Slot machines – a look to the past, present and future

Slot machines

With around 80% of online casino sites being taken up by slot games, it’s clear many players enjoy spinning the reels. However, online Slots haven’t actually been around for that long!

The first casino site only opened its virtual doors in 1996, and prior to this, the games of chance were only available in the form of land-based machines.

However, because technology has progressed so quickly, with gaming developers creating unique games like Dynamite Riches Megaways and Fishin’ Frenzy – it’s easy to wonder what the future of online Slots might hold.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the past, present and future of slot machines, so you can learn everything there is to know about the games.

The past

Bavarian-born American inventor Charles Augustus Fey is credited for the invention of the first slot machine. This coin-operated machine was called the Liberty Bell, which made its debut between 1887 and 1895.

This machine featured five drums and three reels, displaying five symbols – hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and a liberty bell.

Without a patent, other manufacturers copied this design. So, when slot machines were banned in 1902, the Operator Bell was developed and the fruit machine era was born.

This machine featured fruit symbols which corresponded to the flavours of gum that could be won when a winning combination was achieved.

For many more years, gameplay continued to work in a similar way – the reels would be set in motion using a spring and lever mechanism.

The present

The first electromechanical slot was released in 1964 by Bally. This paved the way for the technological advancements that led to the creation of video Slots in 1976. This used a modified 19-inch Sony TV for the display and was first made available in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

It didn’t take long for technology to evolve even quicker after this, with the first online casino site to allow automated payouts opening in 1996.

The lever and spring mechanisms were long gone, and computer software known as a Random Number Generator (RNG) became responsible for creating unpredictable and fair combinations.

Nowadays, you can play a huge variety of online casino games online – ranging from games inspired by retro fruit machines to themed games with special features and bonus rounds.

The future

With so many different ways to play online, and technology moving at the speed of light, we’re left to wonder what the future holds for slot games.

Well, with the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) and live casino games being a key feature of online sites, we’re already beginning to see the potential of new ways to play.

Perhaps developers will think of new features to add to the already expansive list of cascading reels, multipliers and more! Or, maybe VR headsets will be the next step for online gaming?

The live casino already features versions of slot games that you can play in real-time, hosted by a real-life dealer in a specialist studio – so this could be the first step into the future of online Slots…

Now you know all about the history, evolution and future of slot machines, do you think you’ll be trying your chances online anytime soon?