Why do most slots use fruits as symbols?
The use of fruit machine symbols in slots came about in San Francisco back in the early 1900s. After banning the use of slots for gambling, the Industry Novelty Company came up with the idea to use the machines to sell gum instead. To accommodate this change, they changed the card symbols on the reels to fruit. A winning combination of a certain type of fruit would then pay out that type of gum. This was so popular, and fruit is so instantly recognisable, that they are still used as symbols to this day in many land-based and online slot games.
Number of symbols in a slot machine
The number of symbols in a slot machine ultimately depends on the machine itself. Most standard machines tend to rely on around ten different symbols as the desirable maximum. Any more than this and the chances of gaining a winning combination can be significantly more unlikely, driving players away. In some case, however, as with enormous digital machines with a huge number of paylines and reels, the use of more symbols might be embraced to counter the increased winning odds.
What is slot reel composition?
Slot reel composition refers to the different combination of symbols which are included on a typical slot reel. These will depend highly on the machine, but generally include some combination of standard symbols, scatters, and wilds. Online slots, which have expanded potential than their hardware cousins due to software flexibility, also often include bonus symbols and multipliers.
Types of slot symbols
These are the symbols which make up the bulk of the reel’s offerings. These usually appear as either fruit or playing cards, though themed slots can vary these appearances wildly.
On many machines, scatter symbols act as the gatekeeper to bonus games. For example, collecting three of these on an active payline can often give access to a separate minigame, or unlock the chance to try your hand at winning a jackpot.
Can substitute for any standard symbol the game offers (usually, scatters are an exception)
Similar to scatters, bonus symbols can give access to dedicated bonus games, or smaller bonuses within the main slot game.
Usually accessible from within bonus games, multipliers increase a winning prize by the multiple listed on the symbol.
Sticky slot symbols
These are symbols that, once landed on a spin, can persist on the reels for more spins. This is often the case with bonus features than involve wilds, such as sticky wilds. By doing this, it becomes possible for a player to gain winning combinations more easily, contributing to larger overall wins. In such a case, additional sticky symbols might maintain the sticky status, repeating each round until a spin yields no winning paylines, which will cause the sticky symbols on the reels to cease sticking.
Stacked slot symbols
Stacked slots symbols are fundamentally different from regular slot symbols in that they aren’t as randomised. Instead, stacked slot symbols can appear in large vertical groupings. When this occurs, it means that making winning combinations is much easier, as paylines can land much more effectively. Usually working with standard symbols, these can also apply over wild symbols in some fruit machines.
Moving wild symbols
A special type of wild which is maintained over the reels for multiple spins, like sticky symbols. Instead of staying in one place, however, moving wilds can actively change their position on the reels after each spin to give the player more of a chance of landing a winning combination. These are usually given out by bonus features, lasting only a set amount of spins or winning combinations before vanishing from the reels.
Wandering wild symbols
Another form of non-stationary wilds which can remain on the reels for multiple spins. Wandering wilds operate by a specific pattern of movement which will eventually take them off the reels. A common example of this sees them move one reel to the left after each spin. In this case, they disappear after they reach the leftmost reels.
What are high-value symbols in online slots?
If a slot machine only features cards as symbols, the highest value symbols will start from ace, then go down to the king, queen, and so on. In other slot games, the highest value symbols can depend on the creator's whim. Fruit-based symbols, for example, have no objective measure of worth, so these will be scored arbitrarily. Slots which do not include cards or fruit will usually determine their symbol value based on their themes. For each online slot you can play here at Paddy Power Games, you can consult a paytable and short intro that shows you all the different symbols available, together with their value.
What are low-value symbols in online slots?
Like with the high-value symbols, the low-value symbols are often those based on cards. This will depend on the range of cards available within the slot game. Since most games will only go down from ace to around ten, ten will tend to be the lowest value symbol. In themed or fruit-based games, these values will have to be assigned based on suitability to a concept, or otherwise, be arbitrarily defined. Once again, you'll be interested in checking the specifics for each slot to figure this out.