History of Slots
The history of slots started with Charles Fey in 1887 when, in California, he invented the first slot machine that had 3 reels with 5 symbols on each reel. The symbols featured horseshoes, diamonds, hearts, spades and bells. The idea of this slot machine was that the reels would spin and when they stopped, if the same symbols lined up, then you won. It was however, illegal to gamble in California at that time and so Fey had to sell his machines outside of the state. In the other states the slot machine quickly grew in popularity though and Fey sold all that he could make.
In 1891 the popularity of slot machines had become so great that the New York manufacturers Sittman and Pitt started to build their own. These New York versions of the slot machine had 5 reels and had as their symbols, playing cards. In this version, to attain a win you had to make any poker hand from the symbols on the stopped reels.
The next major development in the world of slots happened in 1963 when Bally manufacturing built the first fully electromagnetic slot machine called Honey Money. This was also the first slot machine that could allow wins of up to 500 coins, be paid out automatically without the assistance of an attendant.
When video slot machines came into existence in 1976, they quickly became a favorite on the Las Vegas strip and have remained so ever since. Since that time slot machines have appeared with a multitude of themes and special features and many machines came with as many as 50 different pay lines. There were some other slot machines though that rejected the need for pay lines and just had 243 different ways to win.
More recently slot machines have become available for playing on line and as these on line slot machines do not have to be concerned with the physical space that they may take up, it has become possible for them to offer even more themes that the slot is based on. With this new ability and the new market, it is likely that the slot machine will carry on enjoying its popularity for a few more years yet.