The gameplay of the first video slots was incredibly simple and easy to understand, even for the gambling aficionado. To get the payout, you had to collect three of the same symbols on the middle reel. Such a combination had to wait a very long time. Now, this mechanic is still in use, but it is designed for old-school players. Already in the early years of the 21st century, it became apparent that user interest in simple slots is waning at a rapid rate. This was the impetus for developers to create prize options. Simply put, they began to make moves to get players back to their screens. Thus came the first features, considered innovative in the mid-2000s.
More than 95% of the entire range released since the 2020s has a gameplay that is very different from that of retro games. The number of features available makes you dizzy and makes you think that it’s unlikely you’ll understand the specifics of how a slot works quickly. Megaways, Cluster Pays, Infinity Reels, Nudge, Cascading Reels – inexperienced players really can not for a couple of spins understand the work of these options. Features that appeared first are another matter. With their high value, their functionality is simple and clear to everyone. That’s what makes slots with old prize options popular with a wide range of players.
The improvement of video slots began with the introduction of Wild symbols. This is a symbol that the developers will not give up in the coming years. When creating Wild symbols, the developers thought about the fact that winning combinations can take a long time. They are difficult to form, so a solution was found – to create a symbol that could replace a non-winning one. Otherwise, the requirement for the Wild remains the same – it must also be placed on the line. Thanks to this symbol, winnings start to appear on the field more often.
Let’s take a look at how this symbol works in the mechanics of the slot. Let’s assume we have a slot with 4 reels in front of us. The highest paying combination is four images of the Egyptian pyramid placed on one of the paylines. The game round ends as follows: Pyramid-Nefertiti-Pyramid-Pyramid. And here there is a nuance. If it turns out that Nefertiti is conceived by the developer as a Wild symbol, the player gets the payout according to the payout table.
The possibilities of this symbol are not unlimited. It cannot replace bonus symbols such as Free Spins, Bonus, Scatter, etc. In addition, some games only allow this symbol to appear on certain reels. There aren’t many of these games, but they do exist and are still popular with players. In addition to the classic Wild symbol, games may also feature a large number of its varieties. Sticky Wild, Expanding Wilds, Moving Wild, Stacked Wild, and Wild Multiplier are a few examples of the enhancements this symbol offers.
The Wild symbol is undeniably popular with players. But there is another symbol that has taken the lead and creates winning combinations even more effectively. This is the Scatter symbol. Like the Wild, it is also a joker, but for this symbol, the action area is expanded to the size of the reel. What does that mean? It means that the Scatter is not attached to a line and will trigger anywhere on the reel.
Because of its high value, the providers often make the symbol image animated. This allows them to draw players’ attention to it. Scatter has no monetary value. Its main task is to activate additional bonus features. Most often it’s Free Spins, but it can also be a Bonus game or something more modern. Unlocking conditions remain the same as in all slots that have paylines. You need to collect 3-4 (depending on the provider’s decision) Scatter icons and the feature is unlocked. Notably, it’s the extra feature that often yields big payouts.
This symbol is most commonly found in slots with 5 reels. You can also expect it in games with 4 and 7 reels, as well as in games with progressive jackpots. But if you are faced with a title with three reels, its mechanics Scatter will likely be absent. To sum it up, this symbol becomes a conduit to very generous rewards and even more exciting events in the game.
Risk game (or double-up feature)
This feature is also considered the backbone of slot machines. It is beloved by many players because of its maximum simplicity and the ability to increase winnings several times over. The idea behind the feature is to double the amount already accrued or lose it. The user has a 50% chance of winning in this game. It appeals to players because it shifts all responsibility for the outcome to them. Any outcome is the work of the user’s intuition, not the RNG.
The standard is considered to be card prediction: a black or white card lies in front of the player. In recent years, it has been improved. The Risk game can now offer a one-in-two choice:
- High-Lo. On the screen, one card is open and the other is face down. You must guess the value of the closed card about the open one
- Flip A Coin. Before the virtual roll of the dice, the user must guess which number will be open after the roll: even or odd
- Bonus game. Some industry leaders have begun to think of more interactive gameplay within this feature. Regardless of what appears in front of you, the task will be to choose one of the two.
The first video slots only doubled their winnings. Now, this feature has better prospects. The player can increase the amount as long as he is lucky. In slots with the risk function, there is a “Gamble” button. If you want to risk your winnings, press it and guess.
Nowadays, double-up slots are not easy to find. The good news, there are still some resources that review them. As a good example, there are many risk slots on casino-howto.
Absolutely all slots have a jackpot. In regular games, the jackpot is fixed by the provider and is listed in the payout table. That is, if the highest bet multiplier is x1,000, you won’t be able to jump any further. The games with Progressive Jackpot feature is another matter. Such slots have managed to make some noise. Mega Moolah alone is worth it!
Progressive Jackpot is a network feature. It is available within a single casino, in some cases it operates across a network of gaming clubs. In the latter case, the payouts are even larger and even initially in the millions of dollars. Games with this feature have a separate account. A small amount of each bet goes there, thus forming the jackpot. The more often the slot is played, the bigger the accumulation is in the slot bank.
An analysis of the winnings at Progressive Jackpot slots suggests that everyone wins between 50,000,000 and 100,000,000. Yes, the numbers aren’t encouraging, but if the user is lucky, they’ll get a fabulous amount of money. It would seem – why take a risk for a very elusive dream? It’s simple – users take a risk with small amounts but get the chance to win a mega-large sum. It’s a great balance that excites users from all over the world day in and day out.
Old does not mean bad. All of the features listed above came first, but are still essential. Players love them for their simplicity and effectiveness. Some give cash rewards, others activate additional features with the ability to increase winnings to incredibly large amounts. Either way, the user benefits financially. This is what makes the prize options described relevant even today.