One of the many things that revolutionized the slot industry and made slot games the most popular and most sought-after game in the gambling world today is the introduction of special features. These features have become a common trend in today’s slot industry, both in the online gaming space and brick-and-mortar casinos. While many players prefer simple games with little or no complex bonus features, many wouldn’t even consider playing without them. This is why you will find that one of the criteria that many slot enthusiasts use to determine whether or not they will play a specific slot game is the availability of special features. So, what is so special about this feature?
Photo by Omar Houchaimi
On this page, we will have a closer look at some notable features popular in slot games today and the advantage of such features in games.
What are Slots Special Features
Special features are one of the core components that makes up a slot machine. These features are designed to make the gameplay of slot machines quite exciting and boost players’ chances of winning. Think free spins, wilds, scatters, and gamble games. These are just a few of the most common features that you will find in slot machines today. And thanks to the advancement in technology today, developers of slot games are always on the lookout to invent new and innovative features and improve on the existing ones. So, the possibilities of slots’ special features are almost endless.
Players who like the simplicity of slot games would often avoid games overloaded with features because they assume they are too complex to understand. However, special features are not as complex as many players deem them to be, and they are pretty easy to understand once you have used them a few times in a game.
Types of Slot Features
When you go online to play slots, you will discover tons of special features that come with many slot games. The more slots you play, the more features you will come across. Let’s have a look at some of the most common types of features that accompany slot games.
Bonus Round & Free Spins
This bonus feature is the most desirable among gamers. Bonus rounds are arguably the best slot game feature you will come across. They add extra excitement to the gameplay and significantly increase players’ chances of landing winning combinations, often with zero cost to their playing balance. In most slots, a special symbol, often the scatter symbol, triggers the bonus round. Bonus round features come in many forms. For example, free spins are the most popular bonus round feature you will come across while playing slots online. Once you trigger the feature, the free spins round begins and will award you several free rounds, which you can play with no cost to your balance. Another way that players can enjoy free spins is through bonus free spins offered by online casinos, such as the no deposit free spins Canada.
Aside from the free spins bonus round, many other bonus games always accompany slot games, some of which includes:
- Bonus Wheel
- Pick a Bonus
Wilds are arguably the most common features that accompany slot games. Wilds symbols perform the same function as a Joker in a deck of cards. They are usually used as symbols substitutions to help players create a winning combination that would otherwise not be complete. Take, for example, if you have two similar symbols lined up adjacently across an active payline, you will lose the round as you need three identical symbols to trigger a win. However, if you land a wild symbol in the 3rd position after the two symbols, you will trigger a win and be paid as if you have three identical ones. The only exceptions to wild substitutions are scatters and bonus symbols.
Over the years, slot developers have experimented with the wild feature and have developed different exciting ways to incorporate them in games. So, wilds now come in various forms, each having extra functions aside from the usual substitution. Here are some of the new forms of wilds:
- Expanding wilds
- Sticky wilds
- Stacked wilds
- Cascading wilds
- Shifting wilds
- Transferring wilds
Another common feature that you will encounter while playing slot games is the scatters feature, also referred to as slot players’ best friend. Typically, to trigger a win in slot games, you will need to line up identical symbols across an active payline. However, this rule does not apply with scatters. As long as you land the minimum number of scatter symbols in any position across the entire playing grid, you trigger a win.
The scatter symbol is often responsible for triggering slots’ bonus games, usually free spins, mini-games, and other bonus rounds.
Though not as popular as the wild or scatter features, the Gamble feature is another common slot feature. After any winning spin in any round, the gamble feature will give players the chance to potentially increase their winnings in a double-or-nothing game. The game can be a Hi-Lo game or a simple red or black card game. If you manage to guess the outcome of the game correctly, you double up your winnings. But if you lose the game, you lose your entire winnings.
However, some slots allow players to reduce the percentage of the winnings that they risk on the gamble feature rather than the whole amount.
Another common special feature in slot games that can significantly boost players’ winnings is the multiplier feature. Unlike many of the other slot features, multipliers don’t increase your chances of landing wins, and instead, what they do is increase how much your winnings will turn out to be. Simply put, multiplier symbols will help you to multiply your winnings significantly by a certain amount. Multipliers come in different values, and depending on the slot you are playing, you can get a multiplier value ranging from X2 up to X100 or more.
Other Special Symbols that deserve mention include:
- Ways to Win
- Progressive jackpot
- Cascading reels
- Cluster pay
Advantages of Slots’ Special Features in Gameplay
As you can see from the article so far, special features make slot games more amusing and exciting. However, apart from the excitement that slot enthusiasts get from triggering a bonus feature, there is a lot more to them. Slots features can be the thing that determines whether a player will walk away from the reels of a slot machine happy or sad, as they can significantly increase players’ winning chances.
Take, for example, Jon Heywood, a British Soldier who won 13 million Euros in 2015 while playing Microgaming’s Mega Moolah Slot. Little did Heywood know when he woke up that day that he would become a millionaire overnight. What made the difference that day was that he was lucky enough to trigger the progressive jackpot feature while playing the Mega Moolah slot, and that allowed him to walk away with a life-changing sum of money.
Many players unfamiliar with special features find slot machines that have many features quite intimidating, but they are often not. Special features are usually relatively easy to understand, and the more slots you play, the quicker you will become familiar with these exciting features.
However, remember that while all the special features in slot games add certain amounts of excitement to your gaming experience, there are those that you should use sparingly. Take, for example, the “Gamble Feature”. While the feature can help you increase your winnings significantly, it can also turn on you. An incorrect guess during the gamble feature will see you lose any winnings you have managed to accumulate during the round.