Most online video slots consist of at least one bonus round feature. These can come in a variety of styles and cover a wide range of formats, ranging from little to no player interaction to some sort of player interaction, though based purely on luck, while some games even allow players the chance to apply some level of skill in an arcade game fashion, making players feel more in control of their destiny. Nonetheless, because of the fast-paced nature of slots, these elements are relatively short and sweet, so as to get you back to the game as quickly as possible, so you can bet on more spins.
While there are very few 5-reel slot machines that do not offer at least some type of feature, there are some in existence. Online casino software developers design a vast array of slot games to cater to as many players' preferences as possible. There are even a handful of 3-reel slots, which don't typically have any special features whatsoever, that do in fact reward players with some sort of secondary component. But the majority of dynamic bonus games that online slots are known for will be found in 5-reel slots, also known as video slots, and this is true across the board for all online casino software platforms. Different brands do, however, have their own styles and many times the added features are repeated in slot games by the same developer, who change it just a little to fit the theme or offer a somewhat different experience.
The image below shows the beginning of one of the bonus games on the Druidess Gold slot machine.
The purpose of the bonus features in slots is to break up the mundane repetitive spinning and give players something to look forward to, releasing a surge of adrenaline whenever a feature is triggered. While these added games in slots usually guarantee added payouts and this is the function they serve, they are not designed to wipe out the casino, but rather provide players with a reason to keep spinning when they otherwise may grow bored or tired of a particular slot. Giving the player something to do besides click max bet or spin is an important part of the modern-day online slot experience and one reason online slot play has grown in popularity.
Depending on the type of feature a slot offers, it is usually triggered by a certain combination of symbols, usually the wild, scatter, or a dedicated symbol. A game may require 3, 4, or 5 symbols, for example, to appear on an active payline in order to initiate an event. Other games have other requirements, such as collecting a number of items over the course of multiple spins.
Once triggered, you will usually be taken to another screen where the click-me style event will be carried out. Click me events are quite popular and offer the player a selection of items to choose via mouse click. Sometimes these items will reveal coins that are added to your winnings, sometimes they reveal multipliers that multiply your bet or wins, and others may offer free spins. We've even seen some shifting wilds slots lately that give players a chance to generate some fantastic winning combinations whenever they are active. Click me events can also take place right on the reels. Either way, once a game is completed, regular play begins again as it did before the game was triggered.
Many recent slots have taken the bonus slots to the next level, creating an actual game within a game. These may or may not require skill from the player, though any skill required is minimal. You may find yourself shooting down an aircraft carrier or alien spaceship or perhaps stealing jewels from a high-security museum, being ever so careful not to trip any alarms. Many online casino players enjoy these types of features and seek them out when playing slots online, returning to their favorites in hopes of triggering the feature.
Plot-based slots such as murder mysteries or soap opera style slots have also found a following. This type of slot allows the player to be even more interactive, playing a part in unfolding a storyline that typically offers at least one bonus round along the way. Typically, the more detailed and developed a slot game, the more intricate its added events will be.
At the very least, most video slots offer bonus free spins, and this is the most common type you will find, behind the click me event described above. Often the two go hand in hand, but if not, a default for slot games is free spins. Every game has a different way of triggering free spins and a different number of free spins, as well as its own set of terms for a Free Spins bonus, which can be reviewed in the game's paytable. Some games even feature a unique set of reels that is exclusive to free spins, as well as multiplied wins.
The quickest and most comprehensive way to find out everything you need to know about bonus games in a slot is to view the game's paytable, which can be found on the main gaming interface, usually near the game's settings, options, autoplay, or help buttons. Here you can also determine how many features a slot offers, as many do offer multiple opportunities.
In conclusion, to play a particular slot or not to play a partiuclar slot is ultimately left to the preference of the individual player, as well as the types of bonus features he or she enjoys. You will have to try out a number of slots in order to determine the style of games that best suits you, or perhaps you like all slots, so long as they increase your bankroll!