Slot Machine Features

Last Updated on May 3, 2024

Slot Machine features on Mobile

All Slot Machine Features & How They Work

I have been playing and testing online slots nearly daily for over ten years, and I often get questions from players about the different features of slot machines. So we talked here on onlinecasnos.net about getting it all down in writing to help players get an overview of the many features you can find on slots.

Online slots are the most popular games at online casinos in Canada. They provide players with a unique experience. There are several reasons why players are fond of them. Slots have simple gameplay, 1000s of different games, and many fun features. They are also mobile-friendly and offer many types of in-game bonuses.

It’s also reassuring that top-tier game providers ensure their online slots are secure and fair by incorporating Random Number Generator (RNG) technology. So, this guarantees that every spin is random and unbiased, leveling the playing field for all players. So, when you indulge in these games on any reputable casino site, you can be confident that your odds of winning are just as good as anyone else’s.

It’s essential to educate yourself about the nuances of these games for an optimized gaming experience. The more you understand the mechanics, features, and odds, the better positioned you will be when playing and hopefully winning more.

So that’s what we will talk about in this ultimate guide. We’ll explain everything there is to know about online slot features – from their bonus features, gameplay, ways to win, etc. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the details

The Basic Mechanics Behind Online Slots

Let’s start things off by scratching the surface. As we will continue to break down slots, we’ll dive deeper and deeper. Online slots are created by online game providers. Some of the world’s most reputable brands are:

  • Pragmatic Play
  • Games Global – They bough all Microgaming Games
  • NetEnt
  • Hacksaw Gaming
  • Play’n GO
  • Red Tiger Gaming
  • NextGen Gaming
  • Playtech
  • Playson
  • Yggdrasil
  • Elk Studio
  • Relax Gaming

See all slot Providers 

How To Play

To play slot games for real money, you must deposit funds at the Canadian casino where you’ve registered an account. Each slot game has a minimum and maximum bet range. Once you set the bet amount that meets your preferences, you click on the spin button.

Online slots by the world’s most reputable providers are powered by Random Number Generators (RNGs). These are AI tools that generate random outcomes for each round. Once you press the spin button, the outcome is instantly generated. The spinning reels are just a cool visual effect.

To form a winning combination, you must land matching symbols on a payline. Payouts in online slots depend on several things – the number of symbols on a payline, bet size, type of symbol, RTP, etc.

Online slots are predominantly games of chance, with outcomes relying on luck rather than skill. Unlike skill-based games like poker, where strategic play can significantly impact your success, slots don’t offer the same level of strategic depth. However, there are still ways to optimize your play in slots, enhancing your chances of winning.

Return to Player Rate (RTP)

Return to Player is often referred to as RTP. This rate signifies the amount you receive from a slot over a long period. Here’s how it works. Let’s say that you registered at a Canadian online casino and play a slot machine whose RTP is 97%.

So this means that you can expect the slot to return C$97 for every C$100 that you wager on a longer period. The remaining 3% is the house edge. After all, the house edge is how online casinos remain profitable from your gaming ventures.

If you are wondering how RTP is calculated? We are more than happy to explain. You simply divide the figures of the win and turnover from millions of plays. Here’s how that works. Let’s say a specific slot made C$1.4 million in turnover and C$1.25 million in wins in 2.5 million plays. You then divide 1.25 million by 1.4 million. The result is 0.89. That means that the slot’s RTP is 89%.

Play Slots With a RTP of Over 96%The average online slot RTP is around 96%. Therefore, in my opinion, anything below 95% is not worth playing. However, when progressive jackpots are way overdue to pay out a jackpot, it is worth trying even if the  games RTP is below 95%. On rare occasions, Canadian players can even come across slots that have as much as 99% RTP. An excellent example of this is the Book of 99 slot machine. I have had a lot of fun playing Book of 99 slot machine with a 99% RTP. Book of 99 has the same type of bonus game as the popular slot game Book of Dead which however only has an RTP rate of 96.2%.

So, the general idea behind playing the best RTP slots is to search for games with RTP higher or equal to 96%. That way, you can expect better rewards from it. You can see the 30 slots with highest RTP here.

Volatility Level

Volatility Level on Slot Machines

Next up, we have the volatility level in slots. There are three primary levels here:

  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

Volatility in slot machines indicates the level of risk associated with playing a particular slot machine. A slot with high volatility has a higher level of risk of you losing your money fast, meaning that the player is likely to experience more significant wins but infrequent payouts.

On the other hand, a slot machine with low volatility has a lower level of risk, meaning that the player is more likely to experience smaller, frequent payouts.

So the different levels of volatility can be classified into three categories:

  • High volatility: High risk, high reward. - These slot machines pay out large sums of money, but infrequently.
  • Medium volatility: Medium risk, medium reward. - These slot machines pay out moderate sums of money at a moderate frequency.
  • Low volatility: Low risk, low reward. - These slot machines pay out small sums of money, but frequently.

Low-volatility games are the perfect choice for newbies and recreational players.

On the other hand, highly volatile slots can pay out massive amounts but can also be more costly to play as they don’t pay out as many regular smaller wins. These games often have significantly higher bet limits, so the big win can exceed millions. The big rewards are what makes them so attractive to high rollers.

Nearly all progressive jackpots are high-volatility slots. These jackpots come with a price, though. Unlike slots with a low volatility rate, the jackpot here drops extremely rarely. Hence, you must have a lot of luck to hit it.

Slots with medium volatility are considered the golden middle for many players. They may not have the most significant exposure to big payouts, but big wins sometimes come, and at the same time, you get more regular wins than high volatility slots. 

Paylines

Earlier, we mentioned that in order to form a winning combination, you must land a certain number of matching symbols on a payline. Each online slot comes with either fixed or adjustable paylines. Adjustable paylines mean that you can set your preferred number of paylines on each round.

To better understand what paylines are. Below is an example where I play the online slot machine Amazing Link Apollo, which has 20 Paylines, as seen in the picture.

Showing an example of a slot machine with paylines

Showing an example of a slot machine with paylines

Winning combinations are formed from left to right, right to left or both ways. In most cases, you will need at least 3 matching symbols on a payline to form a win. The maximum number of matching symbols depends on the number of reels.

Ways to win

Ways to win, on the other hand, is an alternative feature that abandons traditional paylines altogether. Instead, it awards wins based on the number of matching symbols that land on adjacent reels, regardless of their positions. This can offer players even more opportunities to score big.

243 Win Ways

243 win ways is one of the most commonly used payline mechanics in slots. Here, you basically form a win with any combination of 3 or more matching symbols. They start from the leftmost reel and go to the rightmost reel.

Below is a great example of 243 ways paylines from the Relax Gaming slot Marching Legions help page:

Showing 243 Ways to Win on a Slot Machine

Showing 243 Ways to Win on a Slot Machine

The math behind 243 win ways is the following. These slots have a 5×3 layout. That means that they come with 5 reels and 3 rows. So, you multiply 3x3x3x3x3. Three stands for the number of rows and you multiply this number 5 times as that’s the number of available reels. The result is 243.

1,024 Win Ways

In this mechanic, you basically gain access to all combinations from left to right. As the number itself suggests, there are a total of 1,024 combinations that you can make. There are no rules in terms of which row matching symbols need to be located. They just need to be in consecutive reels.

Showing a 1024 Win Ways Slot Machine

1024 Win Ways Slot Machine

If you’re wondering what the math behind 1,024 win ways is, here’s the math. Slots with 1,024 win ways have 5 reels and 4 rows. All possible positions of the symbols are winning ones, so you multiply 4x4x4x4x4. Four stands for the number of rows and you multiply the number 5 times as there are 5 reels. The end result is 1,024.

Win Both Ways

The win both ways payline mechanic means that you can form winning combinations from left to right but also from right to left.

Here are 5 Top Slots With Win Both Ways Feature:

  1. Starburst
  2. Nitropolis 3
  3. Sweet Bonanza
  4. The Catfather
  5. The Invisible Man

Synced Reels

Synced reels is a feature where two or more reels spin in unison, displaying the same symbols in the same positions. This mechanic can lead to higher chances of landing winning combinations, as the synchronized reels essentially act as giant, matching symbols. Synced reels can be a part of the base game or triggered during bonus features, such as free spins.

3 Top Slots with Synced Reels

  • Twin Spin XXXtreme
  • Dazzle Me
  • The Rave

Locked Reels

This mechanic is similar to synced reels but is distinguished by the fact that the affected reels are physically “locked” together. Locked reels can be part of the base game or triggered during bonus features such as free spins, increasing the chances of forming winning combinations.

Reel Modifiers

Reel modifiers are features that change the appearance or function of the reels in some way. These can include swapping symbols, removing low-value symbols, or adding special symbols to the reels. Reel modifiers can be triggered randomly or as part of a bonus feature and can significantly impact the chances of landing winning combinations.

Rotating Reels

Rotating reels is a unique feature where the entire reel grid rotates either 90 or 180 degrees, changing the positions of the symbols and potentially creating new winning combinations. This mechanic can be triggered randomly or as part of a bonus feature, adding a dynamic twist to the gameplay and providing players with additional opportunities to score wins.

Anticipation Reels

Anticipation reels is a feature where the reels slow down or pause momentarily before revealing the final symbols, heightening the sense of anticipation and excitement. This mechanic can be triggered randomly or during bonus features, adding a dramatic touch to the gameplay.

Avalanches

Avalanches, similar to cascading reels, are a feature where symbols in winning combinations are removed, and new symbols fill the empty spaces. However, instead of symbols falling from the top, they slide in from the side, creating a distinctive visual effect. Like cascading reels, avalanches can lead to multiple consecutive wins, significantly increasing the player’s overall payout.

Dynamic Paytable

Dynamic Paytable is a feature where the value of symbols or winning combinations changes based on specific game conditions, such as the player’s bet size or the current state of the game. This mechanic can create more engaging gameplay, as players must adapt their strategies to the changing paytable.

Infinity Reels

Infinity Reels is yet another unique payline mechanic . This mode was created by ReelPlay, and it is an interesting addition to the standard grid of slots. Here’s how it works. When you play a slot with the Infinity Reels feature, each time you form a winning combination, an additional reel is added to the grid.

The more wins you trigger, the more reels will be added to the grid. As the name of the bonus feature suggests, the number of reels that can be added is infinite. Not only that but Infinity Reels is usually accompanied by a one-time bonus.

In many cases, when you add 12 additional reels, you will receive an 888x the bet one-time reward. From time to time, a multiplier may be combined with the Infinity Reels feature. So, each time you add another reel to the grid, the multiplier increases by one.

ReelPlay  distributes their online slots through SG Digital’s NYX Open Gaming System.

Extra Rows or Reels

Extra rows or reels is a feature where additional rows or reels are added to the game grid, either temporarily or permanently. This mechanic can increase the ways to win or create new paylines, providing players with more opportunities to score winning combinations. Extra rows or reels can be triggered randomly or as part of a bonus feature.

Cluster Pays System

In the modern era, a new payline system emerged on the scene and proved to be extremely popular. This is the Cluster Pays system introduced by NetEnt. Slots that are powered by Cluster Pays don’t feature wins that are formed from left to right, right to left or both ways.

Cluster Pays Slot Machine Sugar Rush

Example of a Cluster Pays Slot Machine: The Sugar Rush

Instead, wins are formed by matching symbols that touch horizontally or vertically. The number of touching symbols varies between these slots, but it’s usually 4 or 5. The more touching symbols are part of a win, the higher the rewards are.

3 of The Top Cluster Pays Slots

 

InfiniReels

InfiniReels is a unique feature developed by NetEnt, where the number of reels can increase indefinitely, provided that players continue to land winning combinations. With each consecutive win, an additional reel is added to the right side of the game grid, increasing the ways to win. The InfiniReels mechanic creates the potential for massive payouts and adds an element of suspense to the gameplay.

Respin on Win

Respin on Win is a feature where players are awarded a respin after landing a winning combination. During the respin, the reels spin again at no additional cost, giving players another chance to form winning combinations. This feature can be part of the base game or activated during bonus rounds.

Megaways

The Megaways mechanic was created by Big Time Gaming and it proved to be a major hit. That is why almost every online slot provider uses it on certain titles. Thanks to the Megaways mechanic, the number of paylines changes with each spin.

Example of Megaways Slot Machine

Arrow in image, shows the Number of Megaways, They change each spin

The most common maximum cap on the number of paylines is 117,649 paylines. However, you can come across slots that have:

  • 16,807 paylines
  • 248,832 paylines
  • 586,971 paylines

When you access slots with this mechanic, you will usually spot a horizontal reel that is located above the main grid. This horizontal reel has additional symbols that can be combined with those on the main grid. As a result, there are more ways through which you can form wins. This is the reason why you can have thousands of paylines on each spin. You can see a list of the best Megaways slots here.

Megaquads

While we are talking about Big Time Gaming’s inventions, it is worth mentioning the Megaquads mode. This is a rather new addition. Megaquads slots are as unique as you can imagine. Instead of having one grid, these slots have 4 separate reel sets, each of which contains 4 reels and 4 rows.

Each set has 256 paylines, which brings a total of 1,024 win ways. If you trigger the free spins mode in these slots, the reel sets increase to 4×8 and so, you will end up with 4,096 win ways. Finally, the Rainbow Wild feature might randomly increase the reel sets to 8×8 and hence, you can have up to 16,777,216 ways to win.

Reel Hold

Reel Hold may not be a very common online slot bonus feature, but it is as exciting as it sounds. When this mode is triggered, one of the reels on the grid freezes. In the next one of a couple of spins, all remaining reels on the grid will spin, but not this particular one.

In some slots, you may even trigger the hold feature on a few reels and thus, boost your chances of winning a prize.

Grid Shifting

Grid shifting is a feature in which the entire layout of the reels changes during gameplay, either by increasing or decreasing the number of rows or columns, or by altering the position of the symbols. Grid shifting can be triggered randomly or as part of a bonus feature, offering players a unique and unexpected gameplay experience.

Symbols in Online Slots

Speaking of symbols, that’s the next topic that we will cover in this guide. A majority of online slots have 2 types of symbols – regular and special. Regular symbols are those that form winning combinations while special symbols trigger the bonus features.

Examples of some regular symbols often used in slot machines:

Example of Regular slot machine symbols

The regular symbols vary, depending on the slot theme. However, some of the most popular symbols are the Royals and the card suites. These are usually low-paying symbols in the game. The Royal symbols are 10, J, Q, K and A. In some cases, 9 can also be found. Card suites, on the other hand, are:

  • Spade
  • Heart
  • Diamond
  • Clover

Each regular symbol has its own payout. There’s one payout for 2-3 matching symbols, and different payouts for landing 4, 5, 6 or more matching symbols. The difference between low-paying and high-paying symbols is obviously, their payouts.

There’s a major difference between the rewards from landing matching high-paying symbols and matching low-paying symbols.

As for the special symbols, some of them are the Bonus symbol, Wild symbol, Scatter, Mystery symbol, Super symbols etc. As we stated, they trigger bonus features, which we will talk about later on in this article.

Colossal Symbols

Colossal symbols, also known as giant or mega symbols, are oversized symbols that occupy multiple reel positions. They can appear in various sizes, such as 2×2, 3×3, or even larger, depending on the game. Colossal symbols can significantly increase the chances of landing winning combinations and can often be found in conjunction with other features, such as free spins or bonus rounds.

3 Top Colossal Symbol Slots

Symbol Upgrade

Symbol upgrade is a feature where lower-value symbols are transformed into higher-value symbols, potentially increasing the value of winning combinations. This can occur randomly during the base game or as part of a triggered bonus feature, adding an extra element of surprise to the gameplay.

Super Symbols

Super symbols is a feature where oversized symbols, typically occupying multiple reel positions, can appear on the reels. These larger symbols can cover entire reels or even multiple reels, increasing the chances of forming winning combinations. Super symbols can be part of the base game or activated during bonus features.

Symbol Transformation

Symbol transformation is a feature where one or more symbols are changed into another symbol, usually a wild, scatter, or high-value symbol. This mechanic can occur randomly during the base game or as part of a triggered bonus feature, offering players additional opportunities to form winning combinations.

Jackpots in Online Slots

While talking about highly volatile online slots, we mentioned that slots with progressive jackpots are a good example of this category. As you know, the jackpot is the ultimate prize in every slot. There are two types of jackpots – fixed/standard and progressive.

Fixed Jackpots

Fixed jackpots are those that have a preset jackpot amount. So it doesn’t matter how long it takes for a player to trigger it, the amount will always be the same and never grow. However, many fixed jackpots depend on your bet size. So, for example, if your bet is $1, the fixed jackpot might be preset to $10000, but if you raise your bet to $5, the fixed jackpot will also increase to $50000 instead.

Progressive Jackpots

Showing progressive jackpot amount on slot machine

Example of progressive jackpot amount on online slot

Progressive jackpots are different. They continue rising over time. The more players play a certain progressive slot and the more money they wager on it, the higher its exposure goes. There’s no maximum cap on the limit.

The good thing about these rewards is that they can exceed millions of dollars. The disadvantage is that they drop extremely rarely. Players that hit these jackpots are considered extremely lucky.

In some cases, both progressive and standard slots may have multi-level jackpots. They are gained by playing bonus rounds.

Must Drop and Daily Drop Jackpots

One of the most exciting developments recently is the emergence of “must-drop jackpots.” and the Daily Drop Jackpots. As a seasoned gambling lover, I can attest to their allure and potential to keep players on the edge of their seats.

So, what are must-drop jackpots? These progressive jackpots guarantee a payout before reaching a specific amount or within a set timeframe.

“Must Drop” and “Daily Drop” jackpots are innovative casino features. However, the way and the time frame in which they promise these payouts differ:

Must Drop Jackpots: These jackpots are guaranteed to pay out before they hit a certain threshold. For instance, if a jackpot is designed to “must drop” before it hits $10,000, it will pay out to some lucky player at a random point before reaching that amount. The exact moment it drops is unpredictable, but the certainty is that it will pay out before surpassing the set limit.

Daily Drop Jackpots: As the name suggests, these jackpots pay out daily. No matter how much the jackpot accumulates, it’s guaranteed to drop to some fortunate player within a 24-hour time frame. The precise moment within that day remains unpredictable. Still, players are assured that someone will bag the jackpot before the end of the day.

Daily Drop Jackpot Slots often also have Hourly Drop Jackpots, which work the same way as daily jackpots, but instead of daily, it’s hourly.

Both systems amplify anticipation and excitement for players, making games with these features incredibly enticing.

Keep a keen eye on the ticking clock or the rising jackpot amount to maximize your chances. The closer they get to their limit, the higher the anticipation. But remember, as always, gamble responsibly!

See the Top Must Drop and Daily Drop Jackpots

Bonus Game Features

Now that you are familiar with the outline of slots, it is time to talk about their most exciting part – the bonus features. In-game bonuses are what make slots so entertaining to play and if used correctly, they can boost your potential rewards.

As you are about to see, there are plenty of features that you can come across when playing slots. So, let’s start breaking down each one of them.

Wild Symbol

Our first bonus feature is the Wild symbol. This is arguably the most commonly used bonus in the world of online slots. The Wild symbol replaces all regular symbols in a game. In doing so, it helps you form winning combinations.

Example of wild symbols in online slots

Showing two wild symbols winning lines

Let’s explain it via an example. Let’s say that a certain slot has a payline which says that you will form a win if you land three Aces on the first 3 reels on the third row. You spin the reels and you get two Aces and a Wild on that payline. Even though the third symbol is not an Ace, the Wild replaces it and as a result, you will have a win.

In some slots, if you happen to land 3-5 Wilds on a payline, you will also receive an adequate reward. Wilds can also act as a Scatter and trigger free spins.

Random and Walking Wilds

The Wild can be so much more than just a standard Wild symbol. It can be a jumping symbol, locked Wild, Colossal Wilds,, expanding Wild, random or Walking Wild. We’ll talk a bit more about the last two in this section and explain the other ones next as they are connected in a way with regular symbols.

Random Modifiers

A Random Wild appears irregularly during the base game or while a bonus feature lasts. Not only do they drop at irregular times, but their number is also random. You can land up to 5 Wilds on some occasions.

You can also win random multiplying wins, or changing the layout of the reels. Random modifiers add an element of unpredictability to the game, keeping players on their toes and adding to the overall excitement.

Walking Wilds

Walking Wilds, on the other hand, change their position after a spin is over. For example, let’s say that you’ve spun the reels and you hit a winning combination with the Wild. In this scenario, the Wild will not disappear from the reels. Instead, it will move one position to the left or right or up or down. Hence, you will have a chance to win additional rewards in the upcoming spins.

See below example of  2 spins on a Walking wilds slot machine where the wilds walk up:

Example of Two Spins on a Walking Wilds Slot Machine

Example of Two Spins on a Walking Wilds slot

5 Top Slots With Walking Wilds:

  • Wild Toro 2
  • Raging Rex 2
  • Wild Robo Factory
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Piggy Bankers

Wandering Wilds

Wandering wilds is a feature where wild symbols move randomly across the reels, often during a series of respins or free spins. Unlike walking wilds, wandering wilds don’t follow a specific pattern or direction, adding an unpredictable element to the gameplay.

Increasing wilds

As someone who’s spent countless hours spinning reels and chasing big wins, I’ve seen my fair share of slot features. But let me tell you, there’s something thrilling about slots with increasing wilds. With each spin, the number of wild symbols on the reels could grow. Sometimes it happens after you’ve hit that spin button a few times, even if the slots haven’t been throwing you any winning combos. It’s like the game is building up to something big, adding more wilds into the mix, boosting your chances of hitting those juicy winning lines.

So lets look at how different increasing wilds works:

The number of wild symbols might increase steadily with each spin or after a set number of spins, regardless of whether a winning combination is formed. This can lead to a higher chance of triggering winning combinations in later spins as there are more wild symbols present.

Wild in Cascading/Avalanche Wins:

With each winning combination, the winning symbols disappear, and new symbols fall down to fill the empty spaces. This creates a chance for new winning combinations to form. In some online slots with increasing wilds, a wild symbol might be added to the reels for each cascading win or a specific number of consecutive cascades. This effectively increases the chances of landing winning combinations in subsequent spins.

Progressive Increase:

The number of wild symbols might increase steadily with each spin or after a set number of spins, regardless of whether a winning combination is formed. This can lead to a higher chance of triggering winning combinations in later spins as there are more wild symbols present.

Specific Wild Triggers:

Some slots might have specific triggers for increasing wilds, such as landing a certain symbol combination or filling a meter through gameplay.
Once triggered, the number of wild symbols might increase for a specific number of spins or until another trigger activates.

Level-Up Systems:

In some slots, the game might have a level-up system where you progress through levels as you play.
Each level might introduce more wild symbols or alter their behavior, such as becoming sticky or expanding.

The specific way the increasing wilds feature works will vary depending on the individual slot game. It’s always recommended to read the game information/rules in each game to understand the exact mechanics and potential benefits of this feature.

Increasing wilds can be a highly engaging mechanic as it increases the anticipation and potential for big wins.
However, it’s important to remember that wild symbols don’t guarantee wins, and they only substitute for other symbols to complete winning combinations.

Mystery, Sticky, Jumping, Locked and Expanding Symbols

Next up, we have more special symbols – mystery, sticky and expanding symbols. Let’s start explaining the mystery symbol first. As the name itself suggests, this is a mysterious symbol. It doesn’t uncover itself until the reels stop spinning.

Usually, it takes the form of a black cube or a question mark (this also varies, depending on the slot). Once the reels stop spinning, the mystery symbol is uncovered. On many occasions, it can end up being the symbol that you need to form a winning combination.

Sticky symbols are a rather interesting addition to slots. They remain fixed on the reels for several spins. In doing so they can help you form winning combinations in several continuous spins.

Expanding symbols are also a massive help for forming wins.

Expanding symbols is a feature that causes specific symbols to grow and cover more positions on the reels. These symbols can expand vertically, horizontally, or even diagonally, depending on the game’s rules. When a symbol expands, it increases the chances of forming winning combinations, potentially leading to bigger payouts.

Usually, all symbols have a 1×1 layout. That means that they take a place on one reel and one row. However, expanding symbols are different. Their layout can be 2×2, 3×3 and even 4×4. Thanks to that fact, they can either help you form wins or boost your overall winnings.

A cool addition that we figured is worth mentioning here is the jumping symbol. This symbol can transfer from one reel to another. What’s even more impressive is that the Wild can be all of these special symbols.

Once a mystery symbol reveals itself, it can turn out to be Wild. The same goes for the rest of the symbols. Many slots by different providers have:

  • Sticky Wilds
  • Expanding Wilds
  • Jumping Wilds

As for locked symbols, they remain in the same position for multiple spins. Usually, you can come across these symbols in re-spins and bonus rounds.

Symbol Swap

The symbol swap feature can be found in a select number of online slots, where specific symbols are replaced by others to create a higher chance of landing winning combinations. This can occur randomly during the base game or as part of a triggered bonus feature. The symbol swap mechanic can significantly increase the odds of scoring a win, particularly when combined with other features such as wilds or multipliers.

Split Symbols

The Split symbols are an exciting feature in online slots. They occupy one spot on the reel set but double up as two or more symbols. In doing so, the potential winnings on a payline can increase a lot. In addition, regular symbols can split and trigger wins, and special symbols such as the Wild or Scatter sometimes also.

Split symbol feature in slots example

Above, you can see an example of Split Symbols on the online slot machine Grim The Splitter by relax gaming. The top image shows without a split, and the image under shows that some symbols have split.

Stacked Symbols

Stacked symbols are a feature in which a specific symbol or a set of symbols appears in consecutive positions on a reel, creating a “stack” of identical symbols. These stacks can increase the chances of landing winning combinations, as they can lead to multiple paylines being completed at once. Stacked symbols can appear in both the base game and during bonus features, such as free spins.

Slide and Connect

Slide and Connect is a feature where symbols slide across the reels, either horizontally or vertically, and connect with other matching symbols to create winning combinations. This mechanic can be part of the base game or activated during bonus features, offering players additional opportunities to form winning combinations.

Random Modifiers

Random modifiers are in-game events that can occur at any time during the base game or bonus features, altering the gameplay in various ways. These can include adding wild symbols, multiplying wins, or changing the layout of the reels. Random modifiers add an element of unpredictability to the game, keeping players on their toes and adding to the overall excitement.

Respin Feature

Respins is a feature that grants players an additional spin after a winning combination or specific symbol appears on the reels. During a respin, certain reels or symbols may be locked in place, while the remaining reels spin again. This can create further winning combinations, potentially leading to a chain of wins. Respins can be triggered randomly or as part of a bonus feature, adding an extra layer of excitement to the gameplay.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are another common feature in online slots, and they have the unique ability to trigger bonus features or award payouts, regardless of their position on the reels. Most often, landing a specific number of scatter symbols unlocks a bonus round, such as free spins or a mini-game, where players can enjoy additional chances to win.

Free Spins

Apart from the Wild symbol, free spins is also a very common in-game bonus in online slots. However, there are several ways to trigger it. The most common way is via Scatter symbols. Usually, to trigger free spins, you must land at least 3 Scatters anywhere on the reels.

Here below is an example of a slot machine with 3 scatters, however on this game  4 is needed to win the free spins:

Showing example of scatters on online slot game

Example of 3 scatters on Gates of Olympus Slot

In some slots, 3, 4 or 5 Scatters trigger different amounts of free spins. In others, the number of Scatters doesn’t matter. Keep in mind Scatters can come in all kinds of designs, some are just special symbols without text, some also say bonus on them.

The free spins you win allow you to spin the reels and be eligible to win a real money reward without wagering your own money.

Free spins are played with the same bet that triggers them. Wins during free spins are accumulated and once this bonus feature ends, they are added to your balance.

Here’s what you need to know about free spins. In some online slots, extra Scatters can drop during free spins. In doing so, you will gain more spins, depending on the rules. There may be a limit on the maximum number of spins, but some slots will allow you to re-trigger them an infinite amount of times.

In other slots, however, this bonus feature cannot be re-triggered while it lasts. To make sure that that happens, Scatters don’t drop during the mode.

Super Free Spins/Super Bonus:

On some online slots it is also possible to win super free spins or a super bonus game

Definition: Super free spins are like an enhanced version of the regular free spins round. They’re not as commonly found as the regular free spins but offer more lucrative rewards.

Gameplay: When triggered, super free spins often come with added benefits that significantly increase the chances of landing a big win. This could be higher multipliers, more high-value symbols, guaranteed wilds, or other bonus features that aren’t present in the regular free spins round.

Cost: The triggering bet value remains the same, but the potential payouts are magnified due to the enhanced features.

Some popular games that offer super free spins are: 

You can also buy the super bonus round on some slot machines, but the cost can be high and there is no guarantee it will pay off well.

Battle Mode

Battle mode is an interactive feature found in some online slots, where players are pitted against opponents, either computer-controlled or other players, in a series of mini-games or challenges. These battles can reward players with additional prizes, multipliers, or bonus features, depending on their performance. Battle mode provides a more competitive and engaging experience, as players must use their skills and strategies to succeed.

Scatter Pays

Since we mentioned the Scatter as the main way to trigger free spins, it is worth sharing a few words on it. This symbol is a special symbol and one of the rare ones that the Wild cannot replace. The good thing about it is that it can land anywhere on the reels.

Apart from rewarding you with free spins, you may come across the Scatter Pays feature. This means that the Scatter can provide you with a cash reward and/or trigger free spins. Just like triggering spins, the location of the Scatter is irrelevant. All that matters is that you land 2 or 3 or more (Depending on the slot) of these symbols  on the reels.

Bonus Symbol

The Bonus symbol in online slots can trigger bonus rounds or it can act as a Scatter. If it acts as a Scatter, it can either trigger free spins or provide you with cash rewards if you land a certain number of them anywhere on the reels.

Sometimes, a slot may feature both the Bonus and Scatter symbol. If this is the case, then the Bonus symbol usually triggers re-spins while the Scatter triggers free spins.

Bonus Rounds

Bonus rounds are played on special sets of layouts. They unlock the path to unique rewards. They come in many shapes. For example, a bonus round can be a spinning wheel. This wheel can contain multiple prizes – free spins, extra Wilds, multipliers, cash rewards, etc.

All you have to do is spin the wheel and wait to see where it will stop. Then, we have the multi-level jackpot bonus round that we talked about earlier.

Here’s how this bonus round works. The slot transfers you to a special grid that contains 12 boxes. Your task here is to keep uncovering boxes until 3 or 4 identical ones provide you with an adequate reward. Multi-level jackpots usually feature the names Mini, Minor, Major and Grand.

So, if you uncover 3 boxes that contain the name Mini, you will receive the Mini jackpot. The same goes for the other 3 jackpots.

The beauty of bonus rounds is that they do not require you to place a bet to spin a wheel or uncover a box. The extras that you gain here are free and they are the path to winning real money rewards.

Multi-Level Bonus Rounds

Multi-level bonus rounds are a feature where players progress through a series of mini-games or challenges, with each level offering increasingly valuable rewards. These rounds often require players to make decisions or complete tasks, adding an interactive and strategic element to the gameplay. As players advance through the levels, they can accumulate larger prizes, multipliers, or additional bonus features.

The MultiHold Feature (New)

The Multihold Slot Feature

Here I play the free spins with the Multihold Slot Feature

The MultiHold feature is a relatively new addition from Pragmatic Play, and it might lead some to believe it’s related to the ability to hold spins—I initially thought so myself. However, this assumption is incorrect. The MultiHold feature comes into play during the free spins bonus game and can encompass up to four active games on the screen simultaneously.

When you enter the free spins round, you start with one active game and six free spins. If you manage to land three more scatter symbols, you’ll activate the second screen, allowing you to play two games simultaneously, with the potential to win on both. Landing three additional scatter symbols on any of these two games will activate the third game. The maximum number of games you can have spinning at the same time is four. Naturally, having four games in play can lead to larger and more frequent wins

Recommended Game that offers the The MultiHold feature:

Play Juicy Fruits Multihold Online Slot Demo Free

Symbol Collection

Symbol collection is a feature where players gather specific symbols throughout the game, often with the goal of triggering a bonus feature or unlocking special rewards. The collected symbols may be stored in a meter or other on-screen display, allowing players to track their progress. Symbol collection adds a sense of progression and accomplishment to the gameplay, encouraging players to continue spinning in pursuit of their goals.

Level-Up Systems

Level-up systems are a feature that adds a sense of progression and achievement to online slots. As players spin the reels, they can collect points, tokens, or other in-game items that help them progress through levels or unlock new features. These systems can include various rewards, such as enhanced gameplay features, higher multipliers, or access to special bonus rounds, providing players with a sense of accomplishment and keeping them engaged in the long term.

Tumbling Reels/Cascading Reels

Tumbling reels is a rather new feature to online slots. It proved to be quite popular with Canadian players. Almost all slots that feature the Cluster Pays system have tumbling reels.

Thanks to this feature, you can form multiple winning combinations with just one bet. As a result, you can receive massive prizes. Here’s how tumbling reels work.

Let’s say that you’ve set your preferred bet and spun the reels. You formed a winning combination with 3 matching symbols. The tumbling reels feature is then enabled. The winning symbols disappear from the grid and are replaced by the ones above them.

If the new layout leads to a win, then the winning symbols disappear again. This goes on until there are no more wins left. The tumbling reels feature also has other names:

  • Avalanche reels
  • Cascading reels
  • Chain reactions
  • Collapsing reels

Cluster Pays slots are not the only slots that have this mode. You can come across it in normal slots as well. In many cases, multiple consecutive wins with this mode also trigger multipliers. Hence, the rewards greatly increase with every consecutive win.

Multipliers

Speaking of multipliers, they are the next bonus feature that we will talk about. In layman’s terms, multipliers greatly increase your overall rewards. Let’s say that you’ve hit a winning combination and thus, ended up with a prize of C$50. If you have an x2 multiplier, then the reward increases twice and you will end up with C$100. Multipliers can go higher than x100.

You can come across multipliers as a standalone bonus or as part of a different bonus. As we just mentioned, when you form tumbling reels, each consecutive win can increase the multiplier.

In some slots, when you trigger free spins, you might also receive multipliers. Not only that, but sometimes, you may even have the chance to choose what type of bonus spins you want to play with – more spins and smaller multipliers or fewer spins with higher multipliers.

Here below is an example of in a free spins bonus where the multipliers increases for each win you get:

Showing multipliers increase in the free spins bonus game

Online slot machine showing growing multipliers in free spins bonus game

Multipliers can be applied to individual wins or to the total winnings during a bonus feature, such as free spins or a mini-game, significantly increasing the overall payout.

Gamble Feature

Those that like to up the stakes can also rely on the Gamble feature to provide them with an adrenaline dump. Thanks to Gamble, you can go double or nothing on your winnings. Usually, there’s a limit on the number of times where you can use the Gamble feature.

After all, this mode doubles your winnings, but they must have a cap as the maximum jackpot exposure on many slots has a limit. When you enter Gamble mode, you usually need to opt for a red or black card.

Once you make your choice, you unveil the cards to see whether your choice is the right one. If it is, then your reward will increase twice, but if it’s not, then you will lose all of your winnings.

Sometimes, the Gamble feature features a pair of dice that you must throw. The concept remains the same, though.

Buy In Bonus Feature

More and more slot machines gets released with the Buy In bonus feature, lets look at how it works.

Each online slot has one main bonus feature. In some games, this is the free spins. In others, that can be the bonus round, re-spins, etc. If it is difficult for you to trigger any of these bonuses, you can use the buy in feature.

The price to purchase a specific feature varies, depending on the slot. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you play a game with a main bonus of free spins. You may be able to buy the mode with 3, 4 or 5 Scatters. An example would be where 3 Scatters give 10 free spins, 4 scatters give 15 spins, and 5 Scatters give 20 free spins. So in this example, the more Scatters you choose to buy, the more it costs to buy the Bonus feature.

If you choose the 5 Scatter option, then on your next spin you will land 5 of these symbols on the reels. This will result in you winning free spins and playing with them to win a reward.

There are also games where you can choose, for example, 15 free spins each with 1 multiple, or you can choose 10 free spins x 3 multiple, or 5 free spins x 10 multiple. They all cost the same, but the last option with x 10 multiple has a bigger chance of a big win, but you only get five free spins.

Here below is an example from the popular slot machine Money Train 3, where you can see the buy button, and under is a screen where you can see some choices you have in the buy option, Increase your bet amount, and different risk options you can choose at a certain price.

Slot Machine Example of How Buy Bonus Feature Works

An additional thing that is worth noting is that when you use the buy in feature in slots, it is common for the RTP of the game to increase. That’s how the slot rewards you for placing extra bets while playing it.

You can use our Top 10 Buy Bonus Feature Slots to see a list of all the best ones to play online.

Nudging Reels

The Nudging Reels bonus mode allows players to automatically or manually move whole reels to different positions. Thanks to that, you can change the outcome of a certain spin, or in other words, increase your chances of hitting a win.

In some cases, the Hold feature also accompanies Nudging Reels and this allows you to lock certain reels in one position.

Hold & Win

Hold & Win is a bonus feature that is commonly found in slots with progressive jackpots. You trigger it by landing a certain amount of special symbols.

Once you activate it, the special symbols remain on the reels and you will win a certain amount of re-spins. New symbols that land on the reels are sticky. When you land a certain amount of bonus symbols, you will win one of the multi-level jackpots.

The Hold & Win feature is sometimes referred to as Hold & Spin.

Pick a Bonus

When you land a certain amount of Bonus or Scatter symbols on the reels, some slots will allow you to pick a bonus. You may choose between a certain amount of free spins, multipliers, cash rewards, a combination of each, or a random feature.

This is called the Pick a Bonus feature and it takes randomness to a whole new level. As a result, entertainment is boosted to the next level.

Pick-and-Win Features

Pick-and-win features, also known as instant win features, are bonus rounds in which players are presented with a selection of hidden items, such as treasure chests, shells, or cards. Players must choose one or more of these items to reveal their prizes, which can include cash rewards, multipliers, or additional bonus features. These features offer an interactive element to the game, engaging players in a more hands-on experience.

Bonus Meters

Bonus meters are filled by landing special symbols on the reels. Every time you land the game’s designated special symbol, the meter fills up. When you reach the top, you win a certain reward. That reward can be re-spins, multipliers, bonus rounds, etc.

Trail Bonus

Trail bonus features are a type of mini-game where players progress along a virtual path or game board by spinning a wheel, rolling dice, or making decisions. As players advance along the trail, they can collect various rewards, such as cash prizes, multipliers, or additional bonus features. The trail bonus feature adds an element of strategy and decision-making, offering a more immersive gaming experience.

Autoplay and Turbo Spins

If you wish to speed up the gameplay, you can always set autoplay or turbo spins. With the autoplay feature, you can set up to 1,000 auto spins on the slot. All you have to do is enter the bet amount for these spins and then, choose how many auto spins you want to include.

The Auto spin option also gives you the ability to set win/loss limits for automatic play. This can be helpful for responsible gambling practices.

As for turbo spins, here’s how they work. While speaking about random number generators, we noted that RNGs create an outcome of a spin instantly. The spinning reels are just a cool visual effect. When you turn turbo spins on, the visual effects are taken out of the equation and thus, the spins are much faster. Hence, the gameplay speeds up massively.

Wagering Coins

When you play certain slots, you may notice that instead of CAD, you set your bets with coins. They are significantly lower than wagering with dollars, but there’s an explanation behind it. Coins represent the bet that you make per line.

So, if you access a slot that has 40 paylines and its minimum bet is 0.2 coins, that means that the minimum bet is C$8. To calculate the minimum bet in fiat currency, you multiply the paylines with the coin bet.

Theme

The numerous bonus features are what make slots so unique and fun to play. The theme may not be such as special bonus, but it is a feature that deserves a mention. When you play these games at Canadian online casinos, you will notice that there are countless themes. Some of them include:

  • Aztec
  • Nordic
  • Greek mythology
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Futuristic themes
  • Nightlife
  • Classic themes
  • Fruity
  • Caribbean
  • Ocean themes
  • Horror
  • Movie
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Adventure
  • Asian
  • Christmas

The reason why a theme may have a huge role in a certain slot is that Canadian players can resonate with them. Thanks to that fact, their gaming experience will be far better and more electrifying.

HTML5 Technology in Slots

In the past, slots were available at land-based gambling establishments in Canada. Online casinos changed that. These days, not only can you play them on any PC or laptop device, but slots are powered by the latest HTML5 technology.

That means that you can play them on pretty much any mobile or tablet device. It doesn’t matter if your phone/tablet has an Android or iOS operating system. The HTML5 technology allows the gameplay to be seamless on any of these devices.

The game fits the screen and all of the bonus features are available. The only thing that Canadian players must make sure of is that their connection to the Internet is stable.

Classic vs Video Slots

Many casinos in Canada separate classic and video slots. Both of these games are online slots, so what’s the difference between them? The answer lies in the bonus features and theme.

Let’s start with classic slots. Classic slots are known for their simple gameplay and layout. Their grid is usually 3×1, 3×3 or 5×3. There’s no special theme. Usually, there’s a one-colored background and the grid is at the center of the screen.

Classic slots also are not commonly accompanied by any of the aforementioned bonus features. They may have a Wild symbol, but the whole focus is on the gameplay. Their advantages is the fact that they have a low volatility rate and their RTPs are usually above the average. As such, they are the perfect choice for players that are new to this type of gaming and are learning the basics.

On the other hand, video slots have a much more modern touch. They come in various layouts – 5×3, 5×4, 6×6, 8×8, etc. They have tons of bonus features – free spins, Megaways, bonus rounds, multi-level jackpots, and so on.

These bonus features may make the gameplay a bit more complicated, which is why newbies usually need a bit of training before they can try these for real money.

Demo Mode (Playing Free)

As you may know, when you register at a Canadian online casino, you can play the featured slots for real money. Most slots come with a demo mode. This means that you can try them for free. You don’t even have to register an account at the casino site.

Demo modes are a great way to get introduced to the mechanics of the slot and determine whether it is worth trying them for real money. After all, each Canadian player has their own preferences when it comes to playing slots. Some are fans of classic slots, and some like slots that have more bonus features.

You can also play and read reviews all the top-rated free slot demo’s

FAQ

How to trigger free spins when playing online slots?
One of the most common ways through which you can trigger free spins while playing online slots is with Scatters. Most commonly, you are required to land at least 3 Scatters on the reels. Their position does not matter. The more Scatters you land, the more free spins you will likely gain. In slots where there aren’t Scatters, you will have to read the paytable to see what is the alternative.

What is the purpose of the Wild symbol?
The Wild symbol is one of the most common special symbols in slots. It substitutes all regular symbols and as a result, it can help you trigger wins. Depending on the slot, you can also come across regular Wilds, random Wilds, sticky Wilds, walking Wilds, expanding Wilds, etc. their main purpose remains the same, but they have additional features.

Are re-spins and free spins the same bonus feature?

Are re-spins and free spins the same bonus feature?
Even though these two bonus features have similar wins, they are not the same. Re-spins are usually triggered randomly and you gain just a few of them. Free spins, on the other hand, are triggered by Scatters. Once you trigger them, you get multiple bonus spins that can maximize your winnings.

How does the progressive jackpot increase over time?
Progressive jackpots come with a high volatility rate. That means that they drop extremely rare. Their exposure increases as players continue playing the game. A part of the bet of each player goes into the pot and as a result, the reward becomes bigger.

What does the paytable in an online slot represent?
The paytable of an online slot features all the information about the slot’s rules and gameplay. This includes the regular symbols and their payouts, an explanation of bonus features and how to trigger them, paylines, what the buttons in the game mean, what are the minimum and maximum bets, and more. You ought to read the paytable of a slot that you access for the first time before rushing to play it.

How many paylines are featured in online slots?
The number of paylines varies between slots. Some slots have just 1 payline, some slots can have up to 117,649 paylines thanks to the Megaways mechanic. Additionally, the paylines in some slots are fixed, whereas paylines in other slots are adjustable. There’s something for every taste and that’s what makes these games so interesting.

What’s the difference between Bonus and Scatter symbols?
In theory, there’s no difference between the Bonus and Scatter symbols. Both of them are special symbols and usually, an online slot features one of them. They are the key to winning free spins. If both of these symbols are featured in a slot, the Scatter will likely trigger free spins and the Bonus symbol is the key to winning cash rewards and/or triggering a bonus round.

How many paylines can I expect with the Megaways feature?
Thanks to the Megaways feature, the number of paylines changes with each spin. On many occasions, it can go as high as 117,649. However, you can come across Megaways slots that have 15,625, 46,875 and even 586,971 paylines. It all depends on the layout of the slot and the paytable.

Is it better to play slots with high or low volatility levels?
This depends on your personal preferences. Slots with low volatility have low maximum exposure on their jackpot. That means that you won’t win massive rewards at once. However, the jackpot in these games drops quite often. Bet amounts here are also low. Highly volatile slots are the opposite. They have a high maximum jackpot exposure, but the jackpot drops rarely. Bet limits are also high.

Do tumbling reels increase your winnings when playing slots?
With the tumbling reels feature, winning symbols disappear from the grid and are replaced by the ones above them. In doing so, you can trigger multiple wins with just one spin and one bet. So, yes, tumbling reels increase your winnings. Many slots even add multipliers that increase with each consecutive tumbling reel win that you land.

How many paylines are available in Infinity Reels slots?
As the name of the bonus feature itself suggests, the Infinity Reels mode increases the number of reels with each win. There’s no cap on the maximum amount of reels that you can add. As a result, the number of paylines is also theoretically infinite.

Do slots feature progressive multipliers?
Progressive multipliers are multipliers that increase as a result of a certain action in slots. Commonly, consecutive wins increase multipliers. Many online slots, especially those that have the tumbling reels feature, come with progressive multipliers. They are a great boost to your potential rewards. Progressive multipliers are also often the road to the highest payouts in online slot

Play Responsible

Slot machines can be highly addictive for some individuals, as they are designed to be engaging and stimulating. The use of bright lights, flashing graphics, and sound effects can create a sense of excitement and make it difficult for players to stop. Additionally, the use of rewards and bonuses in the form of free spins or virtual currency can create a sense of anticipation and encourage people to keep playing. However, the degree of addiction may vary among individuals and it is important to be aware of one’s own behavior and to gamble responsibly.

Other link for advice on responsible gambling:

Responsiblegambling.org

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