The first slot machine, the Liberty Bell, was invented in the late 1800s. This featured many of the core elements we still see when we play slot machines today, both online and offline.
But there’s much more to the fascinating history of the slot machine than this. Join us for a closer look below …
A Brief History of Slot Machines
The Liberty Bell was created in 1898 by Charles August Fey, a mechanic from Bavaria. A simpler type of gaming machine had been invented several years earlier: Sittman and Pitt’s then-revolutionary The Card Machine. This featured five drums containing 50 cards (face-up), and players would spin the lever to reveal a hand. The Card Machine followed the basic rules of poker.
Fey started his series of games machines with the Horseshoes, followed by the 4-11-44, before he built the Card Bell in 1898. This featured three reels and automatic payouts, paving the way for what would become standard slot-machine design. He later revised this and renamed it the Liberty Bell.
The Liberty Bell’s success inspired many other slot machines, and as technology advanced, designers expanded on the basic gameplay with various innovative products.
The first electric slot was released in 1963, Bally’s Money Honey. The Fortune Coin introduced video slot machines in 1976, and contained a 19” screen in a stylish cabinet. This was followed by Megabucks in 1986 — the first-ever progressive slot machine offering bigger payouts.
Video slots have come a long way in the decades since, but the next major breakthrough came with the first online slots in the mid-1990s.
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