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Special Symbols in Online Casino Slots

By: Mark Freedman, Tuesday November 10th 2009
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Gone are the days when symbols on the reels in online slot games only served the purpose of deciding line payouts. In the feature rich contemporary slot games there are special symbols that serve multiple functions. These symbols are common across the slots launched by the different online gaming software providers and hence it makes sense for new players to acquire an understanding of these symbols. These symbols are wild symbols, scatter symbols and bonus symbols.

The symbol most appropriate to the theme of the slot game is usually designated as the wild symbol. Often it is just the logo bearing the name of the slot game. Wild symbols are those symbols that can be used as any other symbols in order to make up winning combinations. They are very much like the Joker in video poker games. Therefore such symbols are also known as substitute symbols. Usually wild symbols do not substitute for other special symbols, but only for symbols involved in line payouts. Wild symbols increase payout opportunities and are therefore very important. In contemporary slot games while symbols serve other functions as well. Very often they act as multipliers. In such cases when wild symbols assist in making winning combinations they multiply the payouts as specified in the rules. Sometimes, the specified number of wild symbols appearing in a payline acts as a trigger for the bonus feature.

Wild symbols are often made exciting by formulating them in such a manner that they enhance payouts. Stacked wild symbols are wild symbols that occurred in two or even all three rows of the same reel. Expanding the wild symbols when they occur spanned to cover the entire reel so that all positions on the reel act as a wild symbols. There are some slot games in which normal symbols are randomly converted to wild symbols after the reels stop and payouts are recalculated based on the new situation. Such wild symbols are known as exploding wilds. In other slot games players can choose any of the given symbols as a wild symbol.

The second special symbol is the scatter symbol. In line payouts the designated symbols have to appear in an enabled payline. In the case of scatter symbols however the scatter symbols can appear anywhere on the reels. It is for this reason such symbols are called scatter symbols. This gives greater flexibility in receiving payouts. Another advantage of scatter payouts is that the payout designated in the table is multiplied by the total bet. In the case of line payouts the payout is multiplied by the line bet which is considerably lower. The scatter symbols are often used to trigger bonus features in contemporary online slots.

Two types of bonus features are common in contemporary slot games. One is known as the bonus game on the second screen and the other is the free spins bonus round. If both these games are present then usually the wild symbols triggers one of these games and the scatter symbol triggers the other. However, sometimes neither the wild symbol nor the scatter symbol is used to trigger the bonus round. A third symbol is used that serves only this function. This symbol is then designated as the bonus symbol.

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Comment by: m8351 On: February 04, 2010
Not sure how many of you have tried the video slot game that RTG has in their library of games called Triple Twister but if you like substitution symbols and things of that nature then I really think that you'll enjoy playing this game.
Comment by: Thorton On: January 17, 2010
Special symbols or reels in some cases that make playing traditional 5 reel video slots games far more interesting. Regular 5 reel games without anything going on can be rather boring and really don't do that much for a lot of people. Symbols such as wild symbols that have multipliers that go over and above the common 2x multiplier for wild substitutes are rather fun and far more engaging then some of the other games that you'll typically find out there. Also there are other symbols such as floating wilds that snap to a certain symbol on the reel that then become wild that are pretty awesome as well. Not sure if there's any online casinos that offer such a thing but I know that it's quite common in land based casinos.
Comment by: Kenneth Olken On: December 18, 2009
I'm with you all and thing that having special symbols that offer a new component of interest in the slots games really makes playing slots games that much more interesting!
Comment by: Bob Hathaway On: November 21, 2009
I'm with you guys on the special symbol thing but at the same time I do think that there is far more to a game then just the kinds of symbols that are involved in the game. I really do love wilds, expanding wilds, stacked wilds, scatters, scatters that enter you into bonus rounds and the whole nine yards, however I still think that the bonus rounds (x of y or other), free spins, etc... add far more of an element of excitement to both online and offline type slot machine games.
Comment by: Joshua On: November 19, 2009
Wild symbols and scatter symbols are my favorite symbols in slots games. In fact all symbols within the slots games that I play that either have a special attribute to them or something unique about them is what I really tend to enjoy about most slots games.
Comment by: Roger Morris On: November 17, 2009
A big fan myself of special symbols in online casinos especially ones that lead to great big wins. I like multipliers and super multiplier type symbols and think that they're the best component to line win excitement.
Comment by: finatay On: November 14, 2009
I really like the new Grail Maiden game that Vegas Technology is offering now within their online casino platform. It's really interesting when you hit the bonus round the third reel stays fixed and wild so any wins that bisect the third reel then you get as win combos. It's really a neat thing if you ask me.
Comment by: Laura B. On: November 11, 2009
More and more features that mimic what's found in land based online casino slots is what I want to see online. I think that the gab between the two is drawing nearer but it's still far enough away that there's distinct differences between the caliber and quality of the online casino games that you'll find vs. those that you'll find in land based casinos.
Comment by: Karl Benton On: November 10, 2009
I think that ideas and concepts like this within online casino slots games make them far more dynamic and interesting to play. Otherwise casino slots games could remain very static and boring in most regards.

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