The enduring appeal of slot machines has figured prominently in the history of gambling entertainment over the years.
Slot machines, also known in the UK as fruit machines, offer a quick and easy way to enjoy different kinds of games.
Slot machines were typically known for being found in designated spaces such as pubs and casinos.
These physical slots are still popular, with many people having a go on the so-called ‘one-armed bandits’ when socialising with friends.
In the UK, a trip to the seaside to this day is often not complete until families have had a flutter on the slot machines on the local pier.
The History of Slot Machines
- Novelty coin-operated devices and games were initially developed in the United States in the 1880’s. Simple model horse race games were a popular style of machine.
- The slot horse race games could be set up in a bar or a restaurant. They would then attract patrons to wager on the result of the race.
- By the end of the 1880’s ‘coin-pusher’ games became popular. This is where you insert a coin and hope to cause the pile of coins that have built up to spill over releasing the money in a payoff. These games are still popular today.
- The first modern slot machines were invented by the American Charles August Fey.
- In 1894, Fey produced his first coin-operated gambling machine.
- In 1898, he built the first three-reel slot machine, the Card Bell. Based on poker hands, the idea was to line up a successful row of playing card symbols for a win.
- Fey next designed the Liberty Bell, which introduced the famous horseshoe and bell symbols alongside the playing card symbols.
- A company called the Industry Novelty Company was the first to used fruit symbols in slot machines in 1909.
- The ‘jackpot’ – where the right combination of symbols causes the machine to release all the coins in its hold- was invented by The Mills Company in 1916.
- Slot machines continued to advance technologically, with the 1950’s seeing new electronic pay-out schemes of multipliers boosting the possible monetary wins.
- By the mid-1980s electronic slot machines could be linked, potentially offering super jackpots of vast sums of money.
- Today, the bright lights and tantalising sounds of the machines still provide the promise of exhilaration and fun.
The Appeal of Online Slots
- Slot machines have found a new lease of life in the online arena. A new generation of players flock to sites such as winkslots.com to experience the thrill of the slots wherever they happen to be.
- The game of chance style of slot game is still the essential factor with the online games. The fact that anyone can begin a game with no previous experience is a major reason for its continuing appeal.
- The popularity of online slot games is seen in the huge rise of figures in the UK playing such games. Online casino games dominate the sector, generating £3.2bn in gross gambling yields (GGY), mostly from slots games.
- Online play can be enjoyed in the comfort of the home, without making any special preparations. The fun of the slots can be experienced anytime and anywhere.
- Online slots also offer huge bonuses. Extra free spins and offers mean that players have added incentives to try out new games.
- Online slots have a virtually unlimited potential for variety. Developers regularly bring out new modifications, enticing players to play new games.
- Security is paramount with online casinos and games companies. Any dangers of tampering with the chances of a pay-out are taken out of the equation by random number generators linked to the software.
- The bright and bold visual graphics and the loud bleeps and buzzes of the physical machines can be replicated in online games, but with a major difference. The online player can set their own preferences for brightness and volume, having maximum control over the entire experience.
Why Slots Became So Popular
So why have slots proven so popular across the generations? Here are a few reasons:
- The games are predominantly about luck. True, some players may say that only they have the skills to win a jackpot, but really the thrill is knowing that anything could happen.
- Slots are easy to understand and quick to play. Simply try your luck and see what the machines offer up.
- Traditional slot machines in the local pub offer patrons a chance for a quick and easy game, while still being able to chat and socialise.
- Slots can be played solo, meaning you don’t need to rely on a group or a team to play with or against.
- New advances such as play on mobile devices mean players can take their games along with them wherever they are.
From older people playing in casinos and pubs, to the younger generation playing online on smartphones and tablets, slot games are here to stay. The easy-to-follow rules and convenient and quick approach of slots engage all generations.
With a potentially unlimited number of advancements available in technology and ideas, the new era of slots will be exciting to witness.