The History of Slots

The act of putting coins in the slot, cranking its handle and wishing that they win the jackpot has been going on since 1887. Charles Fey is credited as the inventor of this popular game. He manually designed the first slot machines in the basement of his residence and then leased them to local casinos in San Francisco. Thus, he is not only considered as the designer of the slot machine but also the first owner.

The first slot machine used a variety of ciphers on the cylinders of modern slot machines such as hearts, diamonds, spades, bells, horseshoes and a star. The initial slot machine was known as The Liberty Bell. They were manipulated with nickels. Their basic functions were very much like modern slot machines; a nickel is deposited in the coin slot, which releases the lever for the players to yank down. Coins were awarded when a player hits a particular symbol combination.

In 1907, Mills Novelty Company joined forces with Charles in order to upgrade Charles Fey's original slot machine. They retained the old name and added the first name of the company to come up with the new name of the slot machine. It consists of casing made from cast iron and iron attachment with shaft, which was later, changed into ornate decorated feet. In 1910, the Operator Bell was introduced by The Mills Novelty Company, which had slight variations from the Liberty Bell. It had gooseneck slots for coin entry and used fruits as symbols on their reels. It also had a case made from cast iron. Cast iron slot machines were ended when the Mills Novelty Company released slot machines encased in wood cabinets in 1915.

In 1930s, slot machines were given additional variations by the Mills Novelty Company. Because of their quiet nature, slot machines were known as "silent bell"; players winning odds were doubled with the addition of double jackpots. Themes, such as the Lion Head, War Eagle, Roman Head and Castle Front, were also initiated. These designs were quite unforgettable.

During the 1940s, a man named Bugsy Siegel made slot machines even more popular when he placed slot machines in his Flamingo Hilton Hotel specifically for the high rollers' wives and girlfriends.

The first design of slot machines consisted of three reels. While some slots still consist of three reels, modern slot machines, however, have four or five reels. The drawback of that is more reels make your chance of winning the jackpot more difficult as well.

For quite a period of time, winning the jackpot required a certain method of pulling down the handle, which resulted to alterations on slot machines. Now, most slot machines are electronic and computer operated, which has eliminated cheating. The convenience offered by the game and the odds of hitting the jackpot provide appeal to everyone.