10 Most Common Bonus Features in Online Slots

in Casino blog
Created: 06 April 2018

The reasons why online slots are so popular are many. But one of the most notable ones is bonus features. The themes are nice to look at, but it's the bonus features that make additional profit for the player, bring excitement into gameplay and make the game more impressive overall. From Wilds to Pick-me games, we present the most common special features in online slots

1. Wild Symbols

The Wild symbol is one of the first special features to appear after the reign of classic 1-line, 3-reel machines. It is usually a more noticeable symbol compared to other icons in the game and sometimes it even has the word 'Wild' written on it. When the Wild symbol appears on screen it replaces other base game symbols and helps form winning combinations on designated lines. It's like the Joker - the Wild card.

2. Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols may have a dual purpose. They are also quite conspicuous and they offer wins which aren't attached to the betways determined by the machine. Often two or three of them anywhere on the reels result in a handsome payout known as the Scatter payout. It's not unusual for this sum to be the highest the machine has to offer in the base game. The other function of a Scatter is to trigger the bonus feature with three or more symbols on specific reels or anywhere in view.

3. Free Spins

Free spins may just be one of the favourite online slot features among players. They are awarded then the Free Spins round is activated, which usually happens with three or more Scatter or Bonus symbols. Once triggered, the round of free spins commences immediately and the player enjoys a set of gratis spins which are played one after the other. Depending on the game, the player can win from 3 to hundreds of free spins in one bonus round.

4. Double-Up Game

The Gamble feature, or the Double-Up Game, is an optional feature incorporated in some of the video slots on the web. It becomes available after each winning spin. Usually, there is a Double-Up button by the Spin button and it becomes highlighted after a winning spin. The player can then click on it and play a mini game of choosing red or black to double the win. Sometimes there is also an option to choose the playing card suit and quadruple the win. In case of a wrong choice, the win is lost. 

5. Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune feature can be randomly triggered or with a specific combination of a Scatter or a Bonus symbol. Depending on the slot, the player will receive one or more gratis spins of the wheel and then gain the opportunity to win prizes. They may range from free spins, cash rewards, extra Wilds or multipliers. There might be a slot on the wheel that designates the end of the game, so it's possible for the player to spin it multiple times until the end slot is reached. In some cases, the Wheel of Fortune can be the entry door to a jackpot prize as some progressive jackpot slots award their pots through a wheel bonus.

6. Expanding Wilds

As the name itself explains it, Expanding Wilds are big Wild symbols that take up more than just one position on the reels when they appear. They can appear randomly or get added to the reels during free spins. Some Expanding Wilds can be 2x2 in size, but some can grow bigger and cover entire reels. This, of course, means more winning combinations and a great convenience for the player.

7. Cascading Reels

Cascading reels or Avalanche reels can be found on multiple popular video slots and they are becoming more and more common as time goes by. Other than being profitable, Cascading reels are also extremely visually attractive. How do they work? Well, in slots with Cascading reels, the columns don't spin in a usual fashion. Instead, the symbols fall from above and when a winning combination is formed the symbols involved disappear (explode, float away etc.) and new ones ascend from above, filling in the empty positions. This enables more winning combos to form without hitting the Spin button one more time. It's almost like receiving an additional spin, free of charge.

8. Re-spins

Re-spins are additional spins but they aren't awarded in large sets of 10 or 20 like normal free spins. Instead, re-spins may happen when a certain feature is triggered by Bonus symbols. The symbols that activate the feature usually remain locked to their positions while the reels spin again and introduce new symbols on the reel grid. This is another way of forming more than one winning combination on a single spin, without charging it to the balance. However, it's practice to get from 1 to 5 re-spins, usually, and not more.

9. Multipliers

Multiplier factors are added to regular base game wins, or bonus wins, depending on the game mechanics. They are more of an addition to the bonus that the bonus feature itself. Sometimes multipliers can come attached to free spins, and sometimes they can appear in the Wheel of Fortune feature as one of the prizes on the wheel. They designate a number of times the win amount is multiplied and then added to the account balance. From 2x to 50x the win amount, multipliers can substantially increase one's profit in a slot game.

10. Pick-me Mini Games

Plenty of online slots feature a Pick-me mini game as one of their major bonuses. These rounds are triggered by Bonus or Scatter symbols, they consist of presenting the player with multiple items that conceal prizes and a Collect button. The player needs to pick among the offered items and reveal cash prizes, free spins bundles or multipliers. Pick-me bonuses are habitually designed according to the slots theme. For example, if the slot is all about vampires, then you'll probably get to choose among gravestones or coffins. You may get one opportunity to choose or several, until you find the Collect button and end the feature. 

Start a new online casino

With money, you can buy everything including a new online casino. But running an online casino is not that easy and if you are interested to start a new casino and you don't have the knowledge, we advise you first to find good managers to run it for you.

Where to start

There are two options to start an Online Casino:
- Start your own from scratch
- Start with a white label

Start your own casino from Scratch

When you have a good development team and knowledge about starting an online casino, you can build a new online casino from scratch. But this will take you a long time and it's very risky if there are software mistakes and players are winning money because of these mistakes or find ways to cheat the casino.

The advantage with having your own developed casino is that you will save a lot of money with the fee you need to pay when you work with a white label provider. So your profit will be bigger but your development cost will be higher. However, this is just a matter of making good calculations and see what will work best for you.

Another advantage is the whole casino looks and functionality. You can make the casino completely how you want it and make the navigation and layout exactly how you think it will work best.

One of the disadvantages is the high cost you have with maintaining the casino. You will need to pay for the support staff salaries, bank processing cost, gaming suppliers cost. With a white label this is most of the times lower because they can bring more volume to the 3rd parties.

Start your own casino with a white label

A white label is a ready casino which you basically rent from a company who already made the whole casino for you and will manage the payments processing, support and game providers. The only thing you have to do is the whole marketing, thereforebringing players to the casino.

A white label casino is a very fast and relatively easy solution and it might cost you 1-3 months to have it up and running. The downside is the set-up fee which can range from 10.000 euro to 100.000 euro depending on the package and the percentage of the revenue you need to pay every month. But of course the white label provider needs to earn money as well and he has many costs due to the games provider, processing costs and support team.

A disadvantage is that you are limited to the functionalities and layout of the white label provider. They will not change something very easily for you unless you can bring a lot of money for them. And any change will cost time and money.

Ready, set and make money

Easily said but not so easily done. To run a profitable casino you need a lot of players and deposits. Players win which is good but of course if the payout is too high you might not make profit. It takes a few months before you really make good profit and you always need to have money aside in case you have big wins. You would not be the first online casino which has to stop because of a big winner.

How can you get new players?

With all the new regulations in many countries it's not that easy anymore to do a lot of advertising. So you need to be very creative and work mainly with affiliates. An affiliate is a company or private person who will bring players to your casino and will earn a commission for this. This promotion is mostly through a casino portal but some affiliates also use mailers, Facebook ads or big forums.

So the above might give you a good start when you win a jackpot on a jackpot slot and have a few millions left to start your new hobby, owning your own online casino.