Gone are the days when online slot games were basic yet fun ‘fruit machines’. Whilst there is still a market for classic online slots (nostalgia reasons for the most part), new online slots today are worlds apart from the first-generation games we saw at the start of the online casino boom.
Today’s new slots are filled to the brim with new slot features, HD graphics and carry fun and (sometimes controversial) themes. Slot features are the key components that make up a slot game and are designed to make gameplay more exciting and to help boost your wins ultimately.
Traditionally, online slots featured key components such as Wilds, Scatters, Nudges, Avalanche Reels, Multipliers and Pick and Click features. However, brand new slots usually have over ten different in-game features to tackle, depending on the slot provider. The more slots you play, the quicker you recognise the different features.
Some online slots may look intimidating or seem complicated to play at first glance, but they are usually easy to grasp. We’ve put together a handy guide to various new slot features you will likely encounter if you play the latest slots from premium providers. They include:
Bonus wheel: Certain slots, usually progressive jackpot slots, feature an in-game bonus wheel that’s usually randomly activated that can award cash prizes, different-sized progressive jackpots, free spins, and multipliers to boost your bankroll.
Colossal reels: ‘Colossal Reels’ are a unique slot feature usually associated with well-known game developer WMS (Williams Interactive). Colossal Reels generally feature two sets of reels on the same screen; a small set of reels played with three rows, plus a second, five-reel set with 12 rows.
Random Features: Some slots offer random features that can crop up anywhere and anytime when playing. Random features can be anything from symbol upgrades to extra Wild and Sticky Multiplier features that will trigger randomly. The idea is to make gameplay more interesting because the excitement is in the element of surprise.
Hold and spin: This feature can be found in various slots from different manufacturers. The idea of Hold & Spin slots is you collect (usually instant cash) symbols to increase your pay-outs during the feature. The more symbols you collect, the higher the award.
Retriggering feature: This feature allows you to restart the current bonus round according to the paytable rules. A re-triggering feature is often seen during a free spin round.
Cluster pays: Cluster-Pay is a unique payment system used in some slots and was first introduced by NetEnt with their Aloha Cluster Pays Slot. To win in a grid slot, you must form clusters of 5 or more identical symbols on the reels.
Link & Win: Link & Win is a unique feature associated with Microgaming slots. All slots with this feature are indicated with a small “Link & Win” logo. The Link & Win feature is a respin feature that resets every time you land a specific symbol. The feature can be triggered by landing between 6 to 14 special Link&Win symbols on the screen in any position. Each symbol has a certain cash amount associated with it, which is totalled together at the end of the feature for large pay-outs.
Drops & Wins: Have you ever seen a slot game labelled with “Drops & Wins”? If so, they are slots that feature a successful bonus innovation from Pragmatic Play. Drops & Wins slots consist of jackpots and enormous prizes that are dropped randomly during a win. The prizes attached to these games are usually represented by bet multipliers, cash prizes and free bonus games.
x Split wilds: Nolimity City is well known for its cutting-edge and often controversial-themed slots. You’ll see what we mean by looking at games such as Tombstone R.I.P., Remember Gulag and Karen Maneater. If you see a slot feature with a small ‘x’ in front of it, the chances are it will be a slot game from Nolimit City. Nolimit City devised a series of “X features”, which are fun and pack a punch in most of their newest slots. For example, Nolimit City’s xSplit Wilds, seen in The Rave and Folsom Prison Slots, are no ordinary Wilds; they’re super potent and will split all symbols to the left on the same row for more chances to win.
How to choose where to play new slots
Playing new slots is only entertaining and safe as the online casino that you choose to play them at. There are countless online casinos and slot sites to join, but being savvy about where you play is the key to getting ahead.
It’s wise only to join approved new slot sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission so that you only play legit, regulator-approved slots and are protected in case of any dispute. Hopefully, that’ll never happen, but it’s good to know that the UKGC will help resolve any issues if they do.
What’s more, playing at licensed UK slot sites will also put you in the driving seat because you’ll experience faster pay-outs, fair casino bonuses in line with UKGC guidelines, top-notch customer support, and plenty of safe and secure payment options.
Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit https://www.begambleaware.org