History of Slots

18 November 2012

What is a Slot Machine?

In casinos across the world slot machines, or “slots”, can be seen to completely fill large casino rooms and to attract large crowds. In the U.S., slots are the most popular gambling game and generate over 75% of casino revenues. But, what is this revolutionary machine and how does it work? A slot machine is a casino gambling game covered with a variety of buttons, lights, and colorful images. Money is inserted into slots (hence the name “slot machine”), and a variety of buttons can be pressed depending on the amount of money a person wants to bet. There are a minimum of three reels that rotate inside of a slot machine, but some have many more than that. Once a button is pressed and the bet is set, the reels spin and stop in random locations. When images line up in various positions, money is awarded. The amount of prize won is always based upon the original bet.
Slots are based on independent probability events, in which the outcome of one spin does not affect the result of future spins. Therefore, just because a person won recently on one machine, does not mean that the same machine will not hit a high prize again very soon.

History and Origins

In 1895 the first slot machine was created in the U.S.A. by a man named Charles Fey from San Francisco, CA. The machine was called “The Liberty Bell” and it had three spinning reels and five different symbols across them. When he could no longer keep up with the demand that he had created, large manufactures took over. In 1907 the Herbert Mills manufacturing company begin to produce machines on a large-scale in Chicago, IL.
Original slot machines ran on and dispersed change for winnings. They did not have buttons like modern slots, but instead had long levers to pull in order to start the reels which gave them the nickname “the one-armed bandit”.
In 1964 electricity was finally incorporated into the games. Nevada Electricity Company developed the first completely electric-based slot machine. The following thirty years were filled with new manufacturers following this lead by developing a variety of electronic gambling games such as poker, horse racing, and roulette.
Slots have continued to modernize and today many of them can be seen to have 3D images and videos. The craze quickly spread across the globe, and these machines with a variety of games can be seen in almost every casino. In fact, today most online casinos typically offer the option of playing virtual slots as well.

How the Game Spread

Although the slot machine was created in the USA, the popularity of the game quickly spread across the world. People from all backgrounds and with different game tastes were infatuated with the idea of the glamorous gambling machine. The ease of the game quickened its march across the globe, along with its ability to create a fun and addictive atmosphere. The concept is always the same no matter where you travel, although the name and popularity may vary. For example, in the USA they are simply referred to as “slots”, in Australia they are commonly referred to as “pokies”, and in the UK they are named “fruit machines”.


Slot machines are known for their simplicity and ease of enjoyment. But how are they played? To begin gambling, a player will simply insert their money into the machine. An automatic counter will verify the amount of funds inserted and present the number on the screen. The player will choose how much they would like to bet on each and every spin of the reels. Some slots offer bets as low as five cents, and others rise above the 100 EUR mark. Once the player is set on the bet, they press the button marked with the bet desired which spins the internal reels of the machine. The reels will randomly stop, and the winnings depend on which images appear on the screen. Slot machines vary in the manner in which they pay out for a winning spin. It is often found that a higher bet corresponds with a larger area of play, and more “lines” that can be formed in different directions between the images. When the images line up in a winning combination, the machine will credit the player and the total funds they have within the machines “bank” will rise. Modern machines often go beyond the notion of simply lining up images. They may contain special bonuses that can be hit, many of them being interactive. For example, on the “Sex in the City” slot machine, if the reels stop on a certain number of images of a character in the show, the player will be moved on to an interactive bonus round. It is then up to the player to match or guess certain items to obtain a hidden bonus. Sometimes, if a correct item is chosen or the mini bonus game is completed, the player is moved on to a higher level of the bonus round. This is often how the “jackpot” can be reached that is commonly advertised above the machine. Although the images and storylines may vary between the countless number of slot varieties, the concept stays relatively simply. The player inserts money, chooses a bet, spins the reels, and either wins more money or loses the amount that they bet. The games are commonly found to be very addictive because of the level of enjoyment that may come out of playing them.


The slot machines found across the globe, and online, come in a variety of forms. Many resemble the classic gambling game where a simple set of reels in spin, and a few pictures must line up in order to win. Others follow this concept, but include interactive features such as bonus games and videos.
Slot machines can be set up in a variety of ways. The first machine was created with three reels and a very small number of symbols. Many slots today employ this classic standard, and simply change up the images displayed. Others utilize the three reels like the classic machine, but modernize the game with sounds, colors, and graphics. A lot of modern day machines have moved beyond the simple three reel idea. More reels have been added, various graphics integrated, and interactive bonuses enabled. More reels benefits both the casino and the players. For the casino, more reels means lower winning odds and a higher pay out for them. For the player, more reals allows for more gameplay and enjoyment.
There are three main classifications of slot machines, and the countless variations across the world can each fit into one of them. The set are known as “straight slots”. These games are extremely simple to learn and to play. They utilize the basic game strategy of spinning reels (the number of reels can vary) and paying out to the player according to a set of matching symbols on a set line. An example of these could be the original “Liberty Bell” machine that was created early in slot history and is played by spinning reels and matching images. The second category of slots is known as “progressive slots”. These machines are linked with other machines of the same storyline within a casino. They are played in a similar manner as straight slots are, but each time money is entered, a certain amount is added to the jackpot amount. Everyone in the progressive link is playing for that amount as it continues to grow. A common found example of this category is the game “Reel ‘Em In” in which players compete on their fishing-based slots to go to the progressive bonus round with other players. The third category of slots is known as “bonus game slots”. These machines offer bonus games that are either randomly assigned, or earned through lining up certain images on the reels. These are usually interactive games that allow the player to play a mini game outside of the actual slot premise for more money. An example of a bonus game slot could be the machine “Sex in the City” in which bonus games appear randomly for players to interact with and enjoy the game more.
Another popular form of electronic gambling is video poker. Many of these games enable the player to choose which form of poker they’d like to play, like the standard five card game, Texas Hold'Em, etc. Video poker started in the late 1970’s when it was manufactured and popularized by SIRCOMA (Si Red’s Coin Machines).The most commonly found virtual poker played is Draw Poker, in which a player is dealt five cards at the beginning of the game. The player can then bet the amount of money they choose, and discard and draw new cards to add value to their hand. After the player is finished, they will be paid winnings based upon the hand of cards that they hold. The hierarchy of poker hands is the same found in table poker. For example, if a player holds the highest hand possible they will be paid the highest pay out amount, usually multiplied by the amount of money they bet. In this case, the best hand available is a Royal Flush, in which the player’s hand contains a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace, all of the same suit.
The popularity of virtual poker spread just as fast as the standard slot machine did. Once created and employed in various casinos, it was loved and quickly spread across the world. Today, virtual poker is typically found on every casino floor and on most online casino websites.
CasinoWebScripts offers a large variety of slot machine games, with over 10 unique video poker titles, and over 40 slot machine games from classic themes to ancient custom themes.


Although both land and online casinos have a variety of games offered to their players, slot machines have always been the classic go-to favorite. This is typically why the machines take up a majority of the space on a casino floor. They are highly addictive and very fun to play, which explains why they commonly make up the highest percentage of earnings for a casino. One reason for their popularity is the fact that the games are extremely simple to play. They have fun story lines, flashy colors and images, and the amount of money that is possible to win is often a very large amount. Slots are completely based on chance, and therefore do not require any extensive skills to play.
The popularity of the slot machine is very widespread across the globe. Although people across the globe enjoy a variety of casino games, slots still remain one of the most popular. The number of gambling machines across the world rounds out to about 7,249,919. Asia holds the highest amount of slots within its continent, containing about 66.8% of all total machines in the world. Europe comes in second with around 19.8%, North America in third with 11.6%, then South America with 1.3% and Africa with 0.4%. If broken down by country, the top three nations with the highest actual number of machines are Japan, the U.S., and Italy.

Slot Machines Today

Slot machines today are extremely popular and widespread across the globe. They come in countless varieties of storylines, graphics, and games. The origin of the machine will forever be remembered as its premise is still continuously utilized in casinos around the world. As slot machines continue to fill casino floors, and players grow ever more excited about the new release of a game, the gambling machine will be a permanent statement in gambling culture. CasinoWebScripts will continue to produce top quality video slot games as their main activity.

18 November 2012

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