Slot Machine Symbols Guide: Everything You Need to know!

If there is something all online casinos pay attention to, then it’s the slot games!

Whenever novices enter a casino’s website, it’s their safest bet to start off with a game of chance, ie. modern slot machines. These fruit machines come in various themes with diverse features, and they most definitely are the first choice of casino gurus.

Pirate Pays Symbol
Pirate Pays Slot Symbol Symbol

What makes slots that attractive and exceptional are the encompassed features that spice up the game and lead to bigger winning combinations.

Symbols are a bonus game feature, and the more the slot has, the more engaging it is. If you are here to learn about the bonus symbol, scatter symbols, expanding wild symbols, traditional symbols and others, you are in the right place.

Stay tuned for an all-inclusive casino guide on multiple machines, their symbols, bonus rounds and everything that makes a slot as widely known as it is.

Close Down Arrow

The History of Slot Machine Symbols

As we know, in the past technology was not developed as it is today. People didn’t really entertain themselves on a virtual platform like the wide web.

Until one day, auto mechanic Fey came up with the idea to create a slot machine to stop his customers from getting bored. Charles August Fey created the first slot machine in the late 19th century, and he called it the Liberty Bell, and his first game was called The Card Bell.

This machine consisted of 3 reels and five symbols. The five symbols were diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades, and of course, the famous Liberty bell.

Fey never thought that the game would become so popular. Due to the huge interest it sparked, he decided to quit his job as a car mechanic and start his own company making slot machines. In 1909 the symbols changed when a law in San Francisco was passed, making gambling illegal, and slots could no longer payout money.

This made him think in another direction, and he decided to make the machine give out chewing gum, and thus, he changed the slot machine icons to fruit symbols. Every fruit represents the flavour of the gum.

As the years went by, slot machines improved, changed, advanced and, with them, the symbols as well. New types of symbols, games, and much greater chances and winnings appeared, and the popularity of these games is ever-growing.

Types of Slot Symbols

If you are here to learn how to play online slots then slot symbols are an essential part of every game. Each of them has a different meaning and a power to create a profiting combination, providing fun and prizes, often including the ever-loving free spins.

Nowadays, slot symbols can be divided into two main categories: standard symbols (symbols that only give payouts, mostly known as payout symbols) and special symbols (symbols that trigger bonus effect, also known as bonus symbols).

As software providers introduce their exceptional games daily, new matching symbols are constantly presented as well. However, the most common types of slot symbols include standard reel symbols, wild symbols, bonus symbols, scatter symbols, and multiplied machine symbols.

Wild Symbols

Wild Symbol
Wild Symbol

Wild symbols are what cause a smile to the player’s face – always. These symbols can replace any other symbols on the slot machine reel and get you a profit or even a bonus prize on their own. The good thing about this type of slot symbol is that they can be anything except scatters, and they aren’t characterised in any particular form.

The major role of a wild symbol is to complete your winning line. It works in combination with every other symbol and, in some cases, is well paid. It often has the same role as a joker symbol in a pack of cards.

Nowadays, many online slot machines include the following types of wilds – sticky wild symbols, random wild symbols, soaring wild symbols and floating wild symbols.

With the help of a wild, you can get a full line and win a big prize.

Scatter Symbols

Particular symbols can cause great winnings, and such is the scatter symbol. It often represents the game’s overall theme and can activate free spins when present. Scatter symbols differ from the rest in two ways:

1. They don’t have to appear on the pay line for you to win, which means that they can be present anywhere on the reel to give you the win.

2. They can not be replaced by a wild symbol

Compared to others, scatters are often designed as high-paying symbols on the same game and represented in an animated manner or in a symbol that best captures the slot’s theme.

For example, a fruit slot machine uses fruit symbols all over the pay lines. However, the winning symbol or, in this case, the scatter symbol can be a cherry. If a particular number of cherry symbols appear on the paylines, you can make a profit or at least get a bonus game, free spins or another reward depending on the slot.

This symbol also comes with an in-game multiplier which means that it can boost your overall winnings.

Multiplier Symbols

Multipliers are another type of symbol in slot games, and they can multiply your winning combinations. These aren’t as common as the previously mentioned symbols, and they range from x2 multipliers to x1000 multiplies or more.

Multipliers can apply if you land wild symbols, a series of consecutive winning pay lines, or by triggering a free spin round.

There are several types of multiplying symbols, such as wild multipliers, regular multipliers, progressive multipliers, bonus feature multipliers etc.

Bonus Symbols

That feeling when you hear the sound of getting a bonus game, right ? The bonus symbols are there to increase your chance of winning and bring the excitement going.

These symbols are used in all slot machines to give you the opportunity to win bonus games. In some slots, these symbols need to appear in a row on the active pay line to trigger the bonus. However, sometimes it can only appear on certain reels (e.g. the first, the third, and the fifth).

When the bonus symbol appears, there is a good chance that players will get some of the following:

  •  Free spin bonus
  •  Bonus round symbol
  •  Scatter bonus
  •  Miscellaneous bonus

Standard Reel Symbols

7 Slot Symbol
7 Slot Symbol

The most common and classic symbol in all slot machines is a standard reel symbol. They are designed to fit the theme, and they can be low-paying or high-paying.

These mainly include standard symbols such as fruit symbols (cherries, grapes, oranges, melons, and lemons) and the playing card symbols (Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens).

Combining these offers a payout based on the number of times they appear in a row. If you get three or more icons in a horizontal line, the win is yours.

Symbols Vary Depending on the Slot Theme & Paytable

Slot symbols differ in certain unique features that a modern slot machine contains, and they differ based on the theme of the slot and its paytable.

Symbols depending on paytable:

J Symbol
J Symbol

1. Low paying symbols are low-value symbols with the lowest payout in the slot game. These mostly consist of a jack, queen, or ace, or in numbers such as 10, 9, or 8.

2. High paying symbols are symbols that are always related to the theme of the slot and carry extraordinary value.

3. Special symbols are the ones that have a different purpose in each game.

Symbols depending on the slot theme:

1. Classic slot themes – Modern games that are built to have a theme close to traditional classic machines and include symbols related to fruits, jewels and gems, sports, animals, adventure etc.

2. Fantastic slot themes – Slots created in this theme include underwater symbols, ice age, horror, mythical, pirates-related symbols and many more.

3. Cultural slot themes – These slot games include symbols based on real cultures and traditions. These slot themes consist of wild west slots, Egyptian slots, oriental slots, Viking slots, Irish slots, historical slots etc.

4. Branded slot themes – Slots games and symbols that are based on celebrities, movies, and more. Here belong TV show slots, movie slots, celebrity slots, comic slots etc.

5. Seasonal slot themes – The symbols in these thematic slots represent the seasons, and they include Christmas slots, winter slots, romantic slots etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many symbols can one reel in a slot machine have?

The number of symbols depends on the game itself and the number of reels.

What are stacked wild symbols?

A stacked wild comes in pairs of two or three instead of taking just one spot on the reels. Sometimes, it can cover the entire reel when it drops. It’s easy to recognize because it works in almost the same way as expanding wilds.

What is a winning line?

A payline, also called a winning line, is a line on the reels where the winning combination occurs, and it can be straight or zig-zag.

How many bonus features can one slot game have?

Bonus feature describes additional features the player can trigger when playing online slots. A one slot game can have many bonus features, some of which include free spins, mini-games, prize wheels etc.