Play responsibly. For guidelines check our page.

History of Slot Machines: Invention, Evolution & Future

History of Slot Machines: Invention, Evolution & Future

Have you ever wondered where slot machines first began and how things worked before the new online casino? If you’re interested in the history of the casino then keep on reading, hopefully, you’ll learn something new! In this blog post, you’ll learn all about when the first slot machine was created, how slot machines have improved over the years, how slot machines look now, and how potentially they may look in the future. If you are already aware of these, then you might want to check out an up to date slots strategy guide instead!


The first slot machine was developed by Charles Fey in 1895. Fey was a mechanic and enjoyed making extraordinary things. One of these extraordinary things that he made was the slot machine. He created the world’s first slot machine which unbeknown to him, was an exciting revolution in gambling history and one of the initial ways to play casino games!

The slot machine he created was named the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell got its name from the gold bell symbols that covered the 3 reels. Other symbols included diamonds, spades, hearts, and horseshoes. The Liberty Bell was a straightforward slot and to spin the reels, you had to pull the lever. Each reel had 10 symbols and there were a total of 1, 000 winning combinations available. When the reels stopped with 3 golden bells in a row, a prize of 50 cents was awarded.


At the beginning of the 20th century, Herbert Mills expanded on Charles Fey’s slot machine creation and adapted it so it didn’t have the same legal challenges. The slot machines Mills created now had up to 20 symbols giving gamers a possible 8, 000 ways to win. Mills’ made his slot machines stand out from Fey’s by adding in a number of different symbols.

Symbols included cherries, plums, lemons, and oranges. These machines are now what we refer to today as ‘fruit machines’. Fruit machine slots are still very popular in many casinos and will always be a classic favourite for many gamers.


In the 60s, Bally created a game called Money Honey. This slot replicated the fun of the Las Vegas Strip; bright lights and a buzzing atmosphere. The slot had vibrant colours, flashing lights, interesting noises, and was quicker than all of the other slots created before. These machines had a coin hopper which meant that payouts were made easier.

Bally quickly took over the Las Vegas Strip and by the end of the 1960s, 94% of the slot machines were powered by Bally. Bally essentially made Vegas famous for its casinos. Their machines were beginning to become very popular and inspired others to get more creative.


In the 1980s, slot machines further improved. Computer technician Inge Telnaes create a computer program that allowed slot machines to work with a random number generator. This was a huge development as previously you had to spin the reels yourself by pulling the lever at the side of the machine.


As you can guess, the slot machines were even better and even more popular in the 1990s. Slot machines had multi-line payouts and even more bonus features that were triggered by landing certain symbols and being taken to a new screen.

One of the first bonus features created was a roulette-style wheel. This was seen at the top of the reels and you had to land a certain combination of symbols to activate it. When you got a winning combination, you could spin the wheel to reveal an exciting cash prize.


Thanks to the rise of the internet in the mid-90s, the online casino was born. The first-ever online casino was created in 1996 by InterCasino. A short while later, Microgaming was established. Microgaming considers itself to be the world’s first true online casino and is still very popular today in the online casino world. They hold the Guinness World Records title for the ‘Largest jackpot payout in a slot machine game’ and some of the most popular slots including Jurassic World and Thunderstruck.


In 2005, the first mobile casino game was launched. This game was very simple and you couldn’t yet win real money from them. When the App Store for Apple was created in 2008, this became possible. In the App Store, you could find a variety of slots to download to your phone.


Microgaming was the first successful online casino. They set a high standard and many other online casino operators have been created since and have also been successful such as Net Entertainment and Scientific Gaming. Online casinos started out by offering classic casino games like Blackjack and Roulette. After a short while, everyone’s casino favourite, new slots online were added.

With technology advancing year after year, slots have continued to look better, become easier to use and have more entertaining and innovative features. New online slots are being developed every day which is very exciting. The online casino offers so much more variety than the land-based casino did; nowadays, online players can find even bigger progressive jackpots than the ones existed in bricks and mortar casinos!

There is a wide variety of online slots to suit gamers of all kinds. There are the classic slots based on the original fruit machine, 5-reel slots, 243 ways to win slots, and progressive jackpots. There are simple slots and slots with lots of interesting features. There are slots with every theme imaginable including Irish luck themes, nature themes, fairytale themes, and sports themes. If you feel excited, then check out these new bonus codes and start your iGaming experience today!


The next direction of slot games is heading towards mobile casino gaming. Mobile phone technology is advancing making it easy to play our favourite slots on a small device anywhere we like. But what about the future? Steps are currently being made to make slot games 3D. Slot Graphics have already significantly improved since the first one was created and continues to get better.

Slots will look more realistic with 3D graphics that almost look life-like. Talking about life-like, could virtual reality in slots be a thing in the future? At the moment this kind of technology isn’t compatible with mobile phones but this is something very interesting to think about.

Let us know what direction do you think slot games will take next? Soon, we will be releasing similar research pieces related to games of roulette and more!