One of the most engaging features of any online slots game is the bonus round, or rounds. These are special features players can activate as they spin through the reels, which often have the result of bumping up your winnings for the duration of the round. They come in a range of different shapes and sizes, but bonus rounds all perform the same function – it’s where the bulk of the money is to be won, and it’s a target for every slots player to aspire to with each and every spin.
Bonus rounds different between different slots titles, and some are more engaging than others. In reality, these are mostly themed around the main subject of the slots game. So for Immortal Romance, for example, you’re looking at the Great Hall of Spins round, a bonus feature closely linked to the design and format of the game. Or with Rainbow Riches, it’s the Cash Path, where you can win instant prizes and multipliers. It’s these bonus features that help keep things interesting, and encourage slots fans to take them for a spin.
How Bonus Rounds Are Triggered
Bonus rounds are usually triggered in one of two ways. Firstly, there’s the random bonus. Some slots drop a bonus feature whenever they feel like it, with no apparent rhyme or reason. You’re just spinning away one minute, and knees deep in a bonus feature the next. Yggdrasil’s Jungle Books slot is a bit like this with its game realms and characters – as the reels move between these different parts of the game, different bonus features are triggered randomly.
The alternative, and by far the most common trigger for bonus rounds are through scatter symbols. Scatter symbols sometimes come with an instant payout for combinations, and you seldom require these on a specific payline. Generally, you need three or more scatter symbols to trigger a bonus feature. They can usually fall anywhere on the reels, although there are some restrictions in certain slot games that narrow these options.
In most slots, three or more anywhere on the board will trigger the bonus feature. Each bonus feature varies by type and style, too, and as a defining characteristic of any slots game, it’s important to know which bonus features are available before you commit to play a particular slot for any length of time.
Common Types of Bonus Round
During the main reel game, you probably benefit from wild symbols, and perhaps some other bonus features that are aimed at making it easier to complete your winning paylines. But these can also form part of bonus rounds, particularly when you’re looking at free spins bonus rounds.
The free spins bonus is by far the most common, delivering you a set number of free spins where there is no stake on the line. These spins are triggered automatically after your winning bonus spin, and any amount you win over the duration of those spins is added to your bankroll. To make these rounds even sweeter, you’ve also often got the benefit of extra wild symbols or other bonus features. Plus, you can often retrigger more free spins from your free spins, thus extending the bonus round still further.
Free spins is more common than other bonus types, but they do come in a variety of structures. Some games will have a pick-me style feature, where you’re presented with a choice out of a hidden selection of icons. Often, you get the cash prize behind the door, in the box, on the sheep, or whatever other visual works with the theme of the game. It’s a simple chance choice, and you win what you pick.
Others have a spinning wheel, which determines which of several prizes you win – usually containing free spins and/or multipliers, to multiply your line winnings.
Bonus Round Effects on Winnings
However a bonus round is configured, it’s main purpose is to drive the bulk of the winnings in the game. The main reel payouts can be good enough, but without a lucrative bonus round, most games would lack some of their edge. In terms of payouts and your winning potential from different games, bonus rounds are crucial. It’s when the reels are often at their most free-flowing, and when you get a genuine clear run at adding to your bankroll.
From an RTP (return to player) perspective, bonus rounds increase the amount of money paid back from any game. The more generous the bonus feature, the more significant its positive contribution on RTP. Not every bonus feature will be profitable, and you’ll find some you enjoy much more than others – but by and large, their impact is a positive one for any slots games, in terms of both winnings potential and playability.