The advent of Cascading reels in slot machines

With the gaming industry taking strides towards a more immersive experience for its audience and consumers alike, online games that boost the betting industry have also incorporated new features in order to sell a more authentic yet virtual experience. Software providers also saw a niche in the market to improvise, thus providing fantastic features such as progressive jackpots, which grows incrementally with each bet a player makes into the slot machine, win both ways, auto play, nudges, fruit machine hold and bonus games with gamble features. The feature that perhaps changed everything was the cascading reels.


A cascading reels slot machine differentiates itself from a standard example because it allows for the symbols to completely disappear with new symbols taking their place, which allows for the player to increase their chances of winning with each and every spin, thus making the game more realistic.

Cascading Reels in slot machines and how they work

Reminiscent of the online games that used a synchronized bit pattern passed graphics engine such as Gemix and Tetris, cascading reels slots use the row-based winning pattern synchronization to determine the winning combination. When a particular symbol fulfills the requirement of being a winning combination, the player gets paid for the win. Upon payment, the symbols immediately explode and vanish. This allows for newer symbols to gently fall or cascade into their place. As the symbols are being replaced instead of being reused into a newer combination, the chances of winning are much better.

Another major difference between cascading slots and traditional reel-based slots is that the traditional machines only had one pay line, which in turn means that winning combinations would mostly consist of 3 of a kind symbols. Cascading reel based slot machines, however, can have hundreds of pay lines as winning combinations could be made by up to 7 alike symbols.

Some more advantages of cascading slots or avalanching reels and collapsing reels as they are also referred to be bigger win potentials, more thrilling gaming sessions, and longer-lasting gameplay without the problem of paying off the extra.

Utilization of cascading reels

Initially being utilized in a run of the mill 5×3 video slots, the cascading reels are also being used in the more advanced and complex list of grid slots and Mega ways slot machines that have been licensed by major betting and gaming powerhouses such as BTG. Grid slots usually have a 7×7 grid with symbols slowly cascading or falling from above. An example of this cascading reels slot machine online is the Viking rune craft from the famous company play and go.

A major reason for the success of this game is that apart from just winning rewards, the players are also enticed with bonus challenges and unlockable items. Big Time Gaming or BTG, as they are more commonly referred to as had their own rendition of the cascading slot machine called mega ways. Mega ways allow the player to play with a number of different strategies to find the combination necessary for a payout. This feature is contained in slots such as extra chili, medusa, and bonanza.

Top five cascading reels slot machines online

Now that the different types of cascading reels slot machines and their inner workings that make them popular have been discussed in detail, the next obvious step is to identify each and every cascading reels slot machine online that is unanimously enjoyed and considered as the best in its class.

  1. Gonzo’s quest

    This particular slot machine is the brainchild NetEnt and is widely regarded as one of the best if not the best cascading slot machine to use the cascading reels function. This particular slot machine has five reels and 20 pay lines. Moreover, this game also increases the amount of winnable payout with consecutive cascades that result in a winning combination.

  2. Jungle Jim el dorado

    After the impressive success of Gonzo’s quest, Micro gaming, another household name in gaming decided to launch their own product into the market. This slot machine is based on a more revamped character based on Indiana Jones. The number of pay lines has also been increased to 25, thus increasing the minimum bet to 0.25 and that to on each individual spin. The jungle Jim el dorado has also renamed the cascading reels slots machine online with a more trendy yet apt ‘rolling reels.’ The multiplier on winning combinations has also been increased to 5 from the four that were offered in Gonzo’s Quest.

  3. Bonanza

    Perhaps the most exciting slot machine in this count down, Bonanza offers a staggering 117,649 different ways to win big over six reels of play. Moreover, as there are seven different symbols on each reel, the chances of winning can be increased dramatically with each spin. The multiplier on consecutive wins can also increase to 12 times with unlockable free spins, thus increasing the potential to win further and bigger.

  4. Pyramid quest for immortality

    A product of net entertainment studios, Viking runecraft often underrated when it comes to cascading reels slot machines. This game has a volatility level setting option from medium to hard scattered over 720 different ways of winning on five cascading or avalanche reels. Although this game does not provide free spins, it does, however, contain hidden challenges and unlockable items that enable a player to win further and play for longer with interest.

  5. Viking Runecraft

    A product of play and go, Viking runecraft is the first type of grid slot machine on this top 5 listing. This game has the capability to payout 5000 times’ players bet and is based across a 7×7 grid. The wins can further help unlock exciting winnable items and challenges for the player to continue playing. Furthermore, this game also has a cult-like following in the world of cascading reels slot machines as it is the game of choice for professionals looking to win big and enhance their skills at the same time while playing and enjoying.

This article talked about cascading reel slots, and how they work in detail. It also highlighted the fact that the industry was talking drastic measures to improve cascading reels slot machine so players win rewards and are entitled to bonus challenges, which means that players can expect more surprises! Lastly, a list of five favorite cascading reels slot machine online was presented and analyzed under a microscope.

We would love to hear about your favorite cascading reels slot machine!

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