The World's First Slot Machine

How did the first slot machine came to be? A gambling machine as exciting as the slots should have an equally exciting beginning. So here was the first slot machine.

Back in 1891 in the busy and progressive city of New York (curiously enough not in Las Vegas), two men came up with an idea of a gambling machine that would be patterned after a simplified poker game. This was to be the initial form of a first slot machine. It looked dominantly cylindrical, with all the drums fitted in it, with some 50 picture faces to base a win on. The first slot machine was introduced to the public and the people of New York soon went wild over it. City bars soon has at least on unit of the first slot machine in them. It was a very lucrative and simple gambling device.

But the first slot machine mechanism was really invented by Charles Fey. Fey lived in California and came up with the first slot machine mechanism in 1887. The play was as easy as A, B, C. Slide in a nickel into the coin slot of the first slot machine prototype, pull the lever, and presto. A win awaited the expectant player. The pulled lever spun the fitted drums along with the picture poker cards on them while the slotter waited for a high poker hand to emerge. No number combinations yet in the first slot machine and it did not automatically issued coin winnings to the winner on the spot.

Hence, winnings were based on poker combinations, and the jackpot prize was in kind. The first slot machine awarded freebies to the winner - like a KK hand would win a free mug of cold beer, or a royal flush hand would be awarded free cigars or a shot of wine. So the prizes from a win with the first slot machine were based on the commodity predominantly sold by the business establishment.

The "house" odds then (no casinos yet) consisted of the absence of two cards so that some winning hands were not completed. The cards were often a Ts and a Jh; these two frustrated the chances of winning royal flushes. Another way of gaining the house advantage was to re-do the placement of drums to work against the patron's odds.

The first slot machine gained rapid popularity when incorporated with awards as a game of chance in New York. The first slot machine was first conceptualized in California.

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