Where Slot Machines First Started And Where They Are Today

Thursday, May 6th, 2021 by LuckyMobileSlots

Curious about the evolution of the slot machine? We take you through the ages and the kind of slots you should play to get you back in time.

Slot Machines Through The Ages
Slot Machines Through The Ages
18+

Slot machines, which are also known as fruit machines or one-armed bandits, are fairly straightforward gambling machines. It’s what so many people love about them.

However, the fact that they keep you on the edge of your seat and provide you with the opportunity to win hundreds or even thousands of times your bet means that they rarely get boring. And when they do, we tell you about it in our new slot reviews online.

Over the years, however, slot machines have changed quite a bit. Some of the video slots that you play online nowadays are nothing like the basic slot machines people used to play in the 19th century.

To give you an idea of where slot machines first started and where they are today, here are some of the most interesting periods of time relating to slots and what you could find online to play to take you back to simpler days.

The Liberty Bell – 1895

Whilst there was a gambling machine before the Liberty Bell, payouts were made for lining up poker hands and there was no payout mechanism.

Most people agree that Charles Fey invented the first slot machine when he made the Liberty Bell sometime between 1887 and 1895.

Not only did this slot machine provide automatic payouts, but it also featured the classic 3 reels and many of the symbols we still see today, including horseshoes and a Liberty Bell.

This machine was so popular that it was copied by many other slot machine manufacturers, even to this day.

Best Game to Play: Seven 7s slot is as old fashioned as you get with a new-fashioned twist. There’s a reason no one re-creates these machines anymore – they lack thrills. But not Seven 7s, with only 3 symbols and 1 reel that can pay up to 25,000x your bet.

Seven 7s Slot Game
Seven 7s Slot Game

The Operator Bell – 1907

There were numerous different ‘bell’ slot machines to come along in the next few years, but the Operator Bell got a lot of attention because it featured a gum-vending attachment.

Due to the fact that the gum provided was fruit flavoured, fruit symbols were added to the reels and this is where the now-famous lemons, cherries, plums and oranges came from.

This new set of symbols, which also included a stick of ‘bell-fruit gum’ as the first-ever bar symbol, proved to be highly popular so they were often used by other companies that began to make their own slot machines.

Best Game To Play: Bell of Fortune slot by Play’n GO, a 1 payline 3 reel fruit machine where the bell is both a wild symbol and the jackpot highest paid symbol. We can’t promise you’ll find fruit gum, but there’s plenty of fruits to enjoy. It’s alright to sometimes play real classics.

Play'n GO Bell of Fortune Slot
Play'n GO Bell of Fortune Slot

The Money Honey – 1963

All of the slots before 1963 were mechanical and pulling the lever would set the reels in motion, however, the Money Honey changed things as this was the first fully electromechanical slot machine.

It still featured the classic lever which was pulled to start the game, but made Bally Tech slots famous worldwide for its quick and simplified design.

The electromechanical workings of the Money Honey made it the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper too and it could automatically payout up to 500 coins.

This slot machine made electronic games soar in popularity and as more and more were made, the famous side level started to be removed from the designs.

Best Game to Play: Hot Cross Bunnies Slot, with nudges and realistic buttons, gives you that feeling that you are sitting in a hall, pressing a button and winning cash out of the hopper. Fun and easy to play.

Hot Cross Bunnies Slot Game
Hot Cross Bunnies Slot Game

Video slots – 1976

Nothing much changed in the world of slots until 1976 when the first video slot machine was developed by the Las Vegas-based company Fortune Coin.

This machine featured a modified 19 inch Sony TV and it was first available to play in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

Eventually, after some much-needed modifications to prevent cheating, this video slot machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and found its home on the Las Vegas Strip.

A couple of years later Fortune Coin and its video technology were purchased by IGT Slot studios, a name you will probably recognise.

Best Game to Play: IGT has long moved past their basic video slots roots, but you can still find 5 reel slots with just a wild and scatter to make things exciting. In this case, you’ll have to go play Microgaming’s 5 reel Drive slot, which is simplicity itself.

Microgaming 5 Reel Drive Slot
Microgaming 5 Reel Drive Slot

Bonus rounds – 1996

One of the last big developments happened to slot machines back in 1996 when WMS Industries Inc. developed a video slot machine that had a second screen bonus round. At the time, this was a huge deal and it is fair to say that this changed slot games significantly.

From then on, slot machines went from strength to strength and this is when online slot games and slot sites really started to take off.

As technology advanced, so did slot games and now, the games that you play can feature numerous in-game bonus features and bonus rounds.

Want mini-games, second screen, free spins and animations? You got it.

Best Games to Play: The original Rainbow Riches slot is the game that comes to mind when you think second screen bonus, but there’s been so many since then! From the Rainbow Riches Race Day review to Rainbow Riches Free spins, you certainly have your pick of the genre.

Rainbow Riches Free Spins Slot Game
Rainbow Riches Free Spins Slot Game

The rise of the smartphone and mobile slots

Whilst mobile casino gaming was a thing before Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, it was really only then that things got interesting for the serious gambler.

No longer just an awkward way to play something that maybe resembles a slot and crashed all the time, now punters could find their favourite pub slots on their smartphones.

It was a revelation and have now taken over online gambling as we know. Games used to be made in multiple computer languages, now all you find is HTML 5 slots to make them compatible with your phone and tablet devices.

People said no one would want to play on a tiny screen. People were wrong. We did and we have.

Best Games to Play: Almost all your favourite online slots were moved over to mobile casinos; from the Immortal Romance slot to Pixies of the Forest and Gonzo’s Quest game. But if you want that perfect mix of mobile that brings back everything good from online, you can’t go wrong with the Book of Dead video slot.

Play'n GO Book of Dead Slot
Play'n GO Book of Dead Slot

Now: Megaways, Grid slots and Cluster Pays

The world of mobile brought a revolution to casino games. No longer did they need to be restricted by big lumbering machines, now if you could imagine it, you could play it on mobile.

And with it came an evolution in gaming. The rise of social mobile games created never before seen games that didn’t have to stick to the rules of paylines.

Now you have grid slots like the Gemix slot that pays in clusters just like the Candy Crush game, and you have the Megaways slots with up to 117,649 ways to win.

With the invention of infinity reels and Megaclusters, we just keep seeing bigger and more interesting features day by day.

We can’t wait to see what happens in the next 10 years.

Best Games to Play: Check out our grid slots list for all the unusual social gambling games out there, with a star rating from best to worst. Or you could play on the Fruit Shop Megaways slot for something that brings the old and new together beautifully.

NetEnt Fruit Shop Megaways Slot Game
NetEnt Fruit Shop Megaways Slot Game

Finding the best online slot games to play

There is no denying that slot machines have come a long way since the 1800s.

It’s easy to see why slot machines are some of the most popular games to play at both land-based casinos and online casinos these days. Versatile, but keeping at its base a simple joy of the spin, it’s no surprise that there are thousands of different slot games available to play created by numerous software providers.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or are curious about some of the features we mentioned, why not check out our Advanced slot search with many different filters to find your perfect game.

Whenever you’re wanting to play online slots, the Lucky Mobile Slots website is the place to be. Here you can read lots of unbiased reviews about the best online slot games to play and the many different online casinos you can play them at, with all the different casino bonuses on offer.

Ultimately, you can rely on us to tell you everything you need to know about modern slot games. Start exploring our website today or check out some of the games above at one of the most slot-heavy casinos around.

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