Video slots are the most popular and abundant casino products in the UK. Most websites feature thousands of slots, including classic three-reel fruit machines, progressive jackpots, themed quests, cinematic treasure hunts, megaways, and more. Each game is unique, but all rely on random number generators to produce outcomes. Slots also use unique game mechanics that have evolved significantly from the days of classic reels to modern dynamics.
Here are five game mechanics found in modern UK casino slots.
Traditional slots came with static reel layouts like 3-by-3 (three reels and three rows) or 5-by-3 (five reels and three rows). In a 5-by-3 format, only 15 symbols can appear, and you can have a maximum of 243 paylines (way to win). The Megaways mechanic makes reel layouts dynamic, meaning every spin results in a different number of rows and symbol positions. Most Megaways slots start with six reels, four rows, and up to 117,649 paylines. Some megaways have more than a million paylines. An example of a Megaways slot is the Big Bass Bonanza Megaways by Pragmatic Play.
2. Cascading Reels
The cascading reels feature comes by many other names, including tumble and avalanche. You can find this mechanic on popular video slots like Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt. The cascading reels mechanic is activated whenever you have a winning combination. All symbols contributing to the winning combination are removed, creating space for other symbols to tumble down. This continues until you have no more winning combinations or when you hit the maximum payout. The cascading reels mechanic allows punters to make more winning combos and receive bigger payouts from a single spin of the reels.
One of the fairly recent game mechanics online slots UK casinos feature is the Megapays. Big Time Gaming designed the mechanic in collaboration with Relax Gaming. Examples of Megapay slots include Millionaire Megapays and Bonanza Megapays. The mechanic works on progressive jackpots, where players can win one of four jackpots: Mini, Midi, Major, and Mega Jackpot. These jackpots are seeded at $100, $1,500, $20,000, and $300,000. You can tell the slot has a Megapays mechanic if it features the term MegapaysTM in the name. In Megapay slots, the jackpots account for 9.6% of the RTP.
4. Cluster Pays
Unlike conventional slots that pay through paylines, cluster pays eliminate the paylines. Instead of activating paylines with similar symbols, players only need to land a cluster of symbols next to each other. The Aloha Cluster Pays from NetEnt was the first iteration of the game mechanic. In the game, you can land up to 9 symbols in a cluster. There are many other clusters, including Lost Relics, The Legend of Shangri-La, and Twin Spin Deluxe. One advantage of the mechanic is its unpredictability. You can land big clusters and form multiple winning combinations from a single spin.
Yggdrasil designed the Gigablox mechanic, which has become one of the most innovative game mechanics today. Gigablox is based around mega symbols, where the symbol is oversized and occupies a 4×4 (mega) section on the reels. A mega symbol can deliver huge payouts since you can land other matching symbols. Gigablox mechanics have mega symbols of different sizes, including 2×2, 3×3, 4×4, and 6×6. They also carry an aura of mystery because you don’t know when the mega symbol will land. Popular games that use this mechanic include Lucky Neko Gigablox, Monster Blox, and 7 Gold Gigablox.
More Slots Mechanics
There are many other slot mechanics featured in modern games. Noteworthy developments include InfiniReels by NetEnt, Splitz by Yggdrasil, Megaclusters by Big Time Gaming, and Swirly Spins by NetEnt. Most slots feature two or more mechanics, so you can find a Megaways slot with cascading reels and cluster pays. Software providers continue to stretch their imaginations and design intuitive gameplays for the modern punter. You can expect more mechanics and innovations in the future.
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