Slot Game Terminology Explained
Is not knowing a wild from a scatter keeping thou up at night? Is trying to remember what tumbling reels are putting thee off thine aim when throwing fruit at criminals in the stocks? Or are expanding reels giving thou a headache that can only be sated by climbing into the bucket of a catapult and being flung as far as the eye can see? Fear not, for we can provide all of the answers.
Here at Castle Jackpot, we know how baffling online slots terminology can be. That’s why we’ve assembled this handy guide to some of the most obscure language used in slot games, as well as some of the more basic terms you should probably know before choosing to venture into the realm of playing online slots for real money. Loyal knights and maidens may have found themselves in this area of the castle off the back of our How to Play Online Slots blog, but if not, make sure you give it a glance after you’ve finished here.
Art thou sitting comfortably? Good, then we’ll begin.
Basic Terms Used in Slot Games
We’ll start with the basics. Regarding the layout of what can be seen in front of thee when you play online slots, the first thing to tackle is the reels. Reels can refer to the entire grid on which a slot game is played, but it can also apply to the columns that spin individually. The number of rows defines how tall a grid is, and in classic land-based slots this is a fixed number on each specific game. However, a new concept of Megaways - which we’ll explain in further detail shortly - adds a level of unpredictability to the number of rows in play.
The symbols are the images that appear across each of the reels, and they usually relate to the general theme of each particular slot, although quite often there will also be low paying symbols that are more generic. Two special symbols are normally set aside to represent a scatter (a symbol that can appear anywhere on the reels and often triggers bonus rounds) and a wild (a symbol that can substitute for any other symbols except the scatter), although this symbol can sometimes be one and the same.
There are few other things that jousters will invariably find on the slot game display. The paylines are the routes upon which symbols must land to provide a winning combination, while the paytable explains all of the key symbols and features of the slot. Within the paytable, knights and maidens may also come across the RTP, which stands for Return to Player. This is represented as a percentage, and is the average amount of all wagered money that a slot game will pay back to players over time.
Common Features of Online Slot Games
Most online casino games come with a variety of standard features that are well-known from classic and popular slots both in the US and UK. The first we’ll talk about are Free Spins. Within the context of a slot game, these are spins that are carried out without combatants staking anything further, although all resulting wins will still be added to jouster’s coin purses. Sometimes there are additional features included as the reels spin, to enhance potential winnings.
We’ve already discussed the concept of wilds, but there is another feature that often makes an appearance in online slots, and that’s Sticky Wilds. They perform the same function as a standard wild, i.e; replacing any other symbols to enhance jackpots, but they also have the added bonus of locking in place for a set number of spins, or until the feature has ended. Some sticky wilds move down or across the reels with each spin, which technically defies their “sticky” status, but they’re still referred to as such.
Finally, Tumbling Reels - sometimes known as cascading reels - are an absolute game changer when it comes to mobile slots. Symbols that form winning combinations are removed from the reels, and new symbols drop into their place, potentially forming new combos. This can go on infinitely if jousters are lucky enough to find winning combinations with every tumble. To experience this particular feature, Gonzo’s Quest is a good place to start.
Slot Game Bonus Feature Terminology
The bonus rounds can vary wildly from slot to slot, with some games choosing to focus on one specific feature and making it unique, while others take more of a scattergun approach. The very best online slots manage to add a level of distinctive flair while also ensuring that they have a wide variety of bonus features, that are themselves equally engaging and intriguing for challengers. Two of our personal favourites in this regard are Worms Reloaded Slot and Beavis and Butthead Slot.
The various bonuses usually follow a similar pattern to the base game features, particularly given that some main bonus rounds focus on free spins. However, another common motif is a ‘pick me’ feature, in which challengers have to select from a variety of options at random to reveal a reward. These rewards are sometimes instant win prizes that will be directly added to thine balance, but sometimes they can be multipliers, which accumulate to award a final total multiplier.
Another structure of UK and US slots that is becoming increasingly popular as a bonus round is a variation of a ‘wheel of fortune’ feature. A wheel that contains a variety of segments will spin at random, and when it lands, jousters will often receive some sort of bonus; such as free spins, multipliers, or instant cash prizes. A recent game that takes this idea and runs with it is Astro Cat Deluxe, which includes the Sky Wheel bonus, one of the most potentially jackpot-inducing variations of the wheel of fortune that we’ve seen at Castle Jackpot.
What are Megaways?
A term that you’re very likely to come across at some point as you explore online casino games is ‘Megaways’. If you’re new to the world of online slots, then you understandably may be a little unsure of what to expect. Megaways is a potentially lucrative format of slot game, that was first developed by Big Time Gaming a few short years ago. Since then, the idea has truly caught on, and the UK is currently experiencing an explosion in the popularity of such games.
Megaways can offer up to tens of thousands of paylines, with reels that are taller than most conventional slots. The fact that Megaways generally pay both ways - meaning from right to left as well as the more traditional left to right - also helps to improve potential payouts. Some newer Megaways slots even feature tumbling reels which, as discussed above, can see one spin create a potentially infinite number of winning combinations.
To experience the Megaways format for yourself, we have a couple of games to recommend. Firstly, SG Interactive have unveiled Raging Rhino Megaways, which does include tumbling reels as part of its many features. The second game is a Blueprint Gaming offering called Tiki Treasures Megaways, which is darker in tone than Raging Rhino, but no less potentially high paying. Both games offer up to 117,649 ways to win on every single spin! Both also feature a demo format that jousters can play for free with no deposit required.
And there you have it, a guide to many of the terms thou are likely to stumble across as thee play the best online slots on Castle Jackpot! Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to play slots as a result of no longer having to scratch thine head while hunting down the dictionary to work out what a free spins may entail. And speaking of free spins, are thee aware of our 10 Free Spins No Deposit bonus on Book of Dead? Jousters can find more information below, by heading to our online casino bonus promotions page, or by reviewing another of our blogs in the form of our Book of Dead Slot Review.
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