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CJ’s Guide: How To Play Free Slots

Free slots are a great way to try out new games, risk free!

One huge advantage is you can play long enough to try out all the bonus rounds and special features of a game. If you’re new to video slots you might find this short overview helpful. We’ll explain some of the special bonus features you can expect to find.

Playing couldn’t be easier! Just edit how much you want to bet using the controls on the game dashboard and press “spin” and watch the reels click into place, hopefully making a winning combination on a payline. The best reason to play free slots is to test the features and the feel of the game without risking your real money.

How to choose a free play slot game

There are thousands of online slots out there. You might find after a while you prefer a particular type of software provider over another, or games with many features, or pokies with high or low volatility, or maybe you just love Wild West themed games! Personally I like to play free slots so I can try out all the latest slot games.

Features when you play free slots

Slots in land based casinos have advanced a lot in recent years, showing off with sounds effects, huge screens and even vibrations to give you a fully immersive experience! You won’t generally find vibrations coming from online slot games but you will find there is much more variety in online slot games than you’ve previously experienced, especially if you’re more used to traditional 3 reel, one arm bandit games. 

Please note this is just an overview of the most common features you’ll encounter when you play free slots, so be sure to check the info pages within your chosen game to find out the quirks and special features of the slot.

Cluster Pays

Cluster Pays

Usually the pay lines run across the reel from left to right, or sometimes they also run right to left. In the event of a cluster pay feature, blocks of reels grouped or clustered together can also trigger a payout, and the value depends on how many matching symbols are clustered together.


Walking Wilds:

I love walking wilds! If you trigger one, the slot reels will respin and the wilds will “walk” across the reels, giving you more chances to win. You can find some nice examples in Elk’s Wild Toro or Netent’s Jack and the Beanstalk and The Invisible Man which has an extra feature that two wilds walking in opposite directions can meet and trigger free spins.  You can try out this feature by selecting “walking wilds” in the filters on the free slots games above.



Scatter symbols are usually the image of the game’s title character or an icon representing the game. Hitting 3, 4 or 5 scatter symbols on the reels (this could be anywhere on the reels or designated on certain reels – check your game’s info button to be certain) will trigger the much coveted bonus round. For example, in Real Time Gaming’s Trigger Happy, get x3 sheriff badge scatter symbols on the reels and you’ll get 7 free spins plus you’ll be asked to choose from 2 cowgirls to determine whether you get sticky wilds on reels 1, 4 or 5.

Bonus Feature

Free Slots Bonus Round Features:

As mentioned earlier, when you play free slots you can keep spinning until you activate the free spins bonus round without spending any of your own money.  This might help you decide if it’s a slot game worth your time and cash. It is safe to say, hitting the bonus round on any slot game is enough to set pulses racing. The bonus round in most games is your chance to win the maximum payouts and a load of cash. When you activate the bonus round you can often pick which bonus you want to play with.

Free Spins

Free Spins Bonus Round:

Most famous, and most sought after bonus feature – free spins are usually awarded as a set amount, determined by how many scatters land on the reels. Often there will be a multiplier added or an extra way to win bigger payouts, such as a multiplier or the possibility of hitting re-spins. This is also often where you’ll be able to hit the maximum payout in a game, by say hitting a whole reel covering of wild symbols.  But be warned; as with all games there is no guarantee. You might be playing a game for ages, hit the free spins bonus and come away with a disappointing haul.  As a general rule though, more often than not you’ll hit some decent payouts in the free spins bonus round. Play free slots on your mobile or desktop to see the free spins round for yourself!

Pick 'n Click Bonus

Pick n’Click Bonus Round:

Pick N Click bonus rounds are super simple and you’ll find them in many games when you opt to play free slots. Literally, pick an icon and click it to reveal a prize or progression to the next round.  These bonus rounds can take all sorts of formats. Perhaps most commonly you might be presented with a selection of treasure chests.  Perhaps 1 has x10 multiplier win on your stake, 1 has x1000 and another 2 have x100. 1 of these chests has zero. Now you have to go on your gut instinct and hope you have picked wisely, friend. With a stroke of luck you have picked the top prize!  

You might also spot the Pick N Click feature as a mechanism to winning a slot game jackpot. Hall Of Gods is a good example here, using hammers to smash wooden shields not only do you reveal a coin value but you might hit “mini” “midi” or “mega”. Pick 3 matching jackpot symbols to trigger the win. So here, being lucky with your pick n click could make you a millionaire! This particular jackpot is regularly worth more than $5,000,000 and Netent games are limited in the US but they are available in New Jersey. Please note you when you play free slots you won’t be able to play many jackpot games and see the current total since the value relies on real money bets.

Gamble Feature

Gamble Feature:

Extremely common in land based casino slot machines, the gamble feature will give you a chance to double or nothing your winnings. Some game providers, such as PlayNGo offer a gamble feature on every spin on some slot games. Sometimes you’ll be offered this feature after a bonus round or on a video poker game.  Usually you will be given the choice of red or black to win x2 or you can choose a suit from hearts, spades, diamonds or clubs to win x4. The outcome will be assigned randomly.  Yes, it’s adds a little excitement and you may be tempted if your win value was quite low, giving you an opportunity to boost your total win, however bear in mind you can lose it all if you get it wrong! I suggest skipping gamble features; get out while you’re ahead and take your winnings to avoid kicking yourself later.


Megaways is a special feature that was developed by Big Time Gaming. It changes the number of symbols that appears on each reel (aka “random reel modifier”) For example you might get 3 big symbols on one spin on reel 1, and on the next spin you get 6 symbols. You can see Megaways in action on games like Bonanza, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire Megaways and Megaways Buffalo Rising. 

Sticky Wilds

Sticky wilds stay stuck on the reels for your next spin. They may stay sticky for the entire duration of a free spins round which is an awesome chance for you to build up your wins if each spin you hit extra sticky wilds. You can see how many spins each wild will stay in place when you play free slots such as Betsoft’s Thai Blossoms.


Multiplier symbols predetermine the number of times your win will be multiplied. Quite often wild symbols will double as multiplier symbols. So not only will they represent the value of the other symbols in the wining line, they will increase your win by a multiplication factor of x. For example, in RTG’s 5 Wishes Slot the genie wilds give you a x2 multiplied win when they feature in a winning payline.

Random Special Feature

Random special features are exactly that! They can be triggered at any time and bring you extra chances to win. Maybe a bunch of wilds appears on the reels, or a character runs onto the screen and adds multipliers to your wins. It is a very nice surprise to suddenly win extra when you’re not expecting.

Big Symbols

Not too hard to figure out what a big symbol is! The Big symbol looks big and it represents more than 1 of it’s smaller same symbol counterparts. Spinata Grande, King Colossus, Ecuador Gold are great Big Symbols Slots to play for free. Usually the big symbols land with a big wallop too so it’s exciting from a game play perspective too.  

Grid Play

While slot reel formats are usually quite standard, you’ll now find more new games launching in a grid format. This could be a result of player’s having greater familiarity of the format. You’ll find many google play or apple store apps to download and play on mobile with grid format games. The grid might be a 8×8 instead of the regular slots style 5×4 format. Wins are usually made using the cluster pays system. Or wins in groups of symbols rather than rows. Take a look at Push Gaming’s Jammin Jars or Pragmatic Play’s Sweet Bonanza to see in action. 

Cascading Symbols

Avalanche symbols, cascading symbols, swooping symbols… all names for the same thing. In this event, the symbols that constitute a winning line disappear and new symbols drop down to fill their place, giving you opportunities to hit more winning pay lines. Often this action goes hand in hand with an increased multiplier. So each time the symbols fall and hit a winning line you win even more each time! It’s easiest to see this in action. Have a look at Netent’s Gonzo’s Quest, Invaders from the planet moolah, Quickspins Big Bad Wolf.


Respins give you a chance to spin again without making a new bet. There are whole slot games dedicated to the premise of respins every time you hit a winning line. For example QuickSpin’s The Wild Chase. Sometimes you get lucky and trigger free spins. Then whilst you are spinning you hit the free spins symbol or combination of symbols. When this happens you can trigger respins!

Bonus Buy

Bonus Buy

Everybody wants to hit the bonus feature. It’s really the only place in the game that you can dream of hitting mega combinations and multipliers and scooping a massive win. The maths model behind the slots will reason the average number of spins it takes to trigger the free spins or bonus feature but of course you might spend a lot more or less than the average trying to trigger it. But now there is more games offering you a shortcut. You can BUY your way into the bonus round!  Play Big Time Gaming’s White Rabbit, Extra Chilli Megaways and Book of Gods slots for free. You can also find it in Blueprint’s Vikings Unleashed Megaways, Buffalos Rising, Pragmatic Play’s Sweet Bonanza, Netent’s Dead or Alive II

Game progress

Just like in many video games, some slot have levels and progress bars. With this feature, by filling up your progress bar by hitting x number of a particular symbol. You’ll find a game progress feature in Castle Builder, and a treasure map progress feature in Red Tiger’s Pirate’s Plenty. Do be aware that most progress games are excluded from casino bonuses, though this isn’t an issue when you play free slots.

Synchronised reels

Usually reels spin independently from each other. With the Synchronised Reels feature two or more reels will spin in unison with the same symbols in the same place on the reels. Netent’s Twin Spin is a well known example. Or Spinomenal’s Story of Vikings.

Win both ways

Usually pay lines run left to right across the reels. However, some video slots have pay lines that run right to left AND left to right. If you’ve ever been frustrated when you hit wild symbols on the far right side you’ll know how frustrating it is! With win both ways you get another chance to make a matching combination. Starburst, The Hive, Tiger Rush are good examples of win both ways pay lines.

Stacked wilds

Stacked wilds give you more chances to win by completing multiple pay lines. You’ll be especially happy to see stacked wilds occurring on reels 1 and 2. You may find stacked wilds on reels 4 and 5 are a bit of a waste. Rival’s Diamond Rhino Stacked Wilds also give you a x2 multiplier.

Expanding Reels

The expanding reels feature is when the base game grid expands to reveal a bigger game play area. Your game grid might go from a 5×4 to a 5×8 grid when you hit the bonus feature. It could be randomly triggered in the game too. Sometimes the hidden reels offer more multipliers or special symbols not found in the base game grid. 

Best Slots Casinos


We probably don’t need to explain this one to you! Many slots have a jackpot feature. This could be in the form of a massive progressive jackpot that builds up with every spin – such as Aztec’s Millions, Jackpot Piñatas, Mega Moolah, Megasaur, Hall of Gods. You might also find a daily jackpot that must drop each day by a certain time. Often found on Red Tiger Gaming slots, players must hit 3 jackpot symbols to trigger the jackpot wheel.  

Mystery symbols

Mystery Symbols land on the reels and then change themselves (mysteriously) into one of the other symbols. Naturally this will drive you crazy if it’s not the symbol you need. But if you get lucky the mystery symbols can complete a winning line for you. Check out mystery symbols in Dragon Horn.  

Colossal Reels - Free Slot feature

Colossal reels

You’ve probably seen colossal reels on the casino floor. First created by WMS you’ll find colossal reels on Giant’s Gold, Lunaris, Spartacus Gladiator of Rome and many more. You’ll find a regular 5×4 reel slot and next to it a colossal 5×12 reel. Having this extra big reel gives you more ways to win! Often a colossal reel has 100 pay lines or more.

Transferring Wilds

Transferring wilds land on the reel and then change other symbols on the reels into wilds as well. They then work as normal wilds, standing in for the symbol that would give you a winning combination. Have a look at Fire Queen and other WMS slots to find some transferring wilds.

Expanding Wilds

Expanding Wilds

Always nice to see a wild symbol expand to cover the whole reel! When this happens, all the symbols in the reel are turned into wilds. There may be different rules to how the expanding wild functions in your chosen game, for example maybe the whole symbol needs to land on the reels in order to trigger the wild to expand, maybe it does it at random. In any case, most often when the wild expands you’ll find yourself with more winning paylines. Or you may get a respin, for example in Netent’s Berry Burst Max when a wild lands on the reels, not only does it expand, but sticks on the reels for another spin for even more chances to win.

Bonus Wheel

Bonus Wheel

The bonus wheel is a very nice feature if you are lucky enough to trigger it. It can take a while to hit it, so it’s a great idea to play free slots first to find out what winning possibilities are on the wheel! Spinning the bonus wheel will often reward you with multiplier wins, free spins or progression to the next round (usually with bigger wins on offer or maybe even a chance to win a jackpot). One example of the bonus wheel can be found in Wild Ape slot game by isoftbet. Strike 3 bonus symbols on the reels trigger the bonus wheel, featuring the chance to spin the wheel and win up to 20 free spins and 40 wild symbols.

There’s loads more to discover!

This list is not exhaustive and I’ll be adding to it all the time! So check back here for updates. Hopefully now you have a good idea of the kinds of features you can expect to find when you play free slots. Pick a few free demo slots to play from our awesome selection above and find out for yourself what kind you like best! Once you’re ready to play online casino for real we’ll help you find a safe and secure site.

Free Slots FAQs

Why play free slots?

Playing free slots is a great way to try out a game without spending any of your own money. Whilst you might not get the same thrill as you would when you play for real, you get a super advantage that your bank roll is limitless so you can play hundreds of spins, risk free, to get a real feel of how a game works. You’ll get a good understanding if the game matches your preferred playing style – for example lots of frequent, smaller wins or lots of randomly triggered bonus features long stretches of no action but huge rewards in the free spins rounds. Playing for free is a great way to find out what types of games you like and to try out the latest offering from a software provider before spending real money on it.

Are free slots really free?

Yes! You do not have to deposit a cent in order to play free slots.  Don’t get confused between free slots and social casinos though. Social casinos offer free play slots with the option to buy more coins to continue to play. Free play slots or games in demo mode are 100% free, you don’t need to sign up or download the games, though you might need a flash player to play some providers’ games. 

Can I play free slots in a casino?

If you want to play the demo or free play version of a game in an online casino, usually this option is available before you login to your account.  I’ve never seen the option to play for free in a real, land based casino, but often the pokies on the casino or pub floor will show a demo video showcasing the types of features and wins available in the game. But remember, they really want you to find out the game features for yourself by playing for real money!

Which casino games can I play for free?

At CasinosJungle we’ve selected some of the most popular games to play for free. We are a fresh, new website, so we still have a lot of games to include! You’ll find new games are being added every week! We especially want to bring you the latest games to try out for free. Keep checking back for more games to play and we’re always open to suggestions if there’s a game or provider we don’t yet feature, get in touch and let us know what you’d like to play!