The History of Pokies

Pokies have a very rich history. The first slot machines had little in common with the slot machines you will find in casinos today. However, the idea behind pokies remains the same: The player must make a winning combination of the symbols in the slot machine in order to get paid. Nowadays, slots are the most popular entertainment game thanks to their amusement content and simplicity.

Poker Pokies

The first pokie machine invented by Sittman and Pitt in 1891 The first machines you had to throw coins into to make them work were invented in 1880 and they were fully tuned for poker. The machine had 5 rows with 50 cards based on poker. This machine became very popular for a short period of time and many bars in New York had them. The player had to throw in a penny, pull the lever and wait for the cards to appear.

One-Armed Bandits

The one-armed bandit was an invention of the mechanic Charles Fey (1862-1944) from San Fransisco. He is considered to be the inventor of pokies. He was born in Bavaria, Germany. He lived in London for some time before moving to San Fransisco where all his ideas came to life. According to historical sources, his first pokie machine was invented in 1894 and the second in 1895. These pokies contained 3 rotating elements and were operated by a lever. In a short period of time these pokies became very popular and that was the reason for Charles Fey to develop pokies for the rest of his life.

The Liberty Bell Pokies

The first pokie machine with an automatic payout system was made by Charles Fey in 1898. Fey devised a pokie machine with 3 spinning reels on which all future machines were based. This pokie machine had 5 different symbols:

Liberty Bell

The famous ‘Liberty Bell’ pokie machine invented by Charles Fey. When the player had 3 ‘Liberty Bells’ he would get the biggest reward, the jackpot. These machines were very popular and even when the machines were banned in some states Fey still received more than enough orders. These machines were so popular that other manufacturers adopted the idea. At the beginning of the 20th century there were a lot of pokie machines in cigar shops, saloons, bowling alleys and hairdressing shops.

Fruit Pub Pokies

The next chapter in the history of pokies was the introduction of the ‘Fruit Machines’ which took place in the year 1912. The images of cards were replaced by images of Fruit such as:


Pokie Machines used Pictures of Fruit instead of Cards

Additional BAR symbols were derived from the first logo of this company. A fruit machine paid out with chewing gum instead of cigars and drinks. At first, paying out with chewing gum was a way to prevent these machines from falling under the anti gambling laws in many states that said a pokie machine should not pay out with money. All along, pokies were seen more as vending machines than as pokies. In 1920, the Senate introduced a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol. This had a very big impact on Pokie machines because most of them were installed in saloons. Although this law did not affect the spread and growth of pokies.

Electromechanical Pokies

The first electromechanical ‘Money Honey’ pokie machine.

The years 1919 to 1930 are known as the ‘Golden Age of Slots’. Despite many laws and other ways of trying to outlaw pokies, the pokies “survived” and they were changed and improved still further. The first electromechanical pokie machine was developed in the year 1964 and was called Money Honey. Thanks to a totally new electromechanical technique this machine paid out the winnings automatically and was able to hold up to 500 coins in the machine.

Modern Pokie Machines

Nowadays, players can choose from an infinite variety of pokies.

Nowadays players have an infinite variety of pokies to choose from, whether online or in the casino. Slots nowadays differ a lot in the number of reels and paylines. They differ in the number of winning combinations, bonuses and symbols. Most pokies are themed but some still use the classic symbols. If you feel like playing on a pokie machine you can choose between different shapes:

3-roll classics
5-roll video pokies
Progressive pokies
Bonus pokies
Big Berthas
Video poker

It is almost impossible to find a gambling hall without pokies as these are the most popular form of gambling. In the United States of America pokies can be found on every street corner, in bars, airports, racecourses, bowling alleys, hotels and many other places.

Online Pokies

The first online casino to offer gambling games was launched in the year 1995.

Nowadays, players are lucky enough to be able to play pokies online. The first online casino was launched in the year 1995. The online casino business developed very rapidly and the number of online casinos grew at a very fast pace. We offer you a plethora of online Pokies which you can play for free or for real money. Check out our Top-List for a safe and fun casino offer.

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