Slot games and fruit machines have become a part of daily life, sitting in our local pubs, bars, chip shops or even those little service station mini casinos. You can actually play them online at sites such as casinodames.com. Whether we play them or not, we all know what they are and mostly, we know how to play them.
Nowadays of course, slot games can be found freely online and in their masses, too, as the famous format is available in all kinds of shapes and sizes. However, not many of us know about the beginnings of these games which still sit today, flickering the corners of pubs and the like.
Their history actually dates way back before the fruit machine, and actually stems from the poker machine that simulated the famous card-playing pastime. But who invented the slot machine?
The first ever slot machine
Back in the late 19th century, a New York based company of avid gamblers and wily mathematicians, Sittman and Pitt, developed a machine that would become widely acknowledged as the first slot machine. differing greatly from the elaborate graphics and animation of today, and even to the flashing lights of the traditional fruity, their game contained just a total of 50 playing cards.
Similarly, this was a game that could be found in many bars even back in 19th century, and playable for one nickel. Two of the cards were removed from the deck on a turn, with 50 being the number instead of 52, in order to give the house an edge and to make profit from the machine.
Wins were not paid out of the machine as such a mechanism was yet to be invented and electricity was not as easily accessible as it was in later years. Instead, the prizes would be collected at the bar, not from a slot, making for a rather more personal touch than we have today
What were the prizes?
Well, playing for a nickel, the prizes were never likely to be huge. However, once more and more players play, that can of course tally up, so Sittman and Pitt made some money off their new invention.
Prizes, though, were n the form of products from the bar, itself. For example, a winning combinations would reward the gambler with free drinks or cigars. A drink for a nickel? Not bad, after all.
Wasn’t gambling illegal in America?
Yes, yes it was. But not at the exact time of invention, it was only later on that the pastime was outlawed.
With the changing gambling laws in the United States of America, came a banning of all slot games in which the act of playing was thought to be ‘gambling.’ Of course, as history tells us, gambling still went on and became an activity of the criminal underworld, making for some great movie narratives if nothing else.
Legally, though, the slot machine did continue but without monetary prizes that had been introduced to Sittman and Pitt’s invention. The likes of gum and candy became the prize, with the game now suitable for children, too.
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