Online pokies have come a long way since they were first introduced in the late 20th century. The developers behind these fascinating games are competing in order to create the next big hit, which all casinos online will want to feature on the top of their list.
Classic pokie machines were pretty simplistic, but still captivated audiences in the thousands. Similarly, huge crowds used to visit the nearest physical casinos to play fruit pokies.
The advent of video pokies though, brought this casino genre to a new era – which was simultaneously introduced to much larger audiences in the online sphere.
What are the Bonus Rounds in Video Pokies?
Video pokies became so popular due to some characteristics that they were the first to introduce. Fruit pokies and pokies machines might still be popular, but they don’t offer any of these features:
- Multipliers: this bonus can be apparent in both the base game and during a bonus round. It is pretty self-evident, as it multiplies a win a x number of times. Multipliers start at an x2 rate, which can go up to x50 in some pokies.
- Scatters: these special symbols can have different functions. In certain cases they need to be on a payline in order to payout the jackpot; while in other instances they don’t pay out, but trigger the bonus round instead.
- Wilds: the wild symbol is one of the most common special symbols that substitutes for any other symbols when it lands on the reels – helping players to form a winning combination. There are also sticky wilds, explosive wilds and mystery wilds apparent in some bonus games, functioning differently but always being very lucrative.
- Free spins: the introduction of free spins by video pokies was revolutionary and it draw millions of players to try them out. The free spins rounds can pay as high prizes as some jackpots do. They tend to be unlocked by special symbols (such as the aforementioned wilds) and they usually have a different reel structure, symbols, graphics and gameplay than the base game. These tend to range from 3 to 100 across different video pokies and they are designed to pay out very lucrative rewards.
- Jackpot bonus rounds: some jackpot prizes are triggered automatically, but there are other games that incorporate an interactive gameplay – whereby players have to meet certain conditions to win the jackpot. Many jackpot pokies have these types of bonus rounds in the form of ladders, pick and choose formats and others.
- Expanding reels: the most famous example of a video pokie with this bonus is Starburst. Landing a special symbol on the reels results in the whole reel turning into wilds, which can help the player win some very lucrative rewards.
The above are some of the most common bonus rounds that one will encounter when playing video pokies online. If you trigger one of the above, while betting with a pretty high amount – the winnings can be truly life-changing.
Best Pokies with Bonus Rounds
Considering that there are more than a million of video pokies available today, picking a few to add on our list is not simple. However, to make this task easier, we chose pokies that feature more than one of the above bonuses during a single bonus round.
Gonzo’s Quest Free Falls Bonus Round
Gonzo’s Quest video pokie was introduced more than 5 years ago, but it is still considered one of the most successful in the industry. The Free Falls bonus round fits perfectly within its theme, and it can be triggered by landing a minimum of 3 Gold Gonzo’s icons in the pokie reels. These have to land on a payline, otherwise they won’t trigger the bonus round.
‘Free Falls’ is the name of the bonus game here, and it features 2x different bonuses that create a perfect storm. The free spins rewarded are usually 10 or 20 and players can sit back and watch the symbols form combinations until a winning payline is not apparent in the game. On each winning combination the multiplier increases up to 15x. Landing a 5x symbol match with a 15x multiplier could skyrocket your bankroll.
Rocky Incredible Knockout Bonus
You don’t need to be a fan of the Rocky movies to love this bonus round. The player must get a white boxing glove on the 1st reel and the red boxing glove on the 5th reel to trigger the bonus round. Players choose amongst Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago or Clubber Land as an opponent of Rocky during the bonus round.
During the bonus rounds, players win a coin for each round Rocky wins. Winnings are doubled during the incredible knockout bonus, there are extra wilds apparent, free spins and 5x total win if you spell out the word Rocky during the feature.
Game of Thrones Free Spins feature
We swear that we don’t pick the best bonus rounds based on our taste in movies. This video pokie also has a fantastic bonus round that can be triggered with 3x scatter symbols. The player, then, gets to choose between 4x different horses, which will offer a different number of free spins. The free spins round can also be retriggered during the free spins.
Why we added this one in the best bonus rounds? The Gamble Trial allows punters to flip a coin after every big win, for the chance to double your wins 4x times in the row.
Our Verdict on the Best Video Pokie Bonus Round
So that we are completely transparent, you can probably find more video pokies online with such lucrative bonus rounds. We picked the above because they fit perfectly within the game theme, offer more than one bonus at once and they payout high amounts.
From the above, the one that tends to offer the highest rewards is the Free Falls bonus round. Of course, this could also be the result of its high RTP value and the cascading reels format. We suggest that you give a go at each of these pokies at least one in your life.
- About the Author
- Affiliate Disclosure
Michael has reviewed and verified all information on this page. Having worked in the iGaming industry for over 8 years, he is the most capable person to help you navigate online casinos, pokies, and the Australian gambling landscape.