The modern online slots sector has developed a bewildering array of game types, from retro three-reel slots to the latest in progressive jackpot technology. To help you navigate this world of slots entertainment, we’ve put together this guide to the variety of games that you can find among modern slots. For further information, you can also check out our casino terms glossary section, that will help you to fill in any knowledge gaps and to get the most out of our pages.
Three-reel slots represent something of a blast from the past in the slot gaming world and are popular with purists and fans of old slots. Break Da Bank by Microgaming, with its classic fruit and bar symbols, is a classic example of the three-reel game.
In fact, Microgaming are particularly well known for their ability to get new life out of the three-reel format, and have produced a number of these mini classics, including Couch Potato. This game has three reels, three rows, and a single pay line, but although the gameplay is simple, it can offer some big pay-outs, thanks to the Couch Potato Wild symbol.
Five-reel slots, as the name suggests, add in another two re ls to the old-fashioned three-reel format and this is the most recognisable slot format around today. Five reels means more pay lines, and that is obviously good news for slots players. One of the most iconic five-reel slots around is Starburst, a space- and gem-themed slot released by NetEnt in 2012. Starburst showed the potential of the five-reel format when combined with modern graphical standards, with regular pay-outs on 10 fixed pay lines.
The five-reel format is capable of a great variety, and offers developers a solid foundation on which to base their bonuses and extra features on. NetEnt used the five-reel format as the basis for their platinum-selling Gonzo’s Quest, which added the popular Cascade feature to the basic format, with winning combinations removing all of the relevant symbols, which are then replaced by new symbols dropping down from above, an innovation that showcased the five-reel layout.
As the quality of internet and games technology grew along with the inventiveness of game developers, we started to see the emergence of increasingly sophisticated online slots, featuring 3D graphics, immersive sound and even animations. Phantom Slot by Microgaming is a ghost-themed video slot in which the ghosts on the reels come to life and interact with one another, and the cutting-edge graphics and sounds feel more like a console or PC game than an online slot.
Video slots also offer a more imaginative use of the gameplay space, for instance by including the Megaways feature. This innovation was originally introduced by Big Time Gaming, but subsequently taken to a host of other providers. Dragon Born (2015) was the first slot game to feature this innovation, which does away completely with pay lines in favour of a player-friendly ways-to-win structure. The Dragon Born slot game offers an astonishing 117,649 ways to win, and was not surprisingly a big hit with players.
The level of competition in the online slots sector is great news for slot players as it pushes developers to come up with ever more attractive features in their games. This has led to a proliferation of bonus games and extras in online slots.
One of the most successful bonus slots was Jurassic Park, which came out in 2014. Based on the movie of the same name, it gave players the chance to launch a Free Spins bonus by landing three Scatter symbols during the main game. An additional element was the Pick Me bonus. This saw players picking from a variety of Free Spins formats, adding a degree of interaction and another dimension to the standard modern video slot.
Multi Spin Slots
Another interesting variation in the world of online slots was the addition of more than one reel set. With multi-reel slots, players were presented with the ability to spin more than one wheel at the same time. The classic example was Ugga Bugga, which was released in 2013 and can be played at Casino Tropez. This slot’s basic game structure was a simple three-reel layout with one pay line, but it had no fewer than ten reels to spin at the same time.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
Landing a life-changing win is one of the big attractions for many slots gamers and this dream became a possibility with the invention of progressive jackpot slots. These slots are linked by a network, with a small percentage of each spin going to a central pot that is awarded when the jackpot is won.
With no limit to the size of a progressive jackpot, there have been some truly enormous wins. Perhaps the best-known example is Mega Fortune developed by NetEnt and available for play at Mr Green online casino. Released in 2008, it combines a Pick Me feature with three progressive jackpots. One lucky Norwegian player landed a huge €11.7 million pay out playing Mega Fortune, however an even bigger win can be attributed to its competitor slot Mega Moolah by Microgaming when a British player bagged €18.9 million in 2018.
Modelled on the old-fashioned mechanical fruit machines available in arcades and pubs, the fruit machine slot is particularly popular with British audiences. Online slots developers have reproduced the popular gameplay of the fruit machine, including the Hold and Nudge features.
Typical of this retro-style genre is Cash N Curry, a fruit machine slot that you can play at Guts.com. This is an entertaining curry-themed slot that is packed with humour, including some amusing animations, and brings the old-school charm of the fruit machine slot to a modern audience.
We hope that this has given you some more insight into the wonderful world of modern free bitcoin slots, which has something for every type of slots player. If you want to explore further, why not take a look through the list of slots on our pages to find your ideal game. And, if you want to know more about slots and how they work, look out for our next article that gives you the lowdown on the crucial RTP figure and why it is so important when choosing an online slot.