Symbols in Online Slots Explained

February 05, 2016 In Blog

Video Slot Symbols Explained
You will get 10 Free Spins for Gorilla Go Wild when you sign up and make a deposit.

When players access online slots, they will see that there are many different symbols that will be seen on the reels. Games that are played on three reels will have fewer symbols than a five reel game. The symbols will vary per game and are often related to the theme of the slot. As players start to play different game titles, they will become more familiar with the different symbols and what they mean.

Most online slots will use the same types of symbols to indicate different game features and payouts. The symbols may not always look the same, but once players understand what symbols signify what feature in a game, they will be able to fully enjoy the slot and will know what to watch for on the reels. The following is a list of the different types of symbols in online slot games that will be seen when spinning the reels.

Bonus Symbols

Bonus symbols are those that will trigger a featured bonus on the game. These symbols will be different based on the theme and type of slot that is being played. Bonus symbols can trigger a free spin round or a second screen bonus. Players should read through the pay table, which will explain exactly what the bonus symbols will do and where they will appear on the reels.

Free Spin Symbols

Free Spin Symbols are a type of bonus symbol and these indicate that a free spin round will be triggered. Most games will require players to get two or three free spin symbols on certain reels in order to trigger the game feature. The free spin bonus is one of the most popular with five reel video slots, so players definitely need to know what these symbols are and where they need to be on the selected slot in order to trigger the bonus round.

Multiplier Symbols

Multiplier symbols are very beneficial and when these are being used, they can multiply the total amount of the winning combination created. Multiplier symbols can appear in base games as well as in bonus rounds. Many multiplier symbols are basic, such as 2x or 3x, but in some games, a wild can also be a multiplier, so it is essential for players to know these before they start spinning.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are common symbols seen on video slots, but they can also be found on traditional three reel games. These symbols can appear in any position on the reels and most will offer an instant payout when two or more are present. Scatters can present some great rewards when many appear and on some games, these symbols are also used to trigger certain bonus rounds if a specific bonus symbol is not being used.

Standard Symbols

Standard symbols are the basic symbols on the game. For many three reel games, these will be bells, bars, cherries or other fruits. When playing any slot game, the standard symbols are those that create a winning combination based on the pay table. These symbols will not trigger any special game features. When playing themed slots, players will see a variety of standard symbols. To determine a standard symbol from any other, look at the pay table. Those that have payouts listed next to them are the standard symbols for the game.


Wild symbols are found in almost every slot game and these are beneficial symbols. These will take the place of any standard game symbol and can help to complete a winning combination. Some wilds can be multipliers as well. There are also wilds that have different functions and these are special wilds, found in many video slot games. The special wilds include:

  • Expanding Wilds – These will expand to cover an entire reel on the game.
  • Shifting Wilds – Often found in bonus rounds, these will stay on the reels for subsequent spins but will change positions.
  • Stacked Wilds – Stacked wilds can appear on any reel and cam take up one or all of the positions on that reel.
  • Sticky Wilds– Sticky wilds are popular with free spins or re-spins and these remain in the same place for the rest of the spins played.
  • Trailing/Spreading Wilds – These are similar to expanding wilds but will not cover the entire reel. Instead, they turn touching symbols into wilds to create the best possible wins.
  • Transferring/Nudging Wilds – Transferring, or nudge wilds can transfer to other reels. For example. With video slots, transferring wild games will often have larger reels in the first two positions and smaller reels for the last three. If a transferring wild should appear on the first two reels, it will then be transferred to the other reels, remaining in the same position.

Read Also:

Low vs. High Volatility in Slots
Understanding Slot Payout Ratios (RTP)