Understanding slot machine symbols

slot machine symbols


Many people have questioned why the cherry, the bar, the bell, the lucky seven, and other symbols are included in so many classic slots. We’ll take you on a historical journey to the origins of a custom that has shaped contemporary culture. We may learn a lot about how modern slot machines are played now by looking at the earlier designs of slot machines. We’ll also discuss the profusion of special symbols that have emerged in recent years; some are only seen in online games, whereas others may also be found in physical machines.

The One-Armed Bandits Card Symbols

Video poker activities are seen as being very distinct from slots in the online gambling sector. You might be shocked to learn that the oldest slot machines are actually gambling machines and spinners of fortune. It was logical that the poker game would significantly influence the first online casino Canada slot prototypes surfaced in 1891. They had 5 reels that showed the faces of the cards.

The first one-armed bandits were born as a result of this. They rapidly became popular in bars and spread there. They were known as “bandits” because you could declare bankruptcy with one of those, and the prominent lever was the fabled “one arm” of the bandit. Playing cards have maintained their popularity since those early days.

In fact, if you start paying attention to the base icons in many online slot games, you’ll realize that they often resemble the better poker cards. So, if you’ve ever questioned the earliest slot machine symbol, you won’t have to look too far because poker and slots have a long history together and share a casino’s roof.

What Does Poker Have to Do with the Bell, the Horseshoe, and the Seven?

One additional technological advancement was required for the traditional one-armed bandits: automatic payouts. When you won on the first poker-themed machines, a person had to hand you your prize physically; back then, that person was typically the bartender. Charles Fey created the first classic slot machine in 1895 with the intention of making it completely automatic. He updated the card symbols while doing that and decreased the number of reels to 3. In actuality, he only left five symbols on the reels: the Liberty Bell, three card suits (hearts, diamonds, and spades), and a horseshoe.

The Liberty Bell evolved into one of the iconic slot machine reel icons and gave the first slot machine its name. Since the creator did not submit a patent application, his design was immediately imitated, and 3-reel slot games started to feature his original images in their symbols. It can be difficult to pinpoint the precise moment the Lucky Seven first appeared on the reels, but this number is regarded as lucky in the gambling community. It might be claimed that the sevens gradually displaced the horseshoe as a lucky symbol because there are now fewer horseshoe emblems.

The Bubblegum and Bar Jackpots

Thus, we now know what the first slot machine symbols were, and they were not related to fruits! So, how did fruit symbols start to appear on slot machines? We must proceed until the 1900s, after slot machines were formally outlawed, to learn more about that. Widespread precautions were taken against cash-prize machines due to the propensity of one-armed bandits to robbing victims of all their cash.

It turned out, though, that people were reluctant to part with the excitement of the spinning reels. Because of this, numerous manufacturers added additional fruit and bubble gum symbols to the reels. If you could line up three identical symbols, you would be awarded the accompanying prize, typically a piece of fruit-flavored gum. Even though they were referred to as “vendor machines,” those slots followed the same basic operating principles.


The original slot machine only had five symbols. Today’s slot machines come in a variety of sophistication and symbol counts. We’d say that a total of 10 is, roughly, the quantity chosen by manufacturers, taking into account all money icons and those symbols that activate additional functions. We, therefore, hope you now have all the information you require to understand how to read slot machine symbols.


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