Disclaimer: gambling may cause addiction. If you’ve spotted any symptoms of gambling addiction in yourself or your close ones, ask for help at international (Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, BeGambleAware, etc.) or local problem gambling organizations.
As the rampant pandemic locks millions of punters home, online gambling is blossoming: evaluated at a ‘modest’ $65 million at the time of writing, the global online gambling industry is expected to increase by at least 30% over the next couple of years, surpassing $92.9 billion in 2023. Dozens of brand-new gambling platforms pop up on the market monthly, making it insanely hard to pick the best one.
And it’s not getting better when you face the diversity of games and features you can take advantage of. Whether you’re playing at a world-class, time-tested platform like Slottica Casino or a brand-new one, you’ll have to choose between dozens of parameters, especially if you’re going to play online slots. But don’t panic – Aleksandra Maj, an inveterate slot player and a gambling expert from KasynoHEX, has systematized and explained all major in-game features you can stumble upon at online casinos. Without further ado, let’s dig in!
Wilds and Scatters
Featureless slots aside – copies of old-school one-armed bandits and simple 3-line fruit slots have the right to exist, but they are too simple to elaborate on – most games include Wilds and Scatters. Both can appear on either all reels or only selected reels (for example, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th reel) depending on the design of the game.
- Wilds can substitute for all regular symbols in order to create new or more winning combinations.
- Three, four, or five (sometimes even two) Scatters trigger a series of free spins. The more Scatters you catch on the screen – yes, Scatters count regardless of whether they appear on an active payline or not as long as they appear at all – the more free spins you get.
Most games do feature Wilds and Scatters as the basic powerhouses to build your game around. Some slots also feature Stacked Wilds, the ones that can cover the entire reel to trigger more winning combos. Stacked Wilds usually come in packs of two, three, four, or even five symbols, thereby covering a lot of gaming space. Besides, not only Wilds can be Stacked, though it would be fair to say that other symbols rarely incorporate that feature.
The majority of slots pay from right to left, which leads to tons of frustration when the 1st reel misses the symbol that would lead to a big win. Luckily, you can exclude these painful moments by choosing pay-both-way slots.
Theoretically, this feature should significantly increase your winning odds; in practice, though, even the best slots have an RPT rate equal to or lower than 99%.
In Respin slots, whenever you see a potentially winning combination that lacks a single symbol, you can opt for a re-spin, or you might even be allowed to freeze a few reels of your choice. That said, re-spins are not free – you will have to pay for the luxury of re-spinning – so it all comes down to calculating the costs and the potential reward.
Also known as Avalanche slots, slots with Tumbling Reels remove the winning symbols with the ones from above, thereby giving you yet another chance to score. Tumbling Reel is a free feature that cannot be deactivated – but why would you do that, considering it bears no strings attached and can lead to superb results?
Multipliers are special symbols that can double, triple, or quadruple your win. There’s no limit to the size of wins that can be triggered, but then again, that doesn’t affect the overall profitability of the slot you play.
Pick Your Bonus
The craziest feature of all – Pick Your Bonus – allows you to select the bonus you’d like to obtain. However, it’s tricky: you can select the bonus type – Wild, Scatter, Mini-Game, etc. – but the size of the reward remains hidden, making it a sheer gamble.
No Matter the Features, Start off with Free Play
The mentioned features may not encompass everything you can meet at online slots, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that the only viable – and sane, for that matter – way to approach gambling is to start with Free Play, which you can do at both renowned casinos like EnergyCasino, Slottica, and VulkanVegas and aspiring platforms. Do your homework before putting your hard-earned money at risk.