by John Todd on May 6, 2020

in Extras


The mechanical slot machine was invented by Sittman and Pitt in 1891 with five rotating drums. Similar to other casino games, the player would win the game based on who had the best hand with five cards. This game was the first of its kind back then and quickly picked up traction. 

However, the fruit machine slot game had a tricky nature as the five cards gave thousands of combinations. While that might sound like a good thing, too many ways to win made it harder to do so, as odds were high you’d get a bad hand. The slot machine had to improve, and Starburst slot is among those that captured gamblers’ interests. 

The slot machine as we knew it then 

This brings us into 1895, to a man named Charles Fey. He thought that the design of the slot machine was too complex – and rightly so. Fey simplified the slot machine by reducing the five cards to just three instead, for less combinations and more pay outs. Charles Fey also introduced the iconic bell symbol, known then as the liberty bell. 

Shortly after this, laws were passed in some states which prohibited gambling and limited betting. In order to get around these laws, the fruit slot machines were invented. The fruit slot machines paid winners in fruit-flavoured bubble gum, and fruit symbols are still used today with online slots. As is the bar symbol, which came later on after a major slot machine manufacturer in the 1950s introduced it as an adaptation of their logo. 

After the slot machine got an upgrade, Herbert Mills, a salesman took it to the mainstream. He travelled all over the US and traded the slot machine in various different kinds of establishments. Mills sold the slot machine to barber shops, brothels, and bars before it made its way over to the UK. In the UK the fruit slot machine became as popular and successful as it had in the US.

Online slot machines now 

We live in a world where anyone with an internet connection can get pretty much anything at the click of a button. Like a car or phone design that gets improved and soon replaced with a new and better version, online slot machines took over from the fruit slot machines. But how exactly did that happen? 

One reason could be that it’s more convenient to play an online casino than a land-based casino. And there’s auto-save, so playing online slots is even more convenient as we don’t need to spend time logging in or worrying about forgetting the password. Of course, the quality of online slots is also fantastic too, with more themes and versatility than fruit slot machines. 

It’s really not hard to see how we have gone from the traditional fruit slot machine to the online slots. Any top online casino has a wide range of great slots to choose from with diverse themes. This along with casino promotions makes it easier than ever to play slots.

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