The history of online slot games is intertwined with the history of casino games. Slot machines began as early as the 19th century, with the Liberty Bell making the most famous entrance. There were obviously other slot machine designs before the Liberty Bell, but this machine featured the mechanics of slots that are still available to date – also visit PhoneCasino.
Charles Fey and the Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell was a classical 3-reel slot design with fewer symbols, like fruit symbols. These machines were famous across bars, salons, and other kinds of shops in the United States. Customers would frequently play and win freebies, bubble gum, or even a few dimes. It is quite surprising that those fruit symbols still exist today and are prominent features in modern video slots. Charles Fey was the originator of the Liberty Bell and his machines featured symbols like spades, hearts, diamonds, and the photo of the cracked Liberty Bell, which remains to this date.
It is also important to note that Charles Fey did not stop at inventing his own slot machine; he also invented the draw poker machine and other devices such as the Three Spindles, Klondike, and Draw Power. He was also the pioneer of a device called the Trade Check Separator, which was used to detect fake coins placed within gambling machines. Because Charles Fey was not able to meet the demands of creating his slot machines, the Chicago manufacturer began creating replicas of the Liberty Bell.
Nevertheless, gambling or actual cash-based machines were banned in the following years, leading the pioneers to transform their systems into sweets and gum-dispensing machines.
Electromagnetic video slots
By 1963, slots had evolved into slot machines with graphical themes on screen instead of mechanical reels. This actually happened because the U.S government, in a bid to acquire tax incentives, began promoting money-based gambling once more.
These electromagnetic video slots were also made possible by the introduction of software, and they could give players the chance to win up to 500 coins. At first, it was the 1964 Money Honey Machine, produced by Chicago Pinball Manufacturing Machine. These machines worked using electricity and required the pull of an arm attached to the machine to work. This is why slot machines are often called “one-armed bandits.”
Game developers began trying out different symbols, reels, and paylines, further building more payout options. The electromagnetic slot is the true foundation of the modern video slot where you now have multiple paylines.
In 1971, the gaming industry exploded following the release of the Pong video game by the Atari company. The first video slot emerged in 1976 and was called Fortune Coin. This slot machine was the creation of Fortune Coin Company and featured a 19-inch Sony CRT television as the display. The machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and began to be patronized by gamblers at the Las Vegas Hilton. Following gambling commission approval, the entire Vegas strip received its own video slot machines. By 1986, IGT created the first progressive jackpot called “megabucks,” which paid out jackpots that increased to enormous amounts.
Internet slot machines and beyond
Subsequently, by the 1990s, with the advent of the internet and computers, video games began to evolve, thereby creating the emergence of virtual casinos. Microgaming was the first to develop an online casino, thereby marking the true beginnings of gaming online for real money. By 1996, WMS Industries created their own second-screen video slot called “Reel ‘Em In”. This slot had a second screen for a bonus round, thereby marking the beginnings of adding bonus rounds to slot machines like protein realm. By the time mobile phones came on board, people could collect payments via SMS or WAP push, but they couldn’t bet or wager on their phones. When the Android and Apple operating systems became a reality, this became possible. And as the internet continued to flourish, the world of internet gaming became established.
Today, there are slot machines in every genre possible. Slot machines are still evolving, with virtual reality slots becoming the preferred slot games of the future.