Slots Features

By Ben Hamill - November 20 2016

Playing slots is one of the most popular casino activities in land-based and online casinos throughout the world. The slots offer a combination of luck-based gaming entertainment, both high-stakes and low-stakes betting options and real money payouts.

People have been playing slots for over 100 years, starting with the “one-armed bandit” Liberty Bell slot machine that was developed by Charles Fey in 1895. The Liberty Bell morphed into the fruit machines of the early 20th century which paid out prizes in pieces of fruit-flavoured candies and chewing gum.

One of the biggest innovations in slot machine entertainment was the introduction of the 5-reel slot machine in the 1970s. These video slots gave gamers a richer gambling experience with more dynamic imagery and sound effects, special features, more payline options and more ways to complete their combinations and collect wins. Today most casinos offer hundreds of slots gaming machines which are located in rooms that have been are set aside specifically for slot machine activity.

In the casinos of today each player has the opportunity to participate in slots gaming in a way that fits his or her personal expectations. If you are familiar with the various slots features you’ll be better able to make your choice and play slots according to your personal tastes.


The most basic division in the slots world involves two different types of machines — three-reel classic slots and five-reel video slots. The three-reel classic slots offer a more slow-paced, sedate gaming experience while the five-reel video slots present a modern high-energy game with vibrant graphic imagery, themed games and a variety of elements.

Some players prefer the 3-reel slots because there are fewer paylines and the betting structure is lower while others go for the five-reel games that offer more games and more opportunities to place higher bets and create more combinations.

Paylines and Pay Ways

Slots are comprised of paylines. These are lines that appear across a slots screen upon which game symbols line up to create winning combinations. . Payline options range from 1 payline in a three-reel slots to three-hundred paylines in video slots. The paylines determine your wins since your prizes are calculated based on the deposit that you place on each of the game’s paylines. You can activate as many paylines as you wish on a game with any number of coins from the game’s minimum bet to the maximum allowed wager.

There is also a new type of game, the 243 Ways to Win slots. These slot machines have pay ways which take the place of paylines. Pay ways involve the area across a slot machine screen on which symbols on consecutive reels create combinations. You don’t activate the pay ways individually since al of the pay ways are permanently enabled for every spin. You place your bet on the spin rather than on individual pay ways.

Bonus Rounds

Some games offer bonus rounds in which the regular game pauses and the bonus round begins. Some slot machines offer their own individual bonus rounds while others feature popular bonus rounds such as Gambles and Free Spins.

In a free spins round the player is presented with a number of opportunities to spin the reels for free and collect the payouts that result from those free spins wins. Sometimes the free spins round can be retriggered and the new free spins are added to the remaining number of free spins. The gamble games give the player the chance to gamble some or all of his existing winnings by gambling on the colour or suit of a hidden cards. In a slots with a Gamble Game, any regular game win triggers the Gamble Game but there is no obligation to play it — the player can skip the Gamble and proceed with his regular game. There is a limit of five gamble options per game. To double wins, the player chooses to guess the colour (red or black) of the hidden card. To quadruple wins the gamer guesses the suit (clubs, spades, hearts or diamonds) of the hidden card.

Progressive Jackpot Games

Some slot machines offer a progressive jackpot. In a progressive jackpot game you add a small additional deposit to your game which then automatically links your machine to those of players who are playing that same game from all around the world. All of the progressive jackpot deposits go into a communal pot and the gamer whose spin triggers the progressive jackpot prize wins the entire pot. Progressive jackpot prizes are valued at anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars.

Special Symbols

There are special symbols on many of the games that allow you to achieve bigger and better wins.

Wild symbols are designated symbols that substitute for other symbols to allow you to complete your combination. For instance, if your spin resulted in two regular game symbols plus a wild on an enabled payline or pay way, the wild becomes the third symbol and completes the win. Sometimes the appearance of a Wild symbol on a completed combination multiplies the payout by a pre-determined amount.

Scatters are special symbols that create their own scatter payout. These payout values are predetermined and the scatter combination payout amount is multiplied by the number of coins that were bet on the regular game spin that activated the scatter win to determine the payout value.

Other Features

Slot machines offer additional features with new features being introduced almost every month.

Some of the most popular of these features include:

  • Respins — In a game with respins you can make an additional deposit after a spin that resulted in two matching symbols and spin the remaining reels again to see if you can achieve the third symbol on your respin. If the missing third symbol occurs you’ll be able to collect the entire payout on that completed combination.
  • Symbol Stacks — When you have a game with symbol stacks, one symbols stacks on multiple reels to give you more chances to complete wins
  • Expanding Symbol — A symbol that expands to cover all of the positions on one of a slot machine’s reels so that it’s easier to complete winning combinations.

As you become better acquainted with the slots features you’ll be able to refine your slots choices and enjoy a more satisfying gaming experience.