It's not until you start playing a slot machine that you might notice it has fruit symbols on the reels. Why are these symbols so popular, and can they be considered a form of digital art? SOSgame.com
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Fruit symbols are used because they're universally recognized and because they're one of the few images that can be placed in front of any other symbol, without changing how much it pays out. This means, for example, if you were playing with a dollar machine and had three cherries lined up, your payout would be $3. No more and no less.
The symbol means just as much as the number of coins put in the machine. This is why you'll see that if you get three cherries, your payout is $3. If you get three plums, it's still $3. The payout is based on whatever symbol happens to be on the reels at any given time, regardless of what those symbols actually mean or how they're used in context with each other.
The history behind Fruit Symbols in Slot Machines
All fruit symbols have deep roots in European culture. This is because slot machines were first invented in the US by Charles Fey
, who was inspired by the machines he saw in Europe. The fruits used were cherries, lemons, oranges, plums, and melons – all of which were originally chosen for their bright colors. They also had a long history of being used in card games like poker and blackjack.
Of course, slot machines are now more commonly found as part of public gaming systems than they are in casinos or on cruise ships (though this is starting to change), so there's really no reason to have symbols that relate exclusively to Europeans anymore.
The way slot machines use symbols has, at times, changed over the years. For example, the cherry symbol was originally accompanied by a bell that sounded when that symbol appeared on the reels. This was phased out in favor of just letting the sound play without a bell during this time. However, due to complaints from players about losing because they weren't used to hearing the bell and assumed there was a jackpot on (which could mean many thousands of dollars), it was brought back and is now standard equipment. The bells are still never used with other symbols like the seven or bar symbol.
Inclusion of Visual Art in Gambling
Today, slot machines are not only used to provide entertainment but also as a way of raising money for charities. Many slots have community-oriented themes and donate some of their proceeds to good causes. Though the look and feel of these machines usually stays the same, it is at least a step in the right direction toward using art to fill the void between entertainment and gambling.
Another interesting point about slot machines is that because they're designed to be addictive, players will often feel compelled to keep feeding those coins even after they've lost what little money they came with.
Psychology of Slot Machines
The psychology of slot machines is fascinating, as you would expect from something that can so easily be addictive. The same can be said for gambling in general – though here it's important to note that gambling addiction is different from slot machine addiction or any other form of gambling.
You'll likely have noticed that slots can payout up to millions of dollars. With each roll, players are often competing against each other so that they can steal a win and get the most money on one spin (though this is not always the case).
One of the tactics used by casinos is to make losing on slots more acceptable when you're playing something like a nickel machine than when you're playing something like quarter machines. This way, players who start losing will try their luck elsewhere because they're not used to seeing so little money payout so often. When they can afford to move up and put more money into the machine, they'll play longer and enjoy it less. At their core, slot machines are still just games of chance.
Slot machines are easy to understand – they're a simple game
where you put money in, pull the handle, and hope your coins come up on the reels. However, with all of these symbols and features, it's important to remember that they aren't games of chance at all. Players who play slots look forward to them; they might even act like they're not having fun, but they're really just looking for that one big win that's going to turn their luck around.