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Your Ultimate Guide to Common Slot Machine Symbols

Your Ultimate Guide to Common Slot Machine Symbols

Since their introduction in the late 19th century, slot machines have continued to entertain millions of casino players around the world. While slot machines are still as widespread and popular as they were in the 1900s, several aspects of these games have changed over the years.

Today, slots come with trendy themes, flashy graphics, immersive soundtracks and most notably, a variety of slot machine symbols. Here, we explore the basics and gameplay features of the most common slot machine symbols. Stick with us!

Oldest slot machine symbols

Back in the day when slot machines were relatively new, people were accustomed to casino cards that were used in Poker and other casino classics. So, it’s no wonder that the makers of the early slot machines used cards and suits as their playing symbols.

While the suit symbols have long gone, the high-paying card symbols – nines, tens and picture cards – can still be found in several modern-day slot machines. Interestingly, the payout for these card symbols is usually lower than the other symbols that are based on the main game’s theme.

As for the Poker symbols, they were a part of almost every classic slot machine of the early 1900s. But the invention of the one-arm bandit, which made use of three reels and featured a less complex structure, led to the Poker symbols quickly disappearing from slot machines.

Fruit slot machine symbols

As soon as slot machines started going mainstream in the early part of the 20th century, they were banned in several parts of the world. To work around the restriction, the Bell-Fruit Gum Company went on to create slot games that came with fruit-based symbols and offered gums as the winning reward.

The fruit-based slot machines featured common fruits such as oranges, cherries, pears and lemons as their playing symbols. Notably, most of these early fruit symbols are still popular in the slot gaming world even today.

Modern slot machine symbols

These days, online slots feature a variety of different slot machine symbols that offer substantial payouts if you get lucky. Below we list the most common online slot machine symbols:

Wild symbol

This is an interesting slot machine symbol type that can be found in almost every top online slot game. What’s unique about the wild symbols is that they can act as a substitute for any symbol in the game. So, if you have a lemon symbol on the first and the third reel, getting a wild symbol on the second reel will help you in forming a winning combination and getting a payout.

It’s important to remember that the wild symbol may not substitute for each and every symbol on the slots paylines. The symbols that aren’t substituted usually include scatters and the ones that come with in-game bonus features.


As their name suggests, these symbols multiply your winnings by a certain amount upon landing the required combination. The amount by which your winnings get multiplied usually depends on the number of symbols you manage to get on the reels. For instance, landing three multiplier symbols on the reels may multiply your winning by 1x, whereas getting five multipliers can increase your final payout by 5x.

In some top online slot games and slots tournaments, multipliers may also act as wild symbols. That way, you can take advantage of both the wild feature and a multiplier being applied to your final payout upon winning.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols are one of the highest-paying symbols in online slot games. With scatters, players are able to trigger slot bonuses and other in-game reward features that are available in slot games.

What’s great about the scatter symbols is the fact that you don’t always have to align them on the same pay line. Instead, you just have to land them on the reels to take advantage of the bonus features. Many slot games offer free spins bonuses upon getting the required number of scatter symbols, though some may offer other bonus rewards.

Summing Up

From the classic card and fruit-based symbols to icons with exciting bonus features, slot machine symbols have come a long way. Besides the symbols mentioned in our article, other slot machine symbols that can be found in online slot machines include bonus symbols, sticky symbols, stacked symbols and expanding wilds. As a player, be sure to go through the slot game’s paytable if you don’t know how a particular symbol operates. Happy gaming there!