Online Bingo

A brief history of the slot machine

Playing bingo online is all very well, but one thing many players miss is the chance to have a flutter on their favourite fruit machine before they sit down to play. Of course, you can find plenty of online slots, but none of them have quite the same magic as the flashing lights and spinning reels of the real thing. But where did slot machines come from, and how did they end up looking like they do today? We know the history of bingo, but what is the story behind slots?

fruit machines are a big part of the bingo hall experience

Photo by Unknown // CC0 1.0

The first fruit machines

The history of the slot machine can be traced back to 1891, when inventors Sittman and Pitt created the first automatic game based on poker. Their original prototype had five reels with playing cards on them. The idea was that players would already be familiar with poker hands and so it would be easy for them to move over to the machine version of the game. Unfortunately, while the game proved hugely popular, the maths made life really difficult. With so many different cards across five reels, the number of possible combinations was just too many for the technology of the time to be able to make automatic pay outs. As any slot player knows, it’s the instant gratification of the win that is so satisfying, and so having to go to the bar for a pay out just wasn’t the same. (more…)