Slot machines have always been a favorite pastime among lots of people. For one, the challenges that these games pose are entertaining and quick to hook players. Secondly, there are cash prizes at stake, and this makes the games even more enticing. So how do they work? Read on to find out.
Slot machines have evolved through the years and it’s quite an exciting timeline. Let us discuss the growth of this industry and how its popularity rose all over the world.
The Late 1800s
The slot machine’s origins are traced back around 1891. The device was called “One-Armed Bandit” and was conceived by Sittman and Pitt in New York. The machine includes a lever on one side to trigger the slot and five drums functioning as its reels. The slot machine also comes with 50 card symbols. The One-Armed Bandit became a source of entertainment in lots of bars all over the country.
In 1895, Charles Fey created the first automatic slot in California named the “Liberty Bell.” The device includes only three reels and was simpler to operate than the five-reeled model. The Liberty Bell is considered to be the prototype for several contemporary video reels.
In spite of a ban in 1902, the manufacture of the Liberty Bell continued. The distribution of cash prizes was stopped thus the fruit machine was invented. This particular machine makes use of fruit symbols and prizes came in the form of sweets and chewing gum of the matching fruit.
By 1907, the “Operator Bell” was created by Herbert Mills, a manufacturer from Chicago. The Operator Bell was quickly snapped up by salons, tobacco shops, and bowling alleys.
The ubiquitous “BAR” icon was first presented around this time and it’s rooted in the Bell-Fruit Company logo. The fruit symbols are considered a classic in the slot machine industry.
The slot machine stayed mechanical throughout the years until the introduction of a model without a side-mounted lever. By 1963, Bally Manufacturing created the first electromechanical slot machine model called the “Money Honey.” This device is capable of awarding coins in an instant without the aid of an attendant.
The first video slot was developed by a Las Vegas-based company called “Fortune Coin” in 1976. The game came with a 19-inch Sony television to show the symbols. The Las Vegas Hilton Hotel made this video slot game available as soon as it was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission. It became a huge hit in the Vegas strip.
The 90s saw the rise of online casinos thanks to the advent of the Internet. The first online casino was introduced in 1994 and it offered a good selection of video slots for players.
WMS Industries also produced a landmark creation in the slot machine industry through their product; a slot machine featuring a second-screen bonus round called the “Reel Em.” As soon as the bonus round gets activated, a different screen gets shown for the bonus game. In addition, it also provides chances for players to win extra payouts.
Around this time, slots became a regular part of casinos. The slots provided a bigger percentage of income for casinos and also occupied larger spaces in these facilities.
The Rise of Online Slots
The internet boom in the 90s was responsible for developments not only in communication and businesses but games as well. In the beginning, the only available casino games online were old standards like blackjack and roulette. The slots were added and it became a quick hit among casino enthusiasts.
You’ll find a wealth of online casinos that offer lots of video slots. These video slots are created by software suppliers and feature varied themes and genres. Lots of massive cash prizes are offered thanks to the introduction of progressive jackpot slots.
In the early days of online slots, the style of the slots stayed true to traditional slot machines; it also features the same symbols and number of reels. Computer programming though took such limitations away and with it, the upwelling of new game types and themes. Online gaming paved the way for unique bonus rounds, special features for games and distinctive symbols.
A modern aspect of the slot machine is the wild symbol—this can be replaced for nearly any kind of symbol to boost players’ chances of getting a winning combination. Another new symbol is the scatter—a symbol that is not limited to emerge in active pay lines.
Online slots also feature an interesting total of bonus games. The most popular is the free spin bonus. Players are rewarded with free spins whenever a specific combo of symbols gets shown on the reels. Wagered money is not taken from players’ balance during free spins but their winnings can be added.
Another type of bonus game in online slots feature the second screen; during this bonus round, the reels are taken away for the remainder of the game. Players are usually asked to settle on a number of items and get additional credits during bonus rounds.
Online slots typically operate using random number generators which are included in the software. The symbols used in online slots and corresponding bonus games merge with their themes. The wins are emphasized using audio and graphic animations.
The progressive jackpot online slots are popular in online casinos. A total of every bet adds to the amount of jackpot, and this jackpot gets bigger with every bet. The jackpot is hit whenever a particular combo of symbols is shown on the reels, and the full amount is rewarded to the player. Millions of dollars are often at stake in progressive jackpot online slots.
The development of entertainment facilities online has made online slot games more exciting for all enthusiasts. It has also garnered more support from individuals from all walks of life. These days, you don’t really need to go to a casino to get your slot fix—you can now play your favorite slot games online. The slot machine has indeed evolved from its humble, mechanical origins.