When slot machines were first created, the symbols on those machines were all the same, and they related to playing cards. (They were diamonds, spades, and hearts. They also included horseshoes and the Liberty Bell for which the game was named.) This was done for a number of reasons. Firstly, there were only three reels and five symbols per reel, so there didn’t need to be a large number of them. Secondly, the symbols were familiar to everyone who might have been tempted to play today. This familiarity would have helped them to understand the game a little more and enticed them to spend more money.
As time went on, this changed. In the early 1900s, gambling became illegal in many states in America, and the one-armed bandit style slot machines could no longer pay out any money. Instead, they paid out gum because this meant they could still be played and used. It was at this time that the symbols started to represent fruit; it’s where the old term “fruit machine” comes from.
Not a lot changed for a long time, and fruit machines stayed as the recognized and well-loved face of slots. However, in the 1990s, something new happened. Slots went online. At this point, during this digital revolution, the symbols on the slot games started to change. This was because it was possible to have themed games made much more easily. This meant themed symbols to go along with the overall look of the game.
Fruit slots were still available online and still are today. They are played by those who love the nostalgia of the old days, who perhaps grew up with fruit machines, or who simply like the simplicity of them. However, the amount of choice available means that those who might not have liked this type of slot before definitely have plenty of others to choose from.
What you definitely need to look out for when it comes to slot symbols to wish for are the bonus symbols. They come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the game you are playing. We can’t possibly list them all, but you’ll know them when you see them. They will be different from everything else falling around the reels, and they may even have the word “bonus” written on them to make life even easier. If they don’t, it’s not an issue—you’ll still be able to spot them because the game will change.
Bonus symbols give you multipliers and they give you free spins. They might give you access to bonus games if your game actually has them, and they could even pay out money there and then. They offer different prizes and bonuses in different games, so again, we can’t go through them all. But they are definitely what you want to see when the reels stop spinning.