Slot Machine Symbols Decoded

Slot Machine Symbols Decoded

Understanding the symbols that appear on a slot machine’s reels is an important part of playing the game. These symbols can be standard or special, and they offer different payouts when matched in combinations on active paylines.

The Bar symbol, for instance, is thought to have emerged from the time when gambling was a prohibited activity in America and players were offered fruit-flavoured gum instead. It usually represents the second-highest or mid-tier payout.


There are several symbols that can appear on slot machine reels, and each has its own meaning. The most common ones are card numbers and fruit icons, including lemons, cherries, grapes, watermelons, and oranges. These symbols can create a winning pay line by matching them in a consecutive order from left to right. A Wild symbol is another great way to increase your chances of winning, as it acts as a joker and substitutes for other symbols on the reels.

Depending on the type of slot machine, players can insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into designated slots to activate the reels and start the game. When the symbols match, the player earns credits based on the payout table. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols are designed to align with that theme. Multiplier symbols are also available and can multiply the payout amount of a winning combination up to 6x.


The number of symbols whirling around the reels in a slot machine can be dizzying for new players. Understanding how these different icons work and what their functions are can help you get started with the game and avoid losing money. In addition, you should know how paylines work.

A payline is a specific pattern of symbols on which a player can win. Depending on the machine, symbols can line up in horizontal, vertical, diagonal or zigzag patterns to form a winning combination. The more paylines you activate, the more chances you have of forming a winning combination.

Some modern slots offer paylines that run across multiple reels instead of just the center row. These are called “multi-way” games and are more likely to yield big payouts. Some of these games also feature wilds and scatters, which can replace other symbols and increase your odds of winning. They can also act as multipliers, increasing your winning price by a certain amount.

Bonus rounds

Depending on how well the symbols line up on the machine’s reels, a player can win credits based on the pay table. These tables are listed above or below the area containing the wheels (or within a help menu on video machines). Some machines also feature a wild symbol, which can represent many symbols and increase the payout on any spin.

Generally, all symbols need to land on an active payline to pay out, but the only exception is a Scatter Symbol or Bonus Symbol, which can land anywhere on the reels and trigger different bonuses. These bonuses can be anything from a multiplier to free spins or other rewards.

Whether you are playing traditional slot games or modern video slots, the basic principles remain the same. You can still expect to see familiar symbols like cherries, Liberty Bells and stylized lucky sevens on the reels. But you can also find stacked symbols and multiplier icons that can boost your winning chances.


Slot machines are designed to offer a wide variety of genres and themes. They can also be complicated to understand, especially for beginners. Symbols are an essential part of any slot machine, and their meaning can vary from game to game. However, understanding the symbols can help you decide which types of games are right for you.

Standard reel symbols typically include traditional playing card symbols, numbers, and letters, such as A, J, K, and Q. These symbols usually offer lower payouts than other symbols. Alternatively, some video slots use thematic symbols that align with the game’s theme. For example, a pirate-themed slot might feature ship, cannon, and treasure chest symbols.

Other symbols are less conventional, such as the bar symbol. It was originally a representation of gum packets and is still commonly used in slot games today. It comes in different forms, including single, double, and triple bars, with each symbol representing a different payout level.

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