Slot Games Feature Detailed Guide

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Slot Features Explained

Slot features, explained simply, are all the parts of the game rules that make up gameplay in slots. This is aside from the general rules, i.e., how the paylines work. Instead, these have to do with any extras, such as bonus features, special symbols, and so on, the way you see in the best UK slots. And the major software developers out there have even created unique slot game features by which they can easily be recognized. In some cases, even the way in which wins are formed can be considered a special feature, as in the example of, say, cluster pays and similar mechanics.

Getting a Feel for Slot Features

Over time, players develop a sense of the best slot features for them based on their personal gaming style and preferences. And you can enjoy all the room you need to explore different slot features at the top slot sites we’ve listed. But to put it in a nutshell, you may become accustomed to having certain things that are present in most slots at large (e.g., Wilds, Scatter symbols, etc.). And you may also form a liking for features that are unique to certain developers, such as a particular kind of pick-me game. Or, on the other hand, you may find that slot features are too distracting, and you prefer slots with a more simplified setup.

Slots Game Providers – Who Makes the Magic Happen?

The people behind the slots we enjoy – the developers – a worth paying just as much attention to as the games themselves. The top casino game providers have made names for themselves by managing to create products that are genuinely beneficial to players and somehow stand out from the rest of the offerings on the market. So, for this reason, some players will only play at online casinos that support the software of a given game manufacturer.

If you happen to have taken a liking for a particular game supplier, you should also be able to quickly determine whether you will find any of its titles at the casino of your choice. For starters, you can have a look at the footer of the online casino site and note the presence of the brand’s logo. Or you can also browse the casino’s game library, which may also feature appropriate filters and sorting options to help speed up the process.

Most Popular Game Providers for 2021

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Game ProviderYear FoundedTop GamesBest Casino Site
Netent provider logo1996Gonzo's Quest, Twin Spin, Blood Suckers 2metal casino
playtech logo1999Goblin's Cave, Ugga Bugga, A Night Outvideoslots casino
Microgaming Logo1994Mega Moolah, Thunderstruck II, Mermaids MillionsCasino Gods Review
play'n go logo1997Rise of Olympus, Book of Dead, Reactoonzcasino cruise
Quickspin Logo2011Sakura Fortune, Treasure Island, Big Bad Wolfcasino planet
thunderkick logo2012Pink Elephants, 1429 Uncharted Seas, Esqueleto Explosivosloty casino
evolution gaming logo2006Free Bet Blackjack, Speed Blackjack, French Roulettekassu casino

Netent provider logo

Year Founded: 1996

Top Games: Gonzo's Quest, Twin Spin, Blood Suckers 2

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playtech logo

Year Founded: 1999

Top Games: Goblin's Cave, Ugga Bugga, A Night Out

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Microgaming Logo

Year Founded: 1994

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Slot Themes – Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Slots are perhaps the most vibrant and varied type of casino game because of the abundance of themes they can have. Online slot themes can range dramatically to include the type of atmosphere and vibe that would suit just about any player. For example, there are fruit slot machines that are a tribute to the old-school one-arm bandits with very basic rules and structures. And then you also have the opposite end of the spectrum with complex stories and equally elaborate features. Popular examples are movie-themed slots and slot games based on popular culture, as well as various fantasy-themed and similar offerings.

Slot Paylines – Know How to Win

Slot paylines are essential to understand how wins are formed. Some games have more, others have less – but they are ultimately responsible for the size of the prizes you land during gameplay. Typically, paylines go from the leftmost to rightmost reels, but in some games, they may just as well go in the opposite direction, as well (pay both ways). And then when the developers wish to expand beyond the conventional paylines, as there’s only a finite number of those you can have, they include something known as “ways to win”. In such titles, the number of winning combinations goes through the roof and reaches as far as up into the hundreds of thousands.

Slot Games Grids – the Foundation of Any Game

A crucial part of the basis of any slot, whether you’re playing mobile slots or on a desktop computer, is the grid. It is also commonly referred to as the layout. And what it represents is the combination of reels (vertical) and rows (horizontal) on which the game symbols are placed. The paylines crisscross the grid, typically from left to right, to tell you exactly how winning combinations are formed. And the most common grid you will see in slots these days features 5 reels and 3 rows. However, classic titles have smaller 3 by 3 grids. And specific more elaborate offerings may have dynamic grids that can expand during gameplay.

Free Spins for More Wins

Free spins are somewhat of the holy grail of slot features. In any event, it’s safe to say that they are undoubtedly the most sought-after feature in slots, both new and old. But since we mentioned new, you can check out some of the latest titles offering free spins at the new online slot sites we’ve handpicked based on our very strict criteria. Free spins, when triggered, essentially give you a fixed number of spins of the reels without charging you for them.

And the exact number you can receive, as well as the format of them, can vary dramatically from slot to slot. Similarly, you can trigger free spin rounds in different ways, depending on the exact game you are playing. What’s more, some games even have several different free spins features packed into the same title, whereas each feature can have its unique enhancements.

Respins – the Do-Over of Slots

Respins are a little bit like free spins, but they’re second best. Another way to think of them is as a second chance that you land for free. And depending on the rules of the game, they may either enhance your winning potential or allow you to change the outcome of an unsuccessful spin. In either case, they’re a bonus!

Scatters – Because Placement Isn’t Everything

Scatter symbols are the only type of symbol on the reels that are not bound by the shackles of paylines. As the name would suggest, they can be “scattered” across the grid and still deliver cash prizes. Typically, the rule is that you need at least 2 of them to appear on the screen during a spin for them to pay out. But in addition to offering payouts without landing on an active payline, Scatters may have other roles in the game, as well. For example, landing a certain number of Scatter symbols at the same time may trigger one of the bonus rounds.

 

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Wilds to the Rescue!

Wilds are a fantastic addition to any slot game, and they are often seen as an essential extra. Essentially, Wild symbols are there to substitute for any symbol you may be “missing” to form a winning combination. In other words, they can take on the role of any of the other symbols on the reels. But Wilds are often also attributed other qualities. And in some titles, they may even play the most crucial part in gameplay, as is the case with Starburst slot features, for example. Namely, Wilds may sometimes trigger other bonus rounds, such as free spins or respins. And it’s not uncommon for Wild symbols to also come equipped with multipliers. Hence, they might not only help you complete a winning combo but may even multiply the size of the payouts for it.

Expanding Wilds

Wild symbols come in many shapes and forms, one of which is the so-called Expanding Wilds. These Wild symbols can expand (upwards, downwards, or in both directions) to cover several positions of the reel. And thus, they increase the chances of becoming part of winning combinations.

Shifting Wilds

Shifting Wilds can stick around with you over the course of several spins. The idea behind them is that when they land on the reels, they can shift to a different position for the next spin. And thus, you benefit from having a Wild on your side during that next spin.

Transferring Wilds

Transferring Wilds are another fantastic variation on how Wild symbols can be utilized in gameplay. What happens in such features, typically, is that whenever you land a Wild symbol on the reels, it will transfer to a predetermined position somewhere else on the reels. So you may have several Wilds stemming from one.

Stacked Wilds

Stacked Wilds essentially represent vertical stacks of Wild symbols on any given reel. They may cover several positions of the reel or even the whole reel entirely. And the perks of this feature are that (if the Wilds cover the whole reel), you will have at least one Wild on every payline.

Random Wilds

Random Wilds are another enjoyable type of special feature often found in slot games. It entails that at any point during your game session, any number of Wild symbols can be added to random positions on the reels. Sometimes this feature may also be combined with others, such as Sticky Wilds, for instance.

Multiplier Wilds

Multiplier Wilds are a joy to have because they have the potential of increasing your wins dramatically. The concept of these Wild is straightforward, and it has to do with them having a multiplier of a specific value attached to them. So whenever they contribute to a winning combo, the prize is multiplied by that value.

Transforming Wilds

Transforming Wilds are slightly different from most of the other Wild features in that they actually stem from other symbols. Namely, if any of the regular symbols land on specific positions on the reels, they will automatically be transformed into Wilds.

Sticky Wilds

Sticky Wilds like to prolong their presence on the reels for however many spins have been defined by the software developer. Once they land anywhere on the reels, they will stick in place while the rest of the symbols complete the next spin.

Walking Wilds

Walking Wilds will typically move across the reels in a predetermined direction (e.g., right to left). As a rule, they will move one position in the direction across the reels with each spin until they eventually “fall” off the screen. But essentially, you benefit from at least one guaranteed Wild.

Bonus Games – A Game within a Game

Slot bonus features often include mini-games or side games, as they are also commonly referred to as. And these can be marvelously woven into the theme of the online slot game to help enrich its atmosphere and boost its entertainment value. There aren’t all that many different types of these games, only about a handful. But it’s about how the developers have chosen to dress them up, as well as, of course, the kind of winning potential they have in store for players. Some may offer simple pick-me games, whereas others may be more complex and even require a certain amount of skills.

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Click Me Bonus

Click-me bonuses, also called pick-me games, are standard bonus rounds that you can find in many online slot games. Usually, once you trigger the game, you will be taken to a new screen and will be offered a selection of three or more objects, from which you will need to pick to reveal a prize.

Skill Games

Skill games aren’t prevalent in slot games, but there’s a tendency for that to be changing. In any event, once triggered, players will need to utilize a particular skill to complete the game and, hopefully, win a prize. Examples include racing a car past obstacles or shooting moving targets.

Trail Bonus

Trail bonuses are another fun mini-game type that closely resembles trails you see in board games. Commonly, a dice is rolled to determine how many steps the player will take on the respective trail. And depending on where that lands them, they can receive a certain prize or unlock a new feature.

Gamble Feature

A feature that’s typically found in old-school slots but also present in new releases too, the gamble feature is usually a simple mini-game of double or nothing. As a rule, whenever you land a winning spin, you are offered the chance to double your prize by playing a simple ladder or card game.

Slot Games with Progressive Jackpots

Progressive slots games never cease to attract a crowd. And it’s no wonder. Most slot games that have a progressive jackpot usually gather up a very sizeable prize pool. And especially the slots that are part of more extensive networks can reach eye-watering amounts. The way progressive slots work is a small portion of every bet made by players competing for the jackpot goes to the shared prize pool. And thus, it continues to grow until one lucky player finally hits the jackpot, after which it resets, and a new cycle begins.

What Are the Hottest Progressive Slot Games?

The gaming industry has a fair share of online slots that are part of more extensive progressive jackpot networks. But about a handful of these has become classics and today enjoy a cult following of players from every corner of the world. Examples of such titles include the famous Mega Moolah from software developer Microgaming. This is the record holder of slots when it comes to the amounts it has paid out. Another fine example is Mega Fortune from software provider Netent. And the same developer also has another title called Mercy of the Gods that tends to generate extreme pots.

Multiplier Symbols

Some slot games feature special symbols that can have multipliers attached to them. The role of these symbols is to multiply the size of the payouts for the particular winning combination they become a part of. And that value can range from 1x to 5x and even way beyond that.

Split Symbols

Split symbols are actually two symbols of the same kind that take up one position on the reels. Their benefit is that they do indeed also count as two symbols if they land on an active payline together with more matching icons. Hence, they make for a larger win.

Nudges

If you have played retro fruit machines, you will likely be familiar with the nudge feature. In online slots, when triggered, this feature can nudge one or several reels up or down so that they move one or two positions. And as a result, you may get an improved result of the spin.

Hold

The hold feature may play out differently depending on the exact game you’re playing. But the bottom line is that some part of the elements in play (a symbol or reel) will be held in place while the rest of the elements complete the spin.

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Slots Features FAQs

What are slot features?

Slot features are all the constituents of gameplay in a slot game. These include not only the layout and number of paylines but also the different symbols, bonus games, and other extras that are included in the rules.

What are some of the most common slot game features?

Special symbols, such as Scatters and Wilds, are very popular slot features. But in addition to them, free spins bonuses and pick-me games are among the most common special features you will find in slots.

How many different types of features with Wilds are there?

There are numerous features that have Wild symbols as their focal points. Examples include Walking Wilds, Random Wilds, Transferring Wilds, Multiplier Wilds, Stacked Wilds, Expanding Wilds, etc.

What are free spins, and how do they work?

Free spins are spins that you receive by triggering a special feature in a slot game that you are not charged for.

How do special symbols in slot games function?

Wilds and Scatters are the two main types of special symbols in slots. Wilds can substitute for any of the other regular symbols in the game, and Scatters do not need to land on active paylines in order to pay out.

What are multipliers?

Multipliers can act as separate symbols or be added to existing symbols in the slots, but in either case, they multiply the payouts of the winning combinations they take part in.

 

Author: David Pace
Online Casino Researcher
David is strongly focused on data analysis and research, and he always has something interesting to share with us. Whether it’s a fun fact related to the most famous casino buildings or it’s a new casino payment method that just became available, he’s always there to provide valuable information for the team and our readers.