First Era Slots History – Mechanical Slots
Slots history shows that Charles Fey dominated this era, thanks to his introduction of the three-reel slot machine.
Fey’s most famous creation is probably the cast-iron Liberty Bell slot. Each of three reels had ten symbols on them. To win the jackpot you had to three of the same symbols on the pay line. As a result, this gave the players a one in one-thousand chance of winning the jackpot.
Fey placed his slot machines on a 50% rental basis.
It is thought that the Liberty Bell and other period slots were created to amuse the ladies while the men played various table games. It became apparent though that men and woman alike were fascinated by this reel spinning machine which paid out jackpots if lady luck was at your side.
Slot Machine History Second Era – Electromechanical Slots
The electromechanical era dominated the mid-twentieth century. These are rather dull period when it came to slot machines. The highlight of this period was the release of Big Bertha, who was soon upstaged by her big sister, Super Big Bertha. This super slot cost more than $150,000 to make, was powered by a five-horsepower motor, and had 8 reels with 20 symbols on each one. Super Big Bertha certainly was a spectacular machine, but it wasn’t very advantageous for the players. It only paid back 80% to the players, and the chance of winning the jackpot was 1 in 25.6 billion.
History of Slots, Third Era – Computerized Slots
Now the slots are computerized, relying on pre-programmed random number generators that produced numbers corresponding to patterns of symbols on the reels. Slots are today regular features in online casinos, and the game is quickly moving into the coinless era. The modern slots have little in common with Charles Fey’s original machine technologically, but when it comes to design and playing feel, the resemblance is undoubtedly there.
History of Slots, Today and the Future
Contemporary slot machines evolve constantly; video slots are the current rage, they come with themes based on game shows, movie or cartoon characters, romance, adventure, exotic locations and so much more. Slots manufacturers include names like IGT (International Game Technology), Sigma Gaming, Atronic and many more. Coin operated slots are fast becoming slots history. Instead we use bar coded tickets, no more dirty hands from handling all those coins.