The evolution of slot machines: From classic to video slots

Slot machines have come a long way over the years, from having a physical lever to pull in order to spin the reels, to now – with the world of online slots, where you can play at any time, anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection.

Today you can play the best online slots, with a variation of themes, characters, and even some icons made up of famous faces you might recognize. The opportunities never end when you’re spinning those reels.

So if you want to find out more about the evolution of the slots, keep reading!

Where it all began?

The first slot machine was invented in 1894 in San Francisco. Pioneered by Charles Fey, his device was known as the Liberty Bell. It featured the familiar design that we’ve all come to know in the modern-day.

The Liberty Bell included three spinning reels, a single payline, and a fully automated pay-out system.

Years later, in 1907, the classic fruit symbols were added to the slot machine’s reels, but before this, card symbols and suits were used.

In the 1920s, a company invented a function called ‘Skill Stop’, where a player could push a button to stop the reels and attempt to influence a win, despite it ultimately being down to chance.

The progression

For many years slot machines remained mechanical, and the player would have to pull down an arm lever, which would then spin the reels into motion. This manual approach allowed players to feel as though they had more control over the game and the outcome.

Obviously, this was not the case! In 1964, the first fully electromechanical slot called Money Honey was released by Bally. The reels were operated entirely electrically, yet the game was still started by pulling the lever.

For players at the time, it would have been too unfamiliar to play the game without pulling the lever. The game was massively popular and led to the increasing dominance of electromechanical slots. Soon after, the familiar lever was removed.

The first video slot was created in 1976 by a company in Las Vegas, this ignited the desire for the future of online slots. As expected, over time the classic symbols once displayed on the Liberty Bell were long gone.

Now, symbols such as cherries, lemons, Lucky Number 7, and clovers, are just some of the symbols we can see on the reels today.

The future

For now, the future is unknown, but it’s fair to say that the world of slots is progressing so quickly the future will be bright. We have already seen some major developments like introducing Virtual Reality (VR) into gameplay – which will surely be epic!

With the online casino world becoming more advanced by the day, the future of slots should feature a lot more gameplay variations, keeping up with current trends and famous films or TV shows – so the themes of the game will be completely endless.


Each of these developments over the years has contributed to the slots we know today. With gaming now being so accessible, you can play from the comfort of your own home. Will you be spinning the reels anytime soon?