A Brief History of the Slot Machine

A slot machine, also called the fruit machines, slot machines, pug, the slots or fruit machines, is a slot-machinery which generates a game of luck for its users. Slots are considered to be one of the oldest games in the world having been around since the 16th century. Today, slot machines are often found in casinos, pubs and bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, shopping malls and airports.


The majority of slot machines are controlled electronically. In this manner, an observer at any distance can watch what is going on. Slots have symbols on their reels which can be interpreted as words or other visual images depending on the reels. Some examples of symbols are hearts, words, numbers, words or symbols. Most of the symbols on reels are random but if two symbols are close in proximity the probability is that they will close together and produce a winning bet.

When playing a slot machine the reels are rotated by pulling the handle or lever on the machine. Slots that have coins on them are called “hot” slots. On the other hand, allots that do not have coins on them are called “cold” slots.

In old times slot machines used pull tabs that are pulled by hand or by using a pole. Slots that utilize pull tabs are called “modern” slot machines. Pull tab machines have a button that needs to be pushed when the tab is depressed to release the coins. Old versions of slot reels had levers that are pulled by hand or by use of a pole.

Slots started out on wooden reels and changed to metal reels after the first modern slot machines came onto the scene. Today, all modern slot machines are electronic. The first slot machine games to use electronic gaming equipment included blackjack and roulette. The introduction of video slot games on casino floors led to the adoption of rapid count machines.

With the introduction of the spinning reels, improvements to the mechanics of the slot machine continued to grow. The next step up from the original mechanical reels were the so-called digital reels. Digital reels have an integrated scanner that enables the reels to spin even faster when the casino’s lights or other lighting effects are in play. Although these reels are more expensive than mechanical reels, they allow casinos to expand their slots in real estate to include more locations. Some of the most popular slot machines in casinos today are the progressive slot machines, which are wired differently than the traditional mechanical slot machines in that the reels do not stop if a button is pressed.