Those who play casino games had played slot machines at one point in their gambling lives. Some are still even trying their luck at slot machines while some may have given up and resorted to table games where winning is not based on luck alone. But did you know that the slot machine had undergone series of changes before reaching its present state and the internet?
The history of slot machines started in the late 19th century when a machine was designed with five drums displaying poker hands. However, due to the very large number of possible combinations in this machine, automatic payout for every combination is almost impossible to achieve. The prizes instead are free beers, cigars, or drinks, depending on the owner.
Charles Fey then invented a new machine based on the first machine. It had 3 reels MEGAGAME instead of 5 drums and 5 symbols instead of 10 cards. He was then able to devise automatic payouts for every combination since the number of possible combinations is significantly reduced. One of the 5 symbols is the Liberty Bell – which gave the machine its name; others are horseshoes, diamonds, spades, and hearts.
Imitators then devised their own machines similar to the Liberty Bell but with different symbols and different prizes. This is when slot machines featuring fruits – including cherry and melon that we still see today – were devised and introduced. The Bell Fruit Gum Company introduced the first line of slot machines which did not have money as payouts but gum. It was most probably an effort to sell their gum.
The bar signs that slots of today feature came from the logo of the Bell Fruit Gum Company.
It was in the 60’s that electronic machines were introduced. Electronic slots are much harder to cheat and are more secure than mechanical ones. More and more casinos later adapted electronic ones.