The Evolution of Online Slots: From Classic to Video Slots

When you walk into a casino, what catches your attention first? For many people, slot machines are the iconic symbol of gambling. They’re often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of gambling and can spark excitement with the possibility of winning bonuses and jackpots. However, these incentives haven’t always been a part of the game – the history of gambling is more complex than that.

Over time, slot machines have undergone significant changes, from their initial design to what we have today. Nevertheless, their purpose remains the same – to entice people and encourage them to try their luck in winning substantial amounts of money. But what were the first slot machines like, and how have they developed over time? This article explores the evolution of these iconic symbols of the casino world.

The first slot machines


Slot machines exist today thanks to Charles August Fey, an American inventor who created the first one in 1894. The machine was a success when he placed it in a local saloon the following year. Due to its popularity, Fey left his job as a mechanic to open a factory that produced more of these machines.

In 1989, he became the proud owner of a thriving company named “Card Bell”. This company was the pioneer of three-reel slot machines that paid out winners automatically. Unlike the slot machines we know today, players had to pull a lever and the machine’s five drums would rotate to reveal a random poker hand. The first symbols used on these machines were horseshoes, bells, and card suits.

There are only four known original slot machines in existence today. This is because many older machines were destroyed during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Despite this, by 1910, there were already over 3000 slot machines in San Francisco alone, and their popularity continued to grow in the rest of the United States over the next few years.

Although they were nearly entirely prohibited by 1950, the development of slot machines persisted despite being largely controlled by criminal organizations. As a result, modern-day casinos now feature the slot machines that players enjoy today.

The electromechanical slot machine

The appearance of slot machines has been influenced by technological advancements. The electromechanical slot machine played a significant role in the history of slot machines as it provided a whole new gambling experience. It introduced new payout options, such as the three-coin multipliers.

The slot machines of the past were less complex compared to the ones found in casinos today. They only had multipliers as features and were operated by pulling a lever to start the spinning. These machines were mechanical in nature. However, the first electromechanical slot machine was a game-changer because it could dispense up to 500 coins, which was a significant breakthrough during that era.

Video slot machines in the ’80s


During the 1980s, satellite and cable TV introduced a unique approach to slot machines. It was a time when people began to enter the digital world without even realizing it, with the beginnings of this trend dating back to the late 1970s.

In the early 1980s, video slots began to gain popularity and were accompanied by the first progressive jackpots in major US cities like Las Vegas. This led to the existence of numerous massive jackpots today. However, winning millions at a slot machine was nearly impossible back then. During the last decade of the 20th century, gambling laws in the USA and around the world became more lenient, allowing slot machines to rapidly spread across the globe.

The evolution of the online slot machine

During the early 2000s, the internet experienced a surge in popularity which paved the way for the emergence of online slot machines. With the increasing number of gamblers going online, casinos started adding more online slot games to their offerings.

During this time, major companies like Microgaming and Playtech began their operations, leading to a rapid evolution of online slots compared to their earlier versions. Additionally, large jackpots were introduced, further fueling the demand for playing online slot machines. You can try many of them right now on

The slot machines of the future – virtual reality slots

The future holds endless possibilities and we are eager to witness the changes that will occur. The evolution of slot machines in the past century has been remarkable, and we can only imagine the direction they will take in the future.

Virtual reality is a definite direction of evolution. Although there is still an ongoing debate about whether it will play a significant role in the future, the first virtual reality slot games are already available and gaining popularity. Many online casino websites offer these games, which are still in their early stages but are expected to become very popular in the future.

It’s impossible to predict what the future holds for slot machines and online casinos. Virtual reality is expected to have a significant impact, but based on the past century, we can anticipate some remarkable changes.

Mobile Gambling


Playing online games no longer requires a computer, as many casinos have made their sites and mobile applications easily accessible from smartphones and tablets. Casinos that do not offer mobile access risk losing business to competitors in today’s market.

Numerous websites are already utilizing this technology. Contemporary gambling companies are striving to enhance the mobile gaming experience for players by incorporating the latest technological advancements. Additionally, Google continues to prioritize online casinos that are optimized for mobile devices, which results in lower rankings for those that cannot be accessed via smartphones.

Cryptocurrency and cashless payments

Online casinos have modernized their financial transactions by offering a variety of payment options. Cashless payment using credit cards or third-party services is now available.

Many online casinos now use cryptocurrencies for financial transactions, ensuring complete anonymity. Additionally, players can receive bonuses for using alternative payment methods. To make the most of lucrative offers, it’s important to only play on trustworthy sites.

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