Online pokies come in all shapes and size. But it hasn’t always been this way.
Rewind the clock back half a century, and your options were severely limited. Forget about jackpots, Free Spins, and other ‘bells and whistles’ you might find today. The rows of homogenous one-armed bandits calling Vegas home were all about lining up 7s, BARs, lemons, cherries or diamonds across one solitary payline.
The came along the internet, which bred a new generation of online pokies we’re familiar with today.
So if it’s a vintage slot journey through time, or a thrill-a-minute MegaWays ride on your radar, you’ll find it right here at Wheelz…
MegaWays™ changed the game for online pokies. Big Time Gaming’s shape-shifting reel modifier adds a layer of mystery by randomising the number of symbols produced on every betting round. Each of the 6 reels can contain between 2 and 7 symbols, promising a mouth-watering maximum 117,649 ways to win in full force.
This combination of unpredictability and sky high potential delivers a gaming experience like no other, with most game providers featuring at least one MegaWays offering in their repertoire. Add increasing multipliers and other extras into the equation, and it’s not hard to see why MegaWays slots have risen in prominence.
The last two years have seen a number of studios dust off iconic games with the unique MegaWays treatment, breathing new life into crowd pleasures such as Gonzo’s Quest Megaways from Red Tiger Gaming, and Pragmatic Play remake, The Dog House Megaways.
Showcasing its versatility, other software houses have pushed the capabilities of the concept further. Take One Million Megaways B.C. from Iron Dog Studio, whose max ways clocks in at an eye-popping 1,058,841.
Such is the MegaWays success that several providers have attempted to cash in with adaptations of their own, like Yggdrasil’s Gigablox engine showcased in Hades Gigablox, or Avatar UX dynamic PopWins™, as seen in CherryPop.
Also termed Avalanching or Tumbling Reels, this is a common game engine utilised by a growing number of developers.
The format offers up increased win opportunities by removing winning symbols from view, dropping new symbols into their vacant cells. This process then continues indefinitely provided consecutive wins occur.
Cascading Reels are particularly effective working in tandem with MegaWays, increasing your chances of repeated back-to-back wins vs a traditional slot game.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are Classic Slots - arguably the most universally recognised type of slot game.
Their origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, when Charles Fey’s ‘Liberty Bell’ arrived with fruit and BAR symbols that became synonymous with fruit machines. Originally awarding chewing gum as a way to circumvent strict gambling laws, these machines were a far cry from the jazzed up Classic Slots that have since crossed over to the digital realm.
Have a look at Joker Max from Kalamba Games, which manages to capture the spirit of Vegas while packing several bonus features to boost your profits.
Developed by Push Gaming, Joker Troupe applies a modern twist to classic slot gaming by blending traditional looks with hi-tech mechanics. The game’s lightweight appearance belies its big potential, unlocked by the team of jokers.
Not satisfied with the earth-shattering potential behind MegaWays? Then scope out our bulging collection of jackpot titles. Jackpot games differ from the sea of regular slots through the top prizes in store.
Most online pokies are programmed with a fixed max win possible from any one spin, but top prizes in ‘crowdfunded’ progressive jackpot games vary massively. These jackpots are technically infinite since they collect small pieces of wagers spanning an entire network of casinos, and only pay out once the jackpot is unlocked.
Some top prizes, like that in Mega Fortune or Hall of Gods, can often stretch into seven-figure territory.
A local jackpot, on the contrary, is confined to a single casino hosting a game. These slots tend to pay out smaller prizes due to the diminished player pool.
Once any accumulative jackpot is triggered, it resets back to its base level. Then the whole process restarts all over again.
‘Book’ Style Games
Made famous by Novomatic’s seminal 2004 release, ‘Book of Ra’, players are drawn to Book-style games thanks to the unique expanding symbols central to Free Spins rounds.
Prior to the bonus round, a symbol is randomly selected to expand fully whenever it shows up. Th exciting feature makes full-screen matching symbols a distinct possibility. Manage this with the top paying Rich Wilde symbol in Play’n GO blockbuster Book of Dead, and you’re in line for a 5,000x return on your outlay.
In addition to the above, you’ll find a host of other popular slot formats including Cluster Pays and Win-Both-Ways on offer at Wheelz.
Developers saturate their creations with in-game bonus features to enhance the gaming experience and augment your win opportunities. Here is a small selection of the most common types you’ll come across at Wheelz:
Easily the most popular type of feature, a number of Free Spins is usually awarded for landing 3 Scatter or special symbols during a base game spin. More Free Spins are often possible for catching additional Scatter symbols.
In the absence of a jackpot, Free Spins rounds often hold the key to the big wins in a video slot. The bonus generally features additional extras not found in the base game that can prove instrumental in landing big wins, such as increasing Multipliers, symbol upgrades, and Sticky/Expanding Wilds.
If you don’t want to wait for Free Spins to drop organically, some pokies like Iron Bank from Relax Gaming give you the opportunity to purchase the feature in return for a fee relative to your stake - normally in the 60x-100x bracket.
Nolimit City drew criticism for the eye-watering 750x price tag they slapped on the feature in their wildly popular 2020 release, Deadwood, but the payoff can be well worth it if you manage to lock in lucrative symbols throughout the round.
‘Pick Me’ Feature
This added extra appears in games like Release the Kraken, powered by Pragmatic Play. Pick Me mini-games place fate in your own hands by prompting you to select from various items presented on-screen. Items may contain rewards such as Free Spins and Multiplier Values, helping to pad your bankroll further.
One for risk-takers, the gamble feature gives you the chance to multiply your winnings two-fold or four-fold following each win. Be warned that you you risk losing it all if your guess is wrong.
All these features and many more are readily available in our extensive game library at Wheelz. MegaWays and Jackpot categories even have their own dedicated shelf place to provide an at-a-glance view of all the games on offer.