Top Slot Features You Need to Know About

There is more to playing online slots than spinning reels and hoping for the best. Many top slots come packing all sorts of unique features which can bolster your chances of success. However, if you are new to the concept of slot gaming, there is every chance that vocab such as MegaWays engines, scatter wilds and mystery symbols might leave you scratching your hand. Fret not. Here at GambleHero, we will help you cut through the myriad of slot-related jargon in minutes. Let us begin…

Payline Structures

A payline is a pathway across the reels that you line up identical symbols on to win. There are typically four types found in online slots, and they include:

  • Conventional: These range from a single payline (often found in three-reel games) up to twenty-five or fifty lines.
  • 243 to 1,024 Lines: With 243 up to 1,024 ways to win slots, you do not need to land identical symbols on a payline. Simply landing them on adjacent reels is enough to bag a win.
  • Cluster Pays: Cluster Pays games have no paylines at all. Instead, you are required to group “clusters” of symbols next to one another on the reels to bag a prize.
  • MegaWays: The latest addition to the slot world, MegaWays games can feature up to 117,649 lines. A random number of lines will appear on each spin. To facilitate this, most MegaWays slots often have at least six reels.

Special Wild Symbols

While lining up identical symbols on paylines is the conventional way to bag prizes, it is not the only way. There are other features in slots that can help you pocket a win. Many are triggered by special symbols, so let us look at those next.

  • Wild Symbols: These act like a joker in a deck of cards. These can act in the stead of any symbol you may need to land a win. Wilds can be standard, stacked (multiple symbols on top of one another), expanding (covering entire reels), sticky or frozen (remaining in place for several spins), spreading (expanding to other reels), multiplier (boosting your wins), walking (gradually jumping to new reels while offering re-spins), and colossal (covering large parts of the screen), or can take on many other roles.
  • Mystery Symbols: Mystery symbols are in many ways similar to wilds. However, these will not replace any symbol you need. Instead, they will all transform into the same symbol.
  • Bonus Symbols: These icons can trigger bonus features when they appear on specific reels.
  • Scatter Symbols: These emblems get their name because they count wherever they land. They can sometimes deliver payouts but are more commonly used to trigger bonuses. You will often need three or more appearing anywhere on the reels.
  • Scatter Wilds: These handy symbols take on the roles of wild symbols and scatters in one. They are advantageous as they cut down the number of symbols appearing, thus increasing your winning chances.

Re-Spin and Free Spin Bonuses

Two of the most common types of bonus rounds are re-spin and free spin rounds. A re-spin game will typically be given when you land particular kinds of wilds. You may get a single re-spin or several. Once an event is triggered or you reach the limit, the re-spin round ends.

By contrast, a free spin round usually takes place on a second screen. This feature will usually include some added goodies, such as special wilds, multipliers, or other perks. Again, you may be given a predetermined number of spins or even land an unlimited number. In the case of the latter, the bonus will end when an event is triggered.

Buy-a-Bonus Modes

There has been a tendency amongst slot providers of late to include buy-a-bonus modes into their games. Most true slot fans are not fans of this. It involves placing a side-bet to either stand a better chance of triggering a feature or triggering it outright. Because of this, buying a bonus round is usually costly. While this sounds like a good idea, some software providers have cut down the available number of special features in slots to lure you into buying such rounds. Others have cut down the value of the prizes to compensate. Either way, we do not recommend using these options. Why pay extra for a special feature which will likely come standard in another game?

Instant Win Rounds

Another type of bonus you may come across are instant win rounds. While scatters usually trigger free game modes, instant win bonuses are typically triggered by dedicated bonus symbols. These rounds often involve selecting from a series of objects or icons to win instant cash prizes. You may have a set number of choices or can carry on picking until a “collect” symbol is selected. Other instant win rounds include wheels of fortune, mini slot games, virtual races, board game-style trail bonuses like in the old pub fruit machines and more.

Randomly Triggered Modifiers

Finally, we should discuss randomly triggered modifiers. These are not bonus rounds, as such, but one-off goodies. They occur entirely at random, and there is nothing you can do to influence them. They will likely spring up anywhere during a base game spin. Sometimes, they may occur during free spin or re-spin rounds too. In essence, randomly triggered modifiers will improve your spin in some way. That might be by providing you with an instant win prize, added wilds, multipliers, expanding the number of reels or paylines, or by giving you a surprise free spin round. There are no set criteria for random modifiers, making them an exciting addition to the online slot world.

A Word on Jackpots

We will end by saying a quick word on progressive jackpots. Most slots are non-progressive in that they have a fixed jackpot that can always be won. Progressive jackpot slots have uncapped prize pools which rise with each bet. They can grow to be worth many millions of euros. The longer they remain unwon, the more valuable they are. These can be won at random by triggering bonuses or landing specific icons on paylines.