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Tumbling Reels Slot Feature

The greatest strength of slot machines as a casino game is the fact that they are so simple that anyone can enjoy them, even if they know nothing about the world of gambling. Match up some symbols, win a prize, and then move on to the next spin. What could be easier than that?

However, some machines now offer players the chance to keep a spin going even after that initial win, potentially keeping the money coming in again and again. This feature, known as tumbling reels, can trigger a virtual avalanche of riches for a player who is lucky enough to start a massive chain reaction.

How It Works

Games that use the tumbling reels format are usually set up similarly to standard machines. You’ll put in your bet, hit a button to start your spin, and if you make left-to-right matches across the screen, you’ll be awarded your winnings.

The difference is that while this is when most slots end, these games are just beginning. Once your initial earnings have been paid, all of your winning symbols will be removed from the reels, with the remaining symbols sliding down the screen as far as possible. You’ll now have some blank spaces at the top of the screen, and new symbols will fall into place.

Now that the new symbols are on the screen, the game will once again check for any wins. If you again have the right combinations of symbols, you’ll score new prizes, and the process will continue. Depending on the machine, this could go on indefinitely (until you fail to make a winning combination), or there might be a set number of times the feature can be activated before it stops. If you've played games like Candy Crush you will recognise this feature immediately.

In many of these games, you’ll get an added bonus if you can get the screen to continue tumbling time and again. Most commonly, this is done through a multiplier on future winnings. For instance, the first respin might be for the regular coin values, but all of your winnings on a second respin might pay double, while then next one could pay 3x, and so on.

Watch Tumbling Reels in Action

Benefits

The tumbling reels feature comes with two major benefits for players. The first is that it opens up the opportunity to win big prizes even on machines that don’t initially seem to have outstanding jackpots available. Since you can continuously trigger wins again and again, it’s possible to build up a lot of small victories into one massive haul by the end of an especially lucky spin.

It’s also undeniable that this sort of bonus action adds a lot of drama and excitement to every spin. Once you’ve retriggered a set of symbols at least a couple times, you start to feel like you might be on the verge of a once-and-a-lifetime streak. This is especially true in games that add a multiplier as you get deeper into your respins, as even just one good result at a 5x or 10x multiplier can be enough to add a huge boost to your bankroll.

Games Using this Feature

Something to keep in mind when looking for slot machines with this feature is that they won’t all use the term “tumbling” to describe the same thing. We’ve seen it called cascading, the “avalanche” feature, and other names depending on the company that developed each game, but the concept remains the same: make wins, and they’ll in turn make way for even more potential matches.

One popular example is the new game Pyramid: Quest for Immortality by NetEnt. This machine uses the pyramid theming to create a unique structure: while the first and last reels have only three reel positions, the second and fourth have four, while the middle position has five. Since it uses an all ways format, there are 720 potential winning combinations, and all of them using the “Avalanche” feature to trigger respins each time you win at least once on a spin. Keep winning, and you’ll see multipliers added to future winnings, up to a maximum of 10x.

Many other great machines use this innovation as well. The following are just a few of the more popular slots with tumbling reels, or another similar bonus for players:

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