This post is syndicated by the Las Vegas Advisor for the 888 casino group. Anthony Curtis comments on the 888 article introduced and linked to on this page.

AC Says: For a change of pace, this article delves into game design; specifically, the origins and functions of several slot machine symbols. With many of today’s slots, you can play for a long time without even knowing what you’re trying to line up. This article provides some clues as to which symbols to root for and in what combinations they trigger jackpots. There’s also something of a nostalgic component present, with references to a few of the former greats of the casino floor. Do you remember Double Diamond, Blazing Sevens, and Red, White and Blue? You don’t find those classics very often anymore among the mazes of movie-themed and celebrity-named slot machines.

This article was written by John Grochowski in association with 888Casino.


When it comes to entertainment on slot machines, the symbols are part of the fun. Far from just a backdrop, they’re important in enabling game designers to give us an exciting experience that leaves us wanting to come back for more.

There are many different types of symbols. Let’s compile our own slot symbol dictionary.

A-K-Q-J-10: These symbols suggest playing card denominations, but aren’t depicted on playing cards. Instead, they’re used to make frequent low-paying combinations on games where the less frequent but higher-paying combinations use themed symbols.

Bars: Consisting of elongated rectangles, bars, like fruit symbols have been with us since they early days of slots and are said to derive from the logo of the Bell Fruit Gum company. Machines that use bars usually also use double bars and triple bars, with two or three bars stacked on top of each other.

Bonus symbols: These are the symbols everyone wants to see on modern video and online slots. Bonus symbols trigger a bonus event. When they show up, you might get free spins, you might get to spin a prize wheel and you might get to touch icons on a screen, playing a game within a game to collect bonus credits and build your bankroll.

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