Free Spins Bonus Round In Online Casino SlotsBy: Mark Freedman, Saturday August 1st 2009
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Today most online slot games offer a free spins bonus round. This round offers a number of free spins in which players receive payouts according to the combinations on the reels but do not place any wagers. The payouts are based on the wager placed in the spin that triggered the free spins bonus round. Thus the free spins bonus round can substantially increase the chip balance of the player. In most cases the free spins bonus round is triggered when three or more scatter symbols appear anywhere on the reels. In some cases other defined events within the slot game trigger the free spins bonus round. In rare cases this round is triggered randomly.
The two parameters that define a free spins round are the number of free spins and the multiplier. In the simplest of online slots, the rules dictate that X free spins will be given at Y multiplier. In Achilles online slot game if three or more Troy symbols appear anywhere on the reels then the player gets 10 free spins at doubled payouts. In some slot games the number of free spins depends on the number of scatter symbols appearing on the reels.
There is a trend in contemporary slot games that the number of free spins and the multiplier are decided by playing another game on the second screen. A popular example of this is in the Fat Lady Sings online slot. First one Fat Lady sings and the number of glasses she breaks determines the number of free spins. Then another Fat Lady sings and the number of glasses she breaks determines the multiplier. This increases the element of chance and hence adds excitement to the game. In some slot games the bonus game on the second screen determines the number of free spins and the multiplier jointly. An example is the recently released Area 21 game from Cryptologic. There are games that allow players to choose the combination they want from a list given. One such game is Pedal Power from Microgaming. Players can choose from 25 free spins with a multiplier of 2x, 10 spins with a multiplier of 5x, or 5 free spins with a multiplier of 10x. Hence players have to choose between more free spins and higher multipliers, which is not a very easy choice to make.
In most online slot games the free spins can be retriggered. What this means is that if the combination that triggers the free spins appears on the reels during the free spins then the player will get additional free spins. Some online slot games, however, have innovative ways of providing the enhancements. An example is Sneak A Peek Doctor Doctor. In the free spins a yellow capsule can randomly appear on reel 4. This capsule burst to release an additional number of free spins. Similarly a blue capsule randomly appearing on reel 5 enhances the multiplier for the remaining rounds.
The free spins bonus round usually plays differently from the normal rounds. Often the background music gets more vibrant. Also there could be a color change in the background of the symbols or the background to the reels. With the intense competition in online slots games, players have not seen the last word in innovations in the free spins bonus rounds. The games in the coming period are bound to have more exciting free spins features.
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