Slots That Changed Gambling Forever


Posted: January 4, 2023

Updated: January 4, 2023

  • Famous slot machines in history
  • The evolution of slots
  • Slots that changed gambling forever

Without slot machines, casinos wouldn’t be the same. They are the life and soul of gambling. Slot machines are the most iconic tools in the gambling sector and have been an inseparable part of every casino for quite some time. Scroll down for the slots that changed gambling forever!

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How it All Began

It’s incredible how much technology has developed in recent years, as today, we can play slot machines anywhere, anytime. Who would have thought a few decades ago that players could spin the reels online? Probably not many, especially since interactive slot machines with various themes became widely popular years ago. With the development of technology, the extras kept expanding.

For example, bonus functions came, while nowadays we can choose from the best slot machines of all time, hundreds of different graphics and game themes await us if we feel like playing. However, not many people know how far these machines have come. Let’s go back to the beginning and get to know the American company that launched the prototype of the slot machines!

Sittman and Pitt Slots

The world’s first slot machine, the Sittman and Pitt, was launched in 1891. Compared to the modern slots we know today, it wasn’t even a real slot machine, but players had to insert money into the coin slot even with this machine. They could win by making the best possible poker hand using the five spinning reels that showed 50 cards. This is basically how it all started. At the end of the 19th century, the Sittman and Pitt company introduced the machine, which immediately came to be a crowd favorite in New York bars.

Slots that changed gambling forever
Picture Source: Pxhere

This machine allowed players to use only one hand to insert a coin. After that, all they had to do was to pull the lever and hope that the cards appear in a winning combination. However, this machine had a noticeable shortcoming, namely, it did not have automatic cash payouts. Therefore, the bar owners had to take care of it. So they offered various prizes to those who were lucky. For instance, they offered free drinks or meals to the winners.

The players almost went crazy for this machine, especially since they could still play with one hand and keep the other free for drinking or even smoking a cigar while playing. However, in order to increase the income of the house, these machines operated with decks from which they removed the diamonds and 10s. Everyone knew that the bar owners used the card decks to their advantage. Thus, further development of the slot machine was necessary, which did not take long.

Slots that Changed Gambling Forever

Although Sittman and Pitt’s machine was very popular with players, bar owners pushed for machines that did not require maintenance. Their prayers were answered around 1895 when a California inventor came up with the idea of ​​a machine that automatically paid out winnings. He built a mechanism that had five symbols on three spinning reels. The first established symbols were horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and liberty bells. 

Slots that changed gambling forever
Picture Source: Flickr

This machine had an immense benefit over its predecessor that the winning combinations were easy to pick out and evaluate. So it is not surprising that this game paved the way for the slot machines that also solved the problem of automatic payouts. This first-generation slot machine, named Liberty Bell, was an instant hit with players, but in the end, the manufacturer could not keep up with the ever-increasing demand.

They say that the Liberty Bell, developed by Charles Fey between 1887 and 1895, was the first slot that vaguely resembled the classic machines that became popular in casinos around the world in the 20th century. The three rotating discs with five symbols became iconic, but that is not the only reason the machine became one of the slots that changed gambling forever. Since it was the first to have an automatic payout system, Liberty Bell will be legendary for eternity.

Legal Loopholes

Despite the ban on slot machines in many American states in 1902, Fey and his competitors were not deterred. Instead of playing cards, they placed fruit and candy symbols on the discs. For example, if the player spun three chewing gums, they won a handful of chewing gums. With this move, they found loopholes, so the gamblers could continue playing. This is how fruit machines were born, which we still use today.

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Money Honey

Eventually, modern technology caught up with traditional fruit slots. In 1963, an American entertainment company, Bally, launched the first fully electromechanical slot machine. It was also coin-operated, but Money Honey took things to a whole new level. The 500-coin payout made it more appealing to gamblers when Las Vegas was still young. You could say it was in the perfect place at the right time. It was the predecessor of the world-famous one-armed bandit.

Slots that Changed Gambling Forever

The next technological leap occurred in 1976 when a company launched the very first video slot machine. Fortuna Coin defined the slot machine market for decades. The slots in the casinos today were all inspired by this machine, so it’s safe to say that the first video slot changed gambling forever. It had a 19-color Sony Trinitron display and was presented to the public at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. This machine gained huge popularity throughout Las Vegas, and the famous software development company IGT later bought Fortune Coin Co.

Reel ‘Em In

The game changed immensely in 1996 when the WMS casino software development company released a game called Reel’Em In. It was the first video slot to feature a second screen bonus feature. Bonuses are an essential part of modern machines, the success of these slots depends on them.

Today it is hard to imagine a world in which such a thing did not exist. WMS continued to be at the forefront of innovation later on, developing the memorable Zeus, the 6-reel Raging Rhino, and the Colossal Reels, which served as the basis for today’s modern games such as Spartacus – Gladiator of Rome, which you can find at 1xBet Casino.

Slots that Changed Gambling Forever – Cleopatra

If you’re looking for an iconic slot, IGT’s Egyptian-themed 5-reel Cleopatra is a perfect choice. It was a simple video slot that became a huge success worldwide. The possibility to win 15 free spins with a 3x multiplier made it a must for both new and experienced players. Since its first release, Cleopatra has seen several new editions and has been equally successful in land-based casinos and online and mobile platforms.

It is unlikely that there will ever be a time when this game will not be present in casinos around the world. According to online gambling sites in the US, there are a few other slots, such as Desert Treasure, Thunderstruck II, and Zeus, which have come close to Cleopatra’s immortality, but the Egyptian queen still rules. Check out our article about the quickest mega slot wins as well!

Sushi Bar

For a while, in the 1990s, 3D technology flourished. Everyone who has seen a 3D movie remembers the red and blue glasses and the basic graphics. In the 21st century, technology returned and gained fame. 3D TVs have become increasingly popular, and the release of 3D movies has become successful in the cinema as well. The slot machines could not be left out of this either. Sushi Bar was the first 3D slot that changed gambling forever, followed by Good Girl, Bad Girl, Mamma Mia, and More Gold Diggin’. These machines brought a whole new experience to the visual presentation of slots.

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Slots that Changed Gambling Forever – Iron Man

The relationship between slot machines and the entertainment industry is not simple. Licensing negotiations can be lengthy. The only time a slot developer actually successfully negotiated a licensing deal was the Playtech-Marvel deal. As part of the deal, Playtech launched a number of Marvel-themed machines such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers. All of these received a very positive response in both online and land-based casinos and defined the look of many Playtech online casinos.


Nowadays, we also have the option of playing online slots instead of going to land-based casinos, which are also available at 1xBet Casino. Game developers try to keep up with the growing demands of players, so today’s online slots provide a more enjoyable gaming experience than ever by using increasingly impressive graphics and extra functions. The games not only impress players with their features and designs but also provide a pleasant way to have fun. Whether you have a computer or a cell phone, you only need to connect to the internet, and you can play your favorite slot machine from anywhere, at any time!

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