How Do Online Slot Bonuses Work?

Understand how slot bonus rounds work and how you could scoop some real money prizes.
31st July 2023

Understand the bonuses on offer when you play online slots | Virgin Games

Slot machines are a go-to for many players across the world – both the virtual games available online and via mobile apps, and the real-life machines you find in a traditional land-based casino. As digital reel-spinners will know, many online slots offer a chance to win on very small stakes. Take two of the most well-known slot franchises, Cleopatra and Rainbow Riches – both offer games from just 1p. 

But small stakes aside, online slot games are a popular choice thanks to the variety of bonuses that are up for grabs. There are endless bonus features across the slot universe, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the main protagonists to give you an idea of what they’re all about.

Online Slot Symbols You Need to Know

Wild and Scatter Symbols

Most online slots have Wild symbols and Scatter symbols available in the base game, both of which can be used to help you complete winning combinations.

Wilds are able to substitute for other regular symbols, which means they can be the missing link if you have some matching symbols on the reels that aren’t quite able to form a combination. You can also find Wild Reels in some games, and as you may have guessed, this just means that every symbol position on that reel turns Wild, which boosts your chances of winning. These are similar to Wild Stacks, but the difference is that the latter requires a Wild to appear on a spin to make the whole reel Wild.

In a lot of the original online slot games, including Zeus and Raging Rhino, Scatter symbols are the main way of progressing to the bonus rounds. For example, when three Scatters are displayed in a base game, which is the area that you will first play when you enter a slot, the Free Spins Bonus could be triggered. Furthermore, some slots award instant cash prizes when multiple Scatter symbols appear, giving you another chance to win.

Free Spins

The classic Free Spins feature is arguably the most popular of all the slots bonuses, as it can present players with a number of opportunities to complete wins. Most of the slot games that are available on Virgin Games include a Free Spins round, and they are generally played out using a different set of reels to those in the base game.

Free Spins Bonus rounds are usually triggered when you land a certain amount of symbols, which could be Scatters, Bonus or Free Spins symbols. Alternatively, some games require symbols to be accumulated in collection meters to gain access to this round. You can normally find the collection meter displayed outside of the reel set, and whenever a specific symbol appears, a value will be added to the meter. This means you can view your progress as you get closer to unlocking the bonus.

When you enter one of these rounds, you receive an allocation of free spins where you will get to play for real money wins. Any winnings that you achieve will be added up at the end of the round, and are then credited to your account. Some slots allow Free Spins to be re-triggered, which can therefore give you even more chances to complete wins in this bonus round.


You can use Re-spins features to achieve winning combinations when you play online slots. Re-spins are effectively free spins, except the reels don’t reset every time.

Some symbols will be sticky on your re-spins, normally Wilds, meaning they are kept in place as the other positions turn again. The aim of this bonus round is to get you a number of payouts from just a single spin, and they can be found in a decent majority of modern online slot games, including Amazing Link: Riches and Great Rhino Deluxe.

Win Multipliers

Multipliers can boost the payouts of winning combinations that you achieve, and they can be found in the base game as well as slot bonus rounds.

As you would expect, any multipliers that you are awarded work very simply. You may have a multiplier symbol included in your payline win, and the value shown on the symbol would then be used to multiply your win. In bonus rounds they can be slightly different, as there may be an automatic multiplier rather than a symbol. You can find huge multipliers up for grabs, like in Jurassic World where you can boost your wins by up to 1,000x in the Indominus Rex feature.

Progressive Jackpots

At Virgin Games, you can play a whole host of exciting jackpot slots! While you can win some standard jackpots on games like Fire and Roses Joker, we also have some unique slots that are connected to progressive jackpot pools. You can have a spin on our range of Daily Jackpot slots, where three huge real money prizes are up for grabs every single day. To trigger one of these progressive jackpots you can either land three Jackpot symbols on the reels, or you could activate some in-game features that would take you there.

We also have a catalogue of Jackpot King slot games for you to play. These slots are linked into a promotional pot system, and the prizes can be won no matter what stake you're playing with. Hit five Jackpot King overlay symbols and you will enter a unique bonus round, where you can spin a wheel to win huge multipliers or a progressive jackpot.

Cascading Reels

Some of our popular online slot games include the Cascading Reels feature, that give you the chance to complete a sequence of wins from only one paid spin! The mechanic works so that winning symbols are removed from the reel set, which then vacates space that is filled by new symbols dropping down from above. Once they are in place, the reels will be re-evaluated, and if there are new wins formed then the process will repeat itself.

In Secrets of the Phoenix, the Cascading Reels mechanic can give you access to the Free Spins Bonus. When you play this slot, if you achieve four successful cascades in a row you will be awarded a number of free spins, which creates more chances to win.

Megaways Slots

Our Megaways slot games provide an exciting bonus feature in that they have hundreds of thousands of ways to win. To achieve the maximum number of paylines in most of these games, which can be as big as 117,649, you must have seven symbols displayed on each of the six reels. The formula is then worked out as 7x7x7x7x7x7, which totals 117,649.

Make your way through our A-Z of online slots and you’ll be able to find even more slot bonus features, which will give you the opportunity to complete some exciting wins and payouts. If you deposit and play with £10* after registering with us, we’ll give you 30 free spins to be used on our classic slot game Double Bubble*.