Bonus Rounds

Bonus rounds are one of the main things that sets modern slots apart from the older generation. We’re not talking about scatter symbols returning instant wins or free spins. Such features were common even on the older arcade machines. These are advanced, graphical bonus rounds, mini-games that take players on an adventure and give them a reason to keep returning, whilst also giving them something to aim for. Bonus rounds act like jackpots, in that many players will play for them and will not rest until they land them, but they are much more achievable and the returns from them are often much less.

Unlocking Bonus Rounds

The most common way to unlock a bonus round is to get between 3 and 5 symbols anywhere on the reels. These often don’t need to be in a payline and can literally land anywhere. That sounds much more common than it is though, as bonus symbols are few and far between, and even the most common bonus features will only come around in 1 out of every 20 spins. On games that have 5 bonus symbols you only need 3 to unlock the round, but getting 4 or 5 will give you a bigger return, often in the form of higher multipliers, bigger features or more time spent in the bonus round.

Some games only have 3 bonus symbols, often on alternating reels, and some of them have bonus features that are unlocked at random. In games like South Park, Ghostbusters and Ruby Reels, there are several bonus rounds to unlock. In all of these games there are three 2 standard bonus symbols, and if you land these on the first and third reels, then you will be given the opportunity to land one of several symbols on the final reel. Which one you land will decide which of the many bonus rounds you trigger.

Average Return

Some bonus features return very little, but are quite common. Such is the case on the Deal or no Deal Banker slot. There are several features here, but the Banker or Bust feature in particular is very frustrating for players. It is very common to leave this feature with nothing at all, and rare to walk away with more than 5x. However, on most features you should expect a return of at least 10x, and on the bigger and better rounds, and those where you unlocked the maximum symbols to get there, you can expect a return of more than 30x, and even more than 100x.

Best Bonus Round Slots

As mentioned above, the games that offer many different features are the best. These include South Park and Ruby Reels, but other big bonus games include the hugely popular Rainbow Riches, which puts you on a literal road of riches, and Avalon II, which has a number of features to unlock. Many modern slots, and nearly all 3D slots, have advanced bonus rounds, and as this industry grows, they are becoming more and more immersive.