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28th August, 2013

The evolution of the humble slots machine




The ways that people can gamble change with advances in technology over the years. The way we gamble on sporting events, for example, was radically changed by the arrival of live radio and then the televising of sporting events. And since it became possible to gamble online, the whole industry has completely changed from the old-fashioned routine of using betting slips down at the bookies.

The same is true for gambling games. Think of any casino game and it will be available to play online now at 32red casino. Whether you like roulette, baccarat, blackjack or poker, they’re all available on sites like 32 Red, and so are the world’s most popular gambling games – slots.

Even though today’s online slots can be dazzling in the different levels and bonus rounds they contain; they still bear a strong resemblance to the fruit machines that you’d find in every physical casino in rows upon rows, and in every pub and arcade all over the world during the last century – and that you still find there today, in their most modern version.

The first slots machines were actually invented to provide a game that could be played by one person but that had a similarity to poker (hence the reason Australians call slots ‘pokies’).

The prototype slots machines tested at the end of the 19th century offered too many possible winning symbol combinations as they had five reels. A man called Charles Fey who lived and worked in San Francisco decided to design a machine that only had three wheels and only five symbols on each of the reels. This allowed for fewer winning combinations. He called the machine the Liberty Bell. It was this machine that really took off, and created the industry for slots machines.

In some states it was illegal to gamble, so the slots machines paid out chewing gum that was fruit flavoured and the symbols included fruits like the cherries and melon pieces that we still see on slots machines today. The inclusion of the BAR symbol was in deference to the logo of the Bell Fruit Gum Co.

Slots became more sophisticated in the coming decades but the big change came in 1963 when an electric slots game was manufactured by Bally Manufacturing. And in 1976, the Las Vegas Hilton first trialled video slots machines. Today, these seem archaic when you compare them with the amazing graphics and sounds that you find on online slots and new games are being produced all the time.

It’s not surprising that people still love slots as much as they always have. The games are always easy to play, yet give the player plenty of entertainment for a small stake. And there’s always the possibility of walking away with a huge jackpot, especially now that some progressive games are featured across so many online casinos at once.

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