History of Slots
The current history of the slot machine covers the time from the first one, which was a three reel slot with just 5 symbols on each reel developed by Charles Fey of California in 1887, to the present day when there are a multitude of differently themed slots available on line that offer up to 50 pay lines and some spectacular bonus rounds.
When Fey produced his slot machines, it was illegal to gamble in the state of California and so he had to ship and sell them in other states. This in no way hampered them becoming very popular across America though and by 1891 the manufacturing firm of Sittman and Pitt in New York decided that other slot machines could sell and so produced their own machines that had 5 reels and a total of 50 symbols. Where as Fey had used hearts, diamonds, spades, bells and horseshoes as the symbols on his slots, the New Yorkers decided not to use the same symbols as him and so instead, used playing cards. They also decided to stray from the way Fey’s slots paid out. On the Fey slot you could only win by matching the symbols on the reels but these new ones would pay for any poker hand that could be made.
1853 saw the introduction of the first fully electromagnetic slot machine and what came with this was the ability for a slot machine to pay out wins of up to 500 coins automatically, no longer requiring the need of assistance from an attendant.
Although slot machines were already popular, they received a huge boost to that popularity in 1976 when the first video slots were introduced to the Strip in Las Vegas. Up to today that popularity has remained and casino owners now reserve more floor space for the playing of slots, than any other activity and it is said that today, because of the slot machines popularity in the casinos, there are eight slot machines in Las Vegas for every resident of the city.
The popularity of slot machines recently took another huge boost when they were introduced for playing on the internet.