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What is a 'Scatter Symbol' in online slots?

Looking for the answer to 'what is a Scatter symbol and how do they work?'. Well, you've come to the right place. As a gaming supplier, Scatters are something we know very well. So, if you're new to online slots our back-to-basics guides are the perfect go-to answer for any who, what and why questions you may have about online slots.

"What is a Scatter?" banner

If you have ever ventured into the world of online slots, you are sure to have come across the term ‘Scatter’. To the uninitiated, this may seem like an unknown language. But this is actually a key term for slot games. If you are wondering what does scatter mean in slots, this guide is exactly what you need to learn about how they work and why they are so vital to slot games.



So, what is a Scatter?

Scatter symbols are the key to unlocking Special Features like Bonus Rounds and Free Spins in many slot games. Landing the Scatter symbol can also unleash bigger wins for players. These symbols generally have the highest payouts and the graphic representing the symbol is closely linked to the theme of the online slot.


Take Play'n GO's infamous Book of Dead, the Scatter in this game is the tomb tying the narrative of finding the Book of Dead within the tomb. To unlock the Free Spins you much land three Scatters to unlock the tomb and reveal the book.


Most importantly, the Scatter symbols offer payouts even if they do not appear on a winning payline. 



How do Scatter symbols work?

Slot players are often on the lookout for the Scatter symbol to land on the reels. The Scatter takes on different values in different games but often is the value of the symbol that pays the highest in any game.


It can land anywhere on the reels. But usually, only one Scatter can land on a single reel. In some cases, it acts as the wild symbol also, in which case it can appear on the same reel as the first scatter symbol but as a higher-value symbol.  

Depending on the slot game being played, whether it's a 5x3 video slot or a grid slot, a certain number of scatter symbols must land on the reels in a single spin in order to activate specific features. For instance, landing three scatters on the reels in Boat Bonanza on Play'n GO triggers free spins.


Similarly, the scatter symbol in the Myth slot game, which is a golden amphora jug, is also responsible for activating the free spins feature. If you land three or more golden amphora jug symbols on the reels, it unlocks 15 free spins and a great cash prize. This feature also raises the multiplier to x3. Moreover, continuing to land Scatters can retrigger up to 60 Free Spins.



Types of bonuses offered by Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols unleash different types of bonuses and features in slot games, usually when landing a certain number of them on the reels. This includes Free Spins, in which the number of free spins awarded by the Scatter symbols is different for different games. Some games can even give you up to 120 spins!


Then there are features such as Expanding Scatters where these symbols expand across an entire reel and help to make your payouts bigger.  And there are also some Scatters that trigger other bonus games which have additional sets of features that are activated by landing special Scatter symbols. Sometimes, you can choose between the features or they all play out one by one. 



How to see if a slot has a Scatter

Not all slot games have the Scatter symbol and the features that accompany it. But every slot has a paytable where this information is easily available. 


In some cases, like our Book of Dead slot, the same symbol acts as the Wild as well as the scatter. This particular game has a tomb symbol that does the job of both. Not only does it substitute for other symbols to form winning paylines, but five Scatter symbols together can also get you wins of up to x200 your bet.



Anubis with glowing Ankh
Ankh of Anubis Stacked Wild

Other symbols found in online slots


The Scatter is only one of the types of symbols that can be found in a slot game. There are, of course, standard symbols that appear in the base game. In most slots, these are the card symbols with slightly different appearances for each game (10, J, Q, K, A).


Then come the higher-paying symbols which are specific to the theme of the game. For instance, a slot based on Norse mythology might have Vikings, warriors and Norse gods as symbols.


Most slot games have a Wild symbol, which is also a Special Symbol that is unique to the game. Like in Ankh of Anubis, the great Ancient Egyptian god serves as the Wild - you can find all of our Ancient Egyptian-themed slots here.


And finally, there are Bonus symbols that make less frequent landings on the reels but are accompanied by thrilling Bonus Features.



Looking for the best online slots to demo for free and want to put your new Scatter knowledge to the test? Head over to our games page where you can find Play'n GO's huge portfolio of premium online slots.


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