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History of the slot machine



A slot machine is one of the most popular games in all corners of the world. It is often called a pokie or a fruit machine and has rather simple rules – you make a bet, spin the reels, and follow the screen to see whether you have landed a winning combination. Millions of players enjoy slots day after day but not all of them know that these machines are more than 130 years old. In the article below, we invite you to a brief excursion into history. And when you finish reading, เล่นสล็อตออนไลน์ and try to grab the luck by its tail!

From the moment of creation to today

The first slot machine, Liberty Bell, was invented in 1895 by Charles Fey, a car mechanic from San Francisco. It was rather simple compared with modern slots: had three reels and four symbols – a diamond, heart, spade, ad the Liberty Bell itself. When collecting three of them, players could receive the biggest payout of fifty cents. If you love history, go to the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Nevada where this machine is still displayed!

After seeing the Liberty Bell’s success, Charles Fey gave birth to other machines like Draw Poker and Klondike. In 1901, he also created the first poker machine. The monetization scheme was rather simple – Fey rented these machines to bars for a 50/50 profit split.

In 1902, slots were officially banned but it didn’t stop Charles and his partners from manufacturing more and more machines. Cash rewards were prohibited, so the prizes were paid out in sweets and chewing gums of numerous flavours and types. In 1907, Herbert Mills from Chicago created Operator Bell, a slot machine that was a real success. In a year, it could be found in literally every salon, tobacco shop, or bowling centre. Its BAR symbol made a real breakthrough and is often used in modern pokies.

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The next turn of history began in 1964 when the first electromechanical machine was released. The reels were turning electrically, not mechanically although players still had to push the lever to start the game. This game offered an automatic payout of up to 500 coins and became extremely popular. Soon after that, electromechanical machines dominated the market.

Twelve years later, in 1976, the first video slot was released thanks to a Las Vegas company called Fortune Coin. It used the 19-inch Sony display and was offered in Hilton Hotels across the state. In a year, after undergoing a few changes and improvements, it received the Nevada State Gaming Commission. In 1978, Fortune Coin was purchased by IGT, one of the most popular studios at the moment.

For almost two decades nothing happened on the market but it turned upside down in 1996 when the Reel’ Em’ game from WMS was released. The unique thing about this slot was a second screen with a bonus round and extra payouts. Since that time, literally every month we witness a rapid development of technologies and the introduction of unique slots with great design and extras.

Main terms

Although slot games are very simple and don’t require any specific skills, knowing the basic terminology is always a good idea. Here are a few terms to be aware of:

  • Bonus – an extra game feature that is activated when collecting a winning combination on the reels.
  • Candle – the light on the top of the machine which signals that there is a problem with a game or that hand pay is needed.
  • Carousel – a group of slots in a circle or another shape.
  • Coin hopper – a device which rotates the coins and immediately gives out the payouts.
  • Credit meter – shows the number of credits of the slot.
  • Dropbox – a container at the bottom of a machine where excess coins are stored.
  • EGM – Electronic Gaming Machine.
  • Free spins – the most popular type of bonus usually triggered by collecting several scatter symbols.
  • Payline – a horizontal line on the screen where the winning combinations can be collected.
  • Scatter – a unique game symbol that triggers bonus rounds.
  • Slant-top machine – the one which also has a stool.
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Slots have an extremely rich history. From heavy machines, they transformed into online games with amazing design and features that engage players in all corners of the world. Nowadays, there are thousands of slots in hundreds of topics, so you will easily find a game to taste. And most of them can be played in a demo mode either at Thai CasinoHEX or a platform of your choice. Have any questions left? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

About the author: Chanisa Mongkhonkay is the chief editor of an extremely popular gambling website for Thai players. At CasinoHEX, she publishes reviews of online casinos and games, lucrative bonuses, and other tips that make gambling rewarding and fun.

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