Symbols and special features of slot machines explained
Symbols in online slots are the special icons that pay out according to the paytable when you manage to create a winning combination on an active payline. When it comes to special features, these are some of the most common symbols you will come across in online slot machines:
- Common symbols
- Wild symbols
- Scatter symbols
- Bonus symbols
- Multiplier symbols
The common symbols are high-paying and low-paying symbols from a game’s paytable. They do not usually have the function of activating bonus rounds, but on the other hand they can pay out when a winning combination is landed. In most slot games, low-paying symbols are in the form of letters and numbers. The same goes for the high-paying symbols, which can be simple or shaped to fit the theme of the game.
Wild symbols are among the most popular bonus symbols. They may or may not have a value, but they usually play a role in building winning combinations. If they land as part of a win, wild symbols will almost always substitute for other symbols to increase your chances of creating multiple wins. In addition, wild symbols can come in different shapes and colours. Some of the most popular are Expanding Wilds, Multiplier Wilds, Sticky Wilds and Stacking Wilds.
In all slot machines, scatter symbols tend to be the most popular. Like Wild symbols, they don’t always pay, but their main function is to help you activate Free Spins, respins or other special bonus rounds. Usually you need to land at least three Scatters anywhere on the reels of the base game to trigger the bonus game. In some cases, however, they must land on specific reels for the next level to be reached.
Bonus symbols are similar to Scatter symbols in that they can also trigger bonus games. Bonus symbols are less common in classic slots but appear regularly in more modern slots. Landing six or more bonus symbols activates a jackpot bonus game or a jackpot wheel in jackpot slots. In other slots, bonus symbols can trigger other special games and features.
Multipliers are quite trendy but you won’t find them in all slot machines. As the name suggests, depending on the game, they can increase your bets by an enticing amount. Some games can come with multipliers of 2x, 10x, 100x and more. Others may have progressive or sticky multipliers. They usually appear during bonus rounds, but some games may also have small non-progressive multipliers that are added to the base game.