A Guide to Bonus Symbols in Online Slot Games

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A shiny gold slot reel with three matching 7s, set against a gold and red background surrounded by gold coins.
BetMGM Mar 25, 2024, 2:42 AM

There are many eye-catching slot symbols in online slots, but not all symbols are created equal. Not only do these symbols vary in value, but some are powerful bonus symbols that can unlock incredible wins and fun features in your favorite slot game. Read on to learn more about the brief history of bonus symbols, what they are, and some exciting exclusive games with bonus symbols at BetMGM Casino.

A Brief History of Bonus Symbols in Slots

Various slot symbols have been used throughout history, with early mechanical slot games using everything from playing cards to bells. When the U.S. government decided to regulate gambling and early slot machines, the manufacturers of these games decided to avoid the strict new gambling laws by using fruit symbols and offering sweets and chewing gum as prizes. Eventually, the U.S. government would loosen gambling regulations, but the popularity of these symbols would stick around. 

Over the years, technology advanced, and slot machines switched from mechanical to electronic. They eventually became digital, allowing game manufacturers and developers to introduce new slot themes. Games themes started to tap into mythology, nature, science fiction, horror, and many other genres, allowing game developers to introduce symbols with new appearances. 

These newer advanced technologies allowed game producers to change the way symbols looked. It also created opportunities to introduce new gameplay features with specially designed wild, scatter, and bonus symbols.

While wilds and scatters have become a default feature in many slot machines, bonus symbols are less common. 

What Are Bonus Symbols?

Bonus symbols can help you trigger slot bonus games or slot bonus rounds. These are mini-games that offer unique gameplay mechanics. For example, if you land three or more of the bonus symbols in Divine Fortune, you’ll activate the jackpot bonus game. In this bonus game, you must try to complete rows of bonus symbols to unlock jackpot wins.

Bonus symbols are not to be confused with scatter symbols, which are a separate category. If you land enough scatter symbols, they’ll offer you free spins. While free spins could be considered a “bonus” game because they activate free spins, bonus symbols are specifically connected to the unique bonus games they activate.

BetMGM Casino Exclusives With Bonus Symbols

BetMGM Casino offers many entertaining slots, but not all of them have bonus symbols. If you’re interested in playing slots with bonus games, here are some exciting exclusive slots you’ll find at BetMGM Casino with unique bonus symbols and fun bonus games.

Armadillo Goes West

Software Provider Armadillo Studios
RTP 94.46%
Volatility High
Jackpot Type Fixed
Paylines 25
Reels 6×4
Max Wager 100
Max Win 4,000x

If you enjoy Western-themed slots with exciting bonus symbols, you’ll want to put on your cowboy hat and give Armadillo Goes West a shot. This game has a bonus symbol that activates the Trail Bonus feature. This mini-game plays like a board game in which you play as the heroic armadillo, making your way across a dangerous trail. 

If you make it across the trail, you’ll receive a 2,000x reward and any other prizes you collect along the way. One of the rewards you might find can even boost your win to 4,000x. But be warned: there are deadly snakes that bring an end to your journey across this perilous path.  

John Daly Spin It and Win It

Software Provider Spearhead Studios
RTP 88.05% – 94.78%
Volatility High
Jackpot Type Fixed
Paylines 243
Reels 5
Max Wager $100
Max Win 20,000x

John Daly Spin It and Win It is a golf-themed slot with a bonus feature that will grab your attention because it offers three bonus features, activated when you land three bonus symbols on the 1st, 3rd, or 5th reel. When the bonus feature triggers, you’ll be randomly rewarded with one of three bonus games. These bonus games are:

  • John Daly’s Big Swing: John Daly will hit a golf ball until it collides with an object or reaches a max multiplier of 20,000x.
  • Free For All: You’ll receive eight free spins, which can be retriggered once. These free spins include wilds and sticky wilds, which can also contain a 2x or 3x multiplier.
  • Sticky Balls: You’ll receive 10 free spins, but instead of the game’s usual symbols, symbols will be changed to multicolored golf balls, golden balls, or golf balls with cash prizes.

You can also decline the bonus game and receive a mystery prize instead. This mystery prize is a single multiplier between 20x and 200x in value.

Rising Rewards

Software Provider Triple Edge Studios
RTP 96.01%
Volatility High
Jackpot Type Fixed
Paylines 720
Reels 5
Max Wager 50
Max Win 5,000x

Rising Rewards is a slot that feels like a futuristic game show. This virtual slot machine has a bonus jackpot wheel symbol that will activate the bonus game and allow you to land one of the jackpots, which will multiply your wager. These jackpots are:

  • Mini: 5x multiplier.
  • Minor: 10x multiplier.
  • Major: 50x multiplier.
  • Mega: 200x multiplier.
  • Ultra: 1,000x multiplier.

You could land one of these prizes, but which one will depend on how lucky you are.

Spin the Reels on Exciting Online Slots at BetMGM Casino

If you’re excited to play slots online with thrilling bonus symbols and fantastic features, you’ll find what you’re looking for at BetMGM Casino. BetMGM Casino has hundreds of slots covering a variety of fun slot themes, including games set in ancient civilizations, dangerous jungles, and the darkest depths of space.

You can play any of these online slot games for real money as long as you’re playing from within one of the four states where BetMGM Casino is legally active. These states are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.

And when you’re done playing your favorite online slot game, you can try your luck playing many of the other entertaining games of chance, including table games, variety games, virtual sports, and live dealer titles. These bets will count toward your BetMGM Rewards points, which you can use online or at many MGM Resorts properties. Register at BetMGM Casino to see what fortune has in store for you.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.