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Slot machine symbols guide: Wilds, scatters, free spins and more

In terms of revenue and player preference, slot games are, without a doubt, the champion of the gambling industry. While they are not as old as classic table games and sports betting, they are becoming more lucrative and entertaining with time, especially how the rise of more software gaming providers design their features more creatively.

While slot games look quite similar from a distance, they are actually played and enjoyed in multiple different ways due to their various features and rules. Gone are the days when slot machines are built with three symbols and physical hand-pulling levers. They are no longer primarily for the elder generation, but rather for millennials who are wary of spending money on gambling and grew up playing skill-based games.

Slot machines with three symbols and actual hand-pulling levers are no longer manufactured. They are no longer primarily for the elder generation, but rather for millennials who are wary of spending money on gambling and grew up playing skill-based games.

As a result, the industry welcomes the advent of skill-based slot games. Software providers modified them with many features that need a high level of competence in order to boost their winnings. Have a look on this page on what are the different kinds, and how they can really help improve your gameplay, especially as you try the titles here at Luckyslots. 

Slot game’s paytable

To begin, look into the slot game’s paytable because it displays the primary symbols and additional bonuses included in gameplay. There you will quickly know how much each symbol pays, what it does, and how they trigger the bonus round. The latter will also be thoroughly described so that you understand precisely what is happening on the reels when you press the spin button.

The paytable will also give you all you need to know about the paylines and the mechanics that were employed to create the slot. Some will also provide betting techniques and key mechanics, such as the RTP, hit rate, volatility, and maximum win.

While slot features increase the game’s entertainment and winning chances, the mechanics are equally important because they reveal how the entire gameplay works.

  • Random number generator (RNG) — It refers to the rewards a player can expect to win from landing winning combinations of slot symbols. The percentage can vary from 95% to 97% and higher. 
  • Return to player percentage (RTP) — This is an innovative algorithm designed to produce a sequence of unpredictable random numbers and/or symbols, causing slot games’ volatility. 
  • Hit rate —  Also known as hit frequency, it refers to the likelihood of a slot game hitting a winning combination compared to landing nothing. 
  • Volatility — Not only does it signify a slot game’s amount of risk, but it also describes how often and how much you can expect to win once you land winning combinations. It ranges from low, medium and high. The former means that the wins are frequent but are worth relatively small, whereas the latter indicates that winning chances are tough to hit but could potentially be lucrative. 

Slot features

The more slots you play, the broader range of features you will encounter. Here we have included some of the most popular below, and with the consistent rise of more software providers, you will discover more kinds later on. 

Wild symbols

Wilds are one of the most important and versatile symbols in slot games. Their goal is to replace other symbols to produce a winning line, giving you a better chance of winning. If poker has the joker, then wilds may be found in both land-based and online slots. The interesting thing about the latter is that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the type and theme of the slot game you are playing, which are as follows:

  • Expanding wilds — If you have run out of winning streaks, the expanding wilds are here to help! They make life so much simpler by expanding to the size of a whole reel.
  • Stacked wilds — If an expanding wild spans an entire reel, stacked wilds appear on top of each other — therefore, stacked — to make a section of wild symbols all on the same reels. While both are beneficial, this kind has a far better chance of greatly increasing your winning combination.
  • Sticky wilds — Sticky wilds function similarly to ordinary wilds. The difference is that the former remains on the screen throughout subsequent spins, thus the term ‘sticky’.  While this kind does not greatly increase your chances in a short amount of time, it works effectively with free spins.
  • Overlay wilds — This kind is a hybrid of sticky wilds and stacked wilds, yet it is the most adaptable of the lot. Here, a wild will stack up in a specific shape, land on the reels, and replace other icons or symbols using this function.
  • Transferring wilds — This function, as the name indicates, allows a wild symbol to shift from one reel set to another, providing you greater control over both land-based and online slots.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols in slots pay out regardless if they appear on a payline or not. They are quite popular among  players since you only need one or two to win. Moreover, the more of these symbols you spin, the greater and better the reward may be. More free spins or a possibly higher-paying bonus game feature round with scatter symbols may be advantageous.

Multiplier symbols

As the name suggests, multiplier symbols in slots multiply the one or more rewards gained from the payline(s) on which they appear. A 3x slot multiplier, for example, will boost your payout by three. If the multiplier icon appears on two winning paylines, the winnings on both lines are doubled.

Bonus symbols

Most slots employ bonus symbols to activate a bonus game, although they differ from the scatter symbols stated above. The difference, however, is that occasionally a set number of these types of slot symbols must spin in specific spots on the reels before the bonus game is launched.

Standard reel symbols

There is a basic set of standard symbols in every slot game. While they are nothing more special than the ones mentioned above, they also grant winning payouts when you land a correct order of a series of matching symbols. 

The typical reel symbols are designed in accordance with the subject of the slot games. Slots frequently feature conventional reel symbols of fruit-based icons, such as cherries, strawberries, melons, and oranges. Other common reel symbols are playing cards like the king, queen, jack, or ace. If you want more, you can find a whole variety of themes here at Luckyslots. 

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