When the first slot machines were introduced, they only had three reels with cherry symbols. These simple slots still exist both online and at real casinos and are today referred to as “classic slots”. While many gamers find classic slots a bit boring, others find it difficult to understand online slots with different paylines, volatility and bonus features. These “video slots” still have spinning reels but the features of some of the most recent online slots are so advanced that casino sites have begun to create videos to explain their numerous functions. Having said that, the slot game as a whole remains a simple luck-based game that anyone can play. Another reason why slots remain the most popular casino game is the availability of “no deposit bonuses”, also called free credits. It basically allows you to play one or more slot games for free with the same benefits as if you were playing with real money, and you get to keep what you win!
The bonus features of the slot machine allow you to play your own money, or the free credits mentioned above, for a longer period of time. It’s a way for the game developer to increase the excitement of the game by adding small but frequent wins to allow you to play longer without having to increase your own spendings. Bonus features are extra chances to win as the player progresses through the game and unlock various features like mini-games within the game.
Here is a short guide towards some of the most common bonus features you will come across while playing online slots;
Wild symbols in slot machines have existed right from when the first one Armed Bandit slot machines showed up and are still in use today. The symbol is probably the most common bonus feature you will come across in almost all online slots.
The primary function of the wild symbol is to substitute/replace any other symbols within a game to create a winning combination. What this means is that, if you have two matching symbols that align accordingly across a payline, having a wild symbol on the third position of that line will make the wild symbol substitute for that symbol and trigger a win. The only exception to this function that you are most likely to come across online is that wild symbols can’t substitute for scatter symbols or other bonus game symbols, though it usually varies based on each online slot.
A secondary function of the wild symbol is that some online slots can cause wild symbols to pay out wins when you manage to land two/three or more of it across a payliine.
Many variations of the wild symbol with even more extra features have been introduced by different games. Some of these include Expanding Wilds, Stacked Wilds, Sticky Wilds, Grouped Wilds, and many more.
The next symbol you will most likely often come across in online slot machines is the scatter symbol. The primary function of the scatter symbol is to trigger the in-game bonus round of a game. The bonus round that you will often find the scatter symbol triggering is the free spins bonus round. A secondary function of the scatter symbol is that it also pays out players, but unlike the wild symbols, a slot’s scatter does not need to appear on adjacent reels across a payline before paying out incredible wins. Scatter symbols can land anywhere on a slot’s grid, and once there are three or more scatters present on the game’s screen, players will earn a payout.
- Free Spins
A free spin round is one spin of the reels of a slot game where you don’t have to pay for the round. This feature is the most common bonus game round that usually comes with many online slots. The feature is usually triggered with the scatter symbol. Based on the game rules, landing three or more scatter symbols will trigger this feature and award a particular number of free spins, which usually increases, the higher the number of scatters.
One crucial thing to note about the free spin feature is that the bonus round is played with the current bet in play when the round is triggered. For example, let say a player playing a slot with $50 per spin manages to trigger the free spins bonus round, receiving 15 free spins. For each of these 15 free spins, the bet that winnings will be calculated with will be the $50 bet.
- Gamble Feature
Another bonus feature that makes playing a slot game online worthwhile is the Gamble Feature. This feature is usually activated every time players trigger a win. Here, you will have to play a particular game and the most common game that most slots feature for the gamble feature is to guess a symbol from a set of two. If you win, the game doubles your winnings, but if you lose, you lose your winnings for that round. Some games allow you to double your winnings several times, with some even reaching up to five times or more.
- Other Bonus Game Features
Another common feature that many online slots tend to feature is the bonus game round. How many and which bonus game features a slot will have is only limited by the imagination of the software providers. When you go online you will discover a plethora of bonus game features that make the gameplay of a slot machine more interesting and exciting to play. We have listed the most common ones, but a few of some of the bonus game feature that you will likely come across includes;
- Pick me
- Instant Win
- Spinning Wheel
- Pick ‘Em
- Pick a Box
- Pathway Game and many more.
In this article we mentioned some of the many different bonus features of slots today. Bonus features make the gameplay of many slot machines even more interesting and exciting. It provides plenty of fun and more winning opportunities.You don’t have to understand the different bonus features of online slots but if you do, you can choose a game that you know you will enjoy.
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