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What types of slot bonus features are there?

Each slot that you play will offer a different type of gameplay. Often slots developers like to enhance the thrill and entertainment value of a game by adding in one or more bonus features that can help provide more or bigger wins, whether in the base game or within the bonus games themselves.

Here we will walk you through some of the most frequently found slot bonus features and give you examples of games where you can find them so you can take a look for yourself.

Expanding Wilds

This a feature that you’ll find in some of our favourite video slots like Medusa and Hall of Gods. It’s one that can not only increase your potential to find a big win but one that can also increase the thrill of each spin.

Essentially an expanding wild is a normal wild symbol that can appear just like any other symbol on the reels, but if it can produce more winning paylines will expand to cover the entire reel it is on. This feature can produce some profitable wins depending on the reels it appears and the symbols it helps to replace.

Stacked Wilds / Stacked Symbols

Stacked wilds and stacked symbols act similarly, except that wilds substitute for other symbols, whereas the standard symbols do not. When they appear stacked across the slots reels, they can provide the opportunity for some more winning combinations. They can often make entire or partial reels full of the same symbol.

A feature that you will find in Microgaming’s Rugby Star slot and NextGen’s Merlin’s Magic Respins.

Replicating Wilds

Not a feature that you will find that often within slot games, but these are typical wild symbols that, when they appear on the reels, can turn other symbols around them wild too. This offers the opportunity for more wins. WMS Dragon’s Inferno slot machine is a good example of this feature in use.

Walking Wilds

These are some of our favourite types of wilds. They can offer some thrilling spins and often come with free re-spins, allowing you to get more wins for less. Net Entertainments Jack and the Beanstalk slot is a great example of this slot bonus feature in practice.

Where ever a wild symbol appears on the reels, it will usually move from its current position one symbol to the left on each spin until it is removed from the reels. This can give you up to five free spins if it lands on the fifth reel and more if more wilds show up in the meantime.

An effective feature that increases not only wins but fun gameplay too.

Sticky Wilds

Sticky wilds usually show up within free spin games. When one appears on the reels, it will remain sticky in that position until all the free spins have been spun. These are particularly effective with more free spins as there’s more opportunity to cover the reels in wilds.

One game that uses a variety of wild features, including sticky wilds, is NetEnt’s Muse slot online; these actually appear in the base game and free spins and give you a free re-spin if found.

Sticky Symbols

Much like sticky wilds, these can produce bigger wins. Probably the most famous of slots to use this feature is that of the cartoon detective Jack Hammer. If you get symbols within a winning payline, they will remain sticky, and a free re-spin will be awarded. If you get another of the same symbol, that will also be sticky and another free respin awarded. This repeats until you don’t find a similar symbol or the board is full.

A slot feature that’s used effectively and can create big wins if the right symbols appear. At other times just wins that will top up your balance.

Cascading symbols

Ahhh. If you’re a slots player that’s a fan of NetEnt slots, then you will no doubt have come across the Aztec treasure-hunting Gonzo in the Gonzo’s Quest slot. This NetEnt game is probably the most famous of cascading symbol slots, which explodes symbols that make up a winning payline and drops down more symbols from above.

The symbols don’t spin in the traditional sense and drop down from above into place with each press of the spin button. What makes these wins cascading is the fact that on each win, if the symbols that drop down form a new winning payline, the process will repeat until no more new winning paylines are created. It’s almost like giving you a free re-spin each time, but a multiplier increases here on each consecutive win, providing bigger wins.

Other cascading slots include Thunderkick’s Esqueleto Explosivo and Play’n GO’s Pearls of India slot.

Free Spins Games

Free Spins are one of the most popular types of bonus games you will find in video slots online or on mobile. They are also one that can be the most rewarding. Usually triggered by finding 3 or more of a certain bonus symbol in the base game, they reward you with a certain number of free spins.

These free spins can range from just 3 up to 20, 30, 50 or even 100’s, depending on the game, and sometimes you don’t just get free spins, but they also combine multipliers and varying types of expanding or sticky wilds.

A feature that can be very profitable, giving you over 500x your bet on certain slot machines or just a few 10x on others.

Some of our favourite games that include free spins include Aliens, Foxin Wins Again and Immortal Romance.

Pick Me Bonus Games

Probably the simplest of the bonus games you’ll find in a slot, these reward you with instant cash prizes for physically picking the right items from a selection on screen.

These can vary from the number of items to select to whether they are multi-stage processes providing bigger wins the further you get, like in Enchanted Meadow slot. A simple feature that is easier to hit than the free spins but rewards you with wins to top up your casino balance rather than any truly big ones.


A simple concept that can appear on special symbols, within free spins or bonus games. These will double, triple, quadruple or produce even bigger wins by multiplying your wins.

A feature that’s used effectively well in WMS Raging Rhino free spins game and NetEnts’s Gonzo’s Quest.

Free Re-spins

These usually come as part of another feature. NetEnt’s most popular slot machine Starburst uses it well when its wild symbol expands and gives you a free re-spin with the wild in place.

A feature that gives you more opportunities to win but one that doesn’t often pay big.

And there you have it, a brief overview of some of the main slot bonus features you will find in many of the games either online or mobile casinos provide. No doubt there are a few that you’ll either have come across or can now go and try for yourself.

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