The history of video slot symbols
Slot machines all over the world and the internet tend to use very similar symbols which leaves us wondering, “what is the history of video slot symbols and why are they always the same?”
Wonder no more. In this article, we are going to travel back in time and learn the history of video slot symbols and where they all came from. This will include playing cards, lucky symbols and the most confusing of all, fruit. Let’s not dawdle and dive into the history of video slot symbols.
If you want to learn the meaning of other popular symbols in video slots, read our article about video slot symbols and what they mean.
Where did slot symbols all start?
Slot machines were not the first automated gambling inventions. The poker machine and the wheel of fortune came way before the first slot machine did. These were incredibly popular in 19th century America.
It comes as no surprise that with the popularity of poker machines, that the very first slot machines in 1891 were inspired by them. These were the five-reel original one-armed bandits that kept the poker cards as symbols. Back then, every card was a symbol.
To answer the question of what were the first slot machine symbols, the answer was playing cards. Today, cards 10 to Ace are commonly used for video slots too as a homage to the very first slot machines.
The first symbols that were not cards.
Travelling forward to 1895, a man named Charles Fey invented the next breakthrough for slot machines. He created automatic payouts. Before bartenders and house owners would have to give rewards for landing on winning spins.
With this invention, Fey also reduced the number of reels to three and replaced most of the card symbols. With most of the cards removed, Fey added a horseshoe, which was the lucky symbol, and the liberty bell. So there you have it, the first symbols that were not cards came into the game in 1895.
Eventually, the horseshoe would fade out of fashion and the lucky number 7 become more popular. When the 7 was introduced is a little tricky to find. We aren’t going to throw out guesses in this history lesson.
Where did all the fruit come from?
Every gaming producer and casino has a fruity, but where did they come from? The answer is rather interesting and it all begins in the 1900s when America banned the slot machine. With the one-armed bandits at the time gaining a reputation for leaving their player broke, measures where put in place to get rid of them. And then the gum companies found a loophole.
Instead of slot machine manufacturers losing business, together with gum companies, they changed the game. There were no longer cash prizes so they were completely legal. Instead, when you land on three matching fruit symbols, you would get the corresponding flavour of gum.
So there you have it, that’s where the fruit comes from. But they don’t stop there because they also brought the BAR symbol with them. While not confirmed, it is a common belief that the company Bell-Fruit Gum Company naturally put their logo onto these gum dispensing slot machines. Their logo was naturally a bar of gum. Over time, it was stylised down to a simple rectangle with the words BAR.
Now you know, the BAR is a bar of gum and the fruit is all the different flavours of gum.
With the history of video slot symbols in your memory, let’s see our favourite games of the week.
Let’s put our fresh knowledge about the history of video slot symbols to good use with our favourite video slot games of the week. The first game is Voodoo, perfect for just coming out of Halloween, this spooky themed slot will give you chills and you spin for wins. The other takes a completely different tone. Deep Sea is all about exploring the depths of the ocean for treasure. Just watch out so that the angler fish doesn’t bite you. Play Now!