The Evolution of Slot Machine Technology

The Evolution of Slot Machine Technology

Slot machines have been around for well over a century, and in this time the technology powering them has changed significantly, to the point that the players of the earliest examples would undoubtedly be mystified by modern equivalents.

Slot machines have been around for well over a century, and in this time the technology powering them has changed significantly, to the point that the players of the earliest examples would undoubtedly be mystified by modern equivalents.

Here is a look at this impressive evolution in a little more detail, giving you an insight into the achievements of successive generations of slot machine designers and engineers.

Mechanical beginnings

While today websites like Manyspins.com  host all-digital slots that can be played from any location using a smartphone, in the late 19th century when the first games of this kind were created, their operation was entirely mechanical.

Interestingly it was a company in New York City which built the first product which we would recognize as a slot machine, although it was unsurprisingly primitive in terms of its operation. Players would pull a lever, and five drums within the machine would rotate to reveal a randomized poker hand.

If the player got lucky, their hand would win them a prize, which of course the proprietor of the establishment in which the machine was housed would have to hand over. This generated demand for a new type of machine in which payouts could be automated, which eventually inspired inventor Charles Fey to step into the fray with his own automatic slot machine, made up with 3 reels rather than 5.

Initially, the biggest payout available was just 50¢, although as mechanical slot machines grew in popularity and the decades passed, larger jackpots became more commonplace.

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