Slot machines: creation history and current realities
Slot machines have been around for a little over a hundred years. Their history is an evolution of popular trends and social movements in society. At the casino, most board games were available to top-class people with big bucks. The most ordinary people used slot machines and this fact led to the fact that they incredibly quickly became popular.
The history of slot machines began with their invention. The production race of the first commercial gaming machine reached its peak by the end of the 19th century. On opposite sides of the United States, inventors sought to create a comfortable and exciting game that could be played in public places.
Prototypes of modern slots
The first to enter the scene with the invention of the slot machine was Sittman & Pitt from Brooklyn, New York, in 1891. This first slot machine had 5 reels, on which 50 card denominations were applied. It was based on a game of poker - poker combinations determined the payout. The symbols were divided between the reels and began to rotate after the player threw a five-cent coin into the slot for accepting coins and lowered the lever. The display at the end of the rotation determined whether the player won or not.
To increase the income of the institution, the top ten spades and the jack of hearts were removed from the slot. This halved the chances of getting a royal flush. The machine did not have a direct payout mechanism. Therefore, winnings were paid in the form of goods from the bar in which the slot was located, and also depended on the winning combination. Prizes are drinks, packs of cigarettes or cigars.
The first slot machines in the modern sense were invented by Charles Fey from California. At the age of 20, doctors diagnosed him with tuberculosis and took him a whole year of his life. Not only did Fay prove that they were completely wrong, he also managed to become a legend in the world of gambling and live to an advanced age.
The Fairy had experience in mechanics and the first invention, which he called Liberty Bell, really was a brilliant mechanical system. It consisted of three spinning reels containing 20 characters: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, worms and a bell. Three bell symbols brought the jackpot - 50 cents. An illustrated payout table was attached to the machine, so it was easy for players to determine winning combinations.
The car gained immense popularity. Since Fey did not apply for a patent for his design, it was copied by many other manufacturers. The original Liberty Bell slot machine can still be seen at the Liberty Belle Saloon & Restaurant in Reno, Nevada.
From Liberty Bell to Operator Bell
Despite the fact that in 1902 slot machines were officially banned, Liberty Bell continued to be produced. As cash prizes could no longer be awarded, the era of fruit slots began. These machines used fruit symbols, and prizes were paid in the form of chewing gum of the corresponding aroma
In 1907 in Chicago, manufacturer Herbert Mills released a slot machine called Operator Bell. He introduced cult symbols into it - lemons, cherries, plums and BAR. The latter symbolized the logo of the company Bell Fruit Gum Company, whose products were given out as a prize for winning. Later, Mills replaced the heavy cast-iron case with a lighter wooden one, removed the bell symbol, set up a double jackpot system and made the cars look brighter and more attractive.
In 1963, Bally developed the first electromechanical gaming machine called Money Honey, which used electronic microprocessors to decide the outcome of the game. In addition, visual and audio effects were used, and higher jackpots were also paid.
Electronic games developed even further, and soon video slots with a modified Sony 19-inch TV as a display appeared. They were introduced in Las Vegas in 1975 by Fortune Coin and used imitation drums on a monitor. In 1978, a company that would later be known as International Game Technology acquired Fortune Coin.
The next milestone in slot history appeared in 1996 with the release of Reel Em from WMS Industries Inc. This is the first video slot in which a second screen appears for passing the bonus game. During this time, slots became more and more popular in casinos and brought about 70% of the income to the institution.
The Internet boom in the mid-90s led to the creation of the first online casinos. At first, only the classic roulette and blackjack games were available, but slots were soon added.
In the beginning, the style remained similar to real slot machines, with the same number of reels and type of symbols. However, computer programming removed the limitations, and soon a lot of new games appeared with interesting themes and an unusual structure. The number of reels has long stepped over the traditional mark of 5, and the slots replenished with innovative bonus rounds and special gaming functions.