What is a Video Slot?
In the simplest terms, a video slot is a virtual or digital version of a slot machine. These mechanical games can still be found on casino floors and in some bars, pubs and hotels, often announcing themselves with flashing lights and catchy tunes. While slot machines have come a long way from the very first three-reel version, video slots can be considered the next step in the evolution of the game.
Because video slots are fully digital, game developers are free to express their creativity through this medium, which means that video slots can and do come in a huge range of themes, with different numbers of reels, paylines, ways to win, in-game bonuses, jackpots and more. There really is no limit to what a video slot can look like or do and this is why they are such a popular option for online gamblers.
Video Slot Features and How They Work
Any slot fan will tell you that video slots are not just reels and symbols. Each video slot is actually a sophisticated bit of software that replicates the element of chance one would see on a slot machine. To do this, developers build what is called a Random Number Generator and games are always audited to ensure their RNG software is completely fair and random before players get a chance to spin.
The sky’s the limit for video slot features and new ones are being invented all the time. However, there are a few features that are very popular and players are more likely to come across these as they explore the world of online casino.
Auto Play - Allows a player to choose a number of spins and the slot will make those spins automatically, without the player having to click the button every time
Paylines - Think of these as patterns drawn across the reels. When matching symbols appear in these patterns, a win is recorded. Video slots can have anything from 2 to hundreds of paylines and some games allow players to decide how many to bet on.
Max Bet - This button sets the wager size to the maximum allowed by the game
Info/Paytable - This button launches an in-game window that gives more information about the slot including the value of symbols, the number and shape of paylines, how special features work and are activated etc.
What Are Bonus Features?
Not to be confused with online casino bonuses, bonus features in video slots are extra ways that players can win besides simply landing a winning combination on the reels. Again, game developers’ creativity comes into play here as there are really no restrictions to what a bonus feature can be.
Perhaps the most familiar bonus features are the Scatter and Bonus symbols. These are different to the slot’s standard symbols and landing a certain number of these (usually three or more) will activate a special feature.
Free spins are probably the most familiar type of bonus features. Other examples of these features include altered symbols such as Expanding Wilds, Sticky Wilds or locking symbols into place for the duration of one or more subsequent spins. Another type is the prize wheel, which is sort of a mini game that launches within the main window of the video slot but it unrelated to the main reels. Pick and Click games and fixed jackpots are two other popular additions to modern video slots.
A new trend in video slot design is to include gamification features such as levels or maps. Players unlock new bonuses over the course of their gameplay, which means that players have stronger incentives to continue playing. This makes video slot play feel similar to console or PC gaming, creating an interesting crossover of the two genres.
Top Slot Review
Casino Top is dedicated to giving players all the information they need to choose, play and enjoy the video slots they love. Our comprehensive slot reviews are available to guide you through how each video slot works and what you can expect when you spin.