Slot machines use fruits primarily due to history. Card symbols were much more popular when slot machines were first introduced to the general public. However, people automatically associated cards with poker and, consequently, betting.
The slot machines quickly gained popularity as they switched from these symbols to more innocent and colorful icons. It was a tactic that worked at recreating the brand image of the slots. It was first introduced by the Bell-Fruit Gum Company, which aimed to mimic childlike imagery for the slots.
Now, you weren’t just getting money in exchange for bets. You were getting “sweets” or “rewards” in exchange for playing a simple game. This led to the famous cherry, banana, and apple symbols inspired by slot machines’ rich history.
The Evolution of Fruit Slots
The typical slots were invented with the Bells, the pioneer of one-armed bandits.
The First Slot Machines
In 1887, Charles Fey invented the first slot machine, heavily inspired by the game of poker. It was called “Liberty Bell” and included the same spinning reels with space for five different symbols. These were the hearts, spades, diamonds, horseshoes, and the Liberty Bell.
The way to a jackpot was through the Liberty Bell. You would win a jackpot if you got three Liberty Bells in one row after a spin. This design opened doors for multiple manufacturers who created their own “one-armed bandits” by getting inspired by the Liberty Bell.
The inventions led to different modifications, and by the 20th century, slot machines had gained quite a lot of popularity. You could use all sorts of currency to place your bet. All you needed to do was insert the money and pull the handle.
The Transition to Fruit Slots
It wasn’t long before people got tired of the same old symbols. A company in Chicago realized the need for vibrant colors and interesting symbols. Thus, they invented the fruit slots, the machine that used the Liberty Bell slots to create modified symbols representing colorful fruits.
These symbols forever changed the way slot machines were perceived. They entered the slot machine industry and flooded casinos which banked on the innocent symbols. These childlike icons attracted people to play more games more often.
The Anti-Gambling Era
The anti-gambling era boosted the importance of fruit slots. It was probably because these slots got a new meaning. As the regular slots were illegal, people could no longer play with cash. Slot machine owners began to devise machines that would give out fruit-flavored gum or candy as a reward.
This meant that people could still experience the joy of slots without getting involved in illegal activity. The fruit slots were actual fruit slots now! These slots expanded in terms of location. You could now find them at barber shops, arcades, bowling alleys, stores, and more places than ever before.
Similar to all prohibitions, making gambling illegal had the opposite effect. It led to underground casinos, negatively impacting the economy much more than if it had been legal.
Soon, many states began to push for legalization. Gambling became legalized in Nevada in 1931, and it is a hub of casino games to date. This didn’t decrease the popularity of the fruit slots. People began to play with money again, but they were hooked on the simple and entertaining symbols of the fruit machines.
Machines began to use the fruit slot appeal to make combinations that would lead to jackpots. Fruit slots are essential to people for their sentimental value. The slots connect with a time that has passed. As slots get faster and more widespread due to technological advancement, people still want to maintain their ties to the older slot machines.
Why Do Slot Machine Players Like Fruit Slots?
Fruit slots give many players a nostalgic feeling that keeps them returning for more. The fruits that might look childish to a new slots player mean the world to an older casino enthusiast who has been playing the slots for decades.
Modern slot machines often stick to the older fruit model no matter how advanced their designs are. They know that most of the casino experience is based on habit, and they don’t wish to take away from individual experience.
1. Sentimental Value
Players usually gravitate towards the older fruit symbol-based machines because they remind them of the past. No matter how good the newer machines look, they might still float towards the older ones to bring back memories of when they were young players.
These slots are much simpler and easier to understand. You know that you have to get a certain amount of fruits in a row to hit the jackpot. You don’t need to remember many symbols or get lost in what the symbols mean.
3. It Appeals to the Child Within
Vibrant colors and quirky symbols attract the child within us. The more striking the color, the more it grasps our attention. Not everyone wants to play with card symbols as they might have never played them and can’t relate!
Slot machines are based on a lot more than betting. Not everyone aims for just monetary benefits. It is important to note that slot machines mean a lot more to most people. They are a way to connect to the past for those who have played for some time. They might be a way to escape the monotony of daily life for others.
Monotony might be hard to beat through drab colors and confusing symbols. But everyone loves quirky and vibrant fruits flipping on a screen. You don’t really need to think much about fruits. All you need to do is spin! The slots will do the rest.