We all know what a slot machine is. Those spinning reels and bright, colourful themes are familiar to everyone. Whether we’ve played them in casinos, amusement arcades, pubs, bars, virtually at online casinos or we’ve just seen them on the TV, we all know what they are and how they work. But where does the simple jackpot slot machine come from?
While nowadays, virtual slots may be popular online casino games, to find where the concept originated we need to go way back to 1887. This is the year that it’s commonly believed that Charles Fey of San Francisco, US, invented a simple machine named the Liberty Bell. This slot machine had three spinning reels – each showing five symbols each. These symbols included a horseshoe, diamonds, spades, hearts and a liberty bell.
Three liberty bells in a row produced the biggest payout – a whopping ten nickels – and the slot machine became a huge, overnight, success. Demand was unfortunately too high for Mr Fey to keep up with and so a rival was spawned – the Operator Bell, in 1907.
By 1908, ‘Bell’ machines were everywhere – from bowling alleys to barbers to brothels – and playing them was a popular pastime. Simpler and more accessible than roulette, and other table games, you didn’t need to visit a casino to enjoy slot machine games.
But the Bell machines had stiff competition. In 1891, a five drum machine holding 50 card faces had been developed by Sittman and Pitt of New York, and this too became hugely popular. Based on the game of poker, many bars had one of these machines. The interesting thing about them was that they didn’t offer a cash payout and instead the establishment that owned the machine offered a variety of prizes depending on the outcome: A free beer or a cigar, for example.
Another early machine, the Trade Simulator, gave out different flavoured chewing gums for a win. This is where the fruit symbols such as cherry and melon derive from.
Nowadays of course, not many people above the age of ten years old would be prepared to play for sweet treats. The beauty of slot machines however is that they can be a great budget option, if you want to play exciting, fun and low risk games. Play for pennies or pounds, it’s up to you.
On Jackpot247 you can choose your bet and also choose how many paylines to bet on, for ultimate flexibility.
There are, of course, still opportunities to win big cash prizes with online slot machine games. Particularly when you choose games which offer a progressive jackpot. These jackpots are built using seed money from all of the online casinos using that particular game. A percentage of each bet is also added to the pot, until someone gets lucky.
Going back to the history lesson, the first slot machine to offer an automatic payout was the Money Honey developed by Bally in 1963. This popular development was quickly usurped by the introduction of the video screen slot machine in the 70’s.
Now you can play slot machines at home or on the go when you play online casino games on your computer or mobile. Ultra convenient, fun and simple to play, there are many different themes to choose from at Jackpot247 for an exciting home slot machine experience – without a stick of chewing gum in sight!