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Where did Slots Machines Originate?

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While you're sitting at the slots machine, hoping to see three cherries or bananas in one line, you've probably asked yourself this question: Where did this powerful machine come from? You'd be surprised to know that the slots machine actually originated in the United States.

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Let's start from the beginning. The idea of slots machines was first conceived by two New Yorkers from Brooklyn: Pitt and Sitman. Their idea was very simple. The machine was very simple. Since the game was adapted from poker, the 50 faces of the cards were used. They were then placed into five drums. To play the game, you could just insert a coin and pull the lever. Your goal then was to come up with a poker hand that you could be proud of.

This game had become well-known in several bars all over the state. However, since there's really no method on how to give payouts to the winners, the bar owners would often proceed to give the winner bar credit. They could get free liquor, food, or whatever that the bar could come up with.

However, it was the invention of a native Californian known as Charles Fey that sealed the presence of slots machines in the gambling industry. It was in 1887 that he was able to come up with his own version of slots machine. His was still inspired by the creation of Pitt and Sitman, but Fey made sure that there would be plenty of improvements.

First, he decided to make the mechanism of the game so much simpler. While the first slots machines sold used cards, Fey's utilized common symbols such as fruits. The concept of the lever remained, but Fey decided to make use of reels instead of barrels. He also reduced the number of symbols from 10 to 5, so it would be a lot easier for someone to determine if he won or not in the game. Most of all, he was able to come up with an automated payout system. For example, you could win ten nickels if you could produce 3 bells in one row. This was considered as the highest payout. Moreover, the Liberty Bell also became the official name of Fey's slots machine.

Despite the fact that California didn't allow any form of gambling, Fey's invention was so popular that he could hardly keep up with the demand. He also didn't want any company to manufacture or buy rights to his slots machine.

Because of that, in 1907, Herbert Stephen Mills decided to produce his own prototypes, which was then known as Operator Bell. Since he had more capacity to manufacture these slots in bulk, slots gaming grew rapidly all throughout the United States.

By 1940s, the first slots machines were installed in Flamingo Hilton Hotel by Bugsy Siegel, the owner. They were there to please girlfriends and wives of gamblers. They would get tired of bored of waiting. The girls and other casino players who had tried them loved the simplicity of the slot machines so much that there were more players in slots than in tables and card games.

Since then, there was no stopping for slots gaming.

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