Scatter Slots

Scatter slots have symbols that you can match anywhere on the reels regardless of their position and can unlock bonus games or give cash prizes.

Scatter symbols and scatter features are a staple among online slot machines since they can achieve exciting functions not found in mechanical slots. From unlocking secret bonus modes to giving an instant payout, slot scatter symbols come in a variety of forms.  

In this article, we provide an in-depth guide on what you can expect from scatter slots.

Scatter Symbol Basic

Scatter symbols are symbols you can match anywhere on the reels regardless of their position.

This is a major feature in 5x3 reels since you need at least three similar symbols to appear on the first three columns to get a win. Thanks to scatter symbols, you can get a small return when at least three of these symbols appear on the reels.

Having scatter symbols give cash prizes isn't always enough to entice players which is why a majority of modern scatter slots use scatter symbols to trigger their bonus features such as free spins and mini-games. In almost every slot machine, scatter symbols will still give players a return on their bet even if they trigger the game's bonus feature.

Types of Scatter Symbols

There are four kinds of slot machine scatter symbols. Below is a detailed discussion on each of them:

Free-Spins Scatter

Matching at least 3 free-spins scatter symbols entitles you to several free games. These free-spins usually range from 5 to 10 spins. Wage amounts and active paylines for each free game are based on the last spin when you trigger the bonus feature.

For most games, matching more than 3 scatter symbols entitles you to more free spins. If you were to get 10 free spins for every 3 scatters, you can get 20 free spins for 4 scatters or 50 free spins for 5 scatters. In addition, most free spin modes let you get more free games when you match at least three scatter symbols.

Scattered Wilds

Certain slots have scatter symbols that turn into wild symbols where scatters can act as substitutes for other symbols in the game. A handful of slot machines have their wild symbols have the function of scatter symbols where matching a certain number of them can trigger the game's bonus function.

A slot machine paying out

On the other hand, there are bonus features that turn scatter symbols into wild ones. What makes scattered wilds appealing, whether they are wilds during the base game or have the ability to substitute symbols in the bonus game, is that they lessen the number of useless symbols on the reels. Thanks to slot machine scatter wild symbols, you have better odds at matching high valued symbols.

Bonus Game Scatters

Slot machines that do not have a free-spins mode usually have a bonus mini-game instead. These bonus mini-games are triggered by matching at least three scatter symbols.

Bonus games also come in different kinds, such as the ones where you are given two or more choices. These choices usually involve cash prizes hidden behind objects. There are progressive bonus games where choosing the right object takes you further into the feature where you can win higher payouts. Progressive slots also use bonus games to give you a shot at winning one of their jackpot prizes.

Cash Prize Scatters

These are scatter symbols that payout cash prizes immediately but do not have a second function. Cash prize scatters are much rarer among modern slots since they are the least appealing type. Scatter symbol payouts are the easiest to get since they do not need to fall into any paylines for you to match them.

A majority of slot machine scatter symbols that trigger free-spins modes or a mini-game can give players cash payouts. This is why simple cash prize scatters that do not have a secondary function seem lacking for most players. On the other hand, the payouts of a few of these scatters are much higher than what you can get from other scatter symbols.

Scatter Slots Symbols
The types of scatter symbols you will find on scatter slots.

Top 10 Slots with Scatter Symbols

To illustrate the different scatter symbols, below are the top 10 slots with interesting scatter features.

Game NameDeveloperRTPVariance
Blazing MammothPearFiction94.06%Low
Danger High VoltageBig Time Gaming95.67%High
Western GoldJustForTheWin96.12%High
12 Trojan Mysteries4ThePlayer96.50%High
Chilli FiestaPlatipus95.00%Mid
Yucatan's MysteryRed Tiger94.74%High
Book of ImmortalsiSoftBet96.31%Low-Mid
Fishin' Frenzy SlotReel Time Gaming96.12%Low-Mid
Elven Gold JustForTheWin94.09%High
Top 10 Slots With Scatter Symbols

1. Blazing Mammoth

PearFiction's Blazing Mammoth is a 5x3 slot with 20 paylines. This slot simulates the power of a mammoth stampede by using stacked Mammoth Scatter symbols, increasing your chances of filling a column with scatter symbols. Blazing Mammoth's main attraction is its high scatter symbol payout where you get 15x your bet for just three scatters. If you are lucky enough to get 9 Mammoth Scatter symbols, you get the fixed jackpot of 2,000x your wager. Although it has a relatively low RTP of 94.06% and variance at a lower level too.

On top of the massive scatter pay is a generous free-spins mode, which you trigger by getting at least three Free Spins symbols to land on the reels. On the first part of the mode, you spin the reels to determine your bet multiplier and the number of free spins. Once you land on any part of the wheel, you move on to the second part where you spend your free games along with an active bet multiplier.

2. Danger High Voltage

Danger High Voltage from Big Time Gaming has a 6x4 reels structure with a 4096 ways-to-win payline structure. What makes this game stand out is the two free spins mode you can select. Gates of Hell is one of these modes that give you 7 free games with a mechanic that turns random symbols into sticky wilds. Another mechanic of this mode is the additional 3 free spins you receive from having 4 wild symbols on the reels. As well as that huge jackpot this slot offers 95.67% RTP with high variance.

High Voltage is the second bonus mode that gives you 15 free spins and the chance to get x66 your bet if you fill one column with wild symbols. Unlike Gates of Hell where you can only win up to 19 free spins, High Voltage lets you win an indefinite number of free games.

3. Western Gold

Taking you to the Wild West period in Western Gold from Just For The Win with its 5x4 reels and 40 paylines as well as a high RTP of 96.12% and high variance. This slot also has stacked scatter symbols where the Golden Horseshoe Scatter symbol enters the reels in groups of four. With the stacked scatter symbols, you can easily get more than three of these symbols to appear on the reels for instant payouts.

Western Gold's main attraction is the massive scatter symbol payouts when you can get more than 6 scatter symbols to land on the reels, giving you 15x your bet. If you manage to get three columns filled with the Golden Horseshoe Scatter symbol, you walk home with 10,000x your stake.

Western Gold Slot (JustForTheWin)
Western Gold Slot (JustForTheWin)

4. 12 Trojan Mysteries

4ThePlayer's 12 Trojan Mysteries is a 6x4 reel slot with 4096 ways-to-win payline mechanics. This is another game where you can get massive scatter symbol payouts for getting four symbols or more on the reels. Getting four scatters rewards you with 10x your bet. Higher payouts of 100x your bet can be achieved with 5 scatter symbols while 6 scatter symbols can get you 10,000x your wager.

The game offers a 96.5% return to player rate with a high level of volatility.

As if those payouts are not high enough, matching four or more scatter symbols triggers the free spins mode. In this mode, you receive 12 free spins and a Mystery Meter feature. This feature selects each of the 12 symbols of the game in each of your free games with the wild symbol appearing on the last spin. All Trojan Horse Mystery symbols turn into the selected symbol of that free spin.

5. Chilli Fiesta

Chilli Fiesta from Platipus has a 5x4 reel structure and 40 paylines. Scatter symbols in this game trigger the free spins mode of the game without giving any cash payouts. On the flip side, the free spins mode turns all Chili Pepper Scatter symbols into sticky scatter wild ones. As you can tell by that name, all scatter symbols can act as substitutes to other symbols and will stay on the reels throughout your free game.

A jackpot sign

There is also a jackpot feature in the game if you can get at least three reels filled with the Guitar Player symbol, which entitles you to 2,000x your bet. Four reels full of the symbol is equal to 20,000x your wager while covering all five reels with the jackpot symbol gets you 60,000x your bet. As well as that huge jackpot this slot offers 95% RTP and a medium level of volatility.

6. Yucatan's Mystery

Red Tiger's Yucatan's Mystery is a 5x4 reel slot with 30 paylines. Its notable feature is the Mystery Coin symbol, which is a stacked symbol. When a Mystery Coin lands on the reel, all of these symbols turn into one of the slot's ordinary symbols.

Scatter symbols in this game trigger the free spins mode, which includes a moving 2x2 Mystery Coin symbol. You can also extend this mode by having more scatter symbols land on the reels. Yucatan's Mystery is a high variance slot that offers a 94.76% RTP.

7. Book of Immortals

In the Egyptian gods' themed Book of Immortals from iSoftBet, you are playing on 5x3 reels with 10 paylines and can expect a 96.31% RTP with low-mid variance. This game has multi-functional scatter symbols that grant you an instant cash payout and will trigger the free spins mode. In addition, the Blue Scarab scatter symbol acts as a wild symbol by substituting other symbols of the game.

During the free spins mode, a wheel at the top of the reels will select one random Egyptian God symbol. Selected God symbols expand on the column they land on during each of your free games.

8. Mega Joker

Mega Joker from Greentube is a fruit-themed slot with 5x4 reels and 40 paylines. Sticking to its theme, scatter symbols here only give instant cash payouts. Because of this, they have the highest possible payout than other symbols in the game. Mega Joker has a combination of a 95.05% RTP with low-mid variance.

Matching three scatter symbols can get you 320x your bet while matching 4 gets you 1,600x your wager. By getting lucky and matching five scatter symbols, you get a massive payout of 32,000x your wager.

9. Fishin' Frenzy Slot

Reel Time Gaming's Fishin Frenzy is a 5x3 reels slot with 10 paylines. This game's scatter symbol simply triggers the free-spins mode where matching 3 of these symbols can get you 10 free games. This slot has quite a higher RTP of 96.12% as well as low-mid volatility.

During the slot machine free spins mode, there is an Angler symbol in play here. All Fish symbols have random cash prizes on them. If you get an Angler symbol to land on the reels, you win the cash prize attached to any fish symbols.

10. Elven Gold

Elven Gold from JustForTheWin has a 5x4 reel structure and 40 paylines. This game features a Bonus Buy option where you can manually trigger the free-spins mode for 50x your bet. This slot has quite a low return to player rate of 94.09% with high variance.

Scatter symbols in Elven Gold are worth the 50x wager since they offer a significant payout rate. Matching just eight of these will pay you 50x your bet or your entry fee to the bonus mode. Snagging 12 scatters entitles you to the jackpot prize of 15,000x your bet. In addition, scatter symbols can extend your free spins by granting you up to 200 additional free games.

Scatter Slots: FAQ

We've collected and answered the most common questions about scatter slots:

What are scattered symbols? 

These are symbols you can match anywhere on the reels, hence the name slot machine scatter symbols. Upon matching scatter symbols, you are rewarded with instant cash payouts or triggering the game's bonus mode.  

What is a cash prize scatter symbol?

Cash prize scatter symbols simply reward you with a cash payout. Unlike other scatters, this type of scatter symbol usually has higher payout rates when you can match more than four symbols.

Can scatter symbols substitute other symbols?

Most scatter symbols do not have the same function as wild symbols that can substitute other symbols in the game. However, there are wild scatter symbols that can be matched anywhere on the reels and can substitute other symbols.

Do scattered symbols offer the highest payout?

Because of how easy any players can match scatter symbols, they tend to have a low to mid-range payout rate. On the other hand, cash prize scatter symbols tend to have the best possible payouts if you can match the highest possible number in the game.

Can you only find scattered symbols in medium and high variance slots? 

Scatter symbols are available in any slot machine regardless of their variance or risks. Blazing Mammoth is a good example of a low variance slot with cash prize scatter symbols.

Scatter slots add a twist of excitement to almost every modern slots thanks to its match-anywhere mechanic. Other slots improved upon the usual slot scatter symbols by adding interesting functions such as free spins giving you even more ways to win.