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What Does BAR Mean On A Slot Machine?

What Does BAR Mean On A Slot Machine?

Classic 3 reel slot machines are the foundation of modern online slot games. Aside from having an exciting fruit theme, these one-armed bandits would spring into action if you pulled the lever. Some of their symbols included melons, cherries, lemons, plums, oranges, a 7, and a BAR symbol. 

The BAR symbol is one of the most important fruit machine symbols. But did you know there’s a significant history behind it? We’ll answer the question ‘what does BAR mean on a slot machine?’ in our article below.

Why Do Slot Machines Say BAR On Their Reels?

The BAR symbol on slot machines is hard to miss. It’s one of the main symbols in a classic fruit-machine-themed slot. BAR symbols don’t have any unique properties like wilds or scatters would. Instead, they can land randomly alongside the other standard symbols, such as grapes, 7s, lemons, plums, cherries, etc.

However, one of the main distinguishing factors of BAR symbols is sometimes they can land as singles, doubles, or triple symbols. Of course, this depends on which type of game you play. BARs are difficult to ignore because they’re typically among the highest-paying symbols.

Where Did The BAR Symbol On Slot Machines Come From?

Gum inspired the BAR symbols. Their history dates back to the 1900s, during the gambling ban in the US. Gambling dens wanted to find ways of compensating their customers without breaking any laws. So, they thought of offering gum as a payout as opposed to cash.

History lists Mills Novelty Company as the first to create one-armed bandit fruit slot machines. It was easy to recognise the company logo, a stick of gum. Therefore, Mills incorporated the rectangular pack of gum in their slot machines. It evolved into the BAR symbol we’re familiar with today.

Chewing gum isn’t complete without a range of flavours; hence the lemons, cherries, oranges, and grapes that also appear on the reels.

What Does BAR Stand For On A Slot Machine?

The BAR symbol isn’t an acronym but rather a nod to the famous pack of gum by Mills Novelty Company. It’s a common feature in nearly every traditional slot game, including classic 3×3 and 5×3 machines.

In some games, they can appear in different colours in a box as singles, doubles, or triples. But, of course, each would have a different payout depending on the rules stated. 

So, in 3-reel, 3-payline slots, it would typically take 3 matching BAR symbols landing simultaneously to trigger a winning payout. In addition, it may require 3 to 5 matching BAR symbols to land simultaneously in a multi-payline slot to land a winning payout. However, this varies from slot to slot, so it’s always best to check the paytable before playing.

Note that BAR symbols land randomly, so you might not always see them when you spin the reels on a classic fruit slot machine.


The saying ‘the past inspires the future’ has never been more apparent than when considering retro slot games. They inspired the constantly evolving modern online slots we have at King Casino. Knowing the history of the symbols you see in your favourite online slot games can help to appreciate how far the industry has come.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this slot game are subject to change at any time.