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Introduction to Slot Machine Symbols

Slot machines these days use a wide variety of symbols, depending on the theme and brand of the machine.  Yet, with as many new and inventive symbols that there are, many of the original symbols (like cherries and bells) used since the first slot machines, are still being used today.  And while many of the newer symbols simply serve the same function as their predecessors (they are simply different pictures fir the theme of the machine) there are are a handful of what could be called modern symbols that have an independent function and actually serve to change the outcome of a game.  The following list describes the latest symbols to be released by slot makers, and consequently, online casino software manufacturers:

Wild Symbols – Also called substitute symbols, these essentially can become anything that will produce the best reel combination possible.  For example, a three-reel machine producing a 7, Wild, 7 will become a 7,7,7.  For more complex machines with more reels and paylines, the Wild Symbol will always become the will create the highest payout, if any.

Multiplier Symbols – These symbols are a major attraction for many online casino slot players.  They essentially do what their name implies – Multiply payouts.  Not only do they serve as Wild Symbols (meaning they will help to complete the best symbol combo possible), they will increase the payout of that particular symbol combination anywhere from two to one-hundred times the original payout.  These days it is common to find 2x and 3x multipliers, while 5x and 10x are starting to be more widely used.  If one multiplier is hit on a payline, the payout is multiplied by the number of the specific multiplier.  If two multipliers show up on the same line, the payout is multiplied after both multipliers have been multiplied.  In other words, if two 3x multipliers show up on one line, the payout would be 9x (3x multiplied by 3x).

Nudge Symbols – As the name implies, nudge symbols serve to nudge a reel one stop up or down (whichever is needed to complete a matching line of symbols).  The way these symbols work is that instead of being an actual symbol on the reel, they are superimposed over each bar.  In a three-reel machine, if two reels were matched together and the third reel was one stop away from lining up with the other two, the nudge symbol would appear and “nudge” the reel in line with the others so that it would become a winner.  While this seems like a generous gesture from the casino, the final “nudged” results are already factored into the machine’s payout percentage.

We now continue describing the rest of the modern-day slot symbols you will likely see in the casino:

Scatter Symbols – Commonly found on multi-payline video slots, these symbols have precedence no matter if they are not lined up.  They could show up on different paylines; So long as they show up anywhere on the screen, they will go towards creating a winning symbol combination.

Spin till Win Symbols – If you see this symbol show up on any reel of a payline, you are guaranteed to win.  The reels will then automatically spin themselves until they land on a paying combination.  Just how good a payout you get is entirely random – The very first winning combo that is hit applies to the Spin till Win Symbol.

Repeat the Win – While this is not a particular symbol, but rather, a function, “Repeat the Win” is characteristic of modern day slot machines.  The way it works is that machines which offer it will re-spin the wheels immediately after a win, in hopes to repeat the winning combination again.  Whether the combo is hit again or not, is a random process being factored into the machines payout percentage.

Any Bar – Designated on the paytable, rather than being a symbol, the “Any Bar” function pays out for any combination of Bar Symbols, which usually range from single, double and triple bars.

Any Symbol – Also designated on the paytable, this function will payout for any combination of symbols as long as no blank spots are found under the payline.


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