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History of the Slot Machine
Believe it or not, slot machines have been around for many years. There are a lot of people who think that these games have just come into the mainstream over the past 15 or 20 years. While slot machines may have become more popular as of late, they have been around in some capacity for quite some time.
It is believed that the first slot machine in history was invented by Charles Fey in 1887. As you can see, this is more than 100 years ago. It is safe to say that this first machine is nothing like what is used today, as there are many slot machine varieties. But with that being said, this is where today’s slot machines got started.
Fey’s first machine contained three spinning reels with a total of five symbols. The symbols included: diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades, and a Liberty Bell. Over time, the Liberty Bell symbol caught on, and the first machine took this name. By using reels instead of drums, Fey found that is was much easier to come up with an effective and accurate automatic payout mechanism. For this first slot machine, the biggest payoff was 10 nickels. To win this “jackpot” three Liberty Bell symbols had to line up in a row.
This first game became a hit soon enough. Although the state of California outlawed these machines a few years after Fey began to produce them, people in other parts of the country were clamoring to do business with him.
In 1964, Bally made the next big breakthrough in the industry when it released Money Honey, the first electromechanical slot machine. This was the first machine that allowed players to collect their winnings without the assistance from an attendant.
In 1975, the first video slot machine hit the floors of casinos. This game, known as Fortune Coin, was invented by Walt Fraley. At the time, many players did not trust this game because they could not actually see the reels spinning; instead, there was nothing but a screen.
All in all, slot machines have come a long way since 1887. Today’s machines offer payouts of $1 million or more, and new variations are released on a regular basis.
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