What are Scatter Symbols?

Bank of Slot Machines

One of the most important things in any form of gaming or gambling is to clearly understand the rules before you take your seat; when it comes to online slots the scatter symbol is your best friend.

Today’s latest video and online slot machines are only slightly reminiscent of the three reel spinners of old. The new age of slot machines brings more reels, a plethora of pay lines, advanced rule sets and even interactive animated bonus rounds.

While the scatter symbol isn’t technically a new idea, the way they are being used is truly revolutionary.

The Original Scatter

The original scatter symbols were the red cherries. While a win on a slot machine requires lining up like symbols on most or all of the reels on a pay-line, the double cherries will pay out regardless of where they show up, and what they align to.

The more scatter symbols you hit on a single spin, the more money you will win from them. While the amount won from scatter symbols is typically minimal, it’s both better to win than not and the winnings attributed to the symbols will be combined with any winning lines on the same spin.


While this feature was a welcomed addition to the functionality of the classic slot machine, today’s usage of has empowered scatter symbols like never before.

The New Day of Digital Slots

Once slot machines began being controlled by computers instead of mechanics, designers had the ability to create more intricate rule sets. One of the most exciting was the invention of bonus features.

Activated by hitting a specific number of scatter symbols on a single spin, the bonus round on today’s machines can be anything from a number of free spins to fully interactive bonus games.

On some of the newer machines it’s possible to “stack” bonus features. For example, hitting a bonus of ten free spins, followed by a second bonus multiplying all your winnings allows you to reap the rewards of two active bonuses at the same time.

What can you Get?

The specific details of what you can win from scatter symbols changes from machine to machine. Some machines have none, while others have multiple. Be sure to read the rules of the machine first so you know what to root for when you set the reels in motion.

For example, if you get three idols (the scatter symbol) on the Aztec Treasure online slot machine you will be awarded free spins. The more idols you find the more free spins you will accrue. Finding idols during your free spins will increase your winnings and possibly add even more free spins.


On the other hand, getting three eggs in T-Rex will bring you to a bonus round where you get to choose your award by clicking on one of the eggs on the screen. Inside the egg will be a number of free spins. Finding a T-Rex on the third reel during your free spins will have the T-Rex devour all other dinosaurs, a both awesome and profitable act of natural selection.

More the Better

Regardless of what machine you’ve picked to play one thing is certain: the more scatter symbols you get, the more you’re going to win.

So no matter what you choose to play, root for eggs, idols, bee-hives and elves. Get into bonus rounds and shower in the spoils. Or at least enjoy your free spins as you get ‘em.