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Scatter Symbols

Have you ever come devastatingly close to hitting a winning combination on a pokie, only to get nothing in return? Maybe a symbol landed just one position off of a jackpot, or there was a single gap in what would have been five-in-a-row for a big win.

The good news is that there are some symbols that can win prizes for you no matter where they appear on the reels. These symbols are known as scatters, and they can win players prizes no matter where they appear on a poker machine.

What is a Scatter Symbol?

A scatter is any symbol that doesn’t require a standard left-to-right pattern in order to score wins on a pokie, instead paying off based solely on the number of that symbol that appear anywhere on the reels. Some bonus symbols also work this way; however, while scatter symbols may lead to bonus games, a symbol usually has to offer some kind of prize in order to count as a scatter. Along with wilds, scatters are probably one of the two most common special symbols found in online pokies.

How Scatter Symbols Work

Scatter symbols are mixed right in with the standard prize winning symbols on each reel. At the end of a given spin, the number of scatter symbols appearing anywhere on the reels is totalled by the poker machine; if at least a minimum number appear, then a prize will be awarded. Typically, it takes two or three scatters to start triggering prizes.

While scatters can award flat coin prizes, they more commonly give prizes based on the total amount bet on a given spin. For instance, a player might get 10 times their bet if they hit three scatters, 25 times their bet for four, and 100 times for the maximum of five scatters.

Scatter symbols are often tied to bonus rounds. A typical scatter bonus is a free spins game that is awarded if a player hits three or more scatter symbols; hitting additional symbols might sometimes entitle a player to even more free spins. Of course, other bonus rounds can be connected to scatters, too, and in some rare cases, hitting the maximum number of scatter symbols might even be the way to trigger a progressive jackpot.

Benefits of Scatter Symbols

There are a lot of reasons why so many pokies utilize scatter symbols as a part of their design. For starters, they are an easy way to add some variety to gameplay by giving players another way they could win a major prize. Simply tracking paylines can get boring after a while, so scatters offer a twist that’s easy to understand. Even on spins where it’s obvious after two or three reels that a standard prize can’t be won, the potential for scatter prizes might be there, making every spin just a little more exciting.

Scatters are also an easy way to make slots fun even for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on each spin. On modern video pokies, it might take multiple coins on dozens of paylines in order to full activate a machine, which can quickly get expensive. Players don’t have to spend that much money if they don’t want to, but that decision comes with a downside: it can be disappointing to play a pokie with so many possibilities only to have most of them locked off to you.

That’s where scatters can be handy. Even if you play just one coin on one line, you are normally eligible to win scatter prizes anywhere on the reels. Since scatter wins normally pay out based on how much was bet on a spin, players can have just as good a chance of winning a scatter prize even on a single coin: they’ll just win less money if the scatter hits.

For these reasons and more, scatters are a great addition to just about any poker machine. If you join up at an online casino site, you’ll find that most of the pokies there feature some kind of scatter symbol in them. No matter what kind of pokies player you are, it’s easy to find machines that include scatter symbols.

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