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All games have their own unique features, but the primary functionality of pokies games remains consistent, whichever title you play: the player wages an amount and tries to match some winning configuration of game symbols in the playing area.
Each game has a number of paylines, or different winning combinations. In payline casino slots, the main aim is to align identical symbols, plus Wild symbols, along certain predefined paylines. Typically, winning combinations must be made along a payline beginning with the leftmost reel. However, there are some online slots where a player can Win Both Ways or even Win Anywhere Along a Payline - boosting your chances of a big payout.
Some games eliminate paylines altogether. These titles generally require players to match symbols in connected reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. While these online pokies usually have a large number of possible winning combinations, sometimes reaching into their thousands, they generally include a greater variety of symbols, resulting in an overall lower win percentage.
The player starts off by placing a wager (bet). The wager typically represents the number of paylines, multiplied by a specified coin amount. For example, a player betting $0.01 per spin on 25 individual lines will wager a total of $0.25 per spin. While betting on the maximum number of lines increases the bet, it also improves the chances of winning exponentially.
The more lines you play, the greater your chances of landing a huge score on games like Mega Moolah - boasting some of the largest progressive jackpots ever seen and available to play at Wildz Casino.
As explained above, the primary goal of most video slots is to match symbols along paylines or connected reels. However, most video slots, especially newer titles, offer additional bonuses built into their games.
These extra features generally take the form of some sort of free spins bonus, but more sophisticated bonus games are appearing all the time. ‘Pick-a-prize’ features, where the player picks from a range of objects hoping to avoid a feature-ending symbol, are increasingly popular and provide some variety as the overall look and feel of free spins games tends to mirror their main gameplay.
While some online pokies may trigger a bonus at random, most require a certain set of symbols to land on the reels during a single spin. These generally takes the form of ‘Scatter’ or ‘Bonus’ symbols, where additional bonus rounds are often triggered for matching 3 or more symbols.
Some developers offer bonuses like the popular Gamble Option, available for any wins that don’t trigger a major jackpot. With the Gamble Option, the player has the ability to gamble any win in an effort to multiply their payout. Usually the Gamble Option takes some sort of card game where the player can double their win simply by selecting the color of an unturned card. Play ‘n Go, for example, lets players achieve a 4x multiplier on their winnings by correctly guessing the suit of a playing card.
Types of Video Slots
While there are many different types of online pokies available at Wildz Casino, we will focus on the most important ones: standard video slots, classic slots, grid-based slots, and those online slot games with an expanding playing area.
Standard Video Slots
These are the most common type of online video slots available nowadays. Standard video slots generally feature between 4-6 reels and a fixed number of paylines, typically under 50. The player matches identical symbols and/or Wilds along these fixed paylines and is awarded a win in return. Wins increase greatly when matching combinations are made along 4 or more reels, since the vast majority of wins make up 3-reel combinations.
In addition to the main game, most titles offer some sort of free spin game, while many titles, especially newer releases, offer secondary bonus games with big-win potential.
Classic slots that you can play online resemble and mimic their land-based counterparts. Classic slots are typically 3-reel games, and more often than not house classic game symbols such as fruit and BAR. These games generally have a lower maximum bet and a higher volatility, meaning that they hit less frequently than more modern slot games. In a nutshell, classic games tend to offer “low risk, low reward” and are more suited to the risk-averse player.
Although a handful of these classic slots blend the old and new while including a bonus game, they do lack extra features and instead the game becomes almost entirely focused on the primary 3-reel gameplay. These games may or may not include Wild symbols, unlike more modern video slots where even multiple types of Wild symbols are a popular feature.
Another variant of online pokie has grown in popularity in recent times. ‘Grid play’ slots eliminate traditional reels, and do not attempt to replicate land-based versions. Instead they represent a whole new way to play video slots.
Grid-based games usually see the game symbols fall from above in a cascading fashion. In most of these titles, winning combinations are cleared from the playing area and new game symbols fall from above to fill the vacant slots. Free respins are then awarded up until a winning combination is achieved which does not result in a subsequent respin.
There are other ways for cascading symbols to populate the playing area. ‘Finn and the Swirly Spin’ is an example of a grid-based game that has completely reimagined the initial symbol drop, depositing symbols throughout the playing area in a snake-like feed. As the mechanics behave differently in these games, so do other slot features. In ‘Finn and Swirly Spin’, Wild symbols are generated following a winning combination rather than appearing as just one other in a series of symbols.
Lastly, video slots with expanding playing areas continue to serve as a major focus for our gaming partners.
These video slots generally adhere to the following mechanics: a player makes a winning combination on the reels, which opens up the playing area with an additional reel/column or row. This expanded playing area also presents more combination possibilities by increasing the number of paylines, with some titles boasting over 100,000 ways to win once the playing areas have completely opened up. As with most titles that feature a multitude of possible paylines, the number of symbols increases, making it more difficult to land winning combinations, but more lucrative when these do occur.
Special features can be found on most online pokies outside of the primary gameplay, with free spins, respins and bonus games among the most common types.
Free spins are the feature most people associate with video slots, and can be enjoyed on just about every game at Wildz Casino. Free spins are often triggered by landing 3 or more special symbols which usually include a scatter symbol, but some games also award them at random.
Most games give a fixed number of free spins, however the ‘pick-an-object’ feature is available with some titles, where the player selects from a number of objects that reveals an amount of free spins and often a multiplier. Depending on the game, additional free spins can be won.
As already mentioned, free spins features can include multipliers. Often these multipliers are fixed before the round begins, or alternatively a random multiplier is won by selecting an object. In addition, progressive multipliers can rise throughout a game by achieving certain criteria such as registering consecutive wins or by collecting a specific symbol.
Another popular special feature is the respin. Depending on the game, a respin may occur at different intervals but is generally triggered by a winning combination on the playing area. Often, games with a respin feature will allow for an unlimited number of respins as long as winning combinations continue to be made on the board. Other titles may include a fixed number of respins when certain events occur in a game, but these are less popular.
Additional bonus game features are frequently found on online pokies, particularly those games which have been released in the past few years. The variety of bonus games does not lend itself to a specific description, but they can generally be classified as additional game features other than free spins. Most titles offering bonuses contain a solitary bonus game, but there are a select few that come with multiple bonus games.
Are Online Pokies Safe?
A frequently asked question is: “are real money pokies safe to play at Wildz Casino?” The simple answer is “yes”, but let’s explore more.
First off, Wildz Casino, along with every game we offer, have been vetted and licensed by a competent gaming regulator to safeguard your safety and security when playing online casino games with us. Wildz Casino receives guidance, oversight, and licensing from the Malta Gaming Authority, a regulatory body within the European Union. The MGA inspects, audits, and provides legal authority for Wildz Casino and its parent company, Rootz LTD.
The games themselves are required by regulation to include a Random Number Generator (RNG). This is an algorithm that generates a random spin or card deal, preventing both the player and casino from predicting the outcome of any particular game. Wildz Casino, along with all other online casinos, have no control over or manage these random number generators. By law, random number generators are built into the video slots, tested, and licensed by the competent regulator.
The MGA also requires all titles to have a minimum RTP, or ‘Return-to-Player’. This minimum RTP, enforced by the MGA at 92%, ensures that a minimum of $0.92 is returned to the player, on average, for every $1 wagered. In reality, few titles have RTPs approaching anywhere near 92% and most reside within the 95-97% range.
Lastly, rest assured that your money is safe at Wildz Casino. The website and payments are encrypted using the same SSL technology in use by the world’s major financial institutions. Additionally, regulations mandate that player funds and company funds must be kept in segregated accounts, meaning that all player funds are entirely separate from the internal financials of any one casino. Your funds are kept safe and available for withdrawal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
History of Slots
The first mechanical video slots were developed in the United States in the late 19th Century. Based around classic poker games, mechanical slots first appeared in New York City in 1891, not in casinos, but bars. Back then, the machines didn’t pay out cash prizes. Instead, a winning combination would be shown to the bartender who would award the player a free beer or perhaps a cigar. The very first versions of these mechanical slot machines were something of a novelty intended to entertain patrons at pubs, rather than providing a fully-fledged gambling enterprise.
At around the same time, one Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, realising that slot machines had the potential to form a profitable business, invented a simple machine with five basic symbols that can still be recognised today: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a bell.
Fey’s machine, the ‘Liberty Bell’, proved an instant success and spawned an entire industry of mechanical slot machines. Even though Fey’s home state of California banned gambling soon after his invention, mechanical slot machines had begun to pop up all around the United States. Fey’s failure to secure a patent on his device fueled a proliferation of mechanical slot machines across the United States, as scores of budding businessmen scrambled to copy his design and cash in on this new-found craze.
In the early 20th century, many states panicked at the rapid spread of mechanical slot machines and swiftly moved to pass punitive measures against gambling. To circumvent the law, early machines began giving away food and candy to avoid legal trouble. However, liberalisation following the Second World War saw gambling legalised and regulated in a handful of US states, which led post-war machines to award coins or tokens that could be exchanged for cash.
In 1963, the first electromechanical slot machine was introduced. The machine used electronics to control actuators which then moved the mechanical reels. Despite the use of mechanical reels, this device represented an evolution of slot machine technology, demoting the classic side lever to a novelty by-product.
It wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the first truly electronic slot machine was produced, incorporating a Sony television. These fully electronic machines found immediate success and proved immensely popular with the public. Another radical development saw the introduction of second screen games in 1996, along with bonus features that presented additional featurettes away from the primary playing area.
With the advent of the internet in the mid-1990s came the first online casinos. Between 1996 and 2008, various governments started developing laws and regulations to manage the rise of online gaming operations to ensure transparency, fairness and secure transactions.
In 1998, online gaming revenue worldwide totaled under 1 billion Euros. Fast forward twenty-five years, and recent estimates of online gambling growth foresee the market to be worth over 65 billion Euros by 2023.
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Which pokies providers do you offer at Wildz?
At Wildz Casino you will find an ever-growing library of pokies from providers like Microgaming, SG Digital, Hacksaw Gaming, Swintt, Nolimit City, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, Thunderkick, ELK Studios, Evolution, Pragmatic Play, Booming Games, Push Gaming, Play ‘n Go, Yggdrasil and Oryx.
What type of pokies do you offer?
Wildz offers a wide range of different games, such as classic slots, modern pokies, games featuring grid-play and slots with an expanding playing area.
Can I try the pokies at Wildz Casino without wagering real money?
Yes, you can try our pokies with play-money first to figure out if you like a title before you wager your money.
What does a Free Spin mean?
It is a bonus feature found in more or less any online pokie at Wildz Casino that lets you spin a game round free of charge. These Free Spins can also be won on our mini-slot Levelz, or earned through one of our online casino bonuses.