Iconic figures in the history of Slots. With today’s online Slots staying at the forefront of all technology and continuing to progress with new gaming options constantly gracing our favorite real money online casino – it’s hard to imagine a time where this wasn’t the case.
If you’re a fan of those spinning reels, you’ll be interested to know that Slots have a rich history since their initial, and official, creation in 1891. But who was responsible for such a masterpiece invention? And who helped bring this classic game into the 21st century?
Well, read on as we answer those questions, as well as introducing you to some of the front runners in Slots innovation.
Sittman and Pitt
The first to develop the slot machine, in its most basic form, Sittman and Pitt were a Brooklyn based gaming manufacturing company who, in 1891, made a mark on the world of Slots forever. Although the model would look somewhat primitive to what we’re used to today, the initial slot machine was an easy-to-use invention which consisted of five metal drums and a deck of 50 standard playing cards which rotated inside of these drums.
Once the player had inserted their money into the coin slot, they’d have to pull down on a level on the side of the machine, in order to get the reels spinning. As you can probably imagine, this is where the name “one-armed-bandit” was coined from.
This machine could be found in various bars across America, costing just one nickel to play. From here, to trigger a win, players would be required to line up winning Poker hands with those playing cards, although the 10 of spades and Jack of hearts were soon removed, as it was found that they were making the game a little too easy to profit from.
In terms of prizes, there was no flurry of coins falling out of the bottom tray. A direct payout mechanism was yet to be invented, so in most places, winnings would be collected from the bar, in the form of drinks or cigars.
Charles Augustus Fey
Another Slots icon, Charles Augustus Fey is sometimes argued to be the real inventor of the beloved slot machine, although he took a lot longer to distribute it to the masses. Fey built several different models, before finally settling on the Liberty Bell, which was also the first slot machine to be able to perform its own automatic payouts, although the symbols and mechanisms had to be slightly simplified to do so.
Moving forward to 1902, Chicago-based developer Herbert Mills became the next big name in the history of slot machines, introducing the Operator Bell. This machine was met with great success, and could be found in a wide variety of shops by 1908. The Operator Bell is also the first slot to incorporate the BAR symbol – an image that is now iconic in slot gaming.
WMS Industries Inc.
Fast forward to the dawn of the internet in the ‘90s, and Slots soon found their way onto the online scene. Whilst Roulette and Blackjack were the first to debut onto the internet, Slots weren’t far behind, with the creators at WMS Industries Inc. releasing the online slot “Reel ‘EM” in 1996. This was the first video slot that included more than one screen, and therefore multiple ways to win.
From here, the world of online Slots has only continued to progress – as we’re sure you’re well aware!