History of Slots

Any history of slot machines must include the names of Charles Fey of California, Sittman and Pitts of New York and bally Manufacturing as these were really the pioneers in the slot machine business.

Charles Fey actually built the first slot machine in 1887 which had three reels and only 15 symbols, three each of bells, spades, hearts, diamonds and horseshoes. Although Fey built his slot machines in California, gambling was illegal in that state and so he had to ship them outside of the state. The slot machine became popular so rapidly that as soon as 1891, Sittman and Pitts manufacturing of New York started to build their own slot machines. These slots were different; they had 5 reels and a total of 50 symbols on the reels. The symbols on these slot machines were playing cards and these slot machines paid a win if somebody got a poker hand showing on the reels, where as Fey’s slot machines had paid wins for matching the symbols.

The popularity of slot machines continued to grow but apart from that, there was not really any special news in the slot machine world until 1963 when Bally Manufacturing produced the first electromagnetic slot machine. This machine was called Honey Money and was the first machine that was capable of automatically paying out wins of up to 500 coins without the assistance of an attendant.

Although slot machines had already become very popular, prior to 1976, with the introduction in that year, on the Las Vegas Strip, of the first video slot machine, their popularity soared. The casinos of the Strip, after that first introduction, now dedicate the most floor space to slot machines and it has been speculated that there are now eight slot machines per resident in Las Vegas.

Since the introduction of video slots world wide, slots have been produced that follow many themes, which again is attracting more popularity but now that it has become possible to play slots on line, both the numbers of different themes for slot machines and the popularity of slot machines, have risen to still higher heights.

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