The first mechanical slot machines only had 1×3 reels with one payline. Back then, all you needed to do was follow the simple gameplay of trying to land matching symbols on the single payline. However, technology has changed a lot in the gambling industry as we know it, and with the advent of online casinos came digital slot machines.
Today, players can even enjoy their favourite slot titles online at any no deposit bonus casino in Canada without making an initial payment.
Unlike their 3-reel predecessors, online slots came with various innovations, including certain unique features that enhance gameplay and increase players’ chances of winning. These features have become a common trend in the online casino industry, with modern slot games combining up to five or six. In this article, we will take a closer look at the special features of online slot machines and explore how they work.
Understanding Special Features in Slots
Also known as bonus features, special features are specific elements or mechanics usually incorporated into the gameplay of online slot games. These features enhance a slot’s gameplay experience and give players more opportunities to win big.
Today, unique features have become a must-have in online slot machines, and many software providers equip their games with different exciting ones to stand out from the rest. In fact, top developers are constantly working to invent new and innovative features or put a unique spin on exciting ones to improve them.
Different Slot Features on Online Slot Games
Today, thousands of slot games are available in different casinos online, and most of these titles come with more than one unique feature. The more slots you play, the more bonus features you will find. It is also important to note that the available features typically vary from game to game depending on what the developer puts into the gameplay.
An easy way to discover a slot game’s features is to access its payables. There, you will find relevant information regarding the special bonus elements it offers, what they do, and how to activate them. Let’s check out some of the most popular unique features in the best online slot games.
Wilds are some of the most common symbol features in slot games, which have existed since mechanical one-armed bandit slot machines were still the rage. And you will still find it on most titles today. The primary function of the wild symbol feature is to act as a substitute for any other symbol (except scatters and other bonus symbols) to help create winning combinations that would otherwise not be complete.
Interestingly, some games equip the wild symbol with another secondary function to pay out winnings when you manage to land two/three, or more of it across an active payline. Over the years, different slot games have introduced many variations of the wild symbol, each with extra functions aside from completing winning combinations. The table below shows a few variations of wilds that you will find online and their roles.
|Wilds Variation||Extra Function|
|Sticky wilds||Stays in place for a set number of spins|
|Expanding wilds||Expands to fill an entire reel|
|Stacked wilds||Appears in groups or stacks on a single reel|
|Random wilds||Appears unexpectedly on the reels|
|Multiplier wilds||Multiplies any wins it helped complete by a specific multiplier|
The next feature you will often come across in online slot machines is the scatter symbol. The primary function of this one is to trigger a slot’s in-game bonus round, usually the free spins. While the rule may vary from machine to machine, landing three or more scatter symbols will trigger the free spins or bonus game.
The scatter symbol’s secondary function is to trigger payouts when you land two/three or more of it on a machine’s reels. However, unlike the wilds and the regular symbol, this feature will grant a win regardless of the position of the symbols as long as you land the minimum number. Hence, the name “scatter.”
Free Spins and Bonus Games
The free spins feature is a highly sought-after option in online slots. This will often trigger when the reels’ scatter or unique free spins symbols appear, granting free rounds where players don’t have to pay for the bets. Once activated, the feature will award a number of free spins depending on the game rules. A crucial detail to note about the free spins feature is that the bonus round plays with the bet size that triggers it. So, the higher the triggering round bet size, the bigger the potential payout.
Some games also offer players other forms of special bonus game rounds, which you can trigger with unique symbols. Some popular options in this category include:
- Bonus Wheel
- Pick a Bonus
Another special feature that improves players’ chances of winning is the gamble feature, which usually activates after any successful winning combination. Here, the slot machine will allow players to double their winnings with a mini-game. The game is quite simple and involves guessing between two possible outcomes, usually with cards.
If you guess correctly, your winnings will double, and you will get the chance to go again, usually up to five or more times. The flip side is that if your guess is incorrect, you lose your entire winnings. Some slots even offer the chance to quadruple your winnings by guessing the right suit. That said, other Special features you will usually find in slot games include:
- Free Re-Spins
- Cluster Reels
- Win Multipliers
- Progressive Jackpots
- All Ways Pay
- Buy a Bonus, etc.
Special features are a common trend in online slots, enhancing players’ gaming experience and offering additional winning opportunities. Therefore, understanding how they work and incorporating them into your gaming strategy can significantly increase your chances of winning. As a parting tip, we advise you to use these features more in demo slot games to learn how to maximize them for your profit.