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History of Slots

The prototype of the modern slot machine was developed in the United States by Sittman and Pitt. The first slot machine as well as other machines produced later was based on poker and contained five drums with 50 card symbols on them. In order to increase the house edge two cards, the ten of spades and the jack of hearts, were removed from the standard deck. Soon the game gained a great popularity and most of the city bars featured several slot machines. It is not surprising as poker was the most popular and widespread card game that is why a completely new game based on poker was met enthusiastically. The object of each player was to get the best possible poker hand at slot machine. There were no set money payouts for best card combinations that is why the winners could get free beer or cigars as a prize.

In 1887 Charles Fey from San Francisco, California, developed the first mechanism of the One-armed Bandit machine that was much simpler than the previous one. His machine also contained three spinning reels with five symbols that included horseshoes, spades, diamonds, hearts and a Liberty Bell instead of the standard card symbols. This innovation allowed Fey to invent an automatic payout mechanism that wasn't available before. The combination of three Liberty Bells produced the biggest payout. Due to the use of the bell symbol Fey's slot machine got the name Liberty Bell. Of course, the game was extremely popular even when it was banned in California in a few years.

The next slot machine contained the fruit symbols and provided chewing gums as the winnings. It was done in order to avoid anti-gambling laws in most of the states in the US. In addition to the fruit symbols a new BAR symbol was now used at slot machines. In fact BAR symbol derived from the logo of the Bell-Fruit Gum Company that produced fruit chewing gums for slots payouts.

In 1964 a new slot machine was developed and produced by Bally. The slot machine that got the name Money Honey was fully electromechanical and had an automatic payout system and bottomless hopper. That was the start of the electronic games dominance era.

In 1996 the first video slot machine developed by WMS Industries Inc. was introduced. That slot machine named Reel 'Em was the first one to provide the second-screen bonus round at slot games.

With the invention of the Internet and the introduction of the first online casinos slot games became available for all the players all over the world.