The History and Evolution of Casino Games
The history of gambling is intimately linked with the history of humanity because regardless of how far back you go in time, you will always find signs of gambling where people have gathered together. We won’t try to track down every single twist and turn in this article when it comes to the evolution of gambling, but we will highlight some of the most important milestones, leading to today’s gambling experience.
While many believe the concept of the casino is relatively new, the truth is that gambling has been part of our societies for generations. Almost every culture is connected to gambling, and even casino games like poker and blackjack have their origins marinated in history. Gambling has come a long way, starting with card-based games that were invented during the 11th century in China to the land-based casinos that have been dominating Las Vegas for centuries.
The Move to Online Casinos like Silver Sands
Nowadays, players are spoilt for choice when it comes to online gambling, giving you access to comprehensive reviews and news on the latest developments. For instance, you can find genuine feedback of Silver Sands Casino by Top10casinos before signing up for a new account. This will cover game selection, user-interface, mobile compatibility, payment options, customer support, and more. However, before technology improved the way we interact with casinos, the landscape was completely different and it’s here where our journey begins.
An In-Depth Look at Slot Machines
Even though casinos are filled with games you can play for real money, each with its own unique origin story to boot, it’s the slot machine that has earned the reputation as the most popular casino game in the world. However, how did the slot machine come into existence, why is it so immensely popular, and how has it evolved since its inception?
- 1891: The first slot machine was invented during the 19th century when Sittman and Pitt, a New York-based company, developed the first poker gambling machine in 1891. The game featured five drums and a total of 50 playing cards. The machine was available in most bars and only cost a nickel to play. Players could simply insert a nickel and pull a lever where payouts were achieved by lining up different poker hands on the drums. To see the edge for the house increased, two cards were removed from the poker machine, the jack of hearts and the ten of spades, thus reducing the odds of obtaining a royal flush by half. The poker machine didn’t feature a direct payout mechanism, so winnings were paid at the bar in the form of cigars or free drinks.
- 1895: Charles Augustus Fey is considered the inventor of the first true slot machine, and although there is no exact date on when his slot machine was created, it is believed to have taken place in 1895. Charles invented his machine to allow automatic payouts by reducing the complexity of reading a win on his machine. This was achieved by removing the existing five drums and replacing them with three reels. He also removed the playing cards and replaced them with five symbols including liberty bells, horseshoes, spades, diamonds, and hearts.
- 1902: In 1902, slot machines were banned. However, the Liberty Bell slot machine continued to be manufactured. This introduced the era of the fruit slot machine, as cash prizes could no longer be distributed. These machines utilized fruit symbols and winnings were paid in sweets and chewing gum of the corresponding fruit flavor. Herbert Mills, a Chicago-based manufacturer, produced a slot machine in 1907 called the Operator Bell. The machine was found in most salons, shops, bowling alleys, and tobacconist by 1908. The BAR symbol was also introduced to slot machines during this time, and it was based around the logo of the Bell Fruit company.
- 1976: In 1976, the first true video slot was introduced to the world. The video slot was manufactured by a Las Vegas-based company in California, called Fortune Coin. The video slot utilized a modified 19-inch TV for its display and was first made available in the Hilton Hotel situated in Las Vegas. Shortly after, following a few modifications and cheat-proofing, the video slot was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission where it became tremendously popular on the Las Vegas Strip. IGT acquired the Fortune Coin company in 1978.
- 1996: The next milestone in the origin of slot machines came in 1996 with the ‘Reel Em’ video slot release by Williams Interactive. The ‘Reel Em’ video slot was the first to feature a bonus round on a second screen. Once the bonus round was activated, players would be transported to a different screen where the bonus round took place and enabled players to win additional payouts. Slot machines became increasingly popular during this time and were responsible for more than 70% of the casino’s income. They also took up more than 70% of the floor space available at a land-based casino, creating urgency among casino owners to come up with a solution. This is where the internet provided the perfect landscape for online casinos to develop without restrictions.
The Inception of Online Casino Games
The most exciting development when it comes to the history of casino games is undoubtedly the online casino. Thanks to the widespread acceptance of desktop computers, brand-new types of casino games started to surface across the world. Players who used to wait in line to enjoy their favorite slot machine or table game can now play casino games whenever they want without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Casino games that were previously too exclusive for most players to enjoy are widely available across the internet with tons of betting options to suit all types of players, regardless of their pocket size. With the development of the Random Number Generator and the internet, online gambling took off like a rocket during the 1990s. Since then, there has been a boom in online gambling due to its easy accessibility and low betting requirements. In fact, you will find more than 2,000 online casinos across the internet, offering nearly every type of casino game you can imagine.
Players are also treated to generous loyalty programs as an added incentive to play online as well as promotions and bonuses on almost every deposit you make at your favorite casino. Online casinos have made such an impact on the world, that most players are turning to online gambling during COVID-19. That alone should tell you how popular online gambling actually is. It’s a way to escape reality and a fantastic source of entertainment that you can enjoy without even getting out of bed.
The Future of Online Casino Games
Predicting the future of online gambling is as difficult as uncovering the origins of every casino game ever created. Most of the focus in the industry at the moment is on the ever-growing mobile market where every gambling site is scrambling to ensure more content becomes mobile compatible with the latest hand-held devices. You can even enjoy loads of gambling options in modern video games, showcasing just how versatile the industry has become.
The technology behind virtual reality is only taking its first steps as we speak, and you can bet your bottom dollar that gambling applications will be developed over the next few years with a focus on VR or even AR gaming. Imagine sitting around a virtual poker table with your friends, enjoying an intense game from the comfort of your own home? This can all be achieved with VR headsets. It might not be today, but it will certainly be available in the next few years. After that? Who knows, but it’s safe to say that nothing is impossible when it comes to gambling and casino games.