We’ve come a long way in the world of slots, with over 120 years since the first ever machine and almost 50 years of video slots. It all leads here, to the 21 Casino lobby, home to only the best and greatest in online slots ready for you to play.
So what exactly is an online slot game nowadays? The truth is, they come in a lot of very unique shapes and sizes, and there are a ton of features and themes to go between all of them
There are a number of things that you’ll find in every online slot, even though they may look a little different. You’ll always have the choice to spin manually every time or set up an auto-spin feature, which will usually have at least the option to choose how many spins to go through and whether to stop spinning when a special feature activates. Most games will also give you plenty of options to limit the number of spins, maximum loss or more. Many slots also include a ‘turbo mode’, or quick spin option - what it’s called depends entirely on the game provider. If that feature isn’t included, tapping or clicking again mid-spin usually speeds it up anyway.
One thing you’ll find in every slot is the option to adjust how much of your credit you’re putting into each spin, which is known as your ‘stake’. In the most basic form, this is just a single option to increase or decrease the number, which could be anything from €0.10 per spin to something like €200 or €300. Fairly often, this option is split between options like ‘coin value’, ‘level’ and ‘lines’, which each have their own value but essentially still add up to create a single stake value which is displayed somewhere on the screen. Remember: your balance and your ‘coins’ are connected but are not the same thing, so make sure you know how much exactly you’re playing with.
While slots these days come in a lot of forms, there are a handful of standards you’ll see again and again. As a base, you’re going to have two types that most games fall into: reel games or cluster games.
Reel games are essentially the traditional slot game, where you have 3, 4, 5 or more vertical reels, and wins come from having matching symbols in a payline from left to right, or sometimes right to left as well. These don’t have to be in a horizontal row; paylines can be a whole range of different routes across the reels, and some games have more than others. Well-known examples of reel games include things like Book of Dead, Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst, which all may look very different but have very similar bones underneath.
Cluster games are a little different in the way you win. Random symbols will drop in on every spin, but instead of having set lines to win from, you’re looking for groups of 4 or 5 symbols together to get a win. The more symbols you get connected together, the bigger the win becomes. Some of the more famous examples include things like Reactoonz and the sequel Reactoonz 2, Viking Runecraft and Jammin Jars. Naturally though, while these two templates are the most common, you’ll always get games that fall somewhere in between, such as Moon Princess where you win on straight lines in a 5x5 cluster.
On top of these, games can also have cascading wins, where winning symbols get wiped out and new ones drop into their place to possibly create new wins on the same spin. These can happen on both reel and cluster slots, although cluster slots tend to feature them a bit more often by design. As a final note, many slots nowadays are marked as ‘Megaways’ slots, meaning they use a special system that gives over 100,000 paylines, but you can learn more about these on our Megaways Slots page.
Pretty much any game that was released in modern times has a few special features to mark it out from the crowd. The most common of these is some form of bonus spins mode, where landing some combination of symbols - usually special symbols called ‘scatters’ - starts a special mode where you get a number of spins that you don’t have to put a stake down for. These modes are often made a bit more special by adding things such as multipliers which can double or triple your win or even more, and things like ‘sticky wilds’ which stay on the board and can be a substitute for any symbol on the board to make lines.
It isn’t just the bonus spins mode that has special parts though. Even in the base game of a slot, you may find wilds, special events on non-winning spins, special features that activate when you get a string of wins on a single spin, wilds that expand to cover an entire reel, and many, many more unique features. Games like Fruit Warp and Fat Rabbit each have some pretty unusual features which can make the whole experience much more fun and interesting.
One last, and more recent, addition to some games is the ‘buy feature’ option. In short, if you can’t wait for the special game mode in a slot to start, you can ‘buy in’ and get a guaranteed activation for a large input of money from the start. Thanks to the big outlay, it’s usually quite risky, but the rewards are equally high; it’s a feature that is usually aimed at more veteran players. You can find it in games like Wolf Legend Megaways and Dead or Alive 2.
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