Get in the know — classic gaming symbols explained


You’re the star of the show when you’re playing an online slot, of course, but the game would be nothing without the iconic symbols that appear on the reels. The aim of a slot game is to align symbols on the reels and create winning combinations, so it’s important to understand the different types of slot symbols that you’ll encounter.

But did you know, when the game was first invented in the 19th century, slot symbols simply consisted of card suits and classic fruit symbols?  Since then, online gaming has not only transformed the way that we can play Slots — making it possible to play your favourite games wherever and whenever — but also the variety of themes available, which has caused new symbols and features to emerge.

When playing Slots online from Betfair, you can always refer back to the game’s pay-table to discover each symbol’s function and pay-out potential, but to get you started, here’s a guide to the main symbols that you’ll find in the majority of slot games.

The lower-paying standard symbols

A recurrent theme across many online Slots, is to use the traditional slot machine icons as the game’s lower-paying symbols. These symbols usually come in the form of fruit or playing card suits, and typically require you to land at least three across a pay-line, in one spin. So, depending on the game, your reels might be adorned with some regal suits like the King of Hearts or the Queen of Spades, or you could be joined by some juicy fruity friends, in the form of melons, cherries and lemons.

The scatter

The beauty of online Slots is that, much like land-based slot machines, some symbols can enhance your winning potential. But unlike the physical game, they can also transport you to additional mini games and bonus rounds, where you can also find some of its juiciest prizes.

The scatter is just one of the symbols that could unlock special bonus features in the game. The scatter can appear anywhere on the reels at a completely random time, so keep your eyes peeled for this rewarding icon.

The wild

The most common symbol that will appear on your reels after the standard icons is the wild. This symbol has the power to replace all of the others on the reels — except the scatter — to create winning combinations and help you to win more prizes. For example, if you’ve landed standard symbols on the first and second reel and the wild appears on the third, then the wild symbol will take the place of all the other icons, and you’ll bag yourself a prize, or unlock a bonus feature.

Themed symbols

The beauty of online slot games is that they come in a wide variety of different themes to keep you entertained. Whatever your interests, we’re sure that you’ll find a game that tickles your fancy and immerses you in a fantasy world, where you can live out your gaming dreams.

Of course, it’s only fitting that the symbols in these games match the slot’s theme, and there may be a combination of standard symbols and exciting themed icons. You could find yourself joined by fantastical creatures, sporting stars or majestic animals, that could help you to bag yourself the jackpot prize.