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29 December, 2022

Online Slots Features and How They Work

Land-based casinos attract clients thanks to their posh atmosphere, evening dress code, complimentary drinks and other tempting tidbits. Their Internet counterparts put an emphasis on online slots features that spice up the gameplay and let customers win more money if they're lucky. Read this article to find out about the most widespread features!


A paying line is the way certain symbols can appear on the grid to form winning combinations. The most popular type is the line that begins on the first reel to the left and runs from the left to the right — but that's not always the case.

An example of a traditional payline can be found in classic slots. These are traditional fruit machines that have three reels and three rows decorated with fruit symbols. The single payline features three matching symbols and runs horizontally across the center. Video slots with five reels typically have multiple paylines, up to 50.


This is one of the most common features that slot machines offer. A wild symbol has the power to substitute any other one. It gives you a good chance to compose a winning combination. Random wilds can appear at any time during the base game.

Imagine playing a three-reel slot and landing two matching symbols on the grid in a single spin. You lack only one matching symbol to get the biggest prize. If you get the wild one, the payline will be complete and the winnings will be transferred to you.

If you get just one wild, it will bring you the minimum reward. If you manage to land five of them simultaneously, they might bring you not just five coins on top of everything you've already won but an even bigger prize.

In addition to regular wilds, you can benefit from their bonus counterparts. Let's use a table to reveal the essence of different types of wilds that you can come across on many gambling sites.

1. Expanding wilds - They can cover the whole grid to make the sum of your prize skyrocket
2. Sticky wilds - Instead of disappearing from the grid together with all the other symbols, they stay there until you win a cash prize
3. Stacked wilds - These substitute the symbols that appear on top of each other
4. Shifting wilds - They can relocate from one reel to another so that you can make the most of them

Mystery Symbols

Software developers insert them into their products to make the gameplay more exciting. Such special symbols might appear anywhere on the grid during the base game or a bonus round. They may look like question marks or have some other unique design that differentiates them from regular symbols.

You would fail to check them until your regular wins are determined. Thanks to this special feature, you might get bigger winnings. However, this gambling feature also includes the probability of zero benefits if the symbols aren't positioned correctly.


These are typically found in 5-reel slots, not necessarily modern ones. It's one of the top five features that have become extremely popular among players.

Scatter symbols guarantee extra payouts regardless of their location. They don't need to land in the right place or become part of the payline. The wilds appearing on the grid usually fail to substitute for them.

The more scatters you get, the more extra rewards you can expect. Two scatters usually deliver smaller wins compared to hitting three scatters. Some scatters do their magic when only appearing on selected reels.

This additional feature can grant you extra money or access to a bonus round. When you land three or more scatters on the grid during a bonus round, they will usually trigger it once again.

Bonus Rounds

Most bonus rounds provide additional spins to players at no cost. However, bonus features vary considerably on different casino sites and can include:

• Wilds that will expand
• Random or sticky wilds
• Customized interactive rounds
• Table game rounds
• Symbol transformations that ensure the biggest payouts
• Increasing multipliers
• Increased payout percentage
• When the reels stop, they will be synced

Thanks to these unique features, modern online gambling resembles immersive gaming experiences. You as if start playing a video game that distributes real money among the luckiest individuals.

Progressive Jackpots

A progressive jackpot gives you the highest chance of obtaining the biggest wins. Standard jackpot prizes are fixed. Their progressive counterparts evolve from smaller jackpots into the highest payouts possible. Each time people start placing bets with real cash, a certain amount of each bet amount is added to the jackpot. The sum of the top prize that you can potentially win keeps on continuously increasing.

The rewards for players don't depend on how much they put at stake. It's possible to hit the biggest jackpot with a tiny bet.

Games with progressive jackpot amounts are very popular among players. Many people add them to their favorites. On many online gaming platforms, there are dedicated sections with jackpot titles.

Gamble Feature

This one is not too typical of higher volatility games or jackpots. It's normally added to slots that regularly distribute smaller prizes among the players.

After you hit a winning payline, the game will show a Gamble button to you. After pushing it, you should be ready to complete one of these simple tasks:

• You'll see a deck of playing cards lying face down. Your task is to guess the suit or color of a randomly-drawn card.
• Toss a coin and predict whether it will be a heads or tails.
• The game will show you a random number. Your task is to guess whether the next number will be lower or higher than the first one.

If you guess correctly, your prize might double or even quadruple. If you provide a wrong answer, you'll lose the bet that you placed to access that feature.

Free Spins

If we need to pick the top three popular options among all the slot features, free spins would definitely be one of them. Game developers have been using them ever since good online casinos began to establish an Internet presence for themselves.

To trigger this feature, it's necessary to land a scatter or some other combination of symbols on the grid. During the base game, you pay a small amount of cash to make each spin. Thanks to free spins, you can set the reels in motion without spending a single cent from your balance. If you win thanks to them, you'll be able to withdraw this money as usual. Just to compare: when training in demo mode, you can spin the reels for free — but you can't withdraw the winnings.

In some slots, you might be able to buy extra spins in exchange for cash. During such a session, the RTP and/or other parameters of the game might change.

Most gambling platforms distribute free spin rounds as deposit and no-deposit bonuses. Such promotional offers aren't identical to the spins that are built inside the games. The former depends on the decisions of casino administrations. The terms and conditions on the latter are 100% determined by software providers. When wagering a casino promotional offer with free spins, you might be able to activate a bonus round with the free spins that are built inside the game.


Let's imagine that a free spins bonus round is taking place. You're allowed to set the reels in motion at no cost for a limited number of times. Once you hit this limit, be ready to spend cash from your balance the next time you want to spin the reels again.

Lucky symbols appearing on the reels might allow you to keep spinning them at no cost longer than initially expected, multiple times in a row. To produce this effect, you might need to get a certain number of scatters that also trigger multipliers and other perks.

In some games, you have the right to retrigger the extra spins rounds indefinitely. Others allow you to do so just once.

Cascading Reels

This one can be found in advanced slot machines. It's one of the most recent innovations of the gambling industry that has become popular only a couple of years ago.

You make a spin. New symbols land on the grid. You get a prize for composing a winning combination if you're lucky. After that, the winning symbols disappear and other symbols take their place. They fall down from the upper part of the screen — and you don't need to make an extra bet and pay for it. This process will repeat over and over until you run out of winning combinations.

It's a very good way of spicing up the gameplay! The best part of it is that slots with cascading reels often boast cutting-edge graphics and animation.

Fixed and Variable Paylines

In the first generation of online slots, players would be able to benefit only from a fixed number of paylines. As the games began to become more sophisticated, people who played them could choose whether to increase or decrease the number of paylines before each spin. This number could vary from one to a few dozen. This feature enables you to fine-tune your expenses and adrenaline level.

Adjacent Ways

If a slot has this feature, the symbols don't need to compose a conventional payline to form a winning combination. It's enough for them to be located on the adjacent reels.

In some games, the winning combination needs to start on the first reel to the left and go to the right. In others, the combination can begin anywhere.


It's one of the most basic terms in the gaming industry. It's similar to paylines but not synonymous with it. It would be an underestimation to say that the most sophisticated modern slots offer multiple ways to win — they feature thousands of them. The more complex the game, the more chances it gives you to compose the right combinations to win cash prizes.

Remember that many ways to win are not synonymous with the highest RTP, the highest return or the most generous player percentage. While the number of ways to win might be very high, the volatility could still be low. A lower-volatility game would let you win frequently, but your prizes won't be large.

Multiplier Symbols

Multipliers increase the sum of your prize by several times. You may discover them both in the base game and the bonus rounds. There are different ways for activating them:

• Compose a series of consecutive winning paylines
• Trigger a free spins round
• Land a wild symbol on the grid

Increasing multipliers are also known as progressive. Each time you hit a consecutive win, its amount will double or increase even more. This is typical for machines with cascading reels.

However, progressive ones are not too widespread. It would be more common to activate regular bet multipliers that are attached to scatters or wilds.

Bonus multipliers are a great way of getting entertained and boosting your winnings:

• They can be attached to the free spins that you activate after landing a series of scatters on the grid.
• The same type of winning combination (at least three scatters) can give you access to a pick-me bonus. You'll be able to select from around a dozen secret items. Some of them will turn out to be multiplying coefficients.
• Jackpot machines often have an in-built Wheel of Fortune. You spin it and when it stops, its arrow will indicate a section with a particular prize. This can be a multiplier.
• A trail bonus lets you collect multiplying coefficients and cash prizes while walking along a game board or path.

You'll be highly likely to discover at least one multiplier feature in a five-reel slot.


When your fingers get tired of clicking the button manually, consider enabling this feature. Thanks to it, the reels will keep spinning automatically until you win or lose a specific sum. You'll be able to pre-define this sum before activating the Autoplay. Alternatively, you may avoid setting any limits and let the machine make a pre-defined number of spins.

Autoplay is a slightly dubious feature. On the one hand, it saves you time and effort. On the other hand, the reels keep spinning so fast that you lose the precious opportunity to savor every moment.

Cluster Pays

It's another alternative to traditional paylines. It has become so popular in the past few years that even the most conservative software developers have begun to release slots with this feature.

The symbols that compose a winning combination don't need to form a line. It's ok if they're grouped in a cluster. For instance, two symbols might be located one above the other on the second reel. Three more symbols might be situated on the third reel, to the right from the initial two ones. In total, you have five adjacent symbols — and they bring you a cash prize.

Win Both Ways

Traditionally, a payline should begin on the first reel to the left and go from the left to the right. If you compose a winning combination that goes from the right to the left, you will fail to earn cash — unless the slot offers the Win Both Ways feature. If it does, the combination that goes in the "wrong" direction will nevertheless grant you a cash prize.


A conventional slot has a set number of reels and rows. The Megaways feature makes the gameplay more dynamic and less predictable. You don't know in advance the specific number of symbols that will land on each reel after the next spin. It can range from two to eight or maybe even more. For software developers, it's a great chance to exercise their creativity.

Expanding Reels

When you start playing, the slot has a certain number of reels and rows. Then, you activate a specific combination of symbols or access a bonus round. Suddenly, you'll discover additional reels or rows. They will give you more opportunities to win.


Slot machine features make the gameplay more exciting and allow gamblers to win more money. They help games become more popular and expand the audience of online casinos. When getting started, the most important thing is to glance through the slot's pay table before launching it. There, you'll discover exhaustive information about the features such as free spins, scatters, wild, cascading reels and so on.

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