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How Slot Games Work (Part 6)

Posted on January 7, 2014

Welcome back for the sixth part of Win A Day Casino's in-depth look at slot games. Over 100 years has passed since the first ever slot machine, the "Liberty Bell" was launched. The biggest developments have occurred between the late 1970's and today. We are sure to see even bigger and greater changes in the years to come as technology becomes more advanced making more ideas a possibility. Today we will look at how the timeline of this fascinating player's experience.

1897 : The Invention

Charles August Fey, a car mechanic from San Francisco invents the "Liberty Bell" mechanical slot machine. It had four symbols on the three reels and was somewhat easy to cheat as the handle controlled the reels. For this reason, the top jackpot was a rather small fifty cents.

1898 to 1909 : Popularity Grows

While there were no major changes to how slot games worked several new companies began making games with specifications the same as the Liberty Bell but with different appearances. It was a fast growing industry as the demand for new games was high.

1909 : Prohibition

The early years of the 1900's brought a setback to the slot games manufacturers. The anti gambling campaigners managed to get the games banned, first in San Francisco, then Nevada and finally the whole of California. Of course, as we know, now this was just a temporary setback.

1964 : Electro-mechanical Slot Machines

Bally Manufacturing releases "Money Honey" with some major differences between it and it's predecessors. Firstly the inside working were now electronic parts rather than springs. Secondly they added sounds, lights, the option to bet multiple coins and a hopper for coins.

1975 : First Video Slot Machine Hits Casino Floors

Walt Fraley invents the "Fortune Coin" video screen slot games. At the time it was not popular as players where skeptical about the technology and did not trust the virtual reels over the wide spread spinning reel slots.

1976 : International Game Technology

Seeing the potential of the video slot and the advantages, IGT purchases the Fortune Coin manufacturer and uses their technology to bring out a host of new games. They grow to be the second largest slot manufacturer and focus on video reel slots.

1979 : Video Poker Becomes Popular

It was the invention of video poker that really caused the video slot popularity to grow. Players quickly took to video poker machines and the manufacturers started to introduce the first wave of video slot machines.

1980 to Today : Innovations, Linked Progressives and Bonus Games

Since the early eight slot machine makers have continually added new and exciting features to video slots. These have included the linking of jackpots in state and country wide progressives and the addition of the bonus game. By linking the jackpots casino games have the ability to have multi-million dollar jackpots that grow fast and hit frequently.

Today you will be hard pressed to find video slot games that do not have some sort of bonus. From free games to pick a box and to game show themes video slots have come a long way compared to Charles Fey's first invention - the Liberty Bell.