When Did Video Slots Come Around?

Slot machines have far and away outpaced every other casino game in popularity. A wide variety of exciting games including Lucky Wizard slot are available in brick-and-mortar and virtual casinos. Assuming you like spinning the reels of an online slot machine, have you ever given any thought to its origin? Even if that’s the case, the origins of these ubiquitous slot machines are surprisingly interesting. 

Online casino games, and penny slots, in particular, have flourished due to technological developments over the years, making them more available to millions of players all over the globe. The first slot machine probably appeared in some form more than a century ago. The intriguing history of slots, from their early mechanical versions to the modern free slots with no downloads, will be detailed in today’s article. Spend the next several minutes reading this interesting piece.

The Sittman and Pitt Slot Machine

In 1891, a New York firm named Sittman & Pitt invented the card machine. The first real slot machine is often considered to have evolved from this card machine. The machine used a system of 50 different card games based on poker. Standard card removal included the heart jacks and spade tens. Since the odds of getting a royal flush went down, the house edge went up. 

To win, a player needed to form a poker hand, with various combinations of cards yielding varying amounts of victory. There were five drums in the machine, and nickel was required to spin each. To determine whether they had won, players had to pull a lever to start spinning the drums and then wait for the drums to finish spinning. 

After its initial success, the Sittman and Pitt machine started spreading to other city bars. This game, however, did not have a built-in method of paying out winnings. Instead, the business where the slot machine was played set the range of payouts for certain combinations. Depending on the winning hand, the player would get a cigar or a free drink from the bar or restaurant where the machine was located 

Liberty Bell, the Original Slot Machine

Four years later, in 1895, a car mechanic from Bavaria living in San Francisco made what could be called the first real slot machine. Charles Fey simplified the design considerably by using just three drums. An important innovation introduced by Fey’s concept was the possibility of instantaneous rewards for winning symbol combinations. 

Fey modified the slot machine design of Sittman and Pitt by replacing the range of cards with five symbols. It included a liberty bell, a horseshoe, a heart, a diamond, a spade, and a spade—the upgrade allowed instantaneous rewards by simplifying the process of determining winners. The top payoff in this game version was for getting three broken liberty bells. That’s the origin of the slot machine’s distinctive title.

Operators Bell: The First Fruit Machine

Over a decade after the Liberty Bell slot machine became popular, a new slot developer entered the market with their take on the fruit machine genre. Herbert Mills, a Chicago-based manufacturer, debuted his first slot machine, the Operators Bell, in 1907. 

This was the first slot machine to use the traditional fruit symbols, including cherries and melons, that are now associated with older slot machines. Such machines could not give out rewards because of the gambling ban that was in existence at the time. Instead of money, they gave away sweets and bubble gum based on how many winning fruit symbols the player had landed. After that, the BAR symbol (the logo of the Bell-Fruit gum company) began appearing on the reels.

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