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Fruit Reel Symbol
September 27, 2018

The Origin of the Fruit Reel Symbol

You don’t need to be an experienced player of slots games to remember the very colorful and appealing fruits that appear on a reel of a slot machine. They have gained a lot of notoriety since the very beginning of the slot machines. Even if they are not the only symbols that exist on the machines (stars, bells, numbers, etc.), we can admit that they are the most remembered ones, and there is a psychological explanation behind that.

From luxury to a common form of entertainment

Slots games were and still are very appreciated. When the internet wasn’t popular, people all over the world traveled miles just to find the places where gaming was possible. Today, casino games are so easily accessible, by entering an online platform or installing a mobile application. This made it change as accessible back in the day only by rich people, to a game that everybody can play and that is often recommended as a free time spending option.

Gametwist platform is a great example of the new technology of online casino games. The most typical game for the fruit machine term is, the so classical Sizzling Hot free, and if you take a look through the site, and ever think about enjoying one of the games, just pay attention of how many of them have the similar trait of the fruit symbol.

But to see what is the big deal that made it so that the slots machines turned to fruit machines, we have to look back at the history of them.

Where it all started (now it makes sense)

The first machine was operated with cards, later they were changed into symbols like hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and liberty bell, the machine, therefore, being named Liberty Bell. The last change was made in 1902 after a banning (cash prizes could no longer be distributed) and another manufacturer created the machine named Operator Bell. With this, the symbol of the fruit in casino games started its journey. When one would display a row of cherry, melon, orange, apple and bar symbols, he would get instead a piece of gum which had the taste of that particular fruit.

The psychology of the fruit symbol

From a need of adaptation of that time legislation to a psychological trigger for clients, the fruits reels are an essential icon for a reason: as I said, in the beginning, you don’t need to be an expert and spend a lot of money on it. Whether it’s a nice memory from being a child, highlighting a sense of fun missing from today’s cynical world, the fruits are meant to indirectly inspire that they are fun, innocent (what harm can some juicy fruits do to you? ) and draw away from you the idea that they can become an obsession.

Some operators still bash out the fruity games, appealing to new online gamblers who hanker after the old games. However, they are not really doing anything innovative with them. It seems their attitude is, “Oh, let’s create another fruity, I can’t think of anything else right now. Anyway, the public loves it.”

Online poker ditched the Wild West image of the old card rooms in the early 21st Century, and now video slots manufacturers are ditching fruit in the same way. But for now, some of us will carry on trying to hit those three melons and dream of the good old days.


The exciting story (maybe you have never thought about) behind the innocent fruit reels can say a lot about the human perception and about the evolution of games. This story shows how a strong icon can break through all the innovations and preserve its tradition. Also, this bit of history of games is important because it shows where it has been, where it is and where it is heading.

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