Many of us know the history of the first 3-reel slot – invented by Charles Fey in 1898 called the “Liberty Bell” – but the history behind the first 5-reel slot may be a little cloudier. There is no denying that these games have managed to go to the forefront of the slot industry in the modern era, with thousands of options now available.
But how did we get to the point in which we are today? Why have 5-reel slot titles essentially become the industry-norm, and why do so many developers provide these as options for players to enjoy?
A brief history of 5-reel slots
Depending on who is asked, there does not appear to be a definitive answer about when the first 5-reel slots were invented and introduced. Some have claimed that the inspiration for it came from Sittman and Pitt’s poker machine. This was launched in 1891 and featured five drums, thus making it easy to understand why so many believe this was the precursor for what we have today.
However, technology has played a hugely vital role in making the 5-reel video slots available today that so many enthusiasts continue to play on a regular basis. This style of game experienced a boom in the 1990s and was immediately a hit. It is not hard to understand why, as they simply featured more ways to win and provided better gaming sessions that could be participated in.
Innovative features helped the 5-reel slot’s popularity
With tech continuing to evolve and develop, 5-reel slots have been able to experience their own development, too. Players are now able to enjoy a variety of different features and bonuses. This helped to elevate the amount of joy that could be obtained, thus keeping individuals as engaged as possible.
The 5-reel slot also became a favourite for new features. Slots such as Tomb Raider, Thunderstruck and other classic titles became popular games to play as part of the available casino tournaments that can now be found. With the additional reels, enthusiasts found new ways in which they could compete with others, thus enhancing their sessions.
Jackpot prizes – both regular and progressive – were also implemented into these types of games as a result of the technology on offer. Players can make bets and spin the reels, with part of their bet funding the jackpot that can be won. This helped to revolutionise the market and create an all-time high in terms of interest.
Can 5-reel slots get better in the future?
While the history of 5-reel slot machines is impressive and their rise to the top of the niche within this industry has been unprecedented, there is every chance that growth can still be achieved.
Technology has always been evolving and playing its role in helping gamers to receive the most immersive experiences possible. This has been noticeable through the use of exceptional visuals and graphics, with five-reeled games using them to create stories that players can follow. However, there are still aspects in which tech can play a role for these games.
With virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) still widely expected to hit the mainstream casino industry, it would not be a surprise if 5-reel slots were to be enhanced. Enthusiasts may be able to immerse themselves even more when this happens, as they may be able to feel as though they are part of the game itself.
The Bottom Line
There is no denying that 5-reel slots have come a long way in a short period of time. With various innovations to have been experienced, and many more likely to be enjoyed in the future due to technology’s ability to develop and get better, it is impossible not to suggest these games will experience newer milestones in the years to come.