In this article, we will continue to consider the rules of casino slot machines, focusing on the features of different types of symbols.

You probably know that the slot reels show all sorts of icons. These icons form winning combinations and trigger bonus rounds, free spins, and other extra features. Some perform advanced or special functions.

Let's understand what the gambler needs to know about slot symbols.

Themed Slot Symbols

In most casino slot machines, the pictures on the reels relate to the game's theme. If the game is dedicated to Ancient Egypt, pharaohs, pyramids, scarab beetles, and sacred signs of the Egyptians appear on the screen. If it is about the Wild West, you will see cowboys, bandits, revolvers, and similar icons.

types of symbols in the slot machine about Egypt

Some symbols have long become traditional, and some are widely used regardless of the theme.

Classic icons can be as follows:

  • The letters and numbers from playing cards: 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A.
  • Card suits: spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds;
  • Berries and fruits: cherries, lemons, oranges, watermelons, plums, and the like;
  • Single, double, or triple BARs;
  • Precious stones: diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other gems;
  • Other traditional pictures are bells, stars, sevens, etc.

Card denominations or suits often complement themed icons in slot machines but are rarely used in fruit machines.

If you like unique online slots, you will enjoy Megaways games.

Name Soft Return to player
96.97%
96.84%
96.53%
96.52%
96.5%
96.5%
96.48%
96.48%
96.24%
96.21%
96.2%
96.2%
96.13%
96.11%
96%
96%
95.97%
95.8%
95.75%
95.73%

Brief History of Slot Machine Symbols

The symbols found on slot machine reels have a rich history dating back to the game's origins in the late 19th century. While slot games have evolved tremendously, many classic symbols have remained relevant even in modern games.

One of the earliest and most iconic symbols is the Liberty Bell, which appeared on Charles Fey's first slot machine in 1895. Other symbols found on those initial machines included card suits like hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs, and the lucky horseshoe.

As slot machines gained popularity, new symbols like the BAR, Lucky 7s, four-leaf clovers, and familiar card ranks of Jack, Queen, King, and Ace were introduced.

An interesting fun fact is that the classic BAR symbol actually represented sticks of the once popular chewing gum brand called "BAR."

In the mid-20th century, fruit became a staple theme on slot machines, ushering in symbols like lemons, cherries, grapes, oranges, watermelons, pineapples, strawberries, and plums. These bright, colorful fruit icons added an enticing visual flair.

As video slots rose to prominence in recent decades, game developers could get more creative with tailored symbol sets for each unique game theme. However, many slots still pay homage to the classics by incorporating bars, sevens, bells, and fruit symbols alongside modern thematic icons.

While slot styling has drastically transformed from the original mechanical machines, using these established symbols provides a throughline to the game's beginnings over a century ago. They have become iconic imagery indelibly linked to the slot experience for generations of players.

Main Types of Slots Icons

The pictures shown on the reels of video slots can be divided into two main types:

  1. Regular, also referred to as basic or standard;
  2. Special.

Simple icons form winning combinations on a general basis. Special symbols have advanced features or specific features. They can also give payouts, but not always. Their main function is to trigger bonus features.

Regular Symbols

In any slot, there are more basic icons than special ones. Winning sequences are made of them. The rules for forming combinations can differ: on certain lines, in any position on adjacent reels, from the leftmost or rightmost reel, etc. Read more about the most frequent variations in a separate article in this section of Casinoz.

Symbols appear on the reels as follows:

  • As single items: The identical pictures do not follow each other on the reels.
  • In stacks: Stacked symbols of the same type occur on the reels. Sometimes, identical icons fill the entire screen.

In some games, basic icons are of different heights. For example, the same gem may occupy an entire reel or appear in a version that fills one-fifth or one-third of the reel. It is considered a single symbol, which distinguishes it from the stack of identical pictures. This option is used in many Big Time Gaming slots from the Megaways series.

Special Symbols

Special symbols are welcome guests for any player as long as you can utilize their extra features. For example, one scatter or bonus icon on the screen only takes up space for nothing. But if they make the right combination, they activate free spins or prize games, which all gamblers are willing to participate in.

types of symbols in the casino slot

Consider the standard features of special icons.

  • Wilds act like jokers in card games. They substitute for other symbols and usually form winning combinations with the highest payouts. However, they cannot act as scatters, bonus symbols, and other special elements.
  • Scatters do not depend on active lines and bring winnings when they land anywhere on the screen. In most slots, scatters trigger free spins.
  • Scatter wilds (joker-scatter) have features of the wild and scatter. For example, they can substitute for other pictures and start free spins.
  • Bonus icons trigger prize features. These can be thematic bonus games or some other extra options.
  • Jackpot symbols are used for progressive jackpots. In some games, the player gets the jackpot when landing five special pictures on the center active line. Sometimes, these icons only trigger a bonus game in which one can compete for the progressive jackpot.
  • Giant Symbols are most often a variety of regular pictures but of a vast size. They are usually square and occupy four (2x2), nine (3x3), sixteen (4x4), or even twenty-five (5x5) adjacent positions on the screen. In this case, each cell in the composition of such a symbol is considered a separate element.
  • Multipliers increase payouts for winning combinations. These icons demonstrate multipliers, such as x2, x3, x4, etc. They are taken into account when payouts are calculated. Often, extra multipliers are wild symbols, too.

Read thematic review articles on Casinoz about the unusual types of special symbols endowed with non-standard functions. Several pieces are devoted to unique kinds of wild and scatter icons.

Here are superb slot machines with wild symbols.

Name Soft Return to player Max payout
95.93% x2000
94.67%
96.25% x5000
95.93% x3000
96.45% x2340
95.3%
95.8% x1000
95.6% x14100
94.1% x5
96.31% x5610

How to Play Online Slots Properly

You may have a question:

Do I need to thoroughly learn the nuances of all the symbols involved in a particular slog machine? In fact, it is not absolutely necessary.

In most slots, combinations are formed by a random number generator. The player simply starts the spins, but even this process can be entrusted to the automatic mode. Payments are calculated by the program.

Gamblers can not influence the process of icons' appearance (if it is not about hacking slot machines). They only need to start spins and hope for luck.

In some slots, it is possible to influence the result of bonus games, but even in such slots, studying all the subtleties of all symbols is unnecessary. In reviews of casino slot machines on Casinoz, we always warn readers if the player's actions affect the RTP. There, our experts give practical advice on how to increase the odds of winning.

Play and have fun with the process, but keep yourself in your hand! Remember that a small win is always better than a significant loss!

Frequently asked Questions

🍒 What symbols are there on slots' reels?

There are two main types: regular (basic/standard) symbols that form winning combinations and special symbols that trigger bonus features. The collection of icons is unique for every particular slot. There are no strict rules about it. Standard symbols are available in all video slots. 

🃏 What do wild symbols in slots do?

Wild symbols are like jokers in card games. They substitute for other icons in winning combinations. They can also perform other functions.

🍀 What do scatters do in slots?

Scatters form winning combinations when they appear anywhere on the screen. They are not connected to paylines. Scatters usually also trigger free spins. 

🔔 How do regular slot symbols typically appear on the reels?

Regular symbols can appear as single icons, stacked symbols of the same type, or as giant symbols covering multiple reel positions.

🍒 What are some examples of classic slot symbols?

Classic symbols found across many slots include card ranks/suits (9, 10, J, Q, K, A, ♥, ♦, ♣, ♠), fruits/berries (cherries, lemons, oranges, etc.), BARs, gemstones, bells, stars, lucky 7s.

🍸 What is the history behind the BAR slot symbol?

The BAR symbol actually represented sticks of the once popular BAR chewing gum brand.

⚡ What types of special symbols exist in slot machines?

Other specials include wilds, scatters, bonus icons (for bonus games), jackpot symbols (for progressive jackpots), scatter wilds (combining wild and scatter abilities), and multipliers.

🤔 Is in-depth symbol knowledge required to play online slots?

Not necessarily. The game software automatically forms and evaluates wins. However, understanding symbols can enhance enjoyment.

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