Slot machines are a staple of the casino world – both online and land-based. You see them everywhere – in bars, at the train station, and in gaming halls. They’re also on just about every online gaming site there is.
Why are they so popular? Probably because they’ve been around for so long and they always offer an exciting experience. You don’t need another player to have fun – it’s just you and the machine.
The Sittman and Pitt Poker Machine
The very first slot machine has been traced back to 1891 and the poker machine created by Sittman and Pitt. The company was based in New York, and they developed a machine that you could play poker against. This was simply unheard of at the time.
The player would put a nickel into the machine, pull the lever on the side and the five drums would start spinning. There was a total of 50 cards across the drums and they would rotate randomly. The player would win if they could get a poker hand to show up on the drums.
Inventor Charles August Fey
This poker machine was incredibly popular and led inventor, Charles August Fey, to create more slot machines. Fey is actually usually credited as being the true creator of slots. The records don’t show exactly when his first coin-operated machine came out, but it was around 1894.
One of the major shifts that Fey managed to develop was the instant payout mechanism. The Sittman and Pitt machine didn’t pay out the winners. They would have to go over to the bar of the establishment to collect their winnings. With Fey’s machines, winners would receive their money from the machine itself – like we do today.
Although credited as the inventor, Fey didn’t see as much income from his efforts as he could have. Fey failed to patent the invention and slot machines soon started cropping up from engineering firms all over the world. Thankfully, Fey did do well enough and was able to quit his job as a mechanic and start working full time on slot machines.
The Introduction of Video Slots
The next big push forward in technology came with the first electromechanical slot machine in 1964. You still pulled a lever to start the game – in fact there are still machines being produced today that have the lever action. However, Money Honey (the 1964 machine) used electricity to operate the reels.
Just over a decade later, in 1976, the first video slot machine was released into the world. It was developed in Las Vegas, of course, by a company called Fortune Coin. The machine featured a 19-inch Sony TV that had been modified for the game.
It took a bit of time for the machine to get recognized by the Nevada State Gaming Commission. The company had to make some adjustments to ensure cheating wasn’t possible. By 1978, the video slot machine was firmly introduced to the world and started getting mass produced.
From here, slots went online in the 1990s. Now, we have a huge range of Australian slots online and games the rest of the world can access on desktop and mobile, 24/7/365/.