Slot machines are one of the most popular games, in both online casinos and land-based casinos. It’s partly because of how easy they are to play, but also because of the sheer variety of games. You can find slot machines based on everything from ancient myths to the most recent blockbusters.

The Beginnings

According to, the slot machine was first invented back in 1895 by Charles Fey, a Bavarian inventor who’d moved to San Francisco. He called his first slot machine the Liberty Bell, because the spinning reels featured pictures of the Liberty Bell. If the player managed to get three bells, they’d win the jackpot of 50 cents.

The name ‘slot machine’ is actually short for ‘nickel-in-the-slot machine,’ and they were called that simply because you had to put a coin in the slot to play. The machines were also given several other nicknames over the years, including ‘fruit machines’ – a lot of them had images of fruit on the reels - and ‘one-armed bandit’ – because players often had to pull a long lever to start the reels spinning.


Source: Pixabay

The Evolution of Slot Machines

For years, slot machines remained exactly the same as when they’d first been invented with Charles Fey – completely mechanical. By the 1980s, these had been replaced by electromechanical machines and electric ones. Some even had video screens to replace the spinning reels. The new electric machines grew more and more elaborate, with flashing lights, 3D graphics, and different themes. Slot machines got bigger, with more reels and symbols, and that led to bigger jackpots.


The addition of the Random Number Generator changed things up even more. The computer program allows the reels to be completely random whenever they spin. The slot machines could then be connected electronically, leading to progressive jackpot machines, which had bigger jackpots than ever before.


Source: Pixabay

The Move Online

When the first online casino was launched in 1994, the first games available to play were roulette and blackjack, but online slot machines quickly followed suit. The arrival of online slot machines, along with faster internet speeds and computers with more processing power, meant that people could play from home and the technological changes since then mostly due to Android phones and other devices such as Apple – as discussed on - mean people can play whenever and wherever they want.

With thousands of different online slot machines on offer, it’s clear that they’ve become the most popular kind of game on online casinos. Websites like keep track of some of the best games that are on offer out there. At first, they were similar to the slot machines that you might find in a land-based casino, but things soon changed. Online slot machines could have music, sound effects, animations, and state-of-the-art graphics, making it a much more immersive experience for the player. Some even had storylines to play through, or tie-ins with some of the biggest movies and films, from Grease and Game of Thrones to Gladiator and Battlestar Galactica.

Slot machines are one of the newest gambling innovations, but their versatility has made them the most popular. They’ve already changed immensely since the first one was built, but with technology changing so fast, they’re sure to change even more in the coming years, or even months – the sky’s the limit.