The Evolution of Slot Machines and The Most Popular Online Slot Themes

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Evolution of Slots

In 1895, a San Francisco mechanic named Charles Fey opened the first-ever slot machine workshop. Following his invention of the inaugural slot machine – that required an attendant to make a payout – Fey went on to deliver the revolutionary automatic payout slot machine, which led to the opening of his workshop in the late 1800s. 

Slot machines quickly became a popular form of entertainment in America. The mastermind of Fey wasted no time in creating alternative variations of the machine-like slot machines and one-armed bandits.

A few years before the turn of the 19th century, Fey’s creative genius constructed the “Liberty Bell Slot Machine”, the most famous slot machine of its day and a device that can still be found in casinos, bars, and after one hundred years of its debut. The Liberty Bell would pay money when three bells aligned, and although variations have been made, most casino enthusiasts are all too familiar with this slot machine style.

Fey could never have guessed the evolution his creation would endure, mainly when his invention has survived the test of time over 100 years later. In modern-day slots, consumers have the accessibility of playing slots machines within the comfort of their own homes on mobile devices or personal computers. In addition, with just several variations initially stemming from Fey’s workshop, the thousands of slot machines available today pales in comparison.

Similar to the physical slot machines of the 1890s and early 1900s, the advancement of online slots is continuous through the surging technology industry, and these consistent reimagining experiences keep slot machines as one of the most in-demand gaming options today.

The early days of online slot machines were relatable to Fey’s creation, where the cliché three-row versions of the apparatus with basic visuals were the only choices.

We’ve come a long way from those early days of online gaming, as the experiences and slot machine varieties are endless. A large number of daily new customers is the evidence needed to prove this industry remains heading in the correct direction.

With that said, let’s look at the reasoning as to why slot machines haven’t lost their interest and industry progression.

Mobile Gaming



A considerable percentage of modern-day gaming is played using a mobile device, and casinos have even jumped on the bandwagon to avoid the potential revenue losses.

Customers don’t have to wait until their weekend free visit to the casino anymore with great thanks to mobile applications. Anyone can spin the slots and receive the same entertainment value found from a physical machine, whether it's after work, during a lunch break, or at home.   

Added Gamification 

The competitive spirit is ever-present in the gaming industry, as customers often enjoy games that show their skill with an eventual reward.

Online slot machines are no different as countless websites display leaderboards and provide tournaments. These aspects have proven successful in motivating and giving players an added entertainment value.

The Bonus Factor

New online casinos have flourished in their utilization of bonus reward systems and a multitude of various bonuses that have become available to customers.    

Of course, bonuses were made to attract new customers, but that doesn’t discredit the benefits. Between jackpots, cashback bonuses, and progressive bonuses, these are just a handful of bonus systems that deliver added entertainment value to the slot machine experience.

Endless Variety

The endless collection of themed designs is perhaps the most enticing factor of online slot machines.

Times of limited choice and basic slot machines are long behind us. In modern-day slots, you’ll stumble across an array of options that can often reflect on a customer’s personal interests.

Movies, music, cartoon characters, and nostalgic pop culture are the categories you’ll regularly find when browsing for themed slot machines.

Some of the Most Popular Slot Themes

Movie/TV Slot Machines

Movie-based slots have been a fan favorite since their inception. Customers have enjoyed Terminator, Alien, Game of Thrones, and Jurassic Park –to name a few have.

It’s not difficult to understand why movie slots are popular. Movies and TV shows generate large fan bases, which translates into the gaming world as people will instinctively gravitate to themes, they’re familiar with. 

Music Themed Slot Machines

Who doesn’t love music?

Naturally, music slot machines are amongst the most popular in the world of slot machines – as most prominent slots stem from the genre of rock.

KISS, Motorhead, Guns N’ Roses, and Elvis Presley are popular music slots as customers spin the wheel while listening to their favorite tunes. 

Guns N’ Roses, in particular, has received much success in its slot format. NetEnt – a producer of digital gaming systems, released a celebratory machine for the band's 30th anniversary in 2015. It’s a simple slot with 20 pay lines, where players must land three identical symbols to win. Notably, a higher prize payout is returned when a player hits the band member symbols. Best of all, a mixture of GNR hits will play throughout the experience.

Horror-Themed Slot Machines

Horror slot themes have long been a favorite amongst gamers. The well-known flicks of the horror industry work incredibly well when branded into a slot theme.

John Carpenters ‘Halloween’ is amongst the most popular. The 1970s original has received countless remakes over the previous thirty years and has now made slot machines a spooky form of fun.

Ancient Egypt Slot Machines

Even the most casual online slot player will have likely stumbled across an Egyptian themed machine.

The chronicle of events that’s occurred throughout the history of Egypt is the perfect attention seeker and mysterious theme to engage users. Egypt-based slots involve a perplexing element and draw customers in for a curious and alluring experience.

Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC  and has been the main attraction of Egyptian-based slots for over a decade. 

Slot Machines 2022 and Beyond

The usage of slots isn’t slowing down, and the casino industry, both on and offline, continues to expand at a rapid rate.  

When the technology matures, slot machines will grow alongside. In a world where the metaverse and virtual reality are ever present, we should expect a slot machine experience where players visualize and communicate with other users as if they were at a real-life casino.