You have probably gotten so used to cascading reels that you don’t notice it again. It is the animation that happens for new icons to pop up after winning combinations vanish. Before this innovation, there was no animation and players needed to make new bets with every winning combination that they hit. However, cascading reels allow you to keep piling your wins. Another name for it is avalanche; this is gotten from the manner in which the symbols disappear.
So, what made cascading reel acceptable in online slots? Why did players approve so much of it that they got used to it? The answer is simple – because it made them win more money. Till this day, cascading reels provides the perfect leverage to win more money. Afterall, who doesn’t want more money?
The origin of this astonishing innovation traces back to 2010; it came as a new feature in NetEnt’s Gonzo’s Quest. After its release, Gonzo’s Quest was unarguably the best and it was miles ahead of any other title in terms of graphics and gameplay. In fact, some players still delight in playing it even after so many releases from developers.
Well, as of now, cascading reels are no longer special because almost every slot game has it. Several developers adopted it and made tweaks to it, making it a regular feature.
If you are familiar with payline slots then you will know the strict rules that guide the winning combinations. It mandates that active lines must progress from left to right; and most importantly, if you want to win, your combination must be from the first reel.
Cluster pays makes things different as you don’t have such strict winning rules. Your combinations don’t necessarily have to form from the first reel too; all that matter is matching symbols following a pattern. Such patterns could be diagonal, vertical, or horizontal.
The rule of clusters states that as long as the symbols touch each other to form the desired pattern, it is a win.
Netent is also the originator of this innovation as we saw it first appear in their Aloha: Cluster Pays in 2017. And as you probably deduced, players love this innovation but as for developers, no so much. It is understandable because they don’t want you to win all their money. But as much as they don’t approve of it, several developers are introducing it in their games.
243 ways to win seems like the norm in online slots today, doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t like that in the past. In fact, players were very excited to have 50 to 100 paylines in their games. All credits go to Microgaming for introducing 243 ways in their Burning Desire slot title in 2009.
Now, several titles take after 243 ways with some developers going as high as 1024 ways. This higher numbers allow players to have higher chances of winning in a 5x3 grid. And while you may not think it to be a big deal because of its popularity, older generations of players appreciate it better.
When slots first came into existence, they had only one payline with three reels. It was like that for decades until video slots came into existence. These video slots created more room for reels and paylines and it is why we have higher variations today.
So rather than sticking to 5x3 slots, you now have extensive options that create larger grids and more winning combinations. Players seem to have a soft spot for the 5x5 grid especially because it forms a perfect square. And If you prefer larger ones, you should check out 7x7 and 8x8 grids.
If you play slots games, you will be very familiar with wild symbols. They make the game interesting by appearing on the reels from time to time. However, the random wilds make the game even more exciting.
When you know that wilds can appear on the reels at any random time, you take the game more seriously. Knowing that you can get that massive win from nowhere is an exciting feeling that adds more fun to the game.