History of Slots
Any history of slot machines has to start with a horseshoes, diamonds, hearts, spades and bells as these were the symbols on the first slot machine. There was one of each of these symbols on each of three reels, a total of 15 symbols in all. This was the make up of the first slot machine that made its appearance in California in 1887. It was the brain child of a mechanic named Charles Fey but as at that time, gambling was banned in his state California, he had to sell them across the state lines in other states. This though did not stop them from becoming popular and he was able to sell as many as he could make.
By 1891 the slot machine had become popular throughout the states and so New York manufacturers Sittman and Pitt decided to make their own versions. This time there were five reels on the machines and the symbols were of playing cards with 10 on each of the five reels. Unlike the original slot machine that paid for matching the symbols, these new machines paid out on any poker hand that was made.
The first electromagnetic slot machine wasn’t developed until 1963 at which time Bally Manufacturing developed a machine called Money Honey and this was the first machine that could give payout, up to 500 coins without the need of an attendant being present.
Slot machines really became popular though in 1976 when the first video slots were introduced to the Strip in Las Vegas. The new technology soon allowed manufacturers to provide up to 50 different pay lines whilst others developed a way to just make 243 different winning combinations on the reels.
Since the introduction of the video slots to casinos, they have become the biggest source of revenue for casinos and they are careful to allocate more space to the playing of the slots to any other activity. Although with video slots, the variety could be huge, since they have now become popular to be played on-line, the themes and varieties of the slot machines have grown still further.