The ultimate guide to slot game symbols


Modern slot games feature a wide array of symbols on their reels, from the classic fruits to images of familiar characters taken straight from films and TV shows. So, with all these many symbols, how are you supposed to know what they all mean?

Well, that’s what we’re here to help with. Understanding what each of the symbols in a Slots game means and how it functions is essential if you want to get the most out of a game. Our ultimate primer to slot game symbols will tell you everything you need to know to enjoy playing Slots online in the UK.

The Classics

There are a few iconic slot machine symbols that have been around for decades. There are plenty of games that don’t use these anymore – in favour of their own themed designs – but some games still stick to the classics.

Fruit symbols such as cherries, lemons, oranges and watermelons are some of the oldest symbols to have decorated the reels. These came about thanks to slot machine designs which offered different flavours of gum to players.

Before fruits, Slots typically used the different card suits – hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades – as symbols instead. The horseshoe and Liberty Bell also featured in early designs which went on to popularise the game.

Standard Symbols

Modern slot games will generally have symbols that match the game’s theme, so you’ll see very different symbols on the screen depending on what you’re playing. But never fear! There’s still a fairly simple way to divide these symbols.

Low-paying symbols will usually be less themed, with many games using the high card values from a deck of cards (10, J, Q, K and A). If the symbol looks more on the generic side, then it’s probably a lower-paying one. These appear more often on the reels but, as the name suggests, offer smaller payout values.

Symbols that are more elaborate are often the ones that yield higher payouts in winning combinations. In a game themed around mythology then pictures of gods are likely to have a higher value, for example.

Special Symbols

These are the ones to look out for, as special symbols bring extra twists to the Slots gameplay formula. With effects from helping to complete winning combinations to granting extra spins, these symbols have become far more common in online slot games.

Wilds are symbols that can substitute for others to complete winning lines, giving the player a greater chance at a payout.

Scatter symbols, meanwhile, don’t need to line up in any particular order. As long as the required number of scatters show up on a spin – usually three or more – then they’ll activate. Depending on the game, scatters can increase a player’s payout, act as a multiplier or trigger effects like free spins.

Knowing what sort of symbols to look out for in a slot game is important for players who want to get the most out of their spin. Now that you know essentials of slot machine symbols you should even understand the reels in more heavily themed games.