Slots and pokies are some of the oldest gambling games in the modern world. They saw their beginnings at the start of the 20th century, and have attracted a vast audience ever since. Here is an overview of slot machine history and how they have developed over the years.The first ever version of the slot machine was seen in 1891. Pittman and Sachs created a machine with five drums, each showing poker hand symbols. When players would win at these games, the machine would not pay out; rather, the bar housing them would provide players with drinks.It would be four more years before Charles Fey would create the version of the slot machine with which we are most acquainted today. The machine provided players with cash payouts when it revealed matching symbols. The popularity of these games caught on very quickly, until anti-gambling groups enacted a ban on slot machines in the early 20th century.The ban only lasted a few years, and it wasn’t long before slots became popular again in casinos. It was during the 1950s that slot machines started to become popular around the world. In 1953, Australian gaming company Aristocrat took note of the new trend and decided to manufacture its own brand of electronic gaming machines called pokies. The company’s first machine was called the ‘Clubman’.Although it would be quite some time before we would see online slots, casinos in Las Vegas started making electronic slot machines, moving away from the typical, mechanical slot games that had become popular over the years. These machines were more secure than mechanical slots and made it more difficult for individuals to cheat casinos. During this time, electronic slots also saw the invention of the random number generator which made playing slots even more unpredictable.Over the next few decades, slots would remain the same. It wouldn’t be until the turn of the Century that we begin seeing the advent of online slots. The first online slots games were seen around 2001, when the first internet casinos went live. Companies like Microgaming got on the ground floor, creating some of the first online slot machines available to the public.For the past ten years, slots have become some of the most popular games at online casinos, in addition to making up over 80% of land-based casino revenue. In the online world, players can find hundreds of different online slots games, many of which feature fun and inventive themes. Players are also able to find a wide range of branded and themed slots games, featuring innovative gaming technology.
Smartphones, tablet computers and social networks have forever changed the face of the gaming market. Originally, social gaming was thought to be a passing fad, but it seems that it is here to stay. The market has become so popular and profitable that even online casino developers have decided to try their hand at creating social games that will appeal to a new audience of gamers.Zynga was one of the first developers to make the connection between social gaming and casino gambling. One of its first releases was Zynga Poker, an online poker application that operated like any other poker room – with the addition of social gaming features. Players were able to share their progress with friends and level up to trigger unique features. The success of Zynga Poker started the social gambling trend.Soon, Zynga decided to launch other social casino applications, and it wasn’t long before Zynga Slots was available on the Facebook App market. This application offers player free-play slots games, with plenty of ‘unlockable’ features and shareable content. It led to the development of Zynga Elite Slots, which brings a new meaning to the term ‘social gaming’ by allowing players to work together to complete levels and win slots jackpots.For quite some time, Zynga had a monopoly on the social casino market, but it wasn’t long before other developers started to get involved. Double Down Interactive launched the wildly popular Double Down Casino application, which was quickly snatched up by online gambling developer IGT (International Game Technology). IGT was one of the first real-money gambling developers to try its hand in the social gaming world, and it has turned out to be a successful venture thus far. Double Down’s games are still free slots but the application provides a great deal of ad revenue for IGT.888 Holdings is one of the latest real-money gambling operators to make its way into the social gambling world. The company’s new social casino application is called MAGIC888, and it offers players the chance to play online slots and other casino games using the convenient Facebook Games platform. It operates on the same basis as social casino applications like Zynga Elite Slots and Double Down Casino, allowing players to share their progress with friends and level up to unlock bonus content. The only difference is that players can wager actual cash and win genuine jackpot prizes.The social slots and social casino markets have developed very quickly over time. From free-play poker apps to real-money Facebook casinos, social gambling has seen a great deal of change – and we can expect to see even more innovative developments from social casinos in the future.