The Complete Guide to Slot Machine Symbols and Icons

May 6, 2022
41 Comment

Every slot has special symbols. Without them, slots would probably be defined as completely different games. But what are these symbols and how do they work?

Well, you’ll find out if you keep reading the article below!

What Are Slot Symbols?

A slot machine symbol is the single most important thing in a slot game. Without them, you won’t be able to form the winning combinations that award you with excellent wins.

Their other main function is allowing the developers to infuse their brand into the slot. Some players can instantly recognize NetEnt slots, for example, thanks to the specific symbols and graphics.

Please note: The slot symbol is also a great way for the developer to develop their brand awareness. That’s because no matter what slots you play, you will most likely choose the ones with the most enticing graphics.

What Is the Oldest Slot Machine Symbol?

The oldest slot machine symbol wasn’t even part of a slot. Before slot symbols reached the visual appeal they have today, they started as Poker symbols. You see, video poker machines were extremely popular in America in the 19th century.

When the first land-based slots were created in the 1800s, they had a lot of similarities to the old poker machines. The first slot machines had playing card symbols on the reels. So contrary to popular belief, fruits aren’t the oldest slot symbols.

Types of Slot Symbols

There are so many types of slot symbols in today’s slots that a newcomer might feel overwhelmed. Fear not, we’ve put together a handy guide for you to get a better understanding of the different slot symbols and their function.


You’ll see the basic symbols the most often. The type of standard symbol of course depends on the type of slot you’re playing. So if you’re playing a fruit machine, the icons will mostly be fruits. The modern video slots or 3D slots will have playing cards as the standard icons.



In slot games, the Wild symbols are basically the Jokers. They will replace any other icon on the reels, helping you form even more winning combinations.

One of the best things about Wilds is that they’re usually the highest-paying symbols on the reels. Can you imagine a winning combination made of 5 Wilds?




The Scatter symbols are not anything new by any means. They’ve been a part of classic slots and modern ones forever. Their usual purpose is to trigger the free spins feature. On top of that, they also pay a bit more than basic symbols.



The bonus slot symbols are special icons that have the main purpose of triggering the bonus rounds. The bonus rounds are special mini-games that offer different prizes such as free spins, multipliers, or even instant cash. In classic slots or fruit machines, these icons are usually the slot machine bar symbol.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the symbols are the most important elements of a slot machine. They’re so important in fact that many gamblers choose a slot solely based on its symbols.

No matter what the case might be for you, you can always try out some Real Money Slots for a truly exciting experience!

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