The most notorious visual element of slots – symbols of fruits, bells and BARs may look repetitive and unoriginal, but game providers, us included can confirm – they are a „safe bet“. It is the innovative features and distinctive design that can make yours stand out.
So why fruit symbols and how do they associate with slot machines? We’ve put together the most important milestones that set the pace for the gaming industry and their relevance and popularity to this day.
The first slot machine
There are a few theories of who invented the first machine but most sources agree it was one called „Liberty Bell“ developed by an American named Charles Fey in 1887. It was very basic, having 3 reels, a single payline and only 5 symbols (the bell, a horseshoe, a diamond, a heart and a spade) but thanks to Liberty Bell, the well-known Bell symbol is used by so many games today.
The fruits come into play
The first fruit machines appeared also in America in the early 20th Century. Since it was illegal to play for real money, the earliest devices gave out winnings in the form of chewing gum with the flavors of the winning symbols on the reels – cherry, melon or else.
Even the bar symbols still used on some slot games owe their existence to a fruit-association with early slot machines. The Mills Novelty Company used a Bell-Fruit-Gum logo for one of its gum products that was popular in these games.
In 1963, Bally developed the first fruit machine that worked electromechanically. It was called Money Honey and the payout was actually assisted by a human attendant. It featured plenty of fruity goodness like oranges, melons, lemons and cherries.
Video killed the slot machine star
Fortune Coin arrived in 1975 and was the world’s first video slot with 4 reels, 3 paylines and with an actual screen depicting the reels. It still had the customary ‘one arm’ mechanism, wood paneling and, once again came packed with fruit symbols.
After online video slots started to emerge at the beginning of the Millennium, some developers started producing conversions of their land-based machines into online games which meant you would have an image of a real fruit machine on the screen. Games like Fruit Club or Quick Hit Platinum were the result of an online developer trying to combine classic slot machine gameplay on a 5-reel slot format.
Today…Still popular, still relevant
Among thousands of games, developers trying to one up each other with creative – and sometimes bizarre ideas, the fruity classic never disappoints. It is the quality of graphics and feature variation that might give you the edge. Also, psychologists claim that there is some hidden connection and attraction to fruity slots:
„Whenever you see three melons or cherries, whoever you are, it triggers something inside you. Whether it’s a nice memory from being a child, highlighting a sense of fun missing from today’s cynical world, or just a reminder that gambling should be fun, fruit machines are designed to attract the punter in.“
Now launching Respin Joker, SYNOT Games puts a modern twist and a bit of Venetian elegance to the old school classic and designed one of the best 3-reel slots with juicy graphics and a Respin feature.
„Blending the classic with a modern vibe, Respin Joker strives to carry on the legacy of the famous fruity slots but with a fresh & contemporary feel“, commented Ivan Kodaj, the Executive Director of SYNOT Games.
See for yourself and try it out for fun here