Slot machines are one of the most popular gambling games out there. They go a long way back and have a long history that’s now almost two centuries old if we count both the offline and online iterations of the game. 

Here we will try to present a short history of the game and how it changed over the years. An average player can still enjoy the game and be good at it without knowing any of it, but it does provide an interesting background to slots.

The Beginnings

The long history of slot machines starts in the 1800s in the saloons of the old West. The machines looked similar to the ones we all know and use but they were less complex. They didn’t use symbols that we do now. Instead, the symbols were the same as on the playing cards. 

When the symbols aligned you got paid as you do now. However, there was no pay line and no mechanism to get paid on the machine. Instead, you got paid at the register or the bar – in cash or drinks.

The Symbols

The symbols that wen now associated with the slot machines came to be because the slots were soon forbidden by the government that was established in the West.  Since the saloons weren’t allowed to have the game as is, they added the fruit symbols and candy as a reward for those who win at slots. 

These restrictions are no longer important but they’ve changed the game forever and the symbols remained associated with the game even today. Modern games also use other symbols as well to accompany the aesthetic of the game. 

Video Slots

Video slots were the next innovation in the world of slot games. They featured a screen instead of a reel and they were electronic rather than mechanical.  The gameplay is the same and many of these slots did have a lever you can pull but it didn’t do anything in terms of determining what symbols you can get. 

With these games, the outcome is determined based on a random numbers generator. This means that there’s nothing a player can do to affect the outcome and you shouldn’t try to feed the game or chase your losses once you lose a few times. 

Interconnected Slots

Slot jackpots were the next thing to change due to the changes in technology. That’s what happened when the slots got connected and the jackpots did too. This means that the money that’s put into different slot machines goes towards the same pool of jackpot rewards that a single player can win all the once. 

These slots were connected physically at first and then they were connected via networks meaning that the pots and jackpots got bigger as more machines were interconnected regardless of their location. This has led to some massive wins. 

Online Slots

Online slots changed the industry in the 90s when they first came to be. At this point, there were no rules as to how gambling online would work and the wild west period started and lasted for a few years until some regulations came into practice. 

The casinos have quickly understood the importance of online gambling for the industry and they tried to find their way to use this amazing innovation. Now online gambling is the only game in town and most gamblers play online. It allows the casinos to reach the players from across the world and at all times. 

Mobile Games

One of the biggest changes in how slots work came with the introduction of mobile slots. Mobile slots are now the most common way to play the game and especially so for younger players. These games allow everyone with a mobile device to play and take part in the gambling culture all over the world. 

They are also lucrative for the casinos since there are much fewer expenses for the casino when they need to run an app instead of an actual gambling establishment. Chances are that this will be an even more important part of the industry in the years to come. 

Cryptocurrency Payments

The latest change to the world of online slots came when cryptocurrencies were accepted as a common payment method. It happened rather quickly since cryptocurrency works well when it comes to the needs of the average gambler. The payments allow the players to move funds quickly and with an easy way to trace them. They can also remain anonymous when it comes to your personal data. 

There are a lot of these currencies available and Bitcoin still remains the most commonly used one. Keep in mind that the value of the cryptocurrency can change and that it can dip quite quickly as it often did. 

To Sum Up

Slots have gone through a lot of changes over the two centuries they have been popular. The game started in saloons and used playing cards. The symbols and the gear came after. As the game evolved so have the ways in which you get a reel to display the symbols. 

Online slots were one of the first that utilized the internet and mobile slots soon followed. The game continues to change and now it mostly happens on phones and allows for cryptocurrency payments. This is the latest development but many new ones are on the way as well.