Slot Machine Symbols & Icons: The Complete Guide

Slots have been a major attraction since their introduction to online casinos. However, most gamblers consider the number of videos, classic or progressive games offered before registering with a casino. The reasons for this include the straightforward nature of the slot machines and how diverse they usually are.

Since all the slot machine games have similar icons, it is incredibly straightforward to figure out how they work. Hence, players with just a little experience can find it easy to recognize the bonuses, as well as the paying symbols.

It is important to note that although they may appear similar, each game is usually distinct. So, while they could offer uniform icons, they also offer distinct ones based on their themes. You can find more on these slot machine symbols and icons in our complete guide below.

Slot Machine Symbols: History

Liberty Bell slot gameSlot machines got introduced back in 1895. The first slot game is known as Liberty Bell. This name was coined because the icon that paid most on the machine was a cracked bell. The game served as a forerunner of other machines, including online versions commonly played today.

Types of Slot Symbols

Various Slot SymbolsSlot machines today exist in different forms. Before introducing video slots, the traditional casinos mainly offered fruit slot machines. These machines used different fruits as icons within the games.

However, the proliferation of online versions brought modern symbols and icons. Hence, slots now have varying symbols which are in line with the themes of their games. Although modern slots have diverse themes, it is interesting to note that some of them still feature the classic slot machine symbols.

Currently, you can categorize these icons into two main types. These include the slot machine icons and the fruit slot machines. We have explained them in more detail below.

Slot Machine Icons

Online slot machine icons have three categories: Payout, Special and Bonus.

  • Two cards

    Payout Symbols

    Combining these symbols determines the level of payout you are rewarded with. They are in three forms: low, medium, and high paying.

    Most today offer low-paying ones such as 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, whereas the medium and high-paying ones typically depict the games' themes.

  • Wild symbols

    Special Symbols

    Wilds are regarded as unique because they serve as substitutes for other icons. The effect of such replacement is higher payouts. On some, the Wild can replace each symbol, whereas, on others, you can't replace the Scatters by Wilds.

    Wilds appear in several variants. They include:

    • Multiplier Wilds
    • Sticky Wilds
    • Spreading Wilds
    • Expanding Wilds
    • Stacked Wilds

    The form of these Wilds can also influence your winnings. So, players should try out the demo versions and check the information section before playing with real money. For instance, while Multiplier Wilds multiply the winning combinations they contribute to, Sticky Wilds stay in position for subsequent spins.

  • Scatter symbol

    Bonus Symbols

    Virtually all recently released video slots come with bonuses. This could be in Scatters or other Bonuses as depicted by the slot.

    Landing a minimum of three bonus symbols triggers bonus features. Hence, it is common to be rewarded with free spins when you land at least three Scatters. While some reward you with free spins, others could be multipliers or bonus games, depending on the bonus rules.

Fruit Slot Machine

A bit of history is necessary to understand the meaning of these classic slot machine symbols. Around the 1900s, they were banned as the machines were targeted by robbers who ransacked them for money. However, to continue the profitable business and prevent further robbery incidences, manufacturers used fruits as icons.

Let's see below how the fruit symbols work.

  • Cherries slot symbols


    Fruits represented payout symbols. Historically, when players landed matching icons on the first fruit machines, the prize was a flavoured gum of the fruit combination landed. The use of fruits was a marketing strategy by the Bell-Fruit Gum Company, but there was never proof of this.
  • The Bell slot symbols

    The Bar and the Bell

    The gum from the Bell-Fruit Gum Company also inspired these symbols. The Bar was a low-paying symbol on specific slots. On the other hand, the bell icons were higher paying symbols, and landing three liberty bells rewarded players with a jackpot payout.
  • Lucky 7s slot symbols

    Lucky 7s

    This functioned as a high-paying symbol. Across the world, the number 7 is largely considered a lucky number. Hence, players were rewarded with prizes upon landing triple 7s.
  • Horseshoe slot symbols


    Horseshoe is another high-paying icon. This horseshoe symbol served as the lucky icon before the triple 7s symbol.


With this knowledge, you can quickly tell the best-valued symbols and games. This, in turn, will help in knowing which games to play as a low, medium or high roller.

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Houston O’Keefe

Author: Houston O’Keefe
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Expert in:
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Houston is a manager of sales hailing from Cebu City in the Philippines. He is respectful and calm. He is always eager to help others – including strangers, friends, family, staff, and clients. Houston is a social person who loves to work with people from various backgrounds. His mission is to foster a peaceful, productive work environment and build bridges between him, his team, and clients.

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