What are Bonus Features?

Published 30 Oct 2018, 1:04 p.m.

When you look back at the very first slots, you were supposed to spin reels, line up the symbols on the active payline, and that was about it!

These days, there are online video slots with tons of features rather than the boring land-based slot machines with only three reels and one payline. You can see bonus features from instant wins, free spins, you can play mini-games inside the slot game itself and you can find slot machines with several thousand paylines on them. So, what are bonus features?

Most of the new games have a bonus feature or random cash prize which makes the game a lot more interesting for the gamblers, but are the bonus features good for your pocket? Let’s answer the question “What are bonus features” and see through the different bonuses that can be found in an online slot game.

What Are Bonus Features?

The bonus features usually appear in a separate screen where you either control another character, pick from the several options available, play a mini-game or spin the wheel of fortune. They can appear at any time in a slot game. Some games have random cash that can land on your account randomly while you play while others need a specific combination of symbols on the screen to trigger the features. The combinations are usually made of Wilds, Scatter or Bonus features, depending on the game, the feature and the manufacturer, which sometimes follows a clear pattern in all of its games.

Not only will you pick up a small prize by landing these bonus features, with three or more you'll trigger one of the game's bonus features.

Popular Online Slots Bonuses

Almost all of today’s slot games have at least one feature in their arsenal of surprises. The popular games, however, have at least two or even more. See the paytable to be aware of what you are about to spin or read the whole review of the game before playing to find out.

Random Win/Click Me Feature

There are games that give out random prizes during the base game, and they can appear at any time, awarding small cash prize or a re-spin. In some cases, there can be a free spins feature from the base game itself. There is a click me or Instant Win bonuses that are usually triggered by landing, at last, three or more symbols on the screen, usually from left to right.

There will be a separate screen where you need to select a few of the given options which will reveal the prizes. The prizes are summed up and transferred to your stake, and there is almost always a “collect” feature that cancels the pick me feature and returns you to the base game itself.

Free Spins

Free Spins is the most popular bonus feature of them all, and it’s all players’ favourite feature, as expected. Since the popularity is huge, almost all of the modern online slot games have this feature in their arsenal of features. There are many different types of free spins, and the most common one is triggered by three or more of the scatter symbols. Some slot games have a free spins symbol on its own, and those are usually games that have more than one bonus feature and they need the scatter symbol to activate something else.

Typically, free spins will have a multiplier attached. This means that everything you win during the bonus feature will be multiplied before heading to your stake.

A popular game with the free spins feature in it is Game of Thrones slot. A Microgaming game that got famous because of the HBO show, it features a Free Spins bonus that is triggered by hitting three or more Scatters anywhere.

Pick Me Bonus

The Pick Me or Pick ‘EM bonus in some games, is also triggered by three or more of the bonus or scatter symbol, depending on the game. Usually, you will be taken to a new screen with 8 – 12 objects where you need to pick three or five of them. Behind every object (or inside it) are the prizes, and once you choose it you reveal the prize.

Each one hides a cash prize, a multiplier, or sometimes free spins.

There is a certain number of objects that you need to pick for the feature to end, or until you hit the “Collect” symbol. Once that happens, they return to the reels and continue the game as normal.

Wild/Scatter Combos

The Wild symbol can sometimes start a bonus feature where three or more are combined on the screen. This is a simple cash bonus but is accounted as a bonus feature.

Example: Werewolf Wild by Aristocrat features a Scatter in the form of a gold coin. The scatter only appears on the first reel but if it lands at the same time with a slot in it, there will be some cash prizes directly to your account.

Skill Games

These are the games that are being implemented in the online slot games. The skill-based games can be arcade games, board games or anything that has to do with your skill to win the prizes. These games are taking over the Free Spins bonus feature simply because the player can have control over what’s happening on the screen and with his skills and actions it can determine the outcome of the slot. Unlike the Free Spins feature where everything is generated by the RNG installed in the slots, here your actions are the ones that count.


Have you learned what are bonus features yet? Have you seen all the different types of bonus features?

If you liked what you read and want to try them out, there is a whole selection of slots on our site. Check them out.