In this Bonus Rounds guide, you will find:
- Bonus Games in Online Slots
- Understanding How Bonus Rounds Work
- Triggering Bonus Rounds
- Different Bonus Games in Slots
- What Are the Best Bonus Rounds in Slots?
- Comparing Slot Bonus Games
- Top 10 Slots with Bonus Rounds
- Best Casinos to Play Slots
- Bonus Rounds FAQs
Bonus games in online slots are special features that can be triggered from the base game. This usually happens when you land several specific symbols, such as scatters. Otherwise, they can randomly trigger on any spin as an extra bonus in some slot games. You can expect to have a chance of landing the game’s biggest wins within a bonus feature. Even better, you could unlock a special jackpot game for a shot at the slot’s top prize.
Bonus rounds tend to work in one of two ways. They are either played out on top of the slot’s base game, possibly with some extra reels, special symbols, sticky wilds or multipliers in action. On the other hand, an entirely new set of reels or other game configuration might load up anytime the feature is triggered. This depends on the slot and it adds an exciting new dimension to the game.
One of the best things about bonus rounds in slots is that they won’t take anything away from your casino balance. When they trigger, the bonus round will load, but any spins that occur won’t cost you a penny.
Another fantastic thing is although bonus rounds are free to play, the wins you get from them are 100% real. This makes triggering a bonus game within a slot a pretty lucrative thing indeed. Of course, you always need an element of luck to land those big wins!
Here’s how that works in practice:
- Land the required scatters or bonus symbols in the base game.
- The bonus round triggers with extra reels, free spins or an entirely different game screen altogether.
- Play the bonus game using the free spins given.
- Winnings from the bonus round are totalled up and paid directly into your real cash balance.
Before you can start enjoying the fruits of any bonus rounds within slot games, you’ll need to trigger them. To achieve this usually requires landing specific symbols within the slot’s base game to unlock the special bonus rounds. These are commonly known as ‘scatters’ or ‘bonus symbols’.
The exact look and style of the bonus triggering symbols will vary from one game to the next, but they often have the word ‘scatter’ or ‘bonus’ written across them. They can also be represented by the slot’s logo or main character. They are designed to stand out and will usually be distinctive when compared to the regular paying symbols.
How Many Scatters or Bonus Symbols Do You Need?
Most slots will require you to land 3 or more of these to enter the bonus round. You might even get varying rewards depending on how many you land. For example, landing 3, 4 or 5 scatter symbols might award you 8, 15 or 20 free spins to use in that slot’s bonus game.
The good news is that you don’t usually have to land these symbols on an active payline to trigger the feature. They can appear anywhere within each reel but might need to land on adjacent reels from the leftmost first.
Randomly Triggering Bonus Rounds
Some slot games love to give you a helping hand by randomly triggering a bonus feature on any spin. Sometimes, but not always, this triggers on a non-winning spin. This way, the feature will give you a second chance at landing a win without any further bet on your part.
A random bonus round is often awarded by a slot’s main character, such as Finn (in Finn’s Golden Tavern). They will leap into action and help to trigger an event, such as a free respin. Or, they might put extra symbols onto the reels. These random triggers are a great! That’s because they boost your chances of winning in the base game without taking anything from your bankroll!
Retriggering Bonus Rounds
Some slots will have the ability for the bonus round to retrigger. This means that you can land specific symbols during the bonus feature that will get the feature to start over again. A good example of this would be landing another 3 scatters in a free spins round to award yourself another 10 free spins. By retriggering, you can therefore keep the feature going for longer.
Retriggers are a great way to increase your win potential from a slot’s bonus round without making a dent in your bankroll. Unfortunately, not all slot games will have this ability. On most slots, you’ll need to go back to the base game and land another set of scatters or bonus symbols to trigger the feature again.
There are many different types of bonus games in online slots. These unique features keep games feeling fresh, with game developers bringing new ideas to the table all the time. Here are a few of the most common bonus game types you can expect to discover in slot games at the most popular online casinos:
These are normally played on the same set of reels as the base game but with additional features coming into action. These can include multipliers or sticky wilds. The ever-popular Immortal Romance has a fantastic progressive free spins round for players to enjoy. The more times you trigger it, the bigger the rewards, which is a nice addition.
A jackpot bonus is a special bonus round where you have a shot at winning the game’s top prize. Slots might have a single jackpot or multiple ones, such as the mini, midi and mega jackpots in the mighty Hall of Gods from NetEnt. Jackpots can be a fixed amount or progressive.
With a fixed jackpot, you can win a certain multiple of your bet (up to 10,000x, 20,000x or more!). With a progressive jackpot, the prize increases with every spin of the slot’s base game from any player in the network. Progressive pots can go well into the millions!
Pick a Reward
This gives you a blind chance at winning by selecting the symbols that you think are hiding a reward. It’s common to see treasure chests or playing cards used to cover up the potential prizes. Pick the right one to get a reward, pick the wrong one and the round is usually over, and it’s back to the base game. Beat the House is a great example of this style of bonus round where you have to move across the progressive tiers and collect coins and 2x multipliers.
Sometimes triggering the bonus round takes you to a wheel that you’ll have to spin to determine your reward first. There could be instant cash prizes on offer or a number of free spins to play. Wherever the wheel stops, that’s the reward you’ll receive. The Bonus Twister Wheel in From Dusk Till Dawn is a great example of this bonus round style.
Some bonus rounds will appear as an entirely separate feature from the slots base game. A game within a game if you like. A new set of reels, bonus wheel or game board will appear on the screen ready to play. The Car Chase Bonus in Cops and Robbers from Play’n GO is a great example of this bonus round in action.
The pure popularity of bonus round slots means that there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from. While all that choice is nice, it can make it hard to track down the games with the best bonus round features. It’s important to know what to look for when selecting a new bonus game slot, so here are a few pointers to help you decide:
- Hit Frequency – even if you find a slot with a fantastic bonus round that’s packed with great prizes, it’s not much fun if you can never trigger it. Therefore, you’ll need to know the ‘hit frequency’ of a slot’s bonus features so you can be sure there is a realistic chance of triggering them as you spin away in the base game.
- Entertainment Factor – there’s no point in working hard to trigger a bonus round if it’s boring to play. You want to look for slots with a strong theme that ties into its bonus round to keep you entertained as you spin towards some bigger rewards.
- Payout Potential – even if you can regularly trigger a slot’s bonus round, you need to be sure that it’s going to reward you for your efforts. Look for games with bonus round multipliers to really boost your wins and leave you with something worth playing for.
Bonus Round Features
In addition to the pointers mentioned above, the features will usually come into play to help distinguish the bonus round from the regular game. Any bonus round worth its salt should have enough special features to make it worth playing.
Things like multipliers and sticky wilds can seriously increase your chances of hauling in a sizable win inside any bonus game. Here are a few of the main ones to look for in any good slot with bonus rounds:
|BONUS ROUND FEATURE||HOW IT WORKS DURING THE BONUS ROUND|
|Colossal Symbols||This sort of symbol is larger than the games regular symbols, making it easier to form winning combinations. They will be 2×2, 3×3 or even bigger to cover more of the reels and rows.|
|Expanding Symbols/Wilds||These start at a regular size but can expand to cover entire rows or reels for increased win potential. If the expanding symbols are also wilds, then it can become much easier to form wins across the slot’s reels.|
|Exploding Symbols||These symbols will explode and disappear when they form a winning combination, potentially leaving space for more symbols to drop down and replace them.|
|Moving/Walking Wilds||This type of Wild will move around the game’s reels or grid with each spin. They often travel from the rightmost reel to the leftmost, forming extra wins as they go.|
|Wild Reels||Wild Reels are when entire reels become wild to help in forming winning combinations across the game.|
|Multipliers||These might be attached to specific symbols such as wilds or apply to the whole spin. They will multiply your win by whatever number is displayed such as 2x, 3x and so on for some epic potential rewards.|
|Progress Feature||There might be a bar or meter at the side of the game area which you’ll fill by landing specific symbols or winning combinations. Once the meter is full, it can trigger a special feature during or at the end of the bonus round.|
|Sticky Symbols||These will stick like glue and remain in place for the following spin or even the entire bonus round. As more sticky symbols land, the game screen can quickly fill up with and trigger some larger rewards.|
|Stacked Symbols||Several identical symbols will stack up within a reel to give a better chance of spinning up some winning combinations.|
It can be tricky to know which slots you should be looking to play and which you should give a wide berth. Here are a few ways that you can quickly assess any bonus round slot to know if it’s going to be worth your time and money:
Every slot game has a paytable that gives details of how much the game’s symbols pay. It should also include details about the game’s special features, how to trigger them and how much potential they have. It’s a quick way to gauge the range and style of bonus features inside any slot game. With this, you can see if it fits with your budget and playing style.
Read Slot Reviews
One solid shortcut to finding out if a slot with bonus games is worth playing would be to read a professional review. Here at JohnSlots, our team of expert game reviewers investigate each and every detail in any slot they review. We bring you an honest rundown of its features, potential and payouts. Save yourself some serious time by checking out our latest online slot reviews.
Play for Free
Did you know that you can ‘try before you buy’ with online slots? Many casinos offer the ability to play their games in demo or free mode. Therefore, you can experience all the bonus features of a slot game without spending any of your own funds to play it. It’s a great way to quickly assess if a game is to your liking or not.
Favourite Developer or Theme
This is where the old adage – stick with what you know – applies. If there’s a casino games developer or specific theme of slot games that you prefer then explore that avenue. Numerous titles are coming out every single day, so you’ll never be short of choice, even with niche themes and smaller gaming studios.
Our team of casino pros have been hard at work, seeking out the very best slots with bonus rounds that you can play right now. Here are their top 10 for you to enjoy!
|SLOT WITH BONUS ROUNDS||HIGHLIGHTS|
|Betty, Boris and Boo||Sticky Wilds, Expanding Symbols, Free Spins and Multipliers|
|Rome: The Golden Age||Free Spins, Progressive Multipliers, Sticky Symbols|
|Money Train 2||Free Spins, Respins, Money Cart Bonus Round|
|Foxpot||Win Multipliers, Nudge Feature, Fox Wheel|
|Wheel of Fortune Megaways||Free Spins, Wild Megastacks, Extending Reels|
|Reactoonz 2||Fluctometer, Quantumeter, Wild Pair Explosion|
|Deadwood||Shoot Out Feature, Shot Out Free Spins, Free Spins, xNudge Feature|
|Book of Ra Deluxe||Free Spins, Mystery Symbols, Special Expanding Symbol, Win Multipliers|
|9 Pots of Gold||Free Spins Feature, Free Spin Wheel, Pot Pays Feature|
|Thunderstruck 2||Wilds, Wild Storms, 4 Free Spins Options, Multipliers|
Betty, Boris and Boo is a quirky ghost-themed slot with an awesome free spins bonus round which kicks off with 10 spins as standard. The spooky bonus round features sticky wilds, expanding symbols and a up to 10x multiplier.
Even in the base game, Rome: The Golden Age has a mighty up to 1,000x multiplier that can be triggered. Landing sticky Rome symbols in the free spins round on an unlocked position will award you a 1x to 50x your bet random prize and reset the spins.
As well as the very welcome respin feature in the bonus game, Money Train 2 has a rather unique free spins round. Landing one of the 11 special symbols will unlock an extra reel to rocket your winning potential sky-high in this wild west themed epic.
Foxpot from Microgaming is a great example of a slot packed with bonus rounds and features. The king of them all is the Fox Wheel with its 3 sections – the money wheel, the multiplier wheel and the respin wheel. Spinning this gives you the potential to hit one of the game’s 3 highly lucrative jackpots.
If you love the TV game show then you’re bound to enjoy the Wheel of Fortune Megaways slot from Big Time Gaming and IGT. The epic free spins bonus round here features some unique ‘extending reels’. Each reel can extend up to a maximum of 10 symbols high. Triggering this feature can boost the Megaways mechanic up to a maximum of 1,000,000. Yes, that’s right, one million ways to win. That’s something quite special, indeed!
This crazy alien critter-fest from Play’n GO is the sequel to the hugely successful original Reactoonz slot and this time they’ve managed to pack in even more crazy special features. In Reactoonz 2 you’ll need to collect groups of symbols and charge up the Fluctometer and Quantumeter to unleash some epic bonus rounds. The 2×2 size Energoons or the gigantic 3×3 Gargantoon can bring sizable rewards here, so get busy with those little monsters.
Head out to the old Wild West in search of some rewards in the fast shooting Deadwood from Nolimit City. Stacked nudge wilds combine with a progressive multiplier to crank up the win potential in the base game. With multiple options to pick from in the free spins round, including sticky multipliers, you’ll need to balance risk against reward to walk away unscathed from this one.
Although Book of Ra Deluxe might appear to be light on bonus features at first glance, it still has enough going on to earn its place on this list. Landing 3 scatters anywhere on the reels will trigger the highly rewarding free spins round with a mighty 15 free spins and a double multiplier. Plus one of the standard symbols will become a special expanding symbol to further increase your winning potential.
This Irish slot game is as basic but as fun as they come. The main attraction in 9 Pots of Gold is the generous free spins round which seems to trigger frequently. Once you’ve landed 3 or more scatters to activate it, a bonus wheel will appear, loaded with up to 30 free spins and lucrative up to 3x multipliers. Whatever it lands on is yours to enjoy for the duration of the free spins bonus round.
You can feel the might of the Norse gods echoing through your screen in the epic Thunderstruck 2 from Microgaming. Central to this slot is the multifaceted Hall of Spins feature that contains 4 different features within it. As well as this mighty bonus round, look out for the oncoming Wild Storm feature which can turn up to 5 reels completely wild for some epic win potential.
If you’re looking for a safe and secure place to play slots with bonus games, then your search is now officially over. The list below features only casinos that have passed the stringent tests set by our casino pros concerning safety, bonuses, game selection, payment methods and more.
Click on one to claim the bonus and start enjoying a new casino experience at any of the following sites:
As you can see, bonus rounds in slots can come in many shapes and sizes, adding a splash of excitement to your casino gaming, wherever they are found!
Now that you’re an expert in finding and playing the best slot games with bonus rounds, why not take some time to explore the other great casino resources here at JohnSlots. We’ve got everything from some secret slot tips to help you play like a pro, right up to the latest online casino reviews.
If you’re looking to broaden your casino gaming horizons then why not dive into a world of quirky and diverse slot themes. Or, maybe investigate the exciting range of Megaways slots or Slingo games we’ve reviewed just for you!
If you’ve still got a burning question or two when it comes to bonus features in slot games, then fear not. Our casino game experts have replied to the most common queries that players have about slot bonuses.
Are Free Slots With Bonus Games & Rounds Better?
If a slot game is free to play in demo mode then you won’t be playing with or winning any real money. Any amounts you wager or win are just for fun, and you won’t be able to withdraw your funds. This can be a great way to try out the bonus rounds in slot games to see if you like them. However, if you want to win real money, then you’ll have to play with real money from the start.
Which games are the best to play with bonus rounds?
This really depends on which bonus features you find the most appealing. There are plenty to choose from as you can see in the ‘bonus round features’ section above. Look for games that contain these features but also look at the hit frequency and payout potential to make sure that it’s going to be worth your time playing.
Can I play the bonus rounds slots for free first?
You can play slot games in ‘free’ or ‘demo’ mode at some online casino. All of the game’s features should work as if playing for real money but you won’t have to spend any of your own funds to play the game. The only downside is that any winnings can’t be withdrawn, but this is a great way to test a game’s bonus features to see if you like them. You still need to trigger the bonus round to test it out, even if you’re playing for free.
How to choose the best online slot with bonus game feature?
There are a few ways to decide if a slot game with bonus features is a good fit for your personal playing style and budget. Investigate the slot’s paytable, hit rate, payout potential and special features first. There are more details on how to do this in the ‘how to choose the best slots with bonus games’ section on this page.
Where can I play online slots with bonus games?
We’ve done the legwork to make it easy to find the best online casinos to play slots with bonus games and features. Simply use the list of casino sites mentioned on this page. These have all been tested and approved by our casino experts so you can rest assured that they are safe and secure places to play at.