History of Videoslots

Definition of a slot machine (1891): a machine whose operation is begun by dropping a coin into a slot

Introduction to Videoslots

Slot machines have been around for more than 120 years. Although the first slot machine is very different from today’s videoslots, the principle has always remained the same. The player puts in a certain amount, the reels spin and the player hopes for a nice combination that pays out. Nowadays videoslots are the most popular games in online casinos and gambling establishments. But this has not always been the case. Did you know that the first videoslots were not popular at all? Let’s take a look at the history of slot machines and how they have developed into today’s popular videoslots.

History of Videoslots

In 1891 Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York developed a coin slot machine based on poker. It contained 5 drums with a total of fifty cards. Although this was one of the first coin slot machines, it was the Liberty Bell in 1895 that led to the popularity of modern slot machines. Charles Fey designed a machine with three spinning reels, a lever on the side and a slot to put your coins in. 

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Due to the popularity of Liberty Bell, many companies like Herbert Mills and Ball Industries played key roles in the development of slots. Bally, in particular, came up with many innovations.

The breakthrough of Videoslots

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But it wasn’t until 1975 before the first videoslot was introduced by Fortune Coin Company. The machine was called Fortuin Coin videoslot and was the first slot machine to be played on a videoscreen. Unfortunately, they and many companies that followed were not so successful in creating the three-reel experience. In order to attract players, videoslots had to bring a different game experience.

This changed when Bally introduced the Game Maker in 1994. It was a videoslot that consisted of several game types: slot, poker, and blackjack. This was the first videoslot that gained a small amount of popularity.

Later on Aristocrat Technologies produced a videoslot with five reels and bonus events(mostly consisted of free spins). This inspired gamemakers to start making their own videoslots with bonuses. The biggest breakthrough came in 1996 from WMS with their videoslot Reel ‘Em. The success of Reel’ Em ensured that other game developers could not stay behind due to the shifting market. From that moment on the popularity of videoslots increased enormously and became one of the most popular casino games of today.

Popularity of Videoslots

The popularity of videoslots has increased enormously over the years. But why have videoslots become so popular?

  • In the early days, spinning the reels and pulling the lever was enough to satisfy players. This is no longer the case. The improvement of technology had a major impact on the videoslot market. Videoslots came with animations, music and sound effects. Playing videoslots brought a whole new experience.
  • The addition of bonus rounds to videoslots has had a major impact. Each bonus round brings a unique gaming experience and the player has a better chance of winning great prizes.
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  • Another important reason was the addition of the number of paylines. Old slot machines were limited to one payline, in other words, you needed three of the same symbols in the middle to win. Many videoslots today have multiple paylines, making it more exciting to see all the ways you can win. 
  • There used to be few places where you could play videoslots. Today there are more than 6.300 different casino venues. So it has become easier to find a casino venue in the area.
  • Finally, the visual aspect plays an important role. Old slot machines were very boring and limited in possibilities. Today’s videoslots have special themes such as Egypt and mermaids. Nowadays, every player can find a videoslot game of their interest.