Most popular casino slot machines ever

Slot games have been around for a long time, evolving with technology as they go. From the first fruit symbols on three-reel slots to cinematic visuals and immersive bonus games of today, slot machines remain one of the most popular ways for people to gamble at casinos. 

While new online slots get plenty of attention these days, some classic Vegas slots continue to draw in players who want to relive their past glories or experience a little nostalgia. Read on to discover ten of the most popular slot machine games ever made.

#1 – Liberty Bell (Class II) by Charles Fey

The first slot machine was created all the way back in 1895. Called the Liberty Bell, after the symbol on its reels, it was designed by San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey. The game had three reels and five symbols; diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes, and the liberty bell itself. 

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Match three liberty bells in a row, and you would get the biggest payout, fifty cents! There are still original Liberty Bell slot machines out there, and working examples are highly sought after by collectors. Few people know this, but Fey actually created two versions of his famous game. Most people are familiar with the original, which is classified as a ‘classification MGA’ slot machine. However, Fey also created a simplified version with slightly different reels and a smaller RTP (return to player). This second version is technically a class II slot. 

Today, IGT pays homage to Fey’s creation with a modern video slot called Liberty Bell. While not as popular as some other games on this list, it remains a firm favourite among old school slot fans.

Liberty Bell may have started it all but sadly this classifcation MGA slot machine isn't available to play at online casinos just yet. In the meantime why not try Medusa’s Millions? It is an upgraded version of the ancient Greek myth themed slot we recommend, but there is a Liberty Bell classificatioin MGA slot machine available at . You can check it—and lots of other class I and II slots—out by clicking the link to read our Rich Palms Casino Review.

#2 – Lion’s Share (Class IC) by Charles Fey

Another Charles Fey creation, the Lion’s Share is a trio reel slot that was invented in the early 1990s. Although never as popular as Liberty Bell, it is still prized by slot enthusiasts today. Like many of Fey’s other slots, the Lion’s Share has the rare combination of high volatility and a class IC rating. That means big wins are few and far between, but when they land, they really sting. 

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Three lion symbols on a payline, and you win half of the total coins in the machine. Hitting the other half requires four lions in a row. Of course, finding a Lion’s Share slot machine these days would be quite the feat. Only three of them are thought to exist, with one residing in a private collection and the whereabouts of the other two unknown.

You won’t be able to find this classification IC slot machine at online casinos either but how about playing instead? It is an animal-themed slot with a class D rating from ALPHI (Italy). This means Varien has managed to recreate the rare combination of high volatility and a very high RTP. To find out more, check out our Rich Palms Casino Review or play Meow Money at .

#3 – Sittman and Pitts (Class IC)

In 1891, heralded inventor, , created Sittman and Pitts, considered by many to be the first pull slot machine. It consisted of a display of 52 card faces, corresponding to the ranks in a deck of cards. To play, players would insert a nickel and pull a lever. This spun a set of reels, which stopped at random. 

If the reels landed on a prize line, consisting of three of a kind or a straight, the player would win a complimentary cigarette or beer from the bar/saloon it was installed in. There were no payouts, per se.

Of course, while Sittman and Pitts may have been the inspiration, there remains some debate over whether he actually built the machine. Either way, it set the template for modern slot machines, complete with iconic card suits featured on the reels.

Head to for access to dozens of card-based class II slots based on the old Sittman and Pitts concept, or check out Guns Blazin’ from Mighty Ways for a six-reel take on the genre.

#4 – One-Armed Bandit (Class IC)

Another Charles Fey invention, the one-armed bandit moniker was coined because players would need to put in a nickel and then pull a lever affixed to the side of the machine, like a bandit’s armed robbery heist. 

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The original name for the slot machine was a “ Operator Bell”. But due to the noise it made when it paid out, locals in the Liberty Saloon in San Francisco gave it the alternative moniker of one-armed bandit. Today, the term one-armed bandit is used to describe any slot machine.

Although you’ll notice that modern slots no longer have arms, nor do they pay out coins without card readers verifying your win. Still, the spirit of the one-armed bandit lives on. Why not sample some of the finest one-arm bandits around by playing at . Alternatively, check out these top one-armed bandit slots:

  • Jackpot Genie by Random Logic – Play at
  • Cashville 1 by NetEnt – Play at
  • Diamond Wild by RTG – Play at
  • Stampede by WMS Gaming – Play at

#5 – Super Times Pay Jackpot (Class II) – Reeled Out By Scientific Games

Created by Scientific Games, Super Times Pay Jackpot uses a five-reel setup, with thirty selectable paylines. Featuring a fun jackpot chase element, players compete to land special golden coins that appear on the screen at random. Three coins will give you a shot at the mini jackpot, with four coins activating the chance to win the max jackpot.

A hugely popular game on the casino floor, there are plenty of online slots that offer a similar jackpot chase feature. For a taste of the action, consider spinning the following reels:

  • Divine Fortune by Quickspin – Play at
  • Melon Rush by Nolimit City – Play at
  • Temple of Athena by Playtech – Play at
  • Tycoons Plus by Betsoft – Play at

#6 – Wheel of Fortune (Class II) – Designed By IGT

Any list of popular casino games would be incomplete without mentioning Wheel of Fortune. Created by International Game Technology (IGT), this iconic slot has been a fixture on casino floors since the late eighties. Based on the hit TV show, Wheel of Fortune features a variety of minigames and bonus rounds, giving players plenty of ways to win big. 

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With dazzling graphics and plenty of chances to land big multipliers, it is easy to see why Wheel of Fortune has remained so popular for so long. The game also features a progressive jackpot, which often rolls over into seven figures. Even though the odds of winning the mega jackpot are slim, that doesn’t stop loads of players trying.

There are plenty of online slots that offer a similar blend of base game action and bonus round excitement. If you fancy spinning a wheel of fortune-style bonus on a trusty online slot, why not try the following class II inspired games:

  • Wheel of Wealth by Microgaming – Play at
  • Mega Wheel by Pragmatic Play – Play at
  • Bonus Onyx Hot Drop Jackpots by iSoftBet – Play at
  • Buffalo Grand Cascading Reels by IGT – Play at

#7 – Megabucks (Class II) – Produced By IGT

There are slots, and then there is Megabucks. Created by IGT in 1986, this legendary game has paid out more than $1 billion in winnings, including several massive jackpots worth over $1 million each. 

In fact, Megabucks holds the world record for the largest slot machine jackpot ever paid out. In 2003, a woman using the pseudonym “Johanna” hit the jackpot for an eye-watering $39.7 million on a clearance machine at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. Incredibly, she had only put $3 in the machine!

Only available in Nevada, Megabucks remains one of the most popular slot machines on the planet. With a base game RTP of 95%, it pays out regularly, keeping players coming back for more. Sadly, there is no Megabucks online. So if you want to play a jackpot slot with a class II rating, we suggest trying these titles:

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  • Divine Winks by Microgaming – Play at
  • Luck o’ the Jackpot by Nucleus Gaming – Play at
  • Money Magic Jackpot by RealTime Gaming – Play at
  • Faerie Spells Jackpot by Dragon Gaming – Play at

#8 – Blazing Sevens (Class III) by Aruze

Inspired by the traditional Japanese game of kanban, Blazing Sevens is an innnovative three-reel slot by Aruze. Unlike most modern slots, which use a payline system, Blazing Sevens awards prizes based on combinations of symbols formed anywhere in view. 

Due to its unique ruleset, Blazing Sevens is beloved by players across the globe. It is also fairly rare, meaning you don’t see it in casinos as much as some other games on this list. That said, there are plenty of similarly styled class III slots you can play online. Check out these retro classics:

  • Extra Elk by Push Gaming – Play at
  • Twin Spin by NetEnt – Play at
  • Fire Joker by Play’n GO – Play at
  • Lucky Diamonds by Nektan – Play at
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#9 – Cleopatra (Class II) by IGT

One of the most successful branded slots ever made, Cleopatra was created by IGT in 2006. Featuring a free spins bonus and 20 paylines, it quickly became a hit with players and casinos alike. 

So popular was Cleopatra that IGT created a multi-game cabinet that could hold up to five individual screens. Cleopatra is famous for its generous RTP of 95.1%, which is high for a class II slot. Despite offering better value for money than most games on the casino floor, Cleopatra was removed from several Vegas venues to make way for newer slots. 

Fans of this Egyptian classic can get their fix online. Or, if you want to sample some similarly themed class II slots, consider playing these ancient adventures:

  • Book of Dead by Play’n GO – Play at
  • Valley of the Gods by Yggdrasil – Play at
  • Ramses Book Golden Nights by EGT Interactive – Play at
  • Cleopatra Plus by IGT – Play at

#most Popular Online Slot Gameever – Monopoly Grand Hotel (Class II) by Scientific Games

Based on the world’s best-selling board game, Monopoly Grand Hotel is widely regarded as the most popular online slot ever made. Created by Bally Technologies — now part of Scientific Games — this five-reel slot was launched in 2015. 

Featuring quirky characters like Mr. Monopoly and an engaging bonus game, players must roll a dice to move around the Monopoly board, landing on extra spins and huge multipliers along the way. Like many class II slots, the RTP of Monopoly Grand Hotel varies depending on jurisdiction. That being said, with additional prizes awarded randomly to lucky players, it is fair to say that this class II slot offers excellent value for money.

You simply can’t beat the thrills delivered by this timeless classic. Unfortunately, a class II licensing agreement means you can’t play Monopoly Grand Hotel at online casinos. Fortunately, there are loads of great Monopoly-themed slots you can play online, including:

  • Monopoly Big Event by WMS Gaming – Play at
  • Monopoly IDOLS by Barcrest – Play at
  • MonopolyPlus by Agilysys – Play at
  • Hasbro Family Game Pandemonium – Board Game Edition by aggregating software developer – Play at

How Slot Classifications Work

Slot machines come in several different varieties, which operate under different laws and regulations. Understanding what sets these classifications apart is important if you want to become a serious slots fan. Let’s look at how slot classifications work.

Class I Gaming Slots

Class I gaming devices — also known as “in-house” machines — are the humblest type of slot machine. These are usually placed within a casino to keep players on the premises, rather than decamping to a rival venue. 

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Class I devices are legally allowed to reward players with things like free plays, cash, food, and drinks. They cannot offer legal tender as a payout for anything other than entry-level stakes. As such, they rarely accept wagers of more $10.

Examples of class I slots include loyalty card machines outside cashier desks, wheel of fortune-style prize wheels found inside restaurants, and arcade-style ticket redemption machines.

Class II Gaming Slots

Class II devices are more sophisticated than class I machines. They are linked to a central computer system and adhere to the same principles as poker games and video poker titles — they are considered “card games” under Native American gaming laws. 

Players playing class II slots are entering a virtual game against other players. Coincidentally, this is how pure games of chance work. It is not you vs. the house but you vs. fate. That being said, class II slots often feature progressive jackpots, which roll over and eventually must be won. These are pooled prizes derived from the cumulative losses of multiple players.

Like class I slots, class II machines cannot offer legal tender as a payout for anything other than entry-level stakes. Again, they rarely accept wagers of more $10. Examples of class II slots include most tribal casino machines outside Las Vegas and Reno.

Class III Gaming Slots

Known colloquially as “Vegas slots”, true Las Vegas–style slot machines are classified as class III devices. These are the traditional fruit machines we all think of when someone mentions slot games. Crucially, class III slots operate in a way that is very similar to class IC/one-armed bandits. 

These games feature a house edge — officially known as the return to player percentage (RTP) — that dictates how much a machine pays out over a period of time. Crucially, class III machines can award cash payouts for top-tier wagers. This means you can win hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a single spin.

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Unlike class I and II slots, class III machines operate independently. When you hit the spin button, there is no connection to a central server. What you get is down to luck and the internal workings of the RNG module.

Class IC (One-Armed Bandits)

Class IC refers to certain older slot machines in the state of Indiana that still use a traditional hopper to store cash payouts. All class IC machines have been converted from class III status. 

An example of this conversion would be a Liberty Bell machine, which is a class IC device due to its age and mechanical construction. These types of machines are rare outside of Casinos in Indiana.

Classis Slots

When you see the term “classic slots”, the vendor is likely referring to a specific style of game rather than a legal classification. Classic slots are themed on old-school Vegas titles, featuring classic symbols such as bars, cherries, bells, and lucky sevens.

Final Thoughts on the Most Famous Casino Slot Machines

Slots have come a long way since Lady Luck landed on that first cherry symbol all the way back in 1895. Today’s games feature jaw-dropping visual effects, pulse-racing soundtracks, and immersive bonus games. 

From simple three-reelers to epic 240-way titles, there has never been a better time to be a slots fan. Of course, some games are held in higher regard than others. Hopefully, this piece has shown you the most famous casino slot machines ever made.

Looking for more advice on how to choose the right online slot? It makes sense to hear what other players have to say. And the best place to do that is the review sections at top-rated casinos like the ones featured below.

Reference materials:

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