In the space of just over a century, Slots have come a long way. Going from purely mechanical one-armed bandits to the modern online games of today, these classic games have evolved significantly.

Technological developments have been one of the biggest driving factors in shaping Slots, helping to keep this casino staple just as popular as it’s ever been. Whether you play Megaways Slots or a classic fruit machine, the games we play today owe a lot to the way technology has evolved.

So, let’s take a look back and explore just how the slot machines of yesterday turned into the games of today.

Mechanical beginnings

The very first slot machines were created in San Francisco in the late 19th century and were completely mechanical. A combination of gears, springs, and levers worked together to spin the reels.

Early machines couldn’t issue anything for matching combinations, with players having to talk to a proprietor to receive their payout. Still, without the popularity of the Liberty Bell and other mechanical slot machines, we wouldn’t have modern slot games.

Over the following decades, manufacturers continued to tinker with the formula, creating fresh iterations of the one-armed bandit. However, there were definite limitations to what they could do with a purely mechanical machine.

The shift to video

The technology behind Slots took a big leap in the 1970s, introducing digital screens that would display the symbols instead. 

Rather than relying on physics stopping each reel in place, the outcome of a spin was now determined by the computer instead. Since this meant that the iconic lever no longer played a function in operating the machine they started being phased out in favour of a spin button. However, you may still find the classic way to play with a lever.

These new video screens allowed for the addition of graphics, digital effects, and additional mechanics to the gameplay experience. More importantly, there were now no external factors that could affect the result of a spin.

Thanks to random number generators (RNG) the outcome of each spin is now always unpredictable and fair.

Fully digital Slots

As casinos began to move online around the turn of the millennium many slot games followed suit. Rather than being limited by physical cabinets, developers were now freed to experiment even further and push the boundaries of gameplay with advanced graphics, animations, and soundtracks.

One notable format that came out of this experimentation was the Megaways slot. With the number of symbols on each of its reels randomised on every spin, a Megaways game offers even more variety and unpredictability.

With players able to play from their computer or mobile phone, as long as they have a reliable internet connection, and with so many formats to choose from, Slots rose to even greater popularity.  

Changing technology has helped Slots to transform with the times, moving from their mechanical origins into the digital space. From operational improvements like the RNG to visual computer graphics, Slots have benefitted and evolved significantly from modern technology.

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