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In a world of digital natives, so reliant on the latest technology, it’s almost hard to believe that Slots originated back in 1891. They’ve not been around quite as long as classic card games, but during that time, Slots have evolved massively – and it’s in the casino online that they’ve truly made their mark.

But they’ve evolved in more ways than one. Not only have developers upgraded their offering to include a wide range of themes, that encompass all aspects of modern technology, but the slick graphics are suited to mobile and tablet devices. It is these graphics, and more notably the games’ symbols that have received a much-needed facelift and over the course of time, have proved to be iconic.

Let’s roll back the reels to see how Slots symbols have changed over time.


Playing Cards
It’s interesting to note that the first version of the slot machine was more like a Poker machine, and it was the playing card symbols and values that determined the win.

Sittman and Pitt’s five-reel drum contained 50 of the 52 cards in a standard deck – with the Jack of Hearts and 10 of Spades removed, to eliminate the chances of getting a royal flush – and players would look to create the best Poker hand that they could.

But in modern-day Slots, it is the high-playing cards that act as a game’s base (or low value) symbols. You can expect to see them in nearly every game you play.


Lucky horseshoes and Liberty Bells
When William Fey introduced his idea of a slot machine in the late 19th century, it was simple. There were just three reels and five symbols. Diamonds, Hearts and Spades – the suits from playing cards. They were used alongside horseshoes, which were deemed lucky, and of course the game’s namesake, the Liberty bell, which was the highest value symbol.


Feeling fruity
From here, Slots changed again in the early 1900s, following state laws that banned machines which paid out cash winnings. The Liberty Bell stayed in existence, but instead a new form of slot machine was introduced, and the winnings it paid out were fruit sweets and gum.

To mirror the prize on offer, it made sense for the symbols to be fruits – and ultimately, the first fruit machine was born. Adorned with those iconic lemons, cherries, watermelons and plums, when the regulations were lifted and cash prizes were allowed to be offered, the fruit symbols remained. It was also at this point, we saw the famous BAR symbol, which was influenced by the Bell-Fruit company's logo.

A little further down the line, in the 1960s, Bally introduced the Money Honey. This machine worked a little differently to previous ones, and had a number of modifications. Another difference was the symbols that were used. While fruit symbols still featured, it was Money Honey that introduced the lucky 7 – with treble sevens awarding recipients the jackpot prize. Other symbols included the clover, diamond and crown – all of which feature on classic, and other themed Slots games today.


Video Slots and games today
In your average online casino slot, you’ll notice that not only are there more symbols than you can shake a stick at, but they’re so much more advanced. Basic symbols and landing three in a row, just doesn’t cut it in anymore. Now you’ll find wild symbols – and a whole variety of those with different properties and advantages – scatter symbols, bonus and jackpot symbols, and so much more.

The icons you’re looking to land will be dedicated to the theme of the game, and as we have mentioned, there are so many themes to choose from. No matter what your interests, whether it’s film and TV, ancient mythology, travel and culture, or food, there will be a slot game to keep you well entertained. If you’re a fan of those classic and retro games, you can still look to land those fruity symbols, or lucky horseshoes – but overall, Slots have been given a huge makeover.

The evolution of Slots and their symbols is not only exciting, but also who knows how it will develop into the future.