slot machines became popular in the 1980s when multi-line betting options were added. The first fully equipped electronic slot machine was known as Money Honey. It took the casino industry by storm. With this machine, games were started by pressing a button rather than pulling a lever.

Players could be able to hold reels for subsequent spins to try and make a winning combination. Continue reading our guide for more details about the history of slot machines.

Online casino introduction

Advancement in computer technology led to the invention of online casinos. In the 1990s players were able to access anything using the World Wide Web. In the mid-1990s online slot machines were made available, and in the present world, they have become quite popular as software developers strive to enhance their programs. As a slots player today you only need to log into the thousands of online casinos available and play your favorite slot games until you are contented. You can choose to play for real or for free.

In Reno, Nevada there is the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant that still has the original slot machine invented by Charles Fey, the Liberty Bell slot machine. Charles Fey also invented slot machines titled Klondike, Three Spindle and Draw Power. Continue reading our article about slot machine history.


Slot machines have adversely developed in the recent years where you can find some slot games based on all sort of themes with different features and gaming rules. There are slot games with progressive jackpots that increase over time and offer players huge sums of money. Thank you about reading our article about slot machine history.