Video slots have been around for many years and are one of the most popular casino games in the world. As some of you might know, slots started off in bars and pubs and provided rewards such as free beers and meals, which not only made them popular, but many saw great potential for these games, which was where the industry expanded.
Today, there are many different slots to choose from, which all have a theme of their own and bonuses to impress. The games are available in all casinos and have managed to spread to the online market as well, which has once again taken it further and provides mobile gaming as well. The future of slots and casino games is sure to reach new horizons as virtual gaming and other methods of making online games more realistic are being introduced.
However, the future of slots developers more and more with each game being released as developers come up with new game styles and bonuses to impress. Looking at the slots available at this very moment, you will find there are many themes that include branded games such as movie themes and famous bands while also covering all the most popular childhood stories and unique themes with their own personal bonus features.
A number of reels and pay lines have also shifted to new lengths as games provide odd sized reels that range from anywhere from 3 to 6 reels. Some games even offer different amounts of symbols per reel, making it more interesting to play the game and also extend winnings when the stacked symbols appear. Pay-lines range from 1 all the way through to 100 line games, but one of the most impressive features in ways to win, which works very much the same way as pay-lines, but allows players to cover more reward opportunities with a lower bet total.
The fact is that developers have managed to create a game for all players out there, which has become a lot bigger with online casinos as they can offer countless games and also feature various bet options to suit any player. The bonus features have also expanded to new levels and no longer simply include the result wilds, scatters, and free spins anymore. In fact, players get to trigger bonus features that are played on a second screen or take part in free spin bonuses with new features to boost your winning even further.
Newer games also come with the ability to offer winnings both ways. Most of us are used to combinations appearing from left to right, but some developers have managed to change this to winning being possible from left to right and the other way around, making combinations a lot easier to activate and more winnings to be achieved.
The world of slots has changed in many ways, which is why we have come up with this article, which gives you all the ins and outs of the latest offering the casino market has to offer. This will ensure you know all about the latest casino additions and what they have to offer in regards to your reward opportunities. We will look at the latest bonuses features, the biggest jackpots, and how all these offerings affect the payout rate.
Scatter and Wild Symbols
As mentioned above, there are many new features available with video slots of today, which even includes modifications to the features of regular bonuses such as scatters and wild symbols. These provide more advantages and bigger winnings when they appear and have become a bonus feature all on their own.
Scatters refers to a symbol that appears on the reels with most games. Classic slots such as 3 reeled games don’t often provide these symbols and those that do, simply offer an additional winning. These symbols are popular with games offering free spins and other features such as second screen bonuses. The scatters are the only symbols in the game that activate winnings when at least 2 or 3 appear anywhere. This means no combinations are needed, and victories usually result in a reward that’s been multiplied by the total bet instead of the bet value per line.
Some games do restrict the scatters only to appear on certain reels to activate a feature. For example, the pay table will state that scatters need to show on reels 2, 3, and 4 at the same time to trigger a feature. The scatters can still be shown in any position on those reels, but have to appear simultaneously to trigger the bonus.
Wilds are basically joker symbols that stand in for any other and provide winnings accordingly. In other words, these symbols can change their value for any standard symbol that appears on the same line as it. So, if the reels show 2 identical symbols on the first 2 reels on a line and they are followed by a wild, the combination would be completed at 3 of a kind as the wild represents another of the symbol needed. The wilds commonly represent the game logo or one of the most important characters or items in the game, which results in the highest winnings when they appear in a combination of their own, which involves at least 3 wilds from left to right.
In most slots, the scatters cannot replicate the scatters or bonus symbols as they are not normal game symbols. Some slots will allow the wilds to assist in triggering the bonus, but it’s not a common feature.
Wild multipliers are the exact same thing as regular wilds, but with an additional reward opportunity. The game will include information about the multiplier, which could include values from 2x to 10x. These are activated when featured in any combinations and will multiply the combination payout by the value of the multiplier.
Stacked and Expanding Wilds
Stacked wilds still provide the features of normal wilds, but can appear more than once on a reel. This is because the game allows them to appear in stacks on each reel. Each of the symbols can provide the features of a normal wild, allowing more combinations to be completed. Expanding wilds on the other hand, only require one of the wilds to show on a reel where it will expand to cover that entire reel for additional winnings. Each block covered by the expanded wild acts as a regular wild.
Shifting and Frozen Wilds
Shifting wilds are quite unique and offer great winnings on the reels. Most games offering these wilds provide re-spins as part of the bonus. Once a wild appears on the reels, it will not just complete combinations as per usual and then spin away with the reels, these symbols will shift to the left or right instead. They will only stop achieving combinations once they shift off the reels on either side. Frozen wilds are popular with features such as free spins, which keep the wilds in place for the entire feature. This means if a wild shows up anywhere, it will stay there to offer additional winnings. Some games will even allow players to fill the screen with wilds for mega winnings.
Now that you have the basic of the impressive features symbols can deliver in games, you would also need to know about the bonuses that many video slots of today include. This ranges from re-spins to free spins, and even include exciting interactive bonus features.
Re-spins have become an attractive feature for video slots with special wilds. These spins can also be seen as mini free spins as players will receive 1 to 3 re-spins when a certain combination of feature takes place. These spins are free and provide additional winnings throughout the game. For example, if a slot provides expanding wilds with re-spins, it means when a wild appears, the game will pay any combinations and spin the reels again with that wild in place. Other re-spins can be offered with a second chance feature when there are 2 scatters, and you need 3, or with cascading reels that give you another winning opportunity without having to spin the reels again.
Free spins are popular and offer great winnings. These are one of the most popular features activated by scatters. Each game will provide their own amount of free spins and some developers and also come up with ways to offer additional benefits with features such as winning multipliers that will multiply all the combinations you achieve. Extra wilds and scatter symbols to complete more combinations. Free spin combinations, which allows the player to choose how many free spins they would like and the features that come with those free spins. For example, choosing fewer free spins will provide higher multipliers, but players can also choose a lower multiplier and receive more free spins or other benefits.
The bonus games available in slots are sure to impress as there are all types of games to choose from. These begin with regular features such as picking bonuses where players can choose from items on the screen and receive winnings. Other impressive bonuses are interactive, meaning you need to battle a monster and receive winnings for each strike and successful block, or match 3 items to activate the biggest reward. Other developers have taken the bonus features and combined it with the entire game, which includes various levels to work through and additional payouts to activate.
Cascading reels is one of the latest features in video slots. This feature provides another rewarding opportunity for the same spin. Symbols will appear as per usual and provide winnings, but the symbols that created the combinations will fall away after rewarding, and those above will fall down to possible form another combination. This feature can revolve multiple times, which simply increases your winnings. Many games offering this feature also include multipliers that increase with each consecutive cascade, offering even higher payouts.
Progressive jackpot winnings have been around for a long time in land-based casinos, which is why they have also become popular with online casinos. However, there are a few major differences when comparing these 2 bonus types. This includes their values, how often the jackpots are paid, how you can activate these jackpots, and much more.
Firstly, it’s important to understand how these jackpot values are increased. Most jackpots are network progressives, which means more than one game is linked to the value shown at the top. In land-based casinos, these jackpots are increased by the casino themselves and a portion of the bet value used per spin by players. This allows the value to increases, but at a relatively slow rate, which is why these jackpots take very long to provide winnings shown.
Online progressive jackpots are increased in the same way. However, these are hosted by the developer who would provide a starting amount and them a small portion of each wager placed on the game would be added to the jackpot value. However, the difference is that these jackpot values increase much faster as players from around the world wager on the game at the same time. All casinos that feature a specific game are linked to the main jackpot value, which is why world records such as the 2013 €17 million payouts are possible.
Online jackpot slots consist of a much bigger selection as well, which is once again possible as they are online and not restricted by the casino size. These jackpots are not all linked together, meaning there are many values and games to choose from, which provide the jackpot winnings in all types of ways. Many of the games feature multiple values as well, and players have the opportunity to trigger these values easier than the mega values. Another impressive aspect is that these massive jackpots are known to pay out almost monthly, making it very attractive and exciting.
Online progressive jackpots can be activated with any betting value the game has to offer whereas land-based casinos usually require a certain bet amount per spin to win the jackpot, which isn’t always a value preferred by most players.
How are Online Jackpots Activated?
Since there are so many developers online, which all create new ways to provide their bonus features and winnings, you will also find they have selected different ways to provide progressive jackpots. This makes it interesting for players as they can choose the game theme, the other features in the game, and how the jackpot is triggered.
One of the most popular methods is a combination that needs to appear on an individual line. Developers usually choose the last pay-line of the game and will require 5 of a certain symbol to appear on this line. This means you need to use all the available pay-lines to stand a chance to win the jackpot but can use any bet value per line. Others will simply require a combination of 5 symbols on any pay-line and provide percentages of the jackpot if it has been activated on another pay-line. This is common with classic that provide 3 to 5 pay-lines.
The biggest jackpot winnings from Microgaming and NetEnt are triggered with bonus features. Microgaming uses randomly activated bonus games in their Mega Moolah games, which can take place at any time. This bonus feature is a guaranteed progressive win once activated, which will include 1 of 4 jackpot values on the progressive wheel. NetEnt allows the player to trigger the game by getting 3 jackpot symbols to appear on reels 1, 2, and 3. In the game, you need to spin a multi-level wheel and try to spot it on the arrows showing inwards to the next level. There are also other great winnings on the wheel and players can win one of 3 jackpots. To trigger the mega jackpot, you need to reach the center of the bonus wheel.
Picking bonuses and match features are also used to offer jackpot winnings, such as Hall of Gods of NetEnt that provides multiple shields on your screen once the feature has been triggered. Match 3 of the jackpot symbols to win one of 3 jackpot values.
There are many other ways to activate progressive jackpots, and many players would say that a higher bet value increases your chances of hitting the values shows above the reels, which is why many players choose to accept casino bonuses to play these games as the casino provides an additional cash reward when you make a deposit.
Return to Player (RTP)
A return to player rate is the percentage shown to provide you with the house edge and what the game has been set to. Online slots tend to have a much higher percentage than land-based games as their do not have the same expenses as a land-based casino. A rate of 80% to 90% can be expected in a land-based casino, which basically means the house edge of the game is 10%. Online casinos range up to 98%, making the game more rewarding as the house edge is much lower.
However, these rates are not based on each spin as casino games include a random number generator, which provides random payouts and fair gaming. This system ensures the house edge is random, meaning you will never know what the actual payout rate is why playing the game. The percentages shown on the game has been calculated over thousands of spins, meaning that the rate at the end of the day does mean much to you as the random number generator could be offering a win ratio that exceeds 100%. This means the odds of winnings are well in your favor or it could be below 90%, which favors the house.
There are a few things within video slots that affect the payout rate, but at the same time provide benefits to the player. This includes the rewards offered by the game, and the bonus features it provides. However, this gets very technical and mathematic as many things come into play when working out these rates.
However, in basic terms, you will find games that provide jackpots and huge bonuses, tend to offer higher rates due to the additional features and the winnings they provide. This makes it even more attractive, but keep in mind those features need to be activated for the impressive rate you see. Games with fewer bonus features and non-progressive jackpots might not offer a huge payout rate, but their winnings are massive for the combinations featured. This means you might wait a bit longer for those impressive payouts, but once a big win comes, you are sure to be blown away.
The payout rate is simply there to ensure the casino game is fair and cannot determine how much you would win at the time of playing as these rates are random and could offer any results at any time. Choosing games based on this rate could be a waste of your time, unless you are looking for slots to play in the long run, meaning you would return to the game on a regular basis, in which case the payout rate information would provide benefits to you in the long run.
Use bonuses when you play slots online
Various slots are a great way to take advantage of casino bonuses. Many casinos offer free spins after registration that can be used on one or multiple slots. Other casinos offer deposit bonuses that have terms & conditions that makes slots a good game for the wagering requirements.
List of the best slots online
Online video slots are a lot of fun and provide great winnings that suit all player types. There are many features to choose from, and with so many different developers available, their themes cover anything you desire awhile keeping to fair betting options and rewards. The games are easy to play, and with the latest mobile additions, you can take these games anywhere you go and stand a chance to hit the next major jackpot. The best way to experience these bonuses is to play the games with a bet you are comfortable with and wait to be amazed at the bonus features they include.
Play slots for free!
You can play slots for free and still have the chance to win real money. Read more about free spins to figure out how it works.
You can also practise to play slots by playing demo games with play money. Below is a demo game of Gonzo’s Quest: