If there is one machine that you are most likely to see in every casino both online and offline casino, it is a slot machine. You will definitely see a slot machine when you walk into any live casino in Nevada and most places in the world. In fact, some casinos in Las Vegas have hundred of slot machines available for players.

A slot machine is a name this game is known as in the United States. The British informally refers to it as the “fruit machine” while it is known as “puggy” in Scottish slang and also as a poker machine.

To play this game, a player has to put money into the machine and currency detector will validate the money inserted. When the machine stops, it pays off according to the patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine.

Slot machine has a rich history and it dates back many years ago. There are debates as to who originally invented slot machines. Thus, this has led to various accounts of how the slot machine was invented. In this article, we will shade more light on the history and development of slot machines based on the available facts.


1891 Era

According to the history, the first slot game was created by a company based in New York 1891 Sittman and Pitt. This particular slot machine games had 50 different playing cards in total with 5 different drums. You can find most of these machines in a lot of bars. It will just cost you one nickel to play. After inserting your money, pull the lever to play the machine. 2 cards – the jack of hearts and the ten of spades were removed from the machine so as to increase the house edge. By removing these two cards, the odds of getting a royal were reduced by half. In slot machine games, payouts are made for lining up poker hands on the reel. Payouts are not real money; instead, they are non-monetary prizes like free drinks.

Liberty bell slot machine

1887 – 1895 Era

Another story has it that Charles Augustus Fey is the person that invented the first slot machine. No certain date was given for his invention but it was put between 1887 – 1895. Historians believed he created a machine that would allow automatic payouts. However, he designed the machine to reduce the complexity of reading a win for the machine.

Charles was able to achieve the above by replacing the existing 5 drums with 3 reels. The drums aren’t the only thing he replaced; he also replaced the playing cards with just 5 symbols which include spades, diamonds, hearts, liberty bell, and horseshoes. This machine was named the Liberty Bell because the highest payout was awarded for 3 bell symbols. Unfortunately for Fey, he did not request a patent for his enterprise before it gained huge popularity and the idea get stolen by other slot machine games manufacturers.

1902 – 1908 Era (Fruit Machine)

The Liberty Bell which was invented by Charles Fey was banned in 1902 because prizes could no longer be distributed. However, this does not stop the Liberty Bell production. However, it was during this era that fruit machine production started. This particular machine made use of fruit symbols. Winners take their prizes in chewing gum and sweets of the corresponding flavor.

Herbert Mills, a Chicago-based manufacturer, in 11907 produced a slot machine known as the “Operator Bell”. The machine went viral in 1908 and can be found in bowling alleys, shops, and salons. It was during this time that the BAR symbol was introduced into slot machine games. The symbol actually based on the logo of the Bell-Fruit company.

1974 – First Electromechanical Slot Machine

Another development of slot machine occurred in 1974. This time around, first fully electromechanical slot machine known as “Money Honey” was released by Bally.

It was different from other machines. The reels were operated electrically. However, a player still needs to pull the lever to start the game. This was also the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper. This was what made it possible to make an automatic payout of up to 500 coins. This machine was very popular at the time and later led to the dominance of electromechanical slot machine games.

1976 – 1978 – Video Slot Machine Games

In 1976, the first true video slot machine was manufactured by Fortune Coin, a Las Vegas-based company in Kearny Mesa. They got approval from the Nevada State Gaming Commission after some modifications.

Since then, there have been other developments of slot machine games, including its introduction into online casino games. Nowadays, you can stay in your room and play slot machine games online.

Types of Slot Machine Games

Some well-known types of slot machine games include:

  • Single-coin machines
  • Multipliers
  • Buy-Your-Pay Machines
  • Multiple Payline Machines
  • Wild Play Machines
  • Progressive Machines
  • Big Berthas
  • Multi-Game Machines
  • Touch-Screen Machines
  • Reel Slot Machine games
  • Video Slot Machine games

Slot machine games are easily among the most popular casino games. Fortunately, there are hundreds of different varieties available online and offline. No matter your skill level, you will definitely find a slot machine game you will love when you found yourself at a casino.