The popularity of casino slot machines is a fascinating aspect of modern society, giving all players a random chance to possibly win the elusive jackpot. Slots themselves date back over a hundred years, their precursor emerging as early as 1891 by the hand of New York-based company Sittman and Pitt. They developed a novelty poker-based slot machine that could be played in bars. Winnings were paid at the bar as there was no direct payout feature available on the machine itself, and some prizes included free drinks and/or cigars.
Fast forward a few years and fruit-based slots emerged as regular slot machines were banned in 1902. With no cash pay-outs allowed, prizes came in the form of chewing gum and sweets in the corresponding colours of the winning fruits on the slot.
Gradually slot machines gained the name “one-armed bandits”, which referred both to the fact that they often took your money like a bandit, and that you started a game by pulling down on a lever at the side of the machine. This set the reels in motion and gave players the illusion of somehow having greater control over a game’s outcome, contributing immensely to their addictive quality and sustained popularity through the first half of the century.
From 1964 onward, electronic slot machines began appearing, though were slow to catch on as players of the time were accustomed to the traditional lever-pulling slots they had come to love. The first video slots then emerged in the late 1970’s, and in the mid-90’s this was followed by the introduction of ‘bonus rounds’ for potentially larger winning pay-outs. Nowadays, slots are responsible for around 70% of a regular casino’s income.
When it comes to playing slots yourself, consider the odds associated with the variation – there are plenty available. Whether you’re simply playing for some light-hearted fun or chasing a massive pay-out, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in what is now the most popular sector of the gambling industry.