SOCIAL MEDIA

History Of Slot Machine Symbols *

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

-This post is in collaboration-
The slot machine is regarded as the very first form of automated gambling and has gone through some incredible changes to become what it is today. In this article we are going to take a look at the history of these machines and delve into how the symbols have evolved over the years to become what they are today. You may also want to see the modern age online casino, click to visit Top 10 Slot Games.

History of the Slot Machine 
The first ever machine created that resembled the slots of today was actually a poker machine, developed in the late 18th century by Sittman and Pitt, a company based in New York at the time.

The initial game sported 5 reels, then referred to as drums, and 50 symbols which were depicted by playing cards actually, hence the name poker machine.

As you would have guessed, there were no actual monetary payouts made, instead, players were remunerated with drinks, cigars and those who were underage were given their payouts in sweets. Just imagine winning the jackpot in Vegas and having to cart your massive box of sweets around with you.

No one knows exactly when it occurred, but sometime during the latter part of the 18th century the 5 drums were replaced by 3 reels and the card symbols were reduced to just 5, the 5 symbols consisted hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and the liberty bell, which surely must have served as the wild or scatter symbols.

In the beginning of the 19th century gambling was banned and establishments that had machines were forced to make payouts in either sweets or chewing gum. This was the birth of the fruit machine as we know it. The bar symbol that has become somewhat of an iconic symbol was actually based on the logo of the Bell-Fruit company.

It was not until 1964 that the first fully electromechanical slot was invented and was titled Money Honey. As all who play slot machines know the game had a nickname, the one-armed-bandit, this was simply due to the lever located beside the machine which players would need to pull down on in order to start the reels spinning. The name was coined after so many people felt that they were getting robbed by the machine, hence the name. 

The first electromechanical slots featured the first automated payout system and could dispense up to 500 coins. After having garnished incredible popularity the slot lost its lever all together.

The 70’s saw the birth of the first video slots, they had removed the reels and replaced them with video images instead, and incidentally this was also the first time a bonus game was implemented. 

Symbols Over The Ages 
1887 - The first slot machines reels were populated by symbols such as hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and the liberty bell.

1902 - The iconic fruit symbols appear and consisted of cherries, oranges, melons, apples and the infamous bar symbols.

1976 - The first digitized symbols make their debut and were the crown, stars, 777, gems and the 4 leaf clover.

1980 - This saw the imagination reach new limits as computer graphics became more mainstream and slots saw the special symbols hit the wheels. These included today’s current favourites such as the wilds and scatter symbols, not to mention the hundreds more that popped up in order to differentiate themselves on the crowded casino floors.

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