Bonus Features of Online Slots – How Do They Work?

In addition to picturesque graphics and stunning sound effects, today’s slots have exciting bonus features that add excitement and raise your chances of winning big. Basically, these features can be anything – only the imagination of the game provider is the limit. Next, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common bonus features.

Wild Symbols

Wild symbols are the most common bonus features in slots. They work in the same was a joker in poker, meaning they replace a symbol missing from a winning combination. Wilds are often identified by the text “Wild” on the symbol.

Wilds can appear on the reels either completely randomly during the base game or, for example, as a part of free spins. They are less likely to activate any bonus features or payouts on their own, but this may be possible in some slots if there are enough Wilds on the reels.

In addition to the traditional Wild symbols, there are other variations of them nowadays:

  • Sticky Wilds

When Wilds like this appear on reels, they freeze in place. Often, they also offer a single spin, during which the Sticky Wilds thus remain in place. Sticky Wilds can also appear during free spins, keeping them in place throughout the free spins feature.

  • Expanding Wilds

As the name implies, these Wilds expand, meaning they also turn the symbols next to them into Wilds. Depending on the game, they can expand to the right, left, up, down, or diagonally.

  • Walking Wilds

Often, these Wilds offer a re-spin at the very beginning, during which the Wild always walks one symbol position either right, left, up, or down. Often, the spins continue until Wild has dropped off the game screen.

  • Stacked Wilds

These are a set of Wild symbols that spin on one of the game’s reels. Stacked Wilds can cover an entire reel or just part of it.

Scatter Symbols

Scatters typically have two functions: paying coin winnings and/or triggering either free spin or bonus feature. Often a coin win can be grabbed with as many as two Scatter, but a minimum of three is usually required to activate the free spins or bonus feature.

The text “Scatter” often identifies the Scatter, but it is easily recognizable even if it doesn’t, as it differs significantly from the game’s traditional symbols. You can also check what Scatter looks like in that game by reading the game rules.

Free Spins

Free Spins are often exactly where the biggest wins in a game can be grabbed. As the name implies, free spins are free rounds so you can spin the reels a certain number of times completely free of charge.

As we mentioned above, free spins can often be activated with three Scatter symbols, for example, but there are other ways to trigger them too depending on the slot.

Free spins can be either completely regular free spins or include various special functions, such as the Wild symbols or multipliers. Free spins can also be reactivated during the free spins if, for example, three Scatter symbols land on the reels during the free spin feature.


The multipliers boost the winnings in the slots by multiplying the winnings by the number indicated by the symbol. Winning multipliers can appear during both the base game and the free spins or bonus feature.

The multiplier can also increase, and this is often the case, for example, in Megaways slots, where there may be several consecutive winning combinations. In this kind of chain reaction, the multiplier often increases by one upwards with each win and thus can be really high at best.

Pick Me Bonus

One of the most popular bonus features is the Pick Me Bonus. Various symbols appear on the game screen in this feature, and it is up to you to choose one or more of these. Below the symbols you have selected, the amount you have won will be revealed. Often, the Pick Me Bonus continues until you choose a symbol that doesn’t show any payout.

Gamble Feature

Many slots, especially those developed by Play’n GO, have a Gamble feature available after each win. With this feature, you can double or even quadruple your winnings.

The gambling feature starts by showing you one playing card face up on the game screen, and your task is to guess whether it is black or red. If you guess correctly, your winnings will be doubled. If you want, you can also try to guess the card’s symbol, i.e., whether it is a club, diamond, heart, or spade. If you guess the symbol correctly, your winnings will be quadrupled.

If you make a wrong guess, you lose all the winnings. So, you should carefully consider whether you dare to risk your winnings.

Fortune Wheel

Fortune wheels are primarily known for progressive jackpot games like Mega Fortune and Mega Moolah. The fortune wheel feature may start randomly during the base game or may result from a specific symbol combination.

In Mega Fortune, for example, the fortune wheel is straightforward. All you must do is press one button to stop the wheel. The fortune wheel has three levels on which coin wins, arrows, and jackpot wins are set. If you stop the arrow in each of the three levels, you win the current Mega Fortune Jackpot!

Other Bonus Features

In addition to the standard bonus features mentioned above, game providers today are also developing more unique features that bring additional entertainment to the games. For example, you get to save people from the burning apartment building in the Flame Busters and shoot penalty kicks in the Hugo Goal.


You now know more about the bonus features, and you can thus find the slots whose bonuses best match your preferences. The easiest way to get there is to choose an online casino that has sorted slots specifically based on bonus features. For example, you can filter slots by the Wild and Scatter symbols or the free spins feature.

There is an endless choice of bonus features, so you won’t for sure get bored with slot games!