Scatter symbols are pretty commonplace in the world of online slots, so most of you probably already know what they are; or you will at least have heard of the term. We like to make sure that our readers are full informed, so if you have no idea what it is or how it influences your slot game then we’re here to assist.
Having a scatter symbol in slots helps attract players, because they are a bonus element to the game. To win you normally have to land a set number of symbols on a pay line, which can take some time. Scatter symbols can bypass that process, because in some slots they only have to appear once, and you will win. This could be free spins, entry into a mini game or a raft of other bonuses.
So, what are scatter symbols in slots and why can you find them on pretty much every online slot game?
How Scatter Symbols Affect Slot Games
We’ve already established that slots work on pay lines or ways, which generally starts from the left. To win you have to line up three or more symbols on the reel in a specific pattern which is indicated within the pay table.
As a way to add more excitement and break up the basic reel patterns, modern slots introduced the scatter symbol. The original scatter in early fruit machines was a red cherry, which wasn’t bound by the same restrictions as the other symbols.
On most games they are the highest paying symbol and by landing a certain number of scatters, you will enjoy a bonus reward. For many games it tends to be 3, 4 or 5 scatters, but there are some where a specific arrangement is needed to trigger the bonus round. Most game designers use the scatter as an overall representation of the game, so for example on Piggy Riches from NetEnt you will find the Lady Pig with her many gifts and in Cleopatra it is the Sphinx.
For most slots, landing a scatter will trigger a bonus feature which predominantly is an interactive game. As you can imagine it will vary on each slot, so unfortunately we cannot provide more detail. There are some games though which don’t offer the bonus round and instead you are paid a set number of coins for winning a combination including the scatter.
You may come across a slot game which doesn’t have any scatter symbols, but they tend to be the older 3-reel options. If you want to make sure the game you have chosen has a scatter, then our advice is to head to the pay table. They are the guidelines on how that game will work, including the symbols you should expect to see, any winning combinations and pay outs.
So, what does all of this mean? Basically, that scatter symbols will vary on each game, so what you will find on one you won’t in another. If you’re set on one specific game, then before you play, we’d recommend checking out the return to player (RTP) and the volatility of the game.
Due to the fact that slots with scatter symbols tend to have larger payouts, you will find that they have a lower RTP and a higher volatility or variance. This means that you will enjoy bigger wins, even though they may not be very often.
Scatter Symbols on Video Slot Games
If you have played online slots for a while, then you will probably remember the old skool games with the basic reels and symbols. The revolution of online gaming came with the introduction of video slots. They added an element to our gambling experience and brought the games to life, with storylines, animation, and 3D graphics. The element of a story being added through video clips, helped bring the bonus features into the main slot.
Summary of What Are Scatter Symbols in Slots
There are higher expectations from gamblers than there used to be because players get bored with the basic old-style reels. This is why elements such as wilds and scatters were added, so that players had the excitement of new ways to win bonus credit and free spins.
Before you register on any gambling site, always ensure that they are registered with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). To get a licence from the UKGC the sites are required to adhere to strict guidelines, which are aimed to protect players. You can check your casino by heading to the UKGC site, where you will see the option to search for a licensee. After typing in the name of the casino or betting site you can see if they are active or not.
Some of our favourite options are.
All of these incredible sites have a wide library of slot games from the top designers, and most of them will have scatters. They have become a staple of the slots industry for a very good reason, and next time you come across one you will probably see why!
As well as this guide we have others including Why Play Casino Games Online, Casino House Edge UK Explained and Slot Game Autoplay Ban.