Slot Machine Bonus Rounds

One of the most exciting aspects of playing video or reel slots is having the opportunity to play bonuses. These can take many forms – from additional turns to extra games – depending on the variation of slots that you are playing. These bonuses give you the opportunity to increase your payout. While the different types of bonuses available are virtually limitless, here is a guide to some of the most common bonuses that you will encounter when playing slots.

Bonus Games

Most video slots include a bonus game round, which is tied to the theme of the slot machine in some way. These games are often triggered by the presence of certain symbols, and give players the opportunity to earn an additional payout. It is the presence of these bonus games that make playing slots so popular, as they add an extra dose of fun to the game. Favorite bonus games of slots players often include those that are tied to a cinematic theme (a slot machine version of a movie).


In this type of bonus event, symbols on a pay line are replaced by different symbols that fall from the top of the screen. When a match is created, they disappear, and the empty slot is filled by new symbols that fall from the top of the screen. The new symbols often act as “wilds” that multiply winnings and boost payout. Whether or not a player wins Cascades can be based both on the line by line and a multiplier bonus that is awarded after a number of rounds have been played.

Free for All

Some slots offer free-for-all opportunities. In this type of bonus event, players get to choose from multiple different types of hidden bonuses (from free spins to multipliers) within a specified time limit. However, there’s a catch: Lurking among the frenzy of mystery bonus opportunities is one choice that will end the bonus round – you just don’t know which one it is. The free for all often plays through multiple rounds, and the more game-ending selections there are, the more lucrative the bonuses.


Free spins allow you a chance to win, without costing you a bet.

Free Spins

In some reel-based slot games, players can earn free spins in the form of a bonus event. Players are generally rewarded with a free spin or spins after they have earned a certain number of coins. However, the free spin feature may also be triggered when certain symbols appear. The spins are free in the sense that coins are not deducted from the player for taking them. In some instances, additional free spins may be triggered while the player is spinning for free.

Hold n’ Spin

Although the spinning of the reels when playing slots is governed by a random number generator, the hold n’ spin bonus event gives players the opportunity to manipulate the machine. With hold n’ spin, players can hold certain reels still while commanding others to spin faster, thus affecting the outcome and potentially scoring a larger payout.


In slots that contain multi-level bonuses, players have the opportunity to increase the number of bonus rounds that they get to play. When a player encounters a bonus event and does well, he or she continues to move on to successive levels until failing to complete a particular level.

Pick a Box

In this simple bonus game, players are presented with a selection of boxes, and are instructed to choose one. Each box contains a hidden prize. Some video slots even contain multi-level pick-a-box games in which players have the opportunity to progress through various levels, earning larger prizes or multipliers as they do well. This bonus even is similar to Free for All in that what is inside each box is a mystery to the player until it is opened.

Pick ‘Em

Pick ‘em is a board game-style bonus round in which players spin a reel or roll a die indicating how much further they can move along the virtual game board. The further you move along on the board, the larger the prizes for which you are eligible. These rounds occur after players trigger a bonus event by earning a certain number of coins or landing on a particular symbol.


Scratch Card

Similar to the scratch cards you buy to participate in the lottery, the scratch card bonus game on slot machines allows players to “scratch off” panels to see whether or not the player is a winner.What triggers a payout, such as matching symbols, differs from game to game. Some scratch games will even increase multipliers, and, therefore, your winnings.


On reel slot machines, slider icons can be moved by players to a different location on the pay line or switched with a symbol of a different pay line. This bonus event can help slot players considerably, as it can potentially allow them to create a winning combination where there wasn’t one initially. When used strategically, sliders can help slot players big time.

Spinning Wheel

A popular bonus event, spinning wheel is a game that takes on various names when offered as a bonus slot. As the name suggests, in order to play all players have to do is spin the wheel. Where the wheel lands indicates the prize players will earn. This bonus event is generally only available on video slots.


Although not a bonus game per se, Wilds are a type of bonus event that can be extremely beneficial for slots players. When wild icons appear on a payline, they can be substituted for whatever symbol you need to get a winning combination and earn a payout. In some instances, wilds may also act as multipliers, thereby increasing your winnings.

X of Y

Slot machines may allow you to play the X of Y bonus game when a certain number of specific symbols appear on the reels. This will trigger a bonus game in which you pick one or more objects (depending on the variation) and are given the winnings that are tied to each one. In some instances, X of Y carries multiple levels – players have to complete each level successfully before moving on to the successive one.