Scatter symbols are special casino symbols on slot machines that start free spin rounds and bonus features. Within those added casino features comes even more additional ways to win with bonus rounds and free spin rounds that often even include multipliers for any casino wins during those rounds. Scatters make many other potential wins possible in addition to the value that they often give just for the symbols themselves.
Way back when the slot machine was invented – even after the transition from their original poker-based precursors – what we today call “scatter” symbols were quite literally impossible. After all, in a single-payline slot machine, how could such a symbol exist? A symbol marked WILD would be enough until slots games were innovated with multiple paylines and five reels.
Right, let’s get down to basics. Let’s assume that we’re talking about a 5-reeler rather than the classic fruit machine-style slot machine. Including in the online milieu, rarely are scatters included in classic slots.
Note that a scatter symbol is *not* a wild; the purpose of the scatter is *not* to fill in (or even make up) winning combinations on an active payline. Instead, the simple appearance of scatters on a single spin – regardless of where they appear – makes a win.
When the lucky player hits the required number of scatters on a single spin (though a few slots games require only two scatter symbols on a single spin, the most typical requirement in a 5-reel game is to hit three scatters), a bonus is awarded: Usually a video bonus round or free spins will be launched. These, of course, pay huge winnings proportionate to the stake wagered.
Most slots with scatters will award extra for landing, likesay, four or five scatters on a single spin. This could mean more free spins in a free games bonus round, or more items to choose in a “pick ‘em” video round. Let’s just say that more is generally lots better.
*A lot*, in fact. In a purely mechanical slot game, the effectiveness (or even basic inclusion) of scatters is limited by technology. Online slot games have thrown off these shackles and are limited only by software; like video rounds themselves, scatters have become a staple of online slots games. Heck, today scatters are hardly considered a special feature!
Not even close! Essentially all the 5-reel slots on this entire website are slot machine games with scatters. What we’ve chosen for display here are those slots with particularly interesting scatters or bonus rounds – or, quite frankly, just our favorite 5-reel titles.
That is an excellent question, and we wish that our hours of research into it online had turned up something, but no. As a noun, “scatter” doesn’t even appear in the abridged Merriam-Webster (American English) dictionary. Its derivation is obvious, if grammatically shaky at best: The scatter symbols may be distributed anywhere, i.e. scattered, on the gameboard.
Fair enough, but who coined the term and when did it first appear? Were these symbols once called by a different name? If anyone out there knows, please inform! This one’s a killer…