Slot symbols have slowly gone through many changes ever since mechanic Charles Fey invented the first-ever slot all the way back in 1895. This early effort had three spinning reels that contained 5 symbols that included horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell.
In 1891 New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed a gambling machine that used 5 drums. This held a total of 50 card faces and is probably one of the earliest efforts to mimic the slots that we have today. In the early 1900s slots were officially banned as gambling tools but still existed in a form that allowed the public to win non-cash prizes such as bubble gum. In fact, this is how fruit machines came into existence as new fruit symbols were introduced to the reels.
A New Era
The 1990’s saw the start of the digital revolution and the invention of the internet. This became available to the public and more and more homes accessed mega reel sites on computers. In 1996 two events changed gambling forever, one was the invention of online video slots and the other was the introduction of the first-ever online casino on the internet. However, things were developing elsewhere in the gambling world and in the same year WMS Industries Inc, released a video slot called Reel Em. This was the first ever slot to feature a second screen bonus and it paved the way for a myriad of video slots with more sophisticated symbols. You can also check out Reel Island as well.
Now characters from famous movies, TV shows and comics are also the stars of slots, these also tend to be the most valuable symbols and they now comfortably sit side by side with more traditional slot symbols. Films like Terminator 2, TV shows like Game Of Thrones and Superhero slots like Iron Man, illustrate this perfectly. You may also find characters from comedy movies set in New York City.
Playing slots is all about hitting the bonus round and bonus symbols come in all shapes and sizes. Playtech’s Age Of The Gods: King Of Olympus has an especially enjoyable bonus stage. To get there, you must land three or more Zeus symbols and if you do, you will receive 10 free spins. After every 2 spins, the multiplier increases until it reaches the maximum 6x multiplier.
Book themed slots are still very popular and the list of these types of games continues to increase. Recently Book Of Christmas joined the list and the format is simple but very effective. To trigger the bonus round three books or more are needed. The books act as wilds too but most importantly, they trigger 10 free spins. A symbol is chosen at random and this symbol acts as an expanding wild during the free spins. The top symbol is Santa Clause and if he fills all the reels during the bonus, then you win 5000x your stake.
With so many slots borrowing from popular culture, the days of simple slot symbols are long gone. The best symbols you can wish for are the ones that trigger the bonus rounds.