Slot History

Without a doubt, slots are vital for any casino. In fact, they make up most of the game floors and are great draw cards in casinos. Slot machine history begins in 1800 where many more stories are brought together.

The Symbols

Slots first showed up in 1800 when they had various card numbers on them as opposed to today's more common fruit symbols. In the beginning, card symbols became familiar references for these machines, so that they wouldn't look frightening and new to gamblers.

Such machines had ten cards on each of the five reels, which mean that two cards were left out from regular decks - Jack Hearts and 10 Spades. Without these cards, the machines instantly split the player's chances in half from getting the big prize of Royal Flushes. Such machines never paid out money; however, there were prizes of cigars and free drinks for the winners.

The Inventors

By 1899, a machine that looked like today's machines was produced by Charles Fey. It was called "Liberty Bell". It had three reels of different symbols on it, such as the cracked bell. The machine came with coin acceptor parts, payout tables and a big handle. Fey put this machine into a saloon in San Francisco to check the public's reaction to the new technology. It caused quite a sensation, making Fey quit and concentrate on the invention alone. This is why Fey monopolized the market of slots and thus became exceedingly successful overall.

By 1909, Fey's design was modified by Stephen Mill who added more symbols onto every reel, making a more compact machine that made installing and moving it much easier. This machine became quite a hit, too, and ended up replacing all of Fey's machines.

When these machines came out, slots started to spread much faster and eventually became today's icon. Earlier versions of these machines were heavy and loud and needed strong arms in order to be operated. Unfortunately, they were also easy to cheat and manipulate as players merely had to put a stick into a machine to get their desired reels. That is how operators realized that something had to be done to fix that glitch.

Everything changed by 1964 when the initial slots were introduced with the use of electronic micro-processors, which determines the games' outcome. Aside from making these machines safer, introducing these electronic slots meant that bigger jackpots and prizes could be offered on the slots, too.

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