Who invented the slot machine? – The Origin of Slot Machines

The invention of slot machines has changed the gambling world. Significantly, it helps in making gaming much more accessible for people with limited incomes. Also, it is beneficial for those who do not have a lot of time on their hands to play. Ever since slot machines have become accessible to the public, they can be found anywhere there is a casino. Aside from that, you can also play it in bars, restaurants, airports, and even grocery stores. However, do you know who invented the slot machine?

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Slot Machine Symbols: What are the symbols in Slot machines

The Origin Of Slot Machines – Who invented the slot machine?

Originally, slot machine refers to standard vending machines where it was first coined back in the 1880s. The name slot machine is derived from dropping a nickel into the coin slot to get the product you wanted.

If that is the case, who invented the slot machine for gambling?

What is the history of slot machine?
What is the history of slot machine?

Timeline of who invented the slot machine

The year 1885

In the year 1885, the very first slot machine was invented for gambling purposes. However, it only possesses a little resemblance to the slot machine we are playing today.

Did you know? When the first slot machine was invented in what year?

The machine invented in 1885 was the novelty machine that features things like toy horses that are racing around a small track. Usually, you get to find these slots in bars and saloons. Oftentimes, patrons bet nickels or tokens so that they could redeem drinks or cigarettes.

The year 1891

Who created the first slot machine for gambling?

Sittman and Pitt (a New York-based company) developed a slot machine closer to what we see today.

This slot machine has five drums wherein each drum had 10 different card faces on it. Yes, you can say it looks like a slot poker machine. Usually, you can find this machine in many bars and works when you inserted a nickel.

poker slot machine
Who created the first poker slot machine for gambling?

You need to line up poker hands on the reel to receive a payout. However, the Jack of Hearts and Ten of Spades are not included on most machines. They removed it to increase the house edge. That is why it is harder for people to get a royal flush. However, there is a big problem with this type of slot machine. Because the machine had lacks of direct payout mechanism. It is impossible for automatic payout due to a large amount of winning combinations. Aside from that, the prizes were paid at the bar. If you win, you can get drinks or cigarettes as your prize.

The year 1887 – 1895

Slot machine history – the first slot machine was invented in what year?

It is believed that Charles Augustus Fey is the one who invented the first slot machine. However, there is no concrete detail regarding the date his first machine was created. Still, historians believe that it happens between the years 1887 and 1895.

During this period, Charles Augustus Fey created a slot machine that allows automatic payouts. To make it happen, he reduces the complexity of the mechanics when the machine is reading a win. Fey achieves it by replacing the previous 5 drums with 3 reels. Aside from that, he replaces the existing playing card with just 5 symbols, namely:

  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • Spades
  • Horseshoes
  • Liberty bell

The first mechanical slots were named Liberty Bell, wherein the highest payout was awarded for 3 Liberty bell symbols. If you got the winning combination, the total is fifty cents or 10 nickels. Thus, the invention of this machine gained huge popularity. However, Fey does not patent his design. That is why many slot machine manufacturers had copied his design.

slots with BAR symbol
Slot machine with BAR symbol

Charles Augustus Fey – man of many slot machine inventions

At the Liberty Belle Saloon & Restaurant in Reno, Nevada, you can still see the original Liberty Bell slot machine. Aside from Liberty Bell, Fey also invented machines like:

  • Draw Poker
  • Three Spindle
  • Klondike

Who invented the slot machine in the year 1901?

Draw poker slot machine?

Do you want to know when was the first slot machine invented?

In the year 1901, Fey is also the one who invented the slot machine for draw poker. Aside from that, he is also the inventor of the trade check separator. This trade check separator is used in the Liberty Bell slot machine. Here, the hole in the middle of the trade check allows a detecting pin to identify a fake nickel from real ones. Charles Fey rented his slot machines to bars and saloons with 50/50 splits on the profits.

The year 1902 – 1908

In 1902, slot machines are officially banned. Despite this, the manufacturing of Liberty Bell continues. Instead of cash prizes, the era of fruit slot machines commenced. This slot machine uses fruit symbols. Instead of giving money as prizes, you will get chewing gum and candies in return.

First Fruit Machine with Bar Symbol by Herbert Mills ( Operator Bell)

In the year 1907, Herbert Mills is the one who invented the slot machine with the fruit concept and bar symbol. By the year 1908, this machine can be seen in bowling alleys, tobacconists, salons, and shops. The BAR symbol was based on the logo of the Bell-Fruit company. Even today, you can still see this BAR symbol in some slot machines.

slots with fruit symbol
Slot machine with fruit symbol

Mechanical Slot Machines – The Next Developments

Slot machines remained to be mechanical for many years. To start the game, you need to pull the lever down. By doing so, it would set the reels in motion. When you pull the lever, you are stretching the spring inside the slot machine. Gradually, the reels will stop spinning.

This manual approach gives the player the feeling that they could manipulate the game and the outcome. Having said that, this is one of the reasons why slots are so popular during this period.

Who invented the slot machine in the year 1964?

In 1964, Bally is the one who invented the fully electromechanical slot machine. This very first fully electromechanical slot machine is called Money Honey.

In these slots, the reels are operating electrically. Still, the game will only start by pulling the lever. Aside from that, this is the first machine with a bottomless hopper. In addition, it enables the machine to make an automatic payout for up to 500 coins. This slot game became hugely popular and led to electromechanical slot domination during that period.

The year 1976 – 1978

Are you wondering when was the first true slot machine invented?

In 1976, Kearny Mesa California is the one who invented the slot machine with video concepts. Fortune Coin manufactured the first true video slot in history. Moreover, it first become available in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. Shortly after, there are some modifications and cheat proofing for the slot machine.

The year 1996 up to the present

WMS Industries Inc. introduces another milestone in the history of slot machines. They release the first video slot that features a second screen bonus round. When you triggered the bonus round, a different will display the bonus game. Additionally, more payouts can be won in the bonus game.

The Rise of Online Slot Machine

When the internet booms in the 1900s, it also brought the development of the very first online casinos. At first, classic casino games like Blackjack and Roulette are only available. However, it was not long until the online slots join the bandwagon. Soon after, there are more than 100 developers of online slots. Moreover, they offer enormous choices of slot games. In 1994, Microgaming develops the first online gambling software.     

The Rise of Online Slots
The Rise of Online Slot Machine

Slot Machine History FAQs:

When was the slot machine invented?

The first slot machine was invented in the year 1891. It was the first slot that has an automatic payout. Moreover, Charles Augustus Fey is believed to be the one who invented the first slot machine.

What was the name of the first invented slot machine?

Liberty Bell is the name of the very first slot machine with automatic payout. It was named after the Liberty bell symbol of that slot machine. Because the 3 bell symbols give the highest payout available from that slots.

What is the oldest slots symbol?

Slot symbol like bell and horseshoe starts the development of other slot symbols. Alongside this are the card symbols like Heart, Club, Spades, and Diamonds.

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