Why are there Cherries in Slots?


Want to know a fascinating fact about gambling in the year 2020? If you were to ask a gambler what their favorite game was these days, at least a third of them would say online slots, and that is something confirmed by simply looking at the revenue split in the 21st-century gambling market – follow this link to register at Easy Slots. Oh yes, online slot gambling accounts for over a 1/3rd of all global gambling revenue these days, we wouldn’t blame you for finding this difficult to believe, but it’s true!

There are so many different reasons why online slots and slot machines have become quite that popular, however, a huge part of it is simply down to the fact that slot gambling has become somewhat of an institution over the last century. Fruit machines, in particular, can be seen far and wide, with pubs, bars, and even chip shops having them available. This brings us on to a popular question – why are there cherries in slots? Disclaimer: it’s not just because they taste nice! 

The start of the slot machine story 

The slot machine story begins all the way back in the late 19th century, where a particularly inventive Californian engineer called Charles D. Fey decided he wanted to try and improve the very rudimentary slot machines that were dotted about California. He used his engineering expertise to make the Liberty Bell machine, the first slot machine to ever pay out actual coinage. 

As you might expect, the Liberty Bell quickly took off, spreading across a variety of Californian saloons and bars. Charles D. Fey is, therefore, the slot machine originator, and without him, we wouldn’t have the thriving world of slots that we all enjoy today! 

The illegality of gambling and the rise of the fruit machine  

There was just one small problem when it came to the Liberty Bell machine – gambling was still illegal in the US, and this meant that slot gamblers had to be very secretive, and could only really play the games in shady illegal taverns. It was obviously a winning formula, however, and this is where the rise of the fruit machine happened. 

Engineers quickly adapted Fey’s original Liberty Bell design, and this time it would pay out fruit sweets instead of coins, therefore classing it as a games machine, rather than a gambling one. In order to make the prizes more obvious the symbols were changed, and this is where the cherry icon first appeared. 

20th-century fruit machine craze 

As soon as gambling was legalized in certain parts of the US slot machine gambling could really take off, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the desert city of Las Vegas. By the mid 20th century Las Vegas was an institution, and one of its main attractions were the halls of the impressive slot. 

And what do you think was the main symbol that developers used to make their games look exciting? Cherries of course! A trend that has continued into the present day.