The Evolution of Slot Machines
The history of slots began more than a century ago, when some engineers discovered the potential of the machine that they had unconsciously created to solve another problem. Since the first game, slot machines have experienced lots of changes in their history, starting as very simple mechanical games, and becoming the popular online slots that we know today, available at Betssen. Let's find out more about the slots’ evolution.
The Classic Slots Games: The Liberty Bell
The origin of slot machine games dates back to the year 1800. The fever of other games of chance such as poker, specifically Texas Hold'em in the West, made some engineers start thinking about creating a machine that would help them automate this card game. But it was not until the end of the 19th century when the first slot machine in history appeared. It was in New York, in a context of very important economic growth, where two businessmen, Sittman and Pitt developed the first slot game ever.
The machine consisted of a solid box to which a glass screen was attached and 5 drums in which 50 poker cards were stored. This is how it showed the combinations of cards that offered prizes to the players.
In order to get the winning combinations, you were required to form various figures and combinations of cards. Although in this first version the prizes had to be requested at the establishment's counter, where the clerk would offer the players tickets that they could exchange for drinks, food and other items, due to some technical limitations that prevented them from incorporating direct payments.
Although it sounds quite different from the games we know today, they did set a precedent that would lead to the development of the first ever mechanical slot game, The Liberty Bell. Its origin is between the years 1891 and 1895, and its creator was Charles Fey, a mechanic from San Francisco. But there was something he didn't know at the time, that the invention would revolutionize the gaming industry by allowing automated payments for the first time.
Regarding its physical appearance, it had three rotating reels with symbols of hearts, spades, horseshoes and diamonds; and the Liberty Bell painted on each of these reels, giving the roll with three bells, with the highest prize available 50 cents. This is how Fey's machine changed the history of casino games forever.
However, Charles lacked one thing, registering the patent for his great invention. By not doing so, many manufacturers were interested in the prototype by creating their own games and offering other versions such as Herbert Mills' Operator Bell in 1907, an imitation of the Liberty Bell. With more than 20 symbols that gave rise to more than 8,000 combinations. This slot was the first to add the famous BAR symbol to its reels, as well as the juicy fruit symbols (cherries, lemons or plums, among others). With this game, the fruit symbols and the red BAR became iconic in slots around the world, something that still keeps being actual in nowadays’ online slots.
Online Slots’ Invention
The first online casinos were created in the 90s, and with them the first online slot machines appeared. Though at the beginning most of the games that these portals incorporated were like blackjack, poker or roulette, step by step online slots were also integrated in the game list of the best online casinos. The first games were very similar to those offered in the physical machines that we found in casinos, bars and arcades, maintaining the same symbols and the number of rollers they had.
WIth the growth of the industry, these slots have started to be offered with as many themes as we can imagine: sweets like Sweet Bonanza slot game, one of the slots that is close to the classic ones, samurai like those taken from the Sakura Fortune slot machine, the Vikings, from Viking Queen, the Ancient Egypt of Rise of Giza, the werewolves from Curse of the Werewolf Megaways, historical stories like the El Dorado treasures and the lost Mayan civilisation from Gonzo’s Quest slot machine, to name a few.
In addition, if originally there was only one way to win a prize, which was by getting symbols of the same shape or value on the reels, with the new games these possibilities have grown, even multiplying with the games known as Megaways.
The way of playing these games is also revolutionized. We no longer have to travel to our nearest casino or game room, being able to play from anywhere and at any time we want.
And, as a conclusion, let's have a look at the best 10 online casino slots in 2023 and choose the best option to enjoy the game!