A major innovation occurs in the slots world once every few years. Cascading reels, cluster pays, and Megaways include some revolutionary features that have taken the gaming world by storm.
Megaways are currently the most-popular innovation. Many developers are licensing this engine from Big Time Gaming and applying it to their own slots.
Infinity reels could be on their way to becoming the next Megaways. You can read more about infinity reels below along with why they might eventually become gaming’s next big thing.
What Are Infinity Reels?
For the longest time, slots reels didn’t grow or expand in any way. A five-reel, 25-line slot, for example, didn’t suddenly grow to offer 100,000 lines.
However, the gaming industry has experienced plenty of innovations over the past decade or so. Megaways and cluster pays include two of the most-important developments in this span.
A Megaways game sees each reel hold a random number of symbols. For example, every reel might be capable of holding 2-7 symbols.
At maximum capacity, such a game would offer 117,649 ways to win. You arrive at this massive number of winning possibilities by multiplying the symbols in each reel (7x7x7x7x7x7).
Cluster-pays games usually take place on a large grid. For example, such a slot might offer six reels and six rows (6×6 grid).
Some of these games also include a mechanism that causes the grid’s size to increase. For instance, the grid might grow from 6×6 to 6×10 after so many consecutive wins.
Infinity reels represent the next step in this evolution. Rather than seeing the grid grow vertically, they add more reels moving right.
ReelPlay’s El Dorado Infinity Reels, for example, adds one reel to the right under the following circumstances:
- You get a win cluster of 5+ matching symbols.
- Or, you extend a current winning cluster.
- In both cases, at least one matching symbol must appear in the rightmost reel.
This feature derives its name from the fact that you can theoretically unlock unlimited reels. Reels continue adding to the grid until your current winning streak stops.
What’s Great About Infinity Reels?
Infinity reels have already proven popular for a few reasons. You can see the main perks to these games below.
Unique & Interesting Format
A growing slots grid is nothing new to gaming. Megaways and cluster pays have already introduced the expansion concept.
However, infinity reels present this idea in a different way. You continue adding extra reels by forming/extending winning combinations.
These games keep pushing the screen to the right during a lengthy win. More reels add to the right as your winning cluster continues growing.
Unlimited Amount of Reels
The odds are against you scoring a seemingly infinite amount of reels. However, the possibility at least exists to some extent.
ReelPlay and NetEnt (maker of “Infinireels” slots) don’t cap the amount of available reels in these games. Instead, they theoretically give you the chance to add countless reels.
Of course, you must get lucky to add any more than 10 reels in a single round. But you can always dream about doing so and winning big.
You don’t solely need to rely on extra reels to collect massive payouts. Instead, you can also look forward to bonuses that increase the win potential too.
El Dorado features a win multiplier during its bonus rounds that doesn’t reset in between spins. This multiplier gives you the ability to greatly increase payouts.
NetEnt’s Gods of Gold Infinireels offers guaranteed wins during free spins. These guaranteed wins get you started off on the right track towards extending the reels.
Huge Potential Prizes
Both El Dorado and Gods of Gold offer the potential for huge payouts. The former gives you a chance to win up to 6,250x your stake. Assuming you’re betting $10, for example, you could collect up to a $62,500 prize.
Again, the odds of you winning the biggest payouts aren’t great. However, you have to love the fact that a massive prize could be just around the corner.
What Sucks About Infinity Reels?
These slots are certainly inventive and offer a breath of fresh air to gamblers. As you’ll see below, though, they’re not totally perfect.
Small Starting Grid
The limitless potential to extend the grid isn’t without drawbacks. Every round begins with a really small grid.
Gods of Gold starts you off with a 3×4 setup. El Dorado sees you begin with an even tinier 3×3 grid.
These grids are more akin to what classic slots offer. You only get to enjoy the larger grids as your winning combination(s) build.
The majority of the time, though, you won’t land these big combos. So, you’ll be dealing with a 3×3 or 3×4 grid (based on the game) on many spins.
Volatility can be both good and bad. Highly volatile slots deliver large prizes and plenty of features.
However, these games also keep you guessing on when your next win is coming. You may grow frustrated when losing spin after spin—all while waiting forever on the big payout.
You can expect lots of volatility with infinity reels games. The drawback to having the chance at so many reels is that you’ll also suffer plenty of losses too.
Regarding the latter, you don’t need to worry about any funky setups with payline slots. You merely have to land matching symbols in active lines.
Infinity reels, on the other hand, include different variables for how the grid grows. You not only need matching clusters to extend reels, but also one matching symbol in the rightmost reel.
Eventually, you shouldn’t have any trouble understanding infinity reels. But this engine is fairly confusing in the beginning.
Is This Innovation Bound to Explode?
Overall, I believe that there’s more to like than dislike regarding infinity reels. This mechanism brings something revolutionary to slots and offers differences when compared to Megaways.
Assuming you’ve ever felt constricted in the confines of a payline slot, you’ll love what infinity games bring to the table. They don’t limit you to five, six, or even seven reels.
You could potentially rip off 30+ reels during a really good round. Such a streak will no doubt result in a nice payout.
Speaking of which, these slots also offer the potential to win big. The existing infinity reels games boast maximum payouts worth 6,250x and 25,000x.
These prizes may not equal multimillion-dollar progressive jackpots. But they give you the chance to win five or six figures on a single spin with a large bet size included.
More importantly, you’ll enjoy lots of action on every spin. Each round brings the potential for numerous reels, win multipliers, free spins, and other features.
Of course, you can’t overlook the downsides to infinity slots. These games feature high volatility, small starting grids, and confusing rules.
Nothing guarantees that you’ll like infinity reels when considering these drawbacks. In fact, the downsides could completely turn you off.
Again, though, I see more to like about these games than anything. Therefore, I definitely see infinity reels becoming a groundbreaking feature.
ReelPlay introduced infinity reels in early 2020 through El Dorado. NetEnt followed up shortly thereafter with Gods of Gold Infinireels.
That said, this concept hasn’t existed for a great deal of time. But it has become popular in its brief existence.
Many players have rushed to try this engine. More infinity reels slots could bring an even higher demand for this mechanism.
Of course, the jury is still out on exactly how successful infinity reels will be. But I definitely foresee them growing in the real money online slots world over the next few years.