Online Slots: the Backbone of the iGaming Industry
Even if slots are not your favorite part of gambling, nobody would reject the chance to spin the reels when given the chance, if not for the reward, then for their colorful esthetics.
Before the gambling industry became what it is today, slots were very simple, and there weren’t many options to choose from on the market. Gameplay was almost identical in all of them with some minor details separating the games from each other.
Nowadays, the situation is the opposite. There are countless titles on the internet with different graphics, rules, and adaptations. It would be impossible to list all the slot games in existence since the best online casino websites are constantly working on bringing new ones year after year.
Slots are still simple and fun, but all the improvements resulted in more features being added. So it’s wise to learn about them before engaging with your favorite slots just to make sure you’re extracting the maximum out of your experience.
Before analyzing the gameplay features, first, we must understand the technical aspect of slots and how they can be used to our advantage. Each of them has a unique purpose and carries certain benefits, so not knowing the basics about them could lead to missing out on big winnings while playing.
When the game symbols perfectly align into a winning pattern, that’s called a payline. The traditional slot games involved 1-3 of them, but nowadays pay lines can go from 10 to 1024. Industry standards are 25 and 243, but game developers are free to choose anywhere within the given range.
Wilds are typical symbols that may be seen in several modern-day online slots. In order to help generate winning combinations, wild symbols can be used in place of any other symbol on the reels.
Wilds often don’t replace Scatters or bonus symbols, but if there are plenty of them on the reels, they can still increase your bankroll. If you line up five wilds on a payline – you might win a large prize.
Free spins are among the most well-liked in-game slot machine bonuses. Typically, three or more Scatter symbols must appear anywhere on the reels to start the free spins feature.
Bonus features differ across developers, but often a predetermined number of free spins are given with a reward multiplier tied to each successful spin.
The ‘volatility’ of a slot machine refers to how frequently it pays out. You may play a slot machine that consistently awards tiny prizes, or a game might sometimes award large jackpots.
The player can choose a low or high-volatility slot depending on their money and preferences.
Scatters, also known as Scatter Pays, are bonus symbols that award prizes everywhere they appear on the reels. Scatters merely pay you when they land on the reels; they don’t need to be a part of a payline of sequentially matching symbols.
While two Scatters can yield some small payouts, three Scatters will typically start a bonus round, such as Free Spins or a Trail extra.
Now that we’ve covered some technical fundamentals, we can dive into the more fun and engaging part of slots and see how we can utilize their full potential.
Cascading reels are pretty well-known to slots fans, and the main point about them is that the winning combos “explode” and vanish from the reels as symbols fall down the screen.
Then the mentioned symbols are moved into their on-screen positions. Until no more winning combinations get hit, the procedure gets repeated.
Expanding Scatters is a popular feature that doesn’t often expand Wilds but still shows up frequently during Free Spins rounds.
The same as a standard Scatter icon, a set symbol will expand and pay in any place on the screen. Once it expands, you stand to gain significant financial gains.
Multipliers are a popular addition to online slot machine games, and what’s special about them is that they typically come from free spin rounds.
However, a lot of games have ‘progressive multipliers’ in the main game that can increase normal wins without triggering a bonus, so they’ve become quite a fan favorite over the last decade.
Bonus Round Features
Without bonus rounds, no online slot machine can be considered complete. Free spins, quick winnings, ‘choose me’ bonuses, trail bonuses, progressive jackpots, and skill games are some of the common bonus categories.
However, the quality of incentives might vary greatly from developer to developer, which is how the best get separated from the lower-tier ones.
Re-Triggering Free Spins
Free spins are a fantastic method to get additional money. But regardless of how much are they appealing, free spins that can be retriggered sound even better.
By hitting a further three bonus Scatters, you may retrigger the free spins feature and start the spin one more time. Retriggering is especially desirable for slots that only provide 10 FS, so any additional chance is worth gold.
Slots have improved over the decades, and thanks to that, there’s a lot for us to learn in order to stay updated.
However, that can be considered a sweet problem to have, especially when you think about how bigger the prizes and bonuses are nowadays than they were ten or twenty years ago. Once you master the fundamental features, nothing is stopping you from picking your favorite slot game, combining your skills with luck, and having unlimited fun for as long as you want.