What Are Free Spin Bonuses in Online Slots?

The era of video slots has seen a lot of new elements introduced to slot machines, including bonus features. These features give players more to look forward to aside from the ordinary wins in gameplay and boost the collected payouts. One of the most popularly awarded bonuses is free spins. 

In slot lingo, one round is referred to as a spin. Hence, a free spin essentially means a round that is of no cost to the gambler. These boons are also commonly referred to as bonus spins and free games. Free spins often rank as a standard feature that most software developers include in their slot machines. 

How They Work

Free spins are activated in different ways depending on the slot machine. The most common way is by landing three scatters anywhere on the grid or adjacent to each other. In other cases, an event leads to triggering the bonus, such as filling a section of the playtable with stacked symbols, using a wild icon to complete a combination, or filling a bonus meter. 

The awarded spins can be a fixed amount or vary depending on the number of bonus symbols used to activate them. In some instances, a random number of rounds is included in the package which can be given as a picking feature or bonus wheel.

Usually, free spins are played with the same bet value as the triggering round, and the stake cannot be adjusted as they are played. Also, they commence as soon as they are landed without the option of being stacked for later use. Free spins are among slot features that can carry other bonuses, and they include:

  • Expanding symbols
  • Multipliers
  • Special wilds
  • Extra characters
  • Mini-rounds
  • Additional reels

Depending on the pokie, free spins can be retriggered if similar events that lead to their activation take place. Some slots place a maximum limit on the number of spins that can be awarded while in others, there’s an endless number of them.

Popular Slots with Free Spins

Free spins are included in nearly every slot machine as a standard bonus. In some games, the bonus feature is made more memorable than in others. Some of the pokies having remarkable free spin bonuses include: 

  • Book of Dead: The Book of Dead online slot is a Play’n GO remake of Novomatic’s Book of Ra. The slot machine, launched in 2014, has kicked off the famous “Book of” slot series. Book of Dead is played on five reels and ten paylines that explore ancient Egyptian artefacts. Free spins are the highlighted bonus in this slot machine, and they activate when three books appear anywhere. These characters pay a triggering payout of between 2 and 200 coins while awarding ten free spins. Before the bonus spins start playing, one icon is chosen out of the paytable to become an expanding symbol. When the characters appear in a combination, they expand to cover the entire reel. Despite being a unique item, the expanding symbol can be replaced by the wild if it is part of a payout combination.


  • Gonzo’s Quest Megaways: Gonzo’s Quest Megaways is one of several slot revisions released in 2020 that give players a new way to enjoy legendary slots of the past. Red Tiger Gaming created this pokie, and it features the same adventurous theme as the original by NetEnt. The six-reel game has some upgrades to the bonus features, including the free spins, which are referred to as Free Falls. The Free Falls bonus is activated when three scatters or two scatters and a wild appear. The bonus grants nine free spins of the same value as the triggering round. Any appearance of a scatter as they play awards three additional spins. The boon includes avalanche multipliers that grow with each cascade win. The boon starts at 3x and can grow up to 15x.


  • Wolf Gold: Wolf Gold slot game is among Pragmatic Play’s most famous slots. The game strikes players with a well-presented native American theme and diverse winnings. Free spins are among the ways the pokie rewards lucky gamblers on its five reels and 25 bet lines. Three rock cliff scatters on the first, third, and fifth reels activate five free spins. In the bonus, the second through fourth columns spin together to reveal a colossal symbol. The rounds can be retriggered by three more scatters with no limits.


  • Ice Joker: Ice Joker Slot is the icy opposite of the fiery Fire Joker pokie by Play’n GO. The classic theme is presented in a modern setting of five reels. The female ice joker takes centre stage with a seductive stance on the second through fourth reels as the wild character. The game includes free spins as well that are triggered in a unique format. When three snowflake scatters appear, the game redirects to a second screen with a bonus wheel. The feature provides between two and seven ice jokers at the beginning of the bonus. These wilds are placed in reserve for rounds that do not land a natural wild. When placed on the grid, they activate the Frozen Free Spins with three rounds. The wild remains sticky on the grid and expands with each free spin. 


  • Reel Rush 2: Reel Rush 2 is a sequel to Reel Rush Slot by NetEnt, and it features the bright and fruity theme of the first set. Reel Rush 2 is full of surprises for gamblers including symbol multipliers, random wilds, block breakers, and symbol upgrades. The free spins in the pokie activate when the Free Spin Meter to the side of the grid collects all the stars. Each star is awarded for the elimination of two blocks. The bonus begins with eight free spins and can upgrade to Super Free Spins if the gambler collects or purchases 2000 Super Tokens. In the Super Free Spins, the game adds a progressive multiplier meter of up to five times.

Final Remarks

Slot machines continue to explore free spins in an array of innovative ways that keep the bonus as entertaining as it is rewarding. This incentive is available to land in both free and real money slots.