Slot games with bonus features & how they let you win more!
If you’ve never played online slots before, you might find that these games are more complex than the old-style fruit machines we used to play in the good old days. In fact, most online slots abound in extra features, and it’s mostly these features that can lead to the biggest rewards. Slot games with bonus features are characterized by one or more 'extras' that are meant to improve your chances of landing three or more identical slot machine symbols, or that increase the reward you get from your wins.
This article is meant both for those players who are new to online slots and those who are looking for slots with better bonus features. If terms like ‘wilds’, ‘scatters’ and ‘multiplier slots’ sound unfamiliar to you, the introduction to slot features below might also help you figure out what online slots are all about and identify the best slots to play.
Base game and bonus game features
When we speak about online slot machines with bonus games, we normally make a distinction between the base game and the bonus game in the same slot. In the base game, players will spin with the aim of landing on the highest-paying slot machine symbols and securing a decent win, whereas during a bonus game the chances of winning high amounts are improved thanks to certain additional features. While special features will normally be concentrated in the bonus game, the best slots will also have a couple of base game features that will improve your chances of winning more.
Important slot machine symbols: wilds and scatters
Base game features are usually activated thanks to a couple of special slot machine symbols. One of these is the wild symbol, which substitutes for all other symbols in order to form winning combinations. Usually, the wild can replace any symbol on the reels except for the scatter symbol.
Scatter slot games are those that have a special symbol that will trigger the bonus game (or free spins round). Normally, you need to land on three or more of these scatters in order to activate this bonus, and you’ll get a more rewarding bonus (for example more free spins), if you manage to land more than three scatters.
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Popular base game features
You may encounter a number of other base game extras when playing slot games with bonus features. One of the most commonly encountered base game features is the re-spin feature in certain slots. This is usually activated when you land on a winning combination, or when you’re close to triggering the bonus game. In these cases, some (or all) reels will spin again so that you’ll have a second chance of landing on another scatter or of forming a combination of identical slot machine symbols.
Slot developers lately have been getting very creative when it comes to base game features. Some slots include a gamble feature, which offers players the possibility to double or even quadruple their winnings by playing a heads or tails game. Other slots are linked to a power meter, which fills up the more you win so that you’ll unlock a special feature that will help you win more. From low paying symbols turning into higher paying ones to sticky symbols, multipliers or even random prizes, you will find yourself looking forward to a great variety of cool additions once you start playing slot games with bonus features.
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Slots with free spins
The most common types of bonus games involve a round of free spins which is triggered by landing on three or more scatters during the base game. Slots with free spins are highly sought after because these free spins normally come with a couple of extra features, which could be any or a combination of the following:
- Multipliers – multiplier slots will multiply the amount you win from one or more spins by a certain amount, which can be anything from 2x to 100x. Normally, these are to be found in the bonus games of multiplier slots, although you do occasionally get them in the base game too.
- Extra wilds: more wilds will be added to the reels for an improved chance of landing a winning combination.
- Expanding reels – the reel set will expand for the possibility of landing combinations made up of more symbols.
- Wild reels – one or more reel will be entirely transformed into a wild.
- Sticky wilds – wild symbols may be locked into position for the entire free spins round.
- More rewarding symbols – low-value symbols are replaced by high-paying ones: this is to improve players’ chances of winning higher amounts.
- Extra spins – landing on one or more scatters again during a free spins round may retrigger the free spins feature or may reward you with extra spins.
Slots with free spins provide a rewarding break from the base game, and can boost your bankroll significantly even without any additional features, since this round will give you a chance of winning real money without staking anything. The great thing about some of these slots is that players may retrigger the free spins round – sometimes indefinitely! The number of free spins in slots will vary, with the average being between 8 and 16.
Slot machines with bonus games
Sometimes, bonus games involve something completely different to free spins. It’s not uncommon for online slot machines with bonus games to feature a Money Wheel (such as the famous wheel in Mega Moolah slot), which players spin for a guaranteed prize, or a pick and click game with hidden prizes. These bonus games can be pretty fun and rewarding, and usually this is where the biggest slot wins are to be had.
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Use Slot Tracker to find slots with the best features!
In slot machines with bonus games, the biggest payouts normally happen once you trigger this bonus, so ideally this should not be too hard to achieve. The trick is not to run out of funds before you activate the bonus and land on that big win, so the more likely it is to trigger the free spins or another bonus game, the more rewarding the slot will be.
One way to determine how frequently you may expect to trigger a bonus is by looking at the analytics in Slot Tracker, which display data like bonus frequency and the average bonus win for individual slots. The word ‘bonus’ in Slot Tracker refers to either the free spins round or any other bonus round in a slot. By comparing these statistics for different slots you’ve played and also looking at Community Statistics, you will soon be able to figure out how often you can expect to trigger a bonus, and how much you can win from this feature.
Ultimately, slot features are there to improve your chances of winning, but they’re not the only thing to consider. Things like hit frequency, RTP and volatility are equally important when it comes to choosing the best bonus slots for you. Slot Tracker is there to help you track this data too, so you’ll identify the best slots to play online. Register through the link below and start gambling smarter today!