Back in the day, one-armed bandits ruled the gambling halls around the world. Luckily, the industry has drastically changed over the years, with new types of slots bringing stunning visuals and mind-blowing features. VR technology has taken things to a completely new level, with players eagerly waiting to see what the future holds.
Today, video slots boast a wide range of features that have delivered an entirely different level of entertainment. Some are more popular, while others come in different flavors and often co-exist. In most cases, the latter depends on the developer’s readiness to experiment.
Free Spins have become an integral part of slot features, with the majority of games offering this type of bonus. The feature itself is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s typically activated by landing a specific number of Scatter symbols, which award a number of rounds. The number of spins players receive can be fixed or depend on the number of Scatter used to trigger the game. The more Scatters you land, the more freebies are awarded.
In some cases, more spins can be added to the current count, or the starting number of spins is reset upon landing more Scatters. Many developers have no limits to the number of spins you can unlock.
Sometimes, Free Spins can include multipliers, doubling, or even tripling all wins. Technically, these are not multipliers, but fixed amounts applied to any prize won during the round.
Slot players often mistake Re-spins with Free Spins, but in fact, these are two completely different features. Typically, this feature starts with up to three re-spins, taking place on the free reels while the triggering ones stay locked. In some cases, a particular symbol appearing on the free reels can add more re-spins to the count, significantly improving the winning odds.
Wilds can appear in different shapes and sizes and, in some cases, can cover a whole reel to turn into a Wild Reel. The Wild replaces any other symbol to help slot players create additional winning combinations.
Wilds often come with a higher payout value and can further boost the size of any win they help create. They usually replace all symbols, except Scatters. Slots may have one or multiple Wild symbols. As we mentioned, they come in various forms, with the most popular being:
- Expanding or Stacked Wilds – they can expand across several reel positions.
- Sticky Wilds – they stay in the position they land.
- Roaming or Walking (Jumping/Rolling) Wilds – they change positions, moving across the reels.
- Colossal Wilds – as their name suggests, appear as colossal symbols, covering multiple positions simultaneously.
- Replicating Wilds – they replicate when landing.
- Random Wilds – a randomly chosen symbol turns wild during the bonus.
- Linked Wilds – turn all other symbols between them into Wilds.
- Multiplier Wilds – apply a multiplier to your payout.
- Mystery Wilds – they can turn into any other icon.
Multipliers appear as progressive or fixed. Players can benefit from them during the bonus round or grab them through a Wheel of Fortune. Some progressive multipliers increase in size after every spin that doesn‘t award a cash prize.
Pick Me Bonuses
Also known as a Pick Me game, this feature offers players multiple choices, where each holds a prize. It can vary from game to game, but slot enthusiasts typically choose a single option or pick more until they reveal an empty position. As we said, there are many variations, but the ultimate goal of this feature remains the same.
The Gamble feature is risky, although a feature very popular among players. The reason is simple: it allows them to significantly boost their winnings by guessing the colour of a card or flipping a coin.
Developed and patented by Big Time Gaming, Megaways can be found as slots from other game makers as well. This popular feature randomly changes the number of available paylines on every spin, further boosting the excitement.
A win can turn regular reels into Cascading Reels, increasing the winning chances. Symbols don‘t spin but drop down to create a winning combination. After a successful win, these symbols explore, making room for new symbols to fall onto the grid.
Wheel of Fortune
It‘s another popular feature where players spin the wheel to receive a prize (a cash prize, a multiplier, or free spins). In most cases, winning a prize is guaranteed.
Sometimes, a symbol you need to form a winning combination will appear on the board, albeit not in the right place. This feature gives players a little help, nudging the symbols and changing their position to complete a win.
Some slot games have a starting reel layout but allow players to unlock additional reels located at the top or the bottom of the grid. In some instances, an extra reel can appear as an extension of the existing one.