Expanding Reels Feature Explained + Best RTP Slots
June 16, 2021
In distinction from classic 3-reel slots, innovative features (special symbols, re-spins, etc.) are the defining characteristic of modern web-based slot games. After software developers had experimented in every possible way to create all the bonuses and functions exciting on the reels, it was time to change the reels themselves. That’s how expanding reel slots, one of the most well-liked and ground-breaking game options in the slot game industry, appeared.
Best online slots with Expanding Reels Feature
(players from United States are welcome)
The Expanding Reels Feature: What is It?
As the name suggests, this video slot option expands the amount of reels in a slot and provides a dynamic medium to ensure more potential in every single spin. This envelope-pushing feature offers a gambler more opportunities for winning combos either on an increased set of active lines or a bigger number of ways to win.
The Expanding Reel concept is frequently used in Egyptian-themed video slots, where the additional reels are usually disguised as blocks or pillars on the side of the original 5x3 set. Yet, an increasing number of vendors incorporate the flexibility of this gameplay option, expanding it into slots of various themes.
How Does the Expanding Reels Feature Work?
You’ll probably make note of something different about expanding reel slots right away. As soon as you run the game, you will notice that there are ensconced reels on the side of the regular reel set. It all depends on the design – in some cases, such reels can be faded, and sometimes they are a part of the background or the reel grid framework. For instance, in Egyptian-themed slots, the feature may be depicted as stones that the pyramid is made of. In a fairy-tale-based game, you’ll frequently see them on the side designed in the form of trees or magical plants.
The reels aren’t active all the time, and they don’t impact the regular payout system of the game. Under normal circumstances, the slot can be played on a classic 5×3 reel set and has 2 extra reels on the flank that need to be activated during the game later. This implies that, at a certain point, you will be in a position to unlock those reels and start playing a 7-reel, in place of a 5-reel slot. It is up to a software developer in which way the feature can be triggered (see below for more details). Yet, once it’s unlocked, it can change the structure of payouts, add more paylines, and sometimes, even activate special symbols that propose bigger prizes or multipliers.
How Does the Expanding Reels Feature get Triggered?
The expanding reels feature can be triggered in three ways:
Collecting a certain number of wilds/scatters to trigger the Bonus Round. A huge plus is that expanding reels boost other special features in bonus rounds to maximize a player’s profit. For instance, they ensure more free spins and multipliers. Yet, the Bonus Round happens only every once in a while. So, you’ll probably need to spend a long time playing the slots before activating the expanding reels feature.
Landing of winning combinations. As a rule, it happens in the base game. Thus, wins come more often with expanding reels. The feature is believed to result in better chances of entering the Bonus Round. But a negative point is that symbols’ value can be decreased to compensate for the high payout rate.
Paying extra to unlock a reel. On one hand, it provides full autonomy: gamblers can choose independently when to unlock extra reels. It may seem time-sufficient. But on the other hand, activating the expanding reels feature with an additional fee can be quite expensive.
What's Special about Expanding Reels Slots
One of the main advantages of expanding reels in video slots is that they help you gain different types of rewards (nine times out of ten, in the form of free spins and multipliers). Sometimes, these ensconced reels also have special symbols that provide gamblers with better and bigger prizes. The more space you get with the expanding reels, the more chances of gaining winning combos you have. In some games, you may even get winning combinations in almost every spin.
In the next place, the expanding reels feature makes online slots more exciting to play. As more reels are on the screen, the monotony of spinning the same active lines decreases by a long chalk. There is always suspense involved in unlocking the ensconced reels and receiving surprise rewards out of them.
Apart from that, players can get special characters, such as scatters, extra wild symbols, and so on. This implies you can get large cash prizes.
Also, note that the expanding reels feature is available in modern slots with higher volatility mainly (medium-high and high variance). High volatility games are characterized by a high level of risk. This means that they rarely give out winning combinations, but their amount is quite substantial. And medium-high variance slots are characterized by a rather medium risk and are suitable for those who do not have a large bankroll and, at the same time, prefer not to sit without winnings, albeit small ones. So, be ready you may have to spend a long time spinning expanding reels.