CASCADING REELS IN CASINO SLOTS

There was a time when slot lovers only needed to spin, wait for the paylines to line up and hope for the symbols to match. These days, online slots are more exciting, all thanks to the cascading reels feature. Want to know more about it? Read on!

What is a cascading reel?


These are reminiscent of the classic video game, Tetris where bricks stacked to create various winning combinations.

Cascading reels are also popularly referred to as falling reels, avalanche reels, and tumbling reels depending on the game developer. They vary greatly from traditional slots since they allow the symbols to free fall on the reels, unlike the traditional ones that merely have the reels spinning.

The free fall reels are heavily favored by slot aficionados as this feature brings more excitement to the game, allowing players consecutive wins on a single bet. It also helps that such slots are visually more appealing than the traditional slots due to the explosion and popping out of symbols. There is definitely more room for creative animations and 3D graphics with a cascading reel, much to the delight of players.

How does a cascading reel work?


As its name implies, the symbols cascade to the screen on the reels. Players can expect symbols to either explode or disappear if they have formed a winning combination. These will then be replaced by new ones while the players are being rewarded for the win.

Naturally, the replacement symbols give players more chances of winning as they can also gain from the new symbols. It is not unusual to have consecutive wins from the new symbols, thus allowing players to win several times for the price of one spin.

Players can also get lucky by getting a prize multiplier with their successive wins. There are also bonus rounds or free spins that can be triggered with many falling reel games available.

The different variants of cascading reels


These slots became a quick hit among slots players, prompting game developers to adapt the feature and christen them with different names.

Players, however, should not be confused despite the varied names and slight differences in features as these falling reels almost have the same principle regardless of the game developers.

Below are the different types:

Avalanche Reels

NetEnt and Cryptologic both have their adopted versions of the cascading reel, which they named Avalanche Reels.

Cryptologic tends to use the avalanche reel to trigger a bonus game when a player lands three or more bonus scatters. On the other hand, NetEnt usually offers the avalanche reels as a trigger for free spins. For example, players who land four or more successive avalanches will unlock 10 free spins.

Cascading Reels

This one is the original and the highly popular variant of the concept feature. Developed by WMS, a cascading reel, as its name suggests has symbols falling down on the screen to create a winning combination. The winning symbols then disappear and are replaced by new ones to create succeeding winning combos.

Game developer, Barcrest should also be credited for starting the Cascade Reels. Under this feature, multiplier ranges anywhere from 1x to 10x for every winning combination formed.

Collapsing Reels

Playtech has its own version named Collapsing reels, which is often used both in the base game and the bonus round.

For example, in Playtech’s 5-reel slot, Hot Gems, the symbols fall on the reel and the winning ones disappear with new ones replacing them. Triggering the free spins round will yield the player with 15 free games with an attached collapsing reels multiplier.

Rolling Reels

Rolling Reels is a game feature developed by Microgaming. It made its first appearance in the ice-hockey themed slots game, ‘Break Away.’

Rolling reels are often featured in many of Microgaming video online slots. For example, ‘Break Away’ has the prize multiplier trail in its bonus game, which works as a progressive multiplier. This means a player gets to multiply his wins by either 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 10x, thus increasing his prize for successive wins.

Tumbling Reels

Both BetSoft and IGT started the Tumbling Reels feature in slots games.

There is a big difference in how the two developers use the tumbling reels feature. BetSoft provides a multiplier after each winning spin while IGT does not offer the multiplier.

Top cascading slot machines you must try


Bonanza cascading slot machine
Bonanza is one of the exciting slots with cascading reels from Big Time Gaming, thanks to its five reels and 117649 pay lines. This fast-paced, mining-inspired slots game is packed with features such as free spins, and multipliers. Watch out for the free spins multiplier as players get to collect one every time a winning combination is formed.
Ways to Win: 117649
Max Coin Win: 120,000
Reel Layout: 7x7x7x7x7x7
Bonus buy: No
​​Features: Free Spins, Multipliers, Mystery Symbols, and Wilds
Extra Chili cascading slot machine
Extra Chili is one of Big Time Gaming’s slots games that use its Megaways gaming engine where every spin yields a different number of winning pay lines. It flexible reels that can display two to seven symbols per column. This six-reel slots game provides unlimited chances for winning, thanks to the endless multipliers. Players also have the option to gamble their free spins.
Ways to Win: 117649
Max Coin Win: 1,000,000
Reel Layout: 7x8x8x8x8x7 (6 reels)
Bonus buy: Yes
​​Features:Multipliers, Multiplier Free Spins, and Respins
Gonzo’s Quest cascading slot machine
Gonzo’s Quest is NetEnt’s flagship game featuring the Virtual Reality format and the Avalanche reel. Joining Gonzo in his quest to find the city filled with gold, El Dorado, is an exciting journey with the amazing 3D animations, graphics, and jam-packed features including free spins, multipliers, wilds and NetEnt’s avalanche reel.
Ways to Win: 20
Max Coin Win: 187500
Reel Layout: 5×3
Bonus buy: No​
​​Features: Avalanche reels, Multipliers, Free Spins, and wilds
Vikings Unleashed cascading slot machine
Vikings Unleashed of BluePrint Gaming is a six-reeled slots game, boasting of cascading reels, jam-packed features, and great soundtrack and graphics. The treasure hunt with the Vikings is made more exciting with free spins, mystery symbols, unlimited win multipliers, and a bonus buy feature.
Ways to Win: 117649
Max Coin Win: 500,000
Reel Layout: 7x8x8x8x8x7
Bonus buy: Yes
​​Features:Mystery symbols, Free Spins, Multipliers, and Re-Triggers
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Chayanika. D
Chayanika. D

Head of Content

The wordsmith of the group, Chaya is busy enjoying her newfound passion for online casino games. When she’s happy, she would bet the ranch to plan and create killer casino content – the ones that urge you to play. If things don’t go the way she wants them to, she would constantly act like the world is about to end. Except Vegas. That’s where she plans to be.

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