Understanding Bonus Symbols in Slot Games

Bonus symbols in slots are a crucial aspect of modern slot gaming, providing players with opportunities for added excitement and enhanced rewards.

In this guide, we’ll explain what they are, how they work, and what bonus games they can trigger. Plus, we’ll recommend some fun slot games for you to try with bonus symbols!

What Are Bonus Symbols?

Bonus symbols are special icons in a slot machine. Unlike standard symbols which primarily award line wins, bonus symbols activate special features or games when they appear in specific combinations or quantities.

These symbols are popular for the following reasons:

  • New Game Modes: Activating a bonus round often shifts players to a different setting with distinct objectives.
  • Increased Interactivity: Bonus rounds often involve more player decision-making or action.
  • Higher Rewards: Bonus rounds generally offer more points or rewards than regular spins.

How Do Bonus Game Symbols Work?

Activation: Typically, landing a specific number (often three or more) of bonus game symbols on the reels will activate the bonus round. The exact number and placement (e.g., in a line or anywhere on the reels) can vary based on the game’s rules.

Variety: The type of bonus round triggered by these symbols can differ widely from one slot game to another. They’re often aligned with the slot’s theme or storyline.

Types of Bonus Games Triggered by Bonus Icons

As mentioned above, bonus symbols can trigger different types of bonus games including the following:

Pick and Click

In this feature, the screen displays multiple objects or icons for players to interact with. Players tap or click on their chosen items, unveiling hidden treasures, whether it’s points, multipliers, or other in-game features. This bonus typically initiates when specific symbols, often termed “bonus” or “pick and click” symbols, align in a required pattern on the reels.board game-style challenges. These rounds can offer significant prizes or multipliers.

Wheel of Fortune

A vibrant wheel segmented into multiple sections, each offering its distinct reward. You get the chance to spin this wheel, and the reward section the needle points to upon stopping is your prize. This bonus feature is often activated by landing a specific number of “wheel” symbols or other unique icons on the reels.

Skill Challenges

This feature goes beyond luck, requiring players to demonstrate specific skills. Players may have to tackle a time-bound challenge, pick items in a sequence, or other interactive tasks to bag rewards. Often, a unique symbol or a combination of symbols on the reels activates these games.

Progressive Levels

Some games may feature progression levels. As you continue to play, you might advance through different levels or stages. Each level can introduce new symbols, bonuses, or challenges. Progressing through levels might offer increased prizes, bonus features, or story elements.

Free Spins

This is when you’re granted additional spins without using your own coins. This bonus feature is usually triggered by landing a number of “free spins” or scatter symbols or other representative icons on the reels. 

Sometimes you may find multipliers or special symbols in these bonus rounds. 


When connected to jackpots, landing a specific combination or number of these symbols can unlock the jackpot round.

After triggering with the bonus symbols, players might be transported to a new screen or game mode. Here, they might face challenges like choosing from hidden prizes, spinning a special jackpot wheel, or even playing a mini-board game. The outcome determines if the jackpot is won.

Board Game Features

Once triggered, the screen might transition to a board game-style layout. This board might resemble familiar games like Monopoly, Life, or even Snakes and Ladders, but tailored to the slot’s theme.

You might be asked to roll dice, move tokens, or make decisions similar to board games. Along the way, there could be rewards, multipliers, challenges, or even penalties, much like landing on different squares in traditional board games.

Other Mini Games

In addition to the above, other bonus symbols may trigger mini games featuring card or match challenges. In card mini-games, you may be required to guess the suit or color of a hidden card,.Match games, on the other hand involve a grid of covered items, where you must flip symbols two or more at a time, aiming to find matching pairs.

Respin Features

Upon activation, the bonus symbols often lock in place on the reels, while the remaining reels continue to spin. This locking mechanism ensures that the triggering symbols stay in position during the respins.

During the respins, the goal is to land additional matching symbols or special combinations that lead to bigger wins or additional respins.

Slots with Bonus Symbols

Below are bonus symbol slots you can play and how to trigger them.

The Champions

In The Champions slot by Pragmatic Play, bonus symbols trigger the Penalty Shots Bonus Game when three or more land on the reels. During this bonus round, you get five penalty shots to aim for goals, with a potential maximum prize of 100x your spin if you score in all five shots.

Magic Money Maze

The game logo bonus symbol in Magic Money Maze leads you to a board game with 49 squares filled with random symbols. Rolling dice and navigating the board can result in collecting coins for rewards, while avoiding snakes and scorpions that deduct lives. The game offers a chance to win a maximum prize of up to 10,000x your spin.

Golden Beauty

Also by Pragmatic, the bonus scatter symbols in Golden Beauty trigger the Free Spins round when three or more appear on the reels. You can choose from three options with varying combinations of free spins and wild symbols, offering potential rewards during the free spins feature, up to 45 free spins and 10 wilds, depending on the number of triggering symbols.

Play Bonus Symbol Slots at McLuck!

Bonus symbols in slot games are like the special power-ups in video games. They enhance the experience, offer more ways to win, and add an element of surprise to each spin. When playing, always check the slot’s wintable or help section to understand how its bonus symbols function and the rewards they offer.

Explore more of these thrilling slot games and many more at McLuck for an unforgettable gaming adventure!



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