Slot machines didn’t just appear out of thin air! They started out in the late 1800s and developed into the modern day games that we now know and love today. We’ve decided to take a look at the history of the machines to see just what happened and how they got to where they are now.


Way back in the 19th century the first ever mechanical slot machine was invented by car mechanic and entrepreneur Charles Fey — The Liberty Bell!

The ground-breaking slot has three spinning reels — a spin that landed three bells gave the largest pay-out, which was at the time 50 cents. Not only did he invent the slot machine, he invented the draw poker machine and trade check separator as well! Fey rented the machines out to saloons and bars based on a 50/50 split of the profits.

Demand for The Slot Machine Grows

Once people caught on to the new invention, demand started to grow dramatically! Unfortunately, Charles couldn’t keep up with the demand, struggling to manufacture in his small shop. Gambling supply manufacturers tried to buy the manufacturing and distribution rights, but Fey refused to sell up.

In 1907, Herbert Mills started to manufacture a knock off version of The Liberty Bell. He was the first person to include the fruit icons into the machines.

How The Original Slots Worked?

The original slot machines were made out of cast iron and had three metal hoops called reels. Each one of the reels had ten symbols painted on them. The lever was then pulled to spin the wheels. When the reels stopped spinning, a prize was rewarded, but only if three of the same symbol were on the reels. The pay off in coinage was then dispensed from the machine.

Age of Electronics

The first popular electronic gambling machine was the 1934 animated horse racing machine. Moving into the 60s the first ever all-electronic gambling machine was made and distributed. Then, in 1975, the first electronic slot machine was built.

Cyber Slots

With the invention of the internet and fast, powerful computers allowed the development of the slot machine. These developments lead to the slots with bonus games in the 1990s and the online slots we see today. With these online slots the casinos can reach a wider base of slot players online. The only limitation to these new online slots is the developers’ imaginations. The software producers of these new modern slot games are constantly pushing the boundaries to produce the most exciting, fun and original slot machines.

The Rise of the Online Slots

Themed Slots

With the slot machines popularity hitting its highest in the nineties, casinos tried to find a way to refresh the popular games. Many sites reasoned that fresh themes would spark new interest amongst players, which it did. Adventure and pop culture themes became most popular, and paved the way for the development of video slots.

Video Slots

Like any other game, slot machines have been brought into the 21st century by using the latest technology to make slots less standard and more of a playable experience. With smart phone usage rife amongst all ages, graphics are no longer difficult to achieve, so the demand is at an all-time high for slots and what are often labelled “super slots”. It is no wonder that sites only remotely connected with traditional gambling are operating video slot machines in a host of different ways. While countries with a traditionally high level of slot activity, such as the United States and Australia, have seen this activity boosted further.


While slot machines have rarely required much skill, they have always had the allure of big jackpots. As times have changed and the everyday person has had more access to games and tutorials, more players have moved away from luck-based games and opted for table games more recognised for their skill – until now. The demand for increased playability has seen casinos increase investment in the development of its slot games, to the degree that some games can now feature joysticks or tough pads. Using extra skill responses to the traditional slot format, it has helped  develop the game into something it has always promised to be – a satisfying gaming experience that also promises an opportunity to win high jackpots.

There you have it, the history of slot machines from day one to the modern day. Who knows what is going to be next in the development of the online slots? We will have to find out, but till then why not head on over to the Lucky Nugget website and have a go at the slots they have to offer.

What do you think about how slots have developed? Let us know by dropping a comment down below for the Lucky Nugget team.


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