Symbol In Slot Machines

Symbol In Slot Machines

Slot machine symbol is a crossword puzzle clue. Clue: Slot machine symbol. Slot machine symbol is a crossword puzzle clue that we have spotted over 20 times. There are related clues (shown below). Modern slot machine makers like VGT have retained the fruit symbol because of its long association. There is no particular need for any type of symbol now, however, because modern slot machines are inspired by all types of stories, traditions, and symbols.

Slot machines are more fun when you understand what’s going on with the game. If you don’t know what the slot machine symbols mean, and if you don’t know what it takes to get a winning combination, you might as well just play rocks scissors and paper with some stranger.

The purpose of this post is to take a detailed look at some of the inner workings of slot machines, especially as it relates to the slot machine symbols most commonly in use.

The traditions behind why slot machines use bar and fruit symbols are decades old, and the history of slot machines is fascinating all by itself.

In this post, I explain what the different slot machine icons mean and why it matters to the average player.

1-What Does the Bar Symbol Mean on a Slot Machine?

Slot machines have been around since the 1890s. You’d find these early slot machine games in bars and taverns in cities like New York and San Francisco. When gambling became illegal, these businesses started giving away candy and chewing gum instead of money.

Imagine going into a bar today and putting money into a slot machine with the opportunity to win a free drink or a cigar.

Symbol In Slot Machines Games

That’s what gambling in a tavern was like in the 1890s.

What does the bar symbol mean?

Think about what it looks like.

It’s a rectangle, right?

My first guess would be that the bar symbol on a slot machine symbolized a candy bar, but that would be too big. After all, keep in mind that the idea was to have prizes that were small, like coins.

The bar symbols on slot machines represent sticks of chewing gum — specifically, BAR chewing gum. (It was a popular brand of the Bell-Fruit Gum Company at the time.) They were in color in those days, and different colors meant different flavors of gum.

Slot machine makers still use bar symbols out of tradition, even though I’ve never seen a slot machine game that offers gum as a prize.

2- What Do the Fruit Symbols Mean on a Slot Machine?

Just as the bar symbol meant you were going to win chewing gum, the various flavors of fruit-inspired candy were prizes you could win. Cherry symbols meant winning cherry-flavored candy.

Apples meant winning apple-flavored candy. Oranges and plums, well… They meant you won dragonfruit and huckleberry flavored candy.

Just kidding.

Obviously, the picture of the fruit in question represented the flavor of candy you won.

And, again, the reason these symbols are still in use have more to do with tradition than anything else. People are just used to seeing these symbols on these games.

3- How Many Different Symbols Are There on a Slot Machine?

An average slot machine game might have about 20 symbols on each reel. This does NOT imply that each symbol has a 1/20 probability of coming up on a spin, though.

Modern slot machines use a random number generator to determine their results. These are actually random — they’re not fixed or rigged in any way.

The casino makes its money because the prize schedule for a slot machine game pays prizes in such a way that the game is inherently profitable.

Think about it this way:

Suppose you played a casino game where you had a 1 in 600 probability of winning, but when you won, you only got a payout of 500 to 1.

Do you see how that would be profitable for the casino?

Symbol In Slot Machines Jackpots

You’d lose $1 on 599 spins, but you’d win $500 on the one spin, for a net loss of $99.

Such a game would have a house edge of around 17%, on average.

The payouts on a slot machine game are more complicated than that, but it’s the same principle.

4- What Are the Odds of Winning on a Slot Machine?

Here’s the thing about slot machines:

You don’t know what the odds of winning are.

And, to an extent, the odds of winning are irrelevant. What you’re really concerned about is the payback percentage.

That’s a ratio that compares the odds of winning with the amount you win. Over time, it represents the long-term average of how much money the casino will win from you on each bet.

Most slot machines have a hit ratio of about 1 in 3 or 1 in 4.

So it’s fair to see that on most slot machines, your odds of winning something are 3 to 1 or 2 to 1.

The problem is that the payouts aren’t commensurate with these odds of winning.

Also, slot machines pay off bets on an X for Y basis rather than an X to Y basis.

In blackjack, your payouts are in addition to what you risked. Bet $5 on a blackjack hand and win, and you get a 1 to 1 payout, or even money. You get your $5 bet back with $5 in winnings.

Gambling machines, though, pay back with odds on a 1 “for” 1 basis. Bet $5 on a spin of the slot machine reels, and you get $5 in winning in exchange for your $5 bet.

The machine acts like it’s a win, but the reality is that it’s a push.

This is also one of the reasons slot machines measure their odds using payback percentage rather than house edge.

When a slot machine game has a 90% payback percentage, it means that on average you get back 90% of each bet. Place a $5 bet, and you’ll get an average of $4.50 back over time — which means you’ll lose 50 cents per bet on average.

And that’s just the average including any jackpots you win. If you play in the short-term and don’t see a jackpot, you’ll usually see a lower payback percentage until you get some winnings and catch up.

5- Which Slot Machine Has the Best Payout?

How do you know which slot machine has the best payout?

The short answer to this question is easy enough:

You don’t.

You have NO WAY of knowing which machine has better payouts than the other machines. In fact, you can play an identical slot machine next to the one you started on and be facing a different payback percentage.

The casinos have no rhyme or reason in terms of where they place the higher and lower payout machines.

In the long run, it doesn’t even really matter. If you play a negative expectation game long enough — and slots are ALWAYS a negative expectation game — you’ll eventually lose all your money.

Stop worrying about which slot machine has the best payout.

Worry instead about how much fun you’re having — or not. If you don’t enjoy a specific game, move on to another game.

6- Why Are They Called “Slot” Machines?

They’re called slot machines because you put your money into a slot to play.

When they were first invented, slot machines only worked on a literal coin-in and coin-out basis.

Now, of course, most slot machines work by accepting bills and spitting out a piece of paper with the amount you’re owed on it.


But we haven’t changed the name of the games.

Symbol in slot machines jackpots

Also, it’s not called a slot machine in other countries, always. In the United Kingdom, they’re called fruit machines. In Australia, they’re called “pokies,” which is short for poker machines.

That last nomenclature comes from their original nature — the first slot machines, which predated the machines that gave away candy — used playing cards to produce random results instead of symbols on metal reels.

7- Who Invented the Slot Machine?

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, as well as many other legitimate sources, Charles Fey invented the first slot machines.

He born in Bavaria but was making his living as a mechanic in San Francisco when he invented slot machines in 1894. It didn’t take long for him to be doing so well that he started a factor to produce more slot machines.

The first 3-reel slot machine with machine-generated payouts in real money was invented in 1898, also by Charles Fey. The Liberty Bell, which most modern slot players would recognize as a real slot machine, came along in 1899 — another Fey invention.

There are only 4 Liberty Bell machines still extant.

Also, it didn’t take long for other companies, like the Mills Novelty Company, to steal Fey’s invention and start making money from their own versions of it.


Those are the most accurate and concise answers to some of the most common questions about slot machines and their symbols on the internet.

What other questions do you have besides what do the symbols mean?

Leave me a note in the comments, and I’ll respond with an answer if I can.

On this page, we take a look at the main types of slot machine symbols and features you can expect to find in slots machines. If you're new to slots, our handy guide below will provide you with all the information you need to know.


Wild Symbol

A Wild symbol is one of the most common types of slot machine symbols. It can be found in the vast majority of modern 5 reel video slots machines. A Wild symbol simply substitutes for any other symbol. Rules vary depending on the game so you may find a Wild does not substitute for certain symbols, such as the Scatter symbol.
Exactly what happens when you get a winning line with the help of a Wild will also depend upon the rules of the game you are playing. For example, landing a winning line with the help of one or more Wilds may trigger bonus games, free spins, jackpots or other rewards.
As well as the standard Wilds, in some of the latest video slots machines, you can find Expanding Wilds. Which expand vertically or horizontally to helpfully cover more spaces on the reels. There's also Sticky Wilds which will stay in their position when you next spins the reels.

Scatter Symbol

The Scatter symbol is another very common symbol in slots machines. Scatters are really useful slot machine symbols. They can help you create wins regardless of where they land on the reels.
Depending on the game you are playing. Scatter symbols wins may trigger special features such as free spins, or bonus games. In which case they may also be known as Bonus Scatters.
Pictured is a Scatter symbol from our Merlin's Cave slot machine. Getting 3 or more anywhere on the reels will trigger the free spins feature.

Bonus Symbol

Bonus Symbols are symbols with the specific task of triggering bonus features. When they are part of a winning payline. The look of Bonus Symbols varies from game to game.
Please note that many slots machines do not have a specific Bonus Symbol. Offering instead Wild and or Scatter symbols which may trigger bonus features when they are part of a winning payline. These can be thought of as Bonus Wilds and Bonus Scatters. They will often be described as such in a game's paytable.
Pictured is a bonus symbol from our brilliant Robin Hood slot machine. Getting 3 or more anywhere on a payline triggers the Archery bonus game feature.

Free Spins Symbol

Free Spins Symbols are found in many 5 reel and video slots machines. Offering as they do the chance to spin the reels without spending any of your credits. Slots with Free Spins symbols are well worth keeping an eye out for. The nature of Free Spins symbols and Free Spins rules vary from game to game. You can find slot machines in which the Free Spins symbol only appears in a bonus game.
Typically a Free Spins feature has predefined limits such as rewarding you with 3 free spins. Before normal play resumes. However, you can find slots in which Free Spins can be re-triggered during your Free Spins feature. Which means that, in theory, and if you're lucky, you can spin for free many times, repeatedly winning more free spins rounds!
The majority of our slots machines have a free spins feature. The screenshot shows the free spins symbol in our Slots of Vegas slot machine.

Multiplier Symbol

Multiplier symbols appear in many video slots machines and are well worth looking out for. A multiplier symbol, as they imply, will multiply a win. So for example, if you win 300 credits with an x2 Multiplier symbol on your winning payline. Then you will win 600 credits. Multipliers can appear in the base game and/or bonus games or sometimes during special modes. Such as during Free Spins rounds. You can find slots where your multiplier increases with the idea being you try to build up your multiplier to the maximum amount.

Gamble Feature

Symbol In Slot Machines Machine

Many slots machines have what is known as a Gamble feature. Typically this is triggered after a win and is a game of chance in which you can opt to gamble on the outcome of a random event. Such as the value or suite of the next playing card to be dealt, or the result of a dice throw (eg if it will be Odd or Even.)
Usually, the gamble feature odds are 50/50. If you guess correctly you'll double your winnings. Beware though - guess incorrectly and you'll lose your win. If you gamble and win. Some gamble features may give you further chances to win even more with subsequent gambles. Continuing until you opt to quit and return to the main game. Or predict incorrectly and so lose any accumulated gamble game winnings.
The gamble feature screenshot is from our Halloween Party slot machine. Which gives you the option of gambling on the playing card color or playing card suite.

Symbol In Slot Machines For Sale

Slot Themes

All slots machines have their own individual theme. Themes are varied and cover things such as sports, holiday seasons, adventure and exploration, Halloween, animals and wildlife, Science Fiction, ancient history, and legends etc. Such themes will determine the overall look of the game, of course. Be it a game that's set in the Wild West or a game with a glamorous and girly look set in a shopping mall or city location.
One of the most popular themes with slots players both online and in real-world casinos is the Cleopatra. We even have our very own Cleopatra themed slot with many of the features described on this page. Including a Pyramid bonus game, scatter symbol, wild symbol, and free spins feature.
Some of the big slots developers have attractive big budget slots machines with themes based on popular franchises. Such as famous Superhero and comic book characters. Including Spider Man & Judge Dredd. TV shows such as the X Factor, Hollywood stars and even video game characters. Playtech, for example, have a famous selection of DC Comics Superheroes slots machines. While developer Microgaming has video slots themed around Game of Thrones, Tomb Raider, Hitman, Batman, Hell Boy, Terminator and more.
If you take a look at our main slots page you can see we have plenty of themes to choose from. Including sports, shopping, Halloween, Christmas, Valentines and many more.
Now you're an expert on slot machine symbols and features you might also like to read our guide to the different slots types you can play. Or read up on the history of slots machines and check out our handy guide on how to play slots