The Story Behind Slot Machines And Their Iconic Symbols

Slots are one of the most popular casino games in the world, with the majority of the space in land-based establishments dominated by ‘one-armed bandits,’ and the same applies to the online world — where hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of titles, take up the bulk of the casino games catalog.

But, while you’re spinning the wheels and hoping to increase your bankroll, have you taken a second to think about the story behind the symbols you are hoping will land you a winning combo? If you have, or if you’re curious now we have mentioned it, then read on as we take a look at the origins of some of the most recognizable Slots symbols.

Playing card symbols
Playing card symbols are still some of the most used icons in modern-day Slots, with the likes of ‘10’, ‘Q,’ ‘K,’ and ‘A’ usually making up the low-paying combos in today’s games. However, these symbols actually go all the way back to the very first machine on record. Sittman and Pitt’s 1881 creation featured five drums and 50 symbols, all of which were card suits with the aim to roll in Poker hands.

Horseshoes and bells
Shortly after Sittman and Pitt’s invention came the Liberty Bell. Charles Fey’s design was the first to boast a payout mechanism, but as a result, the machine featured just three reels and five symbols — a bell, a horseshoe, and three card symbols. The bells were the highest-paying symbol. Hence the game’s name, and they — along with horseshoes, which are seen as lucky objects in many parts of the world — are still found in games today.

Fruit and ‘BAR’
Another heavily dominant pair of symbols in the world of Slots, with these icons, even getting their own machines and games, there is a deeper meaning behind the classic fruit and ‘BAR’ symbols than you might think. Slots were banned in the early 1900s, and cash prizes were outlawed, so fruit and ‘BAR’ symbols were brought in, and punters were given bars of gum and sweets in line with their combos as a reward instead of money.

Number 7
Unlike the other symbols we have already talked about, it is hard to really say for sure when the number 7 icon first featured in a Slots game. However, there is a perfectly good explanation behind its inclusion in the casino world as the number itself is seen as lucky in many cultures and religions — summarily to the Luck of the Irish, which is why there are many Emerald Isle-themed games. The number 7 symbol can be found in many Asian-inspired games, while it also has games of its own.

Current day
You will still come across all of these symbols nowadays, but often games will feature their own icons as well — specially made for them. So, while the card symbols might continue to act as the low-paying combos, a mythology game — for example — will likely feature ancient gods and Greek or Roman icons as well.

Wild, Bonus, and Scatter symbols will also be found in most modern-day games, with these often resulting in free spins, jackpots, multipliers, and access to the Slots’ bonus feature.

Gambling can be addictive. Please play responsibly.
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