The History of Slot Machines

Slot machines have been a staple of casinos and gambling for as long as we can all remember. With their flashing lights and suspenseful sound effects, it’s no wonder they can sometimes be so mesmerizing and captivating to both your attention and your wallet! But, have you ever wondered where the idea to create a slot machine first blossomed? An inventive casino owner perhaps? Or maybe it was the product of a “boys night out” discussion amongst some young gamblers? Nope! The first slot machine was actually invented by a mechanic. Bet you didn’t see that coming!

The First Slot Machine: In 1887 Charles Fey, a mechanic from San Francisco, solved the conundrum of how to create an automated game of poker with the very first slot machine. Based on the game of poker, the first slot machine sported three spinning reels with five simple symbols: diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades and an image of the Liberty Bell, which served to represent the ever-so-desirable jackpot. In honor of it’s sought after jackpot, the new slot machine design was appropriately named the Liberty Bell Machine.

A Revolutionary Payout: Fey’s Liberty Bell Machine was the first of its kind, dispensing actual cash prizes. For early poker machine designs, it was customary to receive free drinks, cigars or fruit flavored gum as a payout. This is actually how the traditional cherry, melon and bar symbols were born. By dispensing prizes and not coins, these early slot machines were able to evade anti-gambling laws, but Fey’s Liberty Bell was not as lucky, making it outlawed in several states.

Slot Machines Evolved: By 1910, slot machines had become increasingly popular and many other companies began tweaking the Liberty Bell’s design and producing their own versions. Mills Novelty created the Operator Bell, which included the traditional fruit symbols that were not present in Frey’s original design. In the early 1930s, Mills Novelty began producing slot machines with wooden cabinets, new themes, and quieter sound effects, giving them the nickname “Silent Bells.”

The Money Honey: Developed by Bally Technologies Inc. in the early 1960s, the Money Honey was the first of its kind; electromechanical. The incorporation of electricity into this slot machine design ensured improved gameplay and paved the way for multi-coin bets, which meant higher payouts. They were bigger, flashier, and extremely desirable for gamblers country-wide. But the odds were not in the consumer’s favor. Bally had hired computer programmers to ensure that while the jackpot increased, making the machines more desirable, the odds of winning decreased, which made hitting high even more exciting!

Since then, slot machines have become one of the most popular attractions in casinos nationwide. They are ever-evolving, now available with completely digital reels. They are even able to be played in completely digital casinos, thanks to the internet!

At Casinos by M&M, we are proud to offer a wide variety of slot machines for any occasion. Our slots are the finest in the industry, with the best and most sophisticated graphics. Give us a call at 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST to learn more about our slot machine options, and book up for your next party. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!

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