Lesson: A Brief History of Slots

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Lesson Objective

A Brief History of Slots

Lesson Plan

Slot machines are the most iconic forms of gambling. They have a long and impressive history, while still being some of the most popular ways to gamble today. Over the years slots have seen a lot of changes. As technology improves, so have slot machines. Nowadays we can comfortably play slots in our home through our smartphones - learn more.

Where it started

It all began at the end of the 19 th Century in the USA. Sittman and Pitt, based in New York, invented what is considered to be the first slot machine. This machine had five drums which could hold a total of 50 cards. Although the game here was based on poker, this machine is what started everything off for slots. In the 1890s, this machine was simplified by a man called Charles Fey. Fey was based in San Francisco and simplified the game own to three barrels, instead of five. Each barrel was labelled with a symbol including a Liberty Bell, which gave its name to the slots. This was the invention of the first modern slot machine. This slot machine quickly grew in popularity as people became attached to the opportunity and the chance of winning.

Slots in the 20th century

Throughout the 20th century, various kinds of slot machines were made and played with.

The first electrical slot machine wasn’t invented until 1963. With Bally’s new electrical slot machine, the industry of gambling has become what it is today.

There are different versions of slot machines all around the world due to their popularity in the US. In Great Britain slot machines were given a makeover. These machines now have symbols of fruit in the barrels, giving them the nickname of fruit machines - or fruity for short. Almost every pub in the UK has at least one fruit machine. Gambling has become such a popular pastime since the invention of slots.

American Slots

Slot machines were first invented in California and New York, but their true home seems to be Las Vegas. Las Vegas is one of the few places in the United States where gambling is legal.

This right has turned Las Vegas from a dusty desert into one of the biggest hotspots in the world.

Slot machines started an industry for gambling and we can thank them for every other machine

we’ve played on. Thousands of websites and apps offer a chance to win it big on the slots from the comfort of your own home. The percentage of people who gamble online has steadily increased over the years. As technology improves and we get faster connections, more people are experiencing the joy of the slots.

Unsurprisingly, more people are playing slots on smartphones rather than PCs.

Slot machines will forever be a favourite of gambling games. It is a simple device, but one that has brought joy to many. Slot machines have come a long way since their invention. But we can safely say that none of us would be here if it wasn’t for them.

Lesson Resources

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