Slots With Bonus Rounds
Bonus rounds add entertainment value to slots, as well as giving you the potential for big wins. These have developed over the years from simple free-spins rounds to some very complex and involved mini-games within the slot setup. Some slots bonus rounds are linked to the biggest payouts of all – the progressive jackpots.
This article is a complete guide to slot bonus rounds. I have started with an introduction to different features of these rounds, and how they are triggered from the main game. After that specifics of the main rounds are described, from the simple through to the complex. A note on the pros and cons of choosing slots with bonus rounds can be seen at the end of the page.
Evolution of Slots Bonus Rounds
The very first bonus rounds involved free spins. Combinations of symbols would trigger 10 spins of the reels where no coins were taken and any wins would be cumulative. This proved a popular feature, and soon different incentives were being added on top. Examples included multipliers for wins, extra wild symbols – or the ability to extend the number of free spins during the bonus.
Games which do not involve the reels started slowly, sometimes including a spinning wheel which stopped on a prize or multiplier, or a simple ‘pick-em’ game where you would choose an icon on the screen to reveal a prize (or even a number of free spins).
Triggering these early bonus rounds usually revolved around special symbols known as ‘Scatters’. These pay out when 3 or more hit the reels regardless of whether they are on a single winning line. Many bonus rounds come with bigger multipliers if you start them off by hitting 4 or even 5 scatter symbols. As slot technology advanced, variations on this appeared. Many bonus rounds are now triggered by hitting a special symbol on certain reels, or even when you hit a certain number of wins on an in-reel feature.
Bonus rounds have now separated from the main game entirely. You’ll often be taken to a new screen and take part in some interactive activity. This can be as simple as choosing a path, to taking part in fights between superheroes or even a racing game. Many modern bonus features are tied in with movie characters or TV shows. Still others are your path to unlocking the biggest wins or even the progressive jackpots associated with slots games.
The latest bonus rounds at brick and mortar casinos include shared features. These take place on giant screens above the seats of multi-player slots. You’ll mix individual rounds with games where all the players are participating. You will also find new games with the ability to log-in with a user name and save your progress through different bonus rounds.
The Pros and Cons of Bonus Rounds
Many people love the interactive slot bonus rounds, and choose the games based on this type of features. For some people, these games are more of a diversion from the main game than true entertainment. Both types of player (and those who are in-between) have a point, what is a perfect slot for one player, might be too involved and intensive for another.
The main benefit of these bonus feature rounds is that you have a chance to win huge prizes. Some features are linked to progressive jackpots which can let you win truly life-changing money. You could be spinning a wheel which makes the difference between winning a couple of hundred or becoming an instant millionaire.
Even the features on slots which do not have progressives are often the biggest ways to win. This is particularly the case where free spins rounds are combined with sticky wild symbols. If you manage to cover the entire reel surface with wilds, you could easily end up winning multiple max payouts for every remaining spin.
Smaller bonus rounds, which involve a lot of interaction for just a few coins, can take away from the main game-play. You might also find slots without these big money features to be lower variance, making your bankroll last longer with multiple small wins. If you are the type of player who likes to set up auto-play, sit back and relax watching the game – then there are plenty of slots which do not have these complex feature rounds for you.
Bonuses and Rewards
The bigger ‘feature’ you should look for when choosing a casino is how well they look after their players. Whether you go for the interactive slots, or a simple free spins round will suffice – it can pay to make sure that the bonus terms at your casino are fair before you sign-up. Check the play-through requirement, and make sure there are no excluded games. Whether you win the big feature prizes, of just enjoy the games – you’ll know that the casino is keeping your bankroll topped up.