How do scatter and wild symbols work in online slot games?

When playing online slot games, you’ll notice certain symbols that act differently than normal symbols. These special symbols – scatters and wilds – unlock bonuses, lead to bigger payouts and add excitement to your gaming experience. 

Scatter symbols are special icons that trigger prizes or bonuses when multiple appear anywhere on the reels, even if they are not on an active payline. Scatters usually appear with colorful graphics like gemstones, stars, bells, etc. Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatters will award instant payouts based on the game’s paytable.  The main difference between scatters and normal symbols is that scatters pay out regardless of payline betting. As long as you’ve placed a bet and hit the required number of scatters, you’ll win. In addition to payouts, hitting scatter symbols often triggers bonus features like free spins. For example, 3 scatters may award 10 free spins instantly. Free spins continue playing using the same bet amount but without deducting money from your balance. Different games offer varying free spin rewards when you land scatters.

Scatters add excitement since they appear unexpectedly and lead to big wins. They also give you an added chance of winning on every spin regardless of paylines. Wild symbols substitute for other regular symbols to complete winning combinations. For instance, if you need three cherry symbols for a payout but land only two cherries plus a wild, the wild will stand in to count as a third cherry so you win! Wilds essentially act as jokers, replacing any standard symbol required to create better wins. Without wilds, spins that one symbol short of a combo would lose. But with wilds, those near wins are converted into actual wins instead.

  • Wilds only substitute for paying symbols, not other special symbols like scatters.
  • One wild substitute for multiple symbols simultaneously. 
  • Wild wins are usually paid out at the same value as the highest-paying symbol on the line.
  • Stacked wilds span entire reels to create huge wins.

There are also expanding wilds that spread to fill an entire reel after landing. Walking wilds move horizontally or vertically across reels with each spin. And sticky wilds remain locked in place for subsequent spins. Wilds make games more exciting by boosting your payouts on more spins. Balislot88 Symbol combinations formed with them are more likely to win.

Why use special symbols?

  • Trigger Bonuses – As mentioned, scatters often activate bonuses like free spins to add variety.
  • Increase Win Frequency – Wilds and scatters lead to more payouts per spin from standard symbols more likely.
  • Fun Thematic Elements – Special symbols help tie the theme together. For example, in an adventure slot, the wild may be an ancient treasure chest.
  • Create Big Wins – Stacked, expanding, and walking wilds lead to massive multiline payouts.
  • Stand Out – Vibrant scatters and wild animations make games more visually appealing.
  • Strategic Appeal – Players enjoy the strategy of trying to land scatters and get helpful wilds in optimal positions.

Special symbols increase gameplay enjoyment and decrease the time spent waiting for something exciting to happen. That’s why they appear in modern online slots.