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Slot machines have come a long way. Originally a physical machine with sizes that were as small as desktop computers to as large as refrigerators, these slot machines relied on mechanical clockwork to function. As technology improved, however, so did the slot machine. The video slot was born in the latter half of the twentieth century. The reels have been replaced with electronic ones. Instead, the reels were rolling on video slot terminals, or VLTs, for short. The first electromechanical slot machine, the Money Honey, was a major factor in the advancement of slot machines.
The Money Honey was a pioneer in the history of slot machines and immediately expanded the fundamental notions of automatic pay-outs found in early 1940s machines, as noted on our online slots page. It was the first of its kind to have a bottomless hopper and to be able to pay out coins without assistance when it was released by Bally in 1963. The previous slots needed an attendant to recover a player’s winnings; clearly, this was not a long-term solution.
It was thanks to the success of Bally’s breakthrough slot machine that Fortune Coin built the first video slot machine in 1976. With a 19-inch TV screen and a set of circuit boards, the prototype showed the reels. After that, cabinets were built to house them. The Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas was chosen as a test site for the company’s first units. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, they were legalized by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and quickly became a popular attraction on the Strip.
During this time, the microprocessor also had a major influence on video slot development. Their easy programmability allowed slot machines to automatically keep track of the passage of coins and the quantities input by the user. They may also use proximity sensors to regulate the stepper motors. Casino software also allowed the processor to select which symbols were shown on the reels and how much each pay-out would be. Random number generators were also introduced by the microprocessor. The first slot machines used a lever to trigger a system of gears that spun the reels, whereas video slots employ random number generators (RNGs). This eliminated the need for a lever, increased dependability, and prohibited casino owners from manipulating RTPs.
After IGT purchased Fortune Coin, video slots quickly took over the market because of their dependability and ease of use, which made them very popular with casino operators. The inclusion of graphical reels and computerised displays allowed developers to insert more symbols and pay-lines, which in turn resulted in more lucrative jackpots, free from the mechanical constraints of their simpler predecessors. It was no surprise that they were a big hit with the players. Since then, IGT has shifted its focus and funding to video slots rather than mechanical devices. “Reel ’em In” was the first slot to include a second bonus round screen, thanks to their inventions.
After this video game transition, slot machines’ feature sets only continued to grow. Video slots have evolved to include a variety of extra features including bonus rounds, free spins, and other side quests. Many of the most cutting-edge online slots integrate at least some of these features even today.
That doesn’t mean there’s been a decline in popularity for the classic slots of old. They are, in fact, a key lure for individuals who are searching for a no-nonsense old-school gaming experience. Simple 3-reel play and restricted pay-lines are used to re-create the nostalgic feel of those classic mechanical slot machines in modern software.