If you’d like to take some spins at the online slots but are finding the terminology a little confusing, please allow us to jargon bust. At Unibet Online Casino we want you to enjoy your time at the casino and be confident in your online play and that’s why we’ve published this guide.
So, if you don’t know your wilds from your scatters or your cascading reels from your multipliers, please read on.
The initial aim of any slot game is to line up matching symbols which will lead to cash wins. That’s the base game explained but in most titles, there are bonus symbols. Their role is to take you to additional features and we will explain the options that are available as we move through this review.
At this stage, the important point to note is that bonus symbols exist and that we should identify them before we hit that spin button. At times, they may simply use the word ‘bonus’ or they may employ the game’s logo. Alternatively, the bonus may be a separate image that relates to the specific theme of the title.
Cascading Reels are sometimes referred to as Tumbling Reels but both terms relate to the same function. Slot games that carry this function will employ the feature on every winning spin. When a matching combo lands, the winning symbols will disappear and others will cascade into their place.
Essentially, when Cascading Reels appear on a slot machine, you’re enjoying a free respin every time a winning combination drops in.
The term ‘coins’ simply refers to the amount of money that you are using as a stake. The total sum that you are betting on each payline therefore equates to a certain number of coins.
Scroll down towards the end for a full explanation on how a wild symbol works. A standard wild occupies just one position on the reels but many games offer bonus features where that wild can behave a little differently.
Expanding Wilds have the capacity to literally ‘expand’ and cover multiple positions on the reels. With more wilds, there is a greater possibility of landing a winning combination so this is a very useful feature to have.
The vast majority of slot machines offer bonus rounds and free spins are among the most common features. As the name suggests, this is a section where a certain number of spins are awarded and no additional staking is made during the feature.
Free spins are usually triggered by bonus symbols known as scatters. A certain amount (usually three) will need to land on the reels for free spins to activate. Among the points we need to check is the question of how many spins are awarded and whether or not they can be retriggered. For the answers, look at the game description or read our full game reviews where available.
Multipliers are symbols which will multiply your winnings by a set amount. For example, you may see a symbol appear on the reels with the figures x2 attached to it and this means that any wins will be doubled.
From there, x3, x4, x5 and higher multiples are in place in certain games.
A pay table is available for every slot game on Unibet’s list and this will explain how much each symbol is worth. The tables should be clearly laid out with figures underlining the returns that you can expect, depending on how many of each symbol is matched across a payline.
We suggest that all players check out the relevant pay table before getting started. It’s a great way to get an indication as to how the game works and to assess the potential for cash payouts.
A payline is, quite simply, an invisible line across the reels, along which you need to match symbols in order to win cash prizes. Typically, paylines will be flat and horizontal but they can also be diagonal and can, on occasions, form in irregular patterns.
Slot wins are usually formed from left to right but on rare occasions, usually during bonus rounds, it may be possible to align from right to left as well. The exact number of paylines available should also be clearly shown in the game’s description and in our reviews.
This is an additional feature found in certain slot machines and it will usually activate when three or more scatters have come into play. Once again, this bonus is self explanatory to an extent and when a Pick Game is triggered, players will be asked to make a selection from a set of images.
Free spins, multipliers, cash prizes and more could be waiting behind those symbols so this can be another lucrative aspect of slot machine play.
Casino slot games will be equipped with two different kinds of jackpots. In the main, the maximum win is a set amount and will not change and this is known as a fixed or non-progressive jackpot.
The second of these is a progressive jackpot and this has the capacity to increase. In games such as Mega Moolah or MegaJackpots Siberian Storm, a percentage of each stake is taken and added to the prize fund. The big cash prize will continue to build until it’s won and this is referred to as a progressive jackpot.
When you head to the slots room, current figures underlining the levels of progressive jackpots for each relevant game will be clearly shown.
The initials RTP stand for Return to Player and this is the percentage amount returned in winnings. The figure is measured over a minimum of 100,000 spins and has to be quantifiable under the rules of the UK Gambling Commission.
Slot games at Unibet carry an average RTP of 97% which means that for every £1.00 staked, our machines will, on average, return £0.97p.
Click through and read our full guide to scatter symbols if you really want to go in depth. For now, all you really need to know is that scatters are valuable icons and will usually lead to the main bonus in any slot game.
Scatters are so called because they do not have to appear in a row across a payline. As long as the minimum number spin into view, they can literally be ‘scattered’ across the reels.
A Shifting Wild acts in a similar fashion to a sticky wild - see below. The one key difference is that a shifting wild will stay in place for just one spin before moving to another position on the reel sets.
Sticky Wilds are occasionally referred to as Locked Wilds and they will remain in place on the reels for a sequence of spins. This will normally happen during a bonus feature - most typically when the free spins round comes along.
After each spin, any wilds that fall onto the reels will literally stick in place for the remainder of this bonus feature. As those wilds build, the higher the chances are of getting matching combinations and cash wins.
We’ve covered expanding wilds so now it’s time for their stacked counterparts. Stacked Wilds can also move to occupy more places on the reels but, as the name suggests, they will stack and occupy extra positions on one reel only.
Wheel of Fortune
In a sense, a Wheel of Fortune is similar to a pick game. This is a bonus feature that can occasionally appear in slot games with prizes up for grabs that may include cash wins, free spins and many more.
The only difference here is that, rather than select prizes that are hidden behind symbols, players will spin a wheel to reveal their rewards.
We have also published an in depth look at wilds which you can read in full by clicking through here. In a couple of paragraphs, a standard wild symbol is one that will replace others on the reels while looking for a matching combination.
For example, let’s say you are playing Siberian Storm and have two orange tiger symbols on the first two reels. That’s not enough for a win but if the wild spins into reel three, it will match and trigger a cash prize.
In general, the only symbols that wilds will not replace are scatters and other bonus icons. These are valuable options in their own right so it’s simply not in the players’ interests to have them substituted.
Now that we’ve explained the meaning behind the most common casino slot terms, we hope that you’ll head to the reels with more confidence. Don’t forget you can also play our games for free by hitting the demo button and by doing this, you can see the symbols in action and those terms should become self-explanatory.
You can also click on the guides for wilds, scatters, multipliers and more which will go into greater depth. Cover all these options and you’ll start to approach the slots like a true casino guru.