The History and Evolution of Slot Machines - Online Slots
Slots have been around for over 100 years, with the first being developed in 1891 by New York based company Sittman and Pitt. This was based around poker with five reels and 50 cards contained within. These machines became increasingly popular across bars and pubs within the American city. The slots did not specifically contain money but if a player got a good poker hand they could be awarded drinks or cigars. The problem with these machines was that they couldn’t automatically pay out for every winning combination.
In California a man named Charles Fey was coming up with his own mechanism. This contained three reels with only five symbols, drastically reducing the number of winning combinations and making payouts easier to attribute. If you’ve ever played online slots you may recognise the five symbols in this machine, these were: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a bell. These machines became a huge hit across the states and even when the use of them was banned in California, Fey could not keep up with demands from across the country.
After the gambling ban, the Industry Novelty Company created a number of machines that had fruit as pay symbols. This was an effort to work around legal restrictions, with the fruit representing flavours of gum that could be paid out by the machine. Despite this, many clubs and bars ignored the gambling restrictions and continued to offer their players the original machines.
Slot machines were very similar up until the 1960’s when the first electronic slot was developed. This was called Money Honey and was the first slot with a bottomless hopper, enabling it to payout 500 coins for players. This machine still had a lever but soon after electronic developments, slots moved away from this play mechanism.
In 1976 the first real video slot was created in California by Fortune Coin Co. This slot machine utilised a 19 inch Sony screen and went on trial in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. This was eventually approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and became a mainstay in famous Las Vegas casinos.
Computerised slots evolved the industry hugely, giving players a huge selection of games. These slots also meant that machines accepted notes as well as small change; meaning players could spend longer at the machine and less time trying to change money.
Slots today are found in land-based casinos across the country. These were originally a side option for wives and girlfriends to play whilst men got stuck into the “real gambling.” Despite this, slots quickly became one of the casino industry’s biggest attractions and now make up an average of 30% of profits. These machines are generally very loud and have flashing lights to attract customers’ attention. Random Number Generators changed slot machines; with a microchip constantly generating numbers at a rate of several billion per second. When the button is pressed the machine will pause the number and the reels will match to this. This means that slot machines are almost foolproof these days and are found all over the world.
Online slots are popular in land based casinos but they are even more popular online. Since online gambling exploded over a decade ago, slots have never been the same. Games that were previously limited to physical interactions in bars and casinos were now accessible to everyone who was legally and technologically able to play. Some slots such as Cleopatra were able to transition from land-based casinos and remain successful online, but thousands of slots have been created purely for online play and will never see a casino floor. Online casinos allow players to play from the comfort of their own homes with almost any theme imaginable being brought to life in a slot game. There are many different types of online slots that have a huge variety of bonus features as well as specific game types. Megaways slots offer players over a hundred thousand different lines to win on whilst Jackpot Slots allow players the chance to claim a huge progressive jackpot. One Slot Boss player has already won £586,000 from a 20p spin on Genie Jackpots
Jackpot slots became popular with the rise of online casinos due to the fact that they can be linked online with every player from every platform. This means that every time someone spins on the game, part of their stake is added to a progressive jackpot that is the same across all platforms. The top prizes here are not fixed and will keep growing until somebody wins them; after this they will reset back to their starting amount. There are many stories where players have won over hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions from these games.
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