There are hundreds, in fact, there are thousands of slot machines, and each of them has its own features and characteristics. Some games are similar and feature similar if not the same symbols, but there are also titles that are quite unique both in terms of gameplay and symbols. If you have played multiple slot games you may have noticed that many of them use fruit symbols like cherries, watermelons, lemons and so on. So, asking ‘why do most slot machines use fruit symbols?’ is a legitimate question.
Fruit Machine Symbols
In the older days, when online slots still weren’t a thing, the question we posed made a lot more sense, because back in the early 1990s and before, almost all if not all slots featured fruit symbols. That’s why fruities is another word for slot machines in the UK. Fruit symbols simply were a matter of tradition up until the emergence of online slots.
Slot games included card symbols, fruits and bells and that was it. In most cases it was either cherries, bars or 7s that appeared on the reels. In most cases slot machines featured only one winning combination, on the middle row, and you needed all three symbols across it for a win. So, why do most slot machines use fruit symbols, really? Well, let’s go back to the early days of the slots machines, when the industry was still in its infancy.
Slot Machine Symbols Meaning
The first slot machine was developed by Charles Fey, at the end of the 19th century. This was a three-reel game and most games in the next century were three-reel slots. Nowadays we have plenty of five-reel slots, and it is three-reel slots that are considered a rarity. There are slot machines with more than five reels and the number of reels is one indicator of how the industry has changed over the years.
The first slot machine was known as the Liberty Bell and it featured the Liberty Bell as the main symbol. This game didn’t feature any fruit symbols. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, a lot of fruit slot machines were developed. In fact, Charles Fey joined a company that was already producing similar arcade machines and they started making the first fruities.
They didn’t replace the slot machine bar symbol with other symbols, but the bar was just one of the used symbols, in most cases the vast majority of symbols depicted fruits. A lot of people are trying to get into the slot machine symbols meaning, but we think that the explanation is actually a lot simpler.
Namely, arcade games back in the beginning of the 20th century included fruit and candy symbols, and in many cases the prizes for the winners were also consisted of fruits and candy, so developers simply copied this principle and applied it on the new slot machines. In short, that is what we have to say about slot machine symbols, especially when we’re talking about the early days of the industry.
Vegas Slot Machines – The Early Days
Just as slot machines gained popular, American laws on gambling and related activities started getting pretty restrictive. So, slot machines fell into what was considered to be a grey area and providers and developers began getting a lot more creative with their games, in order to be able to hide the fact that the games they advertise are slots and not arcade games.
Finally, at the beginning of the third decade of the 20th century, gambling was legalised in Nevada in Las Vegas and the first legal casinos were opened. Slot machines were usually placed in the casino lobbies. Casino owners didn’t think that slot machines would generate a lot of revenue. Some even claim that the initial intention with the introduction of slot machines was to provide entertainment for the wives of the serious card players, but slot machines started gaining popularity and it turned out that they could generate as much revenue as card and table games.
Common Slot Machine Symbols
Slots were invented in the US, but they became popular all over the world and after the WWII slots were everywhere. Technology was also advanced, and developers moved forward from the old mechanic slot machines towards slot machines that were electronically powered. The new technology allowed developers and engineers to include sound and visual effects, thus making the games a lot more entertaining and exciting and this paved the way for the new, modern slots that were introduced in the 1980s and later.
The used slot machine symbols were a lot more vivid and playful, but in most cases slot makers decided to stick to traditional fruit symbols and cards. Still, during this era we saw the first five-reel slots, as well as the first games that didn’t feature only fruits and other similar symbols. The whole industry evolved and moved forward and there was no turning back.
The Birth Of Online Slots
In the 1990s we saw the establishment of the first online casino and the first online slots. Slots immediately became the most popular category of online casino games and dozens of games appeared soon after the first one. Many of them didn’t use fruit symbols.
The focus was on thematic slots, slots that tell a specific story instead of games that just feature some bars, 7s, fruits and bells on the reels. Most games have five reels in the online era and we even have games with six, seven or even a fluctuating number of reels. All sorts of symbols can be seen on the reels. There are cowboys, guns, Aztec symbols, pyramids and sphinxes, DC heroes, book and film characters and what not.
Still, there are retro games that feature fruit symbols, similar to the ones that were offered at land-based casinos in the 1980s.
If you wish to play modern online slots, including retro games that feature fruit symbols, register with Secret Slots, claim your bonus and you can start playing today!
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