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The Historical Significance of the "BAR" Symbol on Slot Machines

One of the most enduring symbols in the world of slot machines is the iconic "BAR" symbol. Slot players often wonder about the meaning behind this symbol and its connection to the fruit-themed slots. In this article, we delve into the history of slot machines to uncover the significance of the "BAR" symbol.

What is the "BAR" Symbol?
The "BAR" symbol is a common payout symbol in fruit-themed slots, typically depicted as the letters "BAR" enclosed in a small box. Some slots feature multiple iterations of the "BAR" symbol, with two or three "BAR" words stacked on top of each other. Different fruit slots assign varying values to the "BAR" symbol, often positioning it as the second-highest or mid-tier payout symbol, sandwiched between the 7 and fruit symbols. The inclusion of fruit symbols adds a retro aesthetic to these slots.

History of the "BAR" Symbol
The origin of the "BAR" symbol on slot machines can be traced back to the early 1900s when gambling was strictly prohibited in the United States. To circumvent these restrictions, establishments began offering gum as a payout instead of cash. The flavors of the gum, such as cherries and lemons, often found their way onto the reels of fruit-themed slots. These slots could be found in bars or speakeasies, hence the association with the "BAR" symbol.

In 1909, the Industry Novelty Company introduced the first mechanical fruit slot machines. Shortly after, the Mills Novelty Company, based in Chicago, made a modification to their slots by incorporating a "BAR" symbol within the reels. Initially, the Mills Novelty Company featured a photo of a gum pack on the reels, which was later replaced by the "BAR" symbol that we are familiar with today.

Meaning of the "BAR" Symbol on Slot Machines
The precise meaning of the "BAR" symbol on slot machines remains a subject of debate among historians. One theory suggests that the symbol was derived from the logo of the Bell-Fruit Gum Company, which resembled an elongated version of the familiar "BAR" symbol. According to this theory, winning combinations on the payline would dispense gum from the Bell-Fruit Gum Company.

While this theory is intriguing, some historians find it difficult to believe since there were few gum companies selling bars or packs of gum at the time fruit slots were introduced. Another theory proposes that the "BAR" symbol served as a promotional symbol for upcoming gum packs that were not yet available to the public.

Most Popular Online "BAR" Slots
Relive the nostalgia of classic slot machines by playing various online slots featuring the "BAR" symbol. Here are three popular games known for their exciting features:

    1. Twin Spin - Netent:
      NetEnt's Twin Spin is a minimalist fruit slot that features the Twin Reel feature. During this feature, two to five random reels synchronize and display identical symbols. With 243 ways to win and wild symbols, achieving three Twin Reels from the left can result in significant wins. The "BAR" symbol in this game rewards 15 coins for matching 3 symbols, 100 coins for matching 4, and 400 coins for matching 5.

    2. Progressive Diamond Jackpot - Betsoft:
      Betsoft's Progressive Diamond Jackpot is a one-payline slot that evokes the style of 1970s Las Vegas. The game includes "BAR" symbols in single, double, and triple stacked versions, with larger stacks offering higher payouts. Matching three of any "BAR" symbols rewards four coins. The slot also features cherry, 7, and diamond symbols, with the possibility of winning a progressive jackpot by matching three diamonds while betting 3 coins.

    3. Retro Reels: Diamond Glitz - Microgaming:
      Microgaming's Retro Reels: Diamond Glitz exudes luxury and fortune with its classic symbols. The game includes "BAR" symbols in single, double, and triple stacked versions, along with three different diamond symbols. Matching three different "BAR" symbols yields payouts of 5 coins for three symbols, 20 coins for four symbols, and 75 coins for five symbols.

The "BAR" symbol on slot machines carries a rich historical significance rooted in the early days of gambling and gum distribution. Its association with speakeasies and gum payouts adds to the charm and nostalgia of fruit-themed slots. By playing popular online slots that feature the "BAR" symbol, players can relive the magic of classic slot machines and potentially win exciting rewards.