What are Scatter Symbols?

When playing slots online, scatter symbols are your best friend. These symbols – typically bearing a theme-related image and the word “scatter” – act as the key to unlocking various bonus features contained within a slot’s design.

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How scatter symbols work

Unlike other symbols that have to line up in a particular combination on an active payline in order for you to win anything, a required number of scatter symbols simply have to show up on the reels within a single spin to trigger the free spins, mini-games, and whatever other win-boosting features the slot has to offer. Scatters also differ from other symbols in that they cannot be replaced by wild symbols.

These symbols are typically one of the highest paying symbols in a slot game too, and payouts awarded when you spin in a set number of scatter symbols are based on a multiple of the amount you wagered on the spin and not just the payline bet. On some slot games the value of those multipliers can go up to a x100, x200 and even x500 your base game staked amount winning payout if all five scatter symbols appear. 

Note that on more complex 5-reel video slots, scatter features will be game-specific – i.e. they will function differently, depending on the game. In some simpler slot games, scatter icons don’t unlock any additional features and just payout on a winning combination. You may not even find them at all on some three-reel slots.

Types of scatter slot games

  • Scatter Pays

    You will find some video slots offer a set of scatter symbols that do nothing more than award a cash prize whenever you spin in a certain number of them anywhere in view on the reels. Note that on these types, the payouts are potentially huge if you land a five-of-a kind combination – i.e. one scatter symbol on every single reel within a single spin.

  • Free Spins

    There are slot games that not only award you with a bigger loot when you do land more scatter symbols, but the scatters will also trigger the slot’s main bonus game which is more free spins with more chances to win!

  • Unique Scatters

    In some video slot games where the scatter symbols are used to trigger a bonus game, they need to show up in a certain way, e.g. x amount on certain reels only within a single spin, in order to unlock that feature.

  • Wild Scatters

    Another type of scatter symbols you may encounter, are those that double up as wild symbols. And when those wild scatters come spinning in, your chances of winning big are very good!

How to know if a game has a scatter

To find any back-end information on a slot, you have to click on the game’s paytable, which will be easily accessible from the screen. Here you will find all the information pertaining to that slot, including scatters, wild and bonus elements. In fact, it’s always a good ideal to check out a game’s paytable before playing – that way you will understand its potential, what type of symbols you’ll find, and how they work individually, and in a combination, to trigger bonus features and enhance wins.

Tips for playing slots with scatter symbols

  • When looking for slots to play opt for those video slots that offer scatter symbols that not only award cash payouts, but unlock some form of bonus feature too. 
  • With scatter games – even if you only spin a single payline, you have exactly the same odds of triggering the bonus feature/s as a player who plays multiple paylines.
  • There is a wide range of slots that feature bonus games triggerable by scatters. So, to keep things exciting and varied, why not play as many of them as you can?
  • Remember to make use of paytables to get to grips with the mechanics and rules of the game, as well as how the scatter symbols pay, before you start to play. Also, take advantage of free slots to boost your competence and confidence.