Scatter Symbols: What Are They and How They Work

Apr 23, 2020 | Reading time: 6 Minutes

When we think about gambling, the first thing that comes to our minds may be a spinning reel, the BAR symbol, or just the classic Las Vegas bells and cherries. Slots are gamblers’ favorites, thanks to the fact that they are accessible and easy to play. They come in many forms, from the vintage-Vegas looking ones to the ultra-modern 3D interfaces.

But what makes people win at slots? And if combination and luck are everything, how are these combinations made, and most importantly, how do we trigger free spins? The answer to all these questions lies in the scatter symbol, a fundamental online gambling concept we will discuss in the text below.

What is a Scatter Symbol? - Definition

When activating free spins for the first time without reading anything about slots you may think that the game has some sort or artificial intelligence that randomly activates the bonus with no criterion or sense. However, the slots logic is very serious and complex. As a spoiler alert, most of the slot’s logic in terms of activating free bonuses stands on Scatter symbols. In order to understand slot machines, we have to understand that scatter symbols represent a big part of them. 

The Scatter is a certain symbol that needs to show up on your reel in a spin in order to trigger a win. A slot’s Scatter can be identified by exploring the game’s menu or the “i” button, where the paytable is. Note that not all games feature a Scatter. The most important thing about Scatter symbols and how these work is that they are these icons that can’t be replaced by wilds, and help trigger some of the most important bonuses of the slot game itself.

Scatter Symbols Functionalities in Online Slots

These are two main in-game elements that Scatter symbols can trigger in an online slot:

  • Free Spins

Free Spins are the most popular type of special feature in an online slot game, and are usually triggered by from 3 to 5 Scatter symbols. For example, in Yggdrasil Gaming’s Arthur’s Fortune landing 3, 5, or 7 Scatters can give you 7, 10, or 14 free spins along with wild conversions.

  • Mini-Games

A certain number of Scatters can also trigger bonus mini-games in online slots. These usually come with multipliers or a pick a box game where you have to select a mystery win from various objects, such as ancient Egyptian treasures, aquatic animals, and others, depending on the slots’ theme. 

  • Wheel of Fortune

Some slots feature a wheel of fortune, which is a special type of bonus round. Scatters can activate wheels of bonuses, where you spin your luck to get a prize in the slot. The prize can vary from real cash to free spins. For example, BetSoft’s Good Girl, Bad Girl slot features a wheel of fortune bonus activated by scatter symbols that is worth trying out.


Choosing Which Scatter Symbol Slots to Play

We at strongly advise our players to always try our demo online slots for fun before gambling in a real money casino. Make sure to also take your time in reading and studying the paytable which can be found in the game screen, as it will tell you everything about a certain game’s Scatters, Wilds, free games, and so on. 

For example, in Yggdrasil’s Brazil Bomba pictured below, the paytable can be shown by clicking on the red “i” button down on the left. The “i” button is usually the paytable in most online casino games. Others show it in their settings or other sections, so that’s why it’s a good thing to explore all the buttons and features in a game.
Yggdrasil Brazil Bomba scatter symbols

How to Find Scatter Symbols Slots

These are almost everywhere, but we at have a wide selection of online slots, and many of them feature a Scatter symbol. Here are some of them:

Even more of these can be found in our slots section, where you can try a variety of online slot games of all categories for free, in order for you to make an opinion about them before fueling your casino account with your first deposit.


What is the difference between Scatter free spins and bonus offer free spins?

As said above, the main purpose of Scatter symbols is to trigger bonus rounds and free spins when they occur on the reels in certain combinations. For example, 3 to 5 Scatters can give you from 5 to almost 20 Free Spins in most games. This differs from the free spins bonus offers you can redeem for online casino gameplay in slots, as these types of free games are activated when claiming a no deposit promotion.

Are there slots with no scatter symbols?

Even if it is common, the Scatter symbol is not a requirement for all online slots. Some slots such as Yggdrasil Gaming’s Yokozuna Clash or Endorphina’s Sugar Glider Dice feature no Scatter symbol in their gameplay.

Are there slots with multiple scatters?

Yes. As an example, NetEnt’s Rise of Maya pictured below features additional scatters that trigger in various game modes, such as the Bonus Bet feature. This is a second chance the game is offering you, where you get more and more Scatters.
NetEnt Rise of Maya ScatterAs a conclusion, Scatter symbols represent a certain symbol that will show up on the reels and may trigger additional bonuses and wins. Usually, the Scatter is an iconic and easy to recognize motif, such as the Book Scatter in Book of Ra. 

You can always check an online casino slot’s paytable before trying anything else. Just choose a CasinoFreak trusted online casino, pick your slot of choice, and start spinning right now. Good luck to you, player!

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