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Slot Machine Symbols: Standard, Scatter, and Wild Slot Symbols

Online gaming has developed by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Games like online slots have become more complex, with bonus games and free spins in different combinations. Scatter and wild symbols add a different dynamic to the game and another level of excitement. These symbols have different functions from one game to another, but they follow standard rules regarding how they function and are applied.

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Standard Symbols

Standard symbols in slots machinesSlot machines come in more genres and themes than you can imagine. We can't discuss every single one of them, but luckily they function more or less the same. The symbols the game uses are often linked to this theme in some way. Standard or face symbols have different values that depend on how many of them appear on a payline. If you land 3 or more of these symbols on a payline, you will win the corresponding credit value.

Although the images which represent the symbols differ, some games like to use well-known symbols like the card suits and numbers or the old-school fruits most gamblers will have seen before.

The most popular card numbers that slots use are the 10, Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K), and Ace (A) characters. Other games might prefer cherries, oranges, plums, lemons, or other fruits representing the standard symbols.

These standard symbols are usually on the bottom of the list in value and accompanied by game-specific images related to the theme. Characters from the game's story might represent them, elements like pyramids in an Egyptian-themed game, or Lucky 7 or Bar symbols that are usually considered to be of higher value than other classic symbols.

Whether these symbols are at the top or the bottom of the value list, they are all still considered standard symbols. This is because they have no other ability other than their value within a payline. However, not all symbols in an online slot are as limited.

Example of Standard symbols
Example of Standard symbols
Standart 10 symbol in the Book of Aztec Standart Joker symbol in the Book of Aztec Standart Queen symbol in the Book of Aztec
10 Joker Queen

Wild Symbols

Wild Symbols in slotsWild symbols aren't a new addition to slot games, but they have gained more and more abilities over the years. The original wild symbol was created to act as a joker and match with any symbol other than the scatters to make more or longer matches within pay lines.

The wild's abilities have grown and increased their value in the game. Some wilds spread across the board, freeze in their place, or stack on each other for bigger wins. Some might even randomly roll across the board and replace another symbol after a spin.

Spreading or expanding wilds can change symbols to wilds across rows or reels, or even the entire board. Stacked wilds appear in the rows on top of one other and aid in matches and gain rewards. Frozen or sticky wilds will remain for one extra spin or until reward or free spins are done.

There is no limit to the abilities developers give to wilds, and we are sure you will find some not discussed here. Not every game chooses to utilize all possible wild abilities and others might only use them in bonus rounds. The house would like to keep its advantage after all.

Example of Wild symbols
Example of Wild symbols
Wild symbol in Amazing Amazonia Wild symbol in Cleopatra WIld symbol in Da Vinci Diamonds
Amazing Amazonia Cleopatra Da Vinci Diamonds

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols in slotsThe last symbol that pops up in many slot games is the scatter symbol. They have a range of abilities, but they share one key trait. This is that they do not need to appear on a payline to offer a reward. Whether you need one scatter or 3 to trigger a prize or bonus round, the scatters don't need to be matched in the predetermined paylines.

Scatters' abilities range from access to bonus rounds or trigger free spins or multipliers. Some games only require the appearance of one scatter for the reward to be accessed, others need three. The scatter might have a value beyond its reward too. Three to five of the scatter symbols might have the highest coin or credit value in the game.

The images or animations that represent scatters might be related to the game's themes or might be the same as the higher ranking symbols of other games like the Lucky 7, Bar, gold stars, etc. It might also be the game logo or emblem as it’s all down to what the developer wants.

Scatter symbols can grant you access to bonus rounds that have free spins, or mini pick-and-play games. Some developers layer these bonus rounds and make you go through rounds within the game to search for bigger prizes.

Example of Scatter symbols
Example of Scatter symbols
Scatter symbol in Amazing Amazonia Scatter symbol in Cleopatra Scatter symbol in Da Vinci Diamonds
Amazing Amazonia Cleopatra Da Vinci Diamonds

It can be both

Wild and Scatter symbols in slotsSome developers will pool the abilities of a symbol and give it elements of a scatter and a wild. One of the symbols might act as a wild, while 3 of the same symbols in one spin might grant you free spins or access to a bonus round.

The choice to blend the two functions of the symbols might simplify the game or add more rewards. It still holds the excitement of looking for that symbol to come up and hear the music build to its appearance.

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Slot Machine SymbolsNewcomers to the slot machine world might find a screen full of symbols a little confusing, but there is no reason the fret. Most symbols have similar abilities, and all slot machines will have a neatly set-out paytable that explains all the features and functions. Each game might have unique images, but they are similar enough to become quickly recognizable.

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