The multiplier symbol does exactly what the name suggests; it multiplies winnings by a certain amount. The instantly recognizable symbols usually include a number with a large X next to it to indicate the size of the multiplier. These can range from 2x multipliers to 1000x multipliers or more, and they have been responsible for some mammoth wins over the years.
Although they are still very common on slot machines, they are being used less on some modern online games, which feature lots of pay lines and various wild and scatter symbols. The reason is that the wild symbols combined with multiple pay lines act as a multiplier of sorts, creating several winning lines at a time, but we’re still fond of the good old-fashioned multiplier symbol.
Base Game Multipliers
Multiplier symbols are sometimes found in the base game, although more often than not they come into their own in bonus rounds. However, there are still some games out there that feature multipliers on base game reels, and they can really boost your winnings when they come around.
When found in the main game, multiplier reels only usually multiply the pay line winning amount, so if you land five symbols and a 5x multiplier, you stand to win 5 times the usual amount that five symbols would normally net.
Free Spin and Bonus Game Multipliers
These symbols are much more common in free spin and bonus rounds, where they can make a huge difference to overall winnings. They are also often reserved for these bonus rounds to add more entertainment, so they feel different from the standard game.
Some slots will have a selection of different multipliers that can land on the reels during the free spins round, but others allow players to determine the level of the multiplier, which adds a different dimension to the game. A slot machine might come with the option to select the number of free spins and the maximum multiplier that can appear on the reels. This usually works on a sliding scale so the more spins you select, the lower the multiplier will be. You may have the choice of 5, 10, 15, or 20 free spins, where 5 free spins come with a maximum of a 20x multiplier, and 20 free spins come with a maximum 5x multiplier.
Wild symbols are the keystone of any good online casino game, and some developers have made the wise decision of combining them with multipliers. A wild symbol can substitute for any other symbol to help create a winning line. So if you have four matching symbols and a wild, you will be paid as if you have five matching symbols. If that wild also happens to be a multiplier, the win can be multiplied several times.
Bet or Win Multipliers
While the standard multiplier symbol multiplies the win on a pay line, there are other types of multiplier that work in slightly different ways. Some multipliers increase the line bet, while others increase the total bet, and with multi-pay line machines, it’s important to understand the difference.
Multipliers that increase your pay line bet can work really well as they multiply the stake amount rather than the win amount. This may sound like it should make no difference, but when you consider that a win can sometimes be lower than the initial bet, you can understand the importance. Some multipliers increase the total bet, not just the line bet, and they can be very lucrative by increasing the stake across all pay lines.
The best way of finding out what type of multiplier a slot uses is to check the paytable. This is normally accessed via a button somewhere in the slot game screen, which opens a new window with information about the slot. Here you will find details of all the winning combinations and payout amounts, along with explanations of wild, scatter and multiplier symbols.