Popular Slot Features & Terms
Most of the modern slots come with a variety of bonus features. It might be hard for a first timer (or even for a veteran, for that matter) to get into all of them. On this page, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular slot terms and features. We’ll also briefly explain them so you get a better understanding of the games you play.
Bonus Rounds are usually found in 3D video slots. Unlike other slot bonuses, these are often mini-games that you’ll have to play in order to get your prize. The most common mini-game you’ll encounter is the “pick one” type - you’ll have a few options to choose from and the bonus is always a surprise. You can be awarded with Free Spins, multipliers or even instant cash prizes.
Volatility is essentially a slot machine's risk factor. It can be either low, medium or high. Slot volatility dictates the frequency of the game's payouts and the size of its prizes. Usually, beginner players opt for low volatility slots, to protect their budget and receive small but frequent wins. High rollers, on the other hand, are drawn to high volatility slots, where they can bet more but also expect big wins less often.
The Free Spins are maybe the most beloved bonus feature out there. Since every regular spin comes at a small (or big, in some cases) price, the Free Spins are a great way for gamblers to play for free while still making good bucks.
Progressive slots are a high-risk-high-reward type of bonus features. With every spin, you have the chance to win a jackpot and the more you spin, the more this jackpot increases. So if you’re a fan of the thrill and excitement of slots, the progressive ones are definitely the ones for you.
The Scatter Symbols are a type of special icons you’ll find on the reels. Their main function is to trigger the Free Spins round and other bonuses. They’re also some of the highest paying symbols in slots so if they don’t trigger a bonus, you’ll still get some good cash out of them.
Almost every video slot comes with Wild symbols. These are special icons that act much like the Joker in a card game. They will replace any other symbol on the reels (except for Scatters and Bonus ones), awarding you with huge wins in combinations that would have otherwise been unattainable.
Slots with Expanding Wilds are becoming more and more popular. When landed in a winning combination, the Expanding Wilds will, well, expand over a whole reel from top to bottom. The entire reel is then turned Wild and you can cash out on some great wins.
The Shifting Wilds are a type of special icon that once activated will move one position on the reels. They can move left to right or up and down, depending on your luck. You will often see them on the last reel of the set.
The Stacked Wilds are maybe the most common of the bunch. They can cover the entire reel when they land. You will see them in bunches of 2, 3, 4 or even 5 symbols at a time. They can land on any reel or just on some specific ones, depending on the slot.
Sticky Wilds will act just like the regular ones, with one crucial difference. While the regular Wilds disappear after a winning combo, the Sticky ones will remain in place, enabling several wins at a time. You will often get them during the Free Spins feature.
Slots with Transferring Wilds are not a usual occurrence. But you will instantly recognize them by the enlarged first set of reels. When you land a Wild symbol on those reels, they will also transfer to the remaining ones.
There’s no specific way to trigger the Random Wilds. They will simply appear at random, during the base game and the Free Spins feature and will award you with the appropriate wins. In high volatility slots, they also bring some amazing multipliers with them.
Walking Wilds are a type of Wild symbol that when activated, will move around the reels, awarding you bonuses as they go. This often happens during Bonus Rounds but you can enjoy the Walking Wilds during the base game as well, depending on the slot.
As the name suggests, multiplier symbols are there to award you with different multipliers. The most common ones will double or triple your wins. But sometimes, you might just get lucky enough to hit a sweet 1000x multiplier.
Split Symbols are special icons that take on the roles of two different symbols, while occupying a single slot on the reels. They can be especially useful if you’re trying to increase your wins with the least amount of symbols.
Sometimes, you might want to do something else while your slots are running in the background. The Autoplay feature is a great way to make some passive wins while you sit back and relax. Almost all the modern slots come with this feature.
The Nudge feature is rather uncommon. But when you do find a slot that offers it, keep playing it because the winning potential is huge. Basically, this option will let you move one reel of your choice, separate from the others. So, for example, if you needed one more apple to form a winning combo, you’ll have the chance to spin just that one reel you need to make it happen.
The Colossal Reels were first introduced by the WMS (Williams Interactive) developer. Slots with Colossal Reels are very easy to recognize, thanks to the unique format with two sets of reels - one is a normal 5x4 set and the other is a colossal 5x12 set.
The best way to explain cascading slots is to associate them with games such as Candy Crush. When you land a winning combination, the symbols involved will explode and make room for new ones. Cascading slots are great because in theory, they offer the possibility of infinite wins - as long as you keep landing lucky combinations.
Win Both Ways
Win Both Ways is one of the popular slot machine features. So how does it work? Well, you’d usually be forming winning combos from left to right across any active payline. When the win-both-ways feature is active, you will be able to win from right-to-left as well. No matter the winning direction, the payout will be the same.
The reels are the most important part of a slot. The reels are the vertical “lines” full of symbols that will move once you hit that Spin button. There’s no way to influence the outcome of a spin, as it’s randomly generated.
Some slots offer you a second chance at a win with the Reel Respin feature. This means that you’ll be able to spin all the reels (or just one of your choice) again for another chance at a win. However, be careful on how you play your luck because these respins come at a cost.
The Rotating Reels feature will usually get triggered during a bonus round. When this happens, you’ll be playing through a spin as usual, before the screen rotates to 90° and your paylines will award you with a second round of wins. There’s a total of 4 rotations.
The Paylines are at the base of every slot, be it classic or modern. The paylines are organized in a fixed pattern that will allow the software to determine your wins. You can’t alter the number of paylines, but some slots will add more during specific bonus rounds.
We recommend you check the Paytable of every slot that you play. This is basically a “dictionary” of the slot’s symbols and their associated values. You will also find there a complete list of the bonuses, multipliers and special icons.
The Coins represent the currency you’ll be betting on every spin. Depending on your set amount of coins, your odds at winning will increase or decrease. Your prizes will also be awarded in coins that you can later convert into actual currency.
Some slots allow for their special features to be retriggered. For example, once you start a Free Spins round, the retriggering option will allow you to start all over again, as long as you meet the conditions.
The RTP (Return To Player) value determines how much a slot will pay you back for each coin wagered over time. This is usually displayed as a percentage - the higher this number, the better paying the slot will be.
You will probably not come across this feature very often. But when you do, we recommend you keep playing that slot because the winning potential is great. Basically, the Hold feature will allow you to keep a reel in place, while the others keep spinning.
The Gamble Feature is not commonly included in slots. It’s a game of pure chance and luck but it can considerably increase your wins. How does it work? Simple - after every win, you’re given the option to gamble that amount in a 50/50 game.
The symbols are another basic element of the slot machine terms. You can find them on the reels on every slot, classic or modern and they’re the elements that determine your wins. Usually, every slot will have a set of low, medium and high paying icons. Some of them even come with special functions.
The slot’s theme is a design choice that determines the general look and feel of the game. Sometimes, they will tell stories and some other times, the theme is just there to appeal to a gambler’s interests. There are so many slot themes available, from fruits to movies, music and even food.
Now that you know about the most important and popular terms, you’re more ready than ever to play some free slots with features. You can browse through our website to choose some slots that you love and play them for free! Just don’t forget to leave a rating!