Slot providers will do whatever it takes to bring you quality video slots with unique base and bonus game features aimed at amplifying your winnings. Loading the reels with Split Symbols is one such way of doing so.
Split Symbols in Slots Feature
The big dogs of the industry, IGT Interactive, Playtech and Microgaming are the software providers who most frequently make use of this lucrative special icon, known as the Split Symbol, in an array of their real money slots. The essence of this feature is that it creates winning combinations of more than your standard five symbols on their corresponding reels on a single pay-line without increasing the number of reels. Normally, this is a feature apparent in five-reel slots, so how, you may ask, can you get more than five icons on a single pay-line?
The answer is simple, if you land five matching symbols on a win-line and one is a Split Symbol, you’ll be awarded the six of a kind symbol payout instead of the regular five-icon prize. Other games can have more than one of these double symbols present on an activated pay-line which can give up to ten of a kind wins! These special symbols can take the form of Wilds, Scatters (in the case of Scatters, you can trigger the bonus round more easily) or regular icons.
Games Featuring Split Symbols
The three prominent providers I have mentioned all have their own take on the Split Symbol feature and how it functions. It’s ideal to check out the slot’s paytable before you begin spinning. This will give you all the information you need on how the feature is utilised within the game.
Playtech pioneered the Split Symbol trend with their Blade slot, however, its use is pretty basic. The Dragon Kingdom slot, on the other hand, makes use of the feature in a more exciting way. It is a 5×3 video slot with 20 pay-lines which makes use of a Split Symbol in the form of a flaming red dragon’s egg that can only appear in any position on reel five. The presence of the dragon’s egg in any winning combination will cause the last symbol on the line to split into two and will count as two identical symbols. With this feature in place, winning combinations of six of a kind are ever more possible. All symbols apart from the Scatter can be split. During the free games round, however, the Scatter can only double when substituting as an extra Wild. If you take a look at the game’s paytable, you can see the massive payouts for landing six of a kind of each symbol.
Shadow of the Panther by High 5 Games, in collaboration with IGT, is a mysterious 5×3 online slot with 30 pay-lines which makes plenty of use of the Split Symbol function. The game’s golden panther Scatter comes in two forms, a single icon and a double which counts as two. Five or more Scatters triggers the free games bonus which will be easier to activate thanks to the double Scatter. The Wild also counts as two symbols when it substitutes the tiger or the panther to form winning combinations. The other symbols also appear as double icons, giving you the prospect of hitting ten of a kind on a single win-line.
Microgaming’s So Many Monsters slot is one of a series of three video slots featuring Split Symbols. It is a 5×3 25-fixed pay-line game with a Many More Monsters feature, wherein the high symbols can split up to five times to create many more winning combinations which can award up to a monstrous 25 symbol wins! What’s great is that this very profitable feature can occur during the base game as well as during the free spins round. If you’re sold on the concept of Split Symbols, you can also have a look at how they work in the other games in the series, them being, So Much Candy and So Much Sushi, which as the slot titles denote, you’re guaranteed to find oodles of icons.
The most obvious benefit of this feature is that your winnings are significantly increased, especially if you hit that alluring ten of a kind jackpot. Albeit, there are some downsides. First of all, the kind of slots which exhibit this bonus function tend to be medium to high volatility. Secondly, it’s best for software providers not to rely solely on the feature as the games will come across as uninteresting. Furthermore, Split Symbols often cannot be replaced by Wilds, this means that when lots appear they cancel out the effect of a substituting Wild. The good news is that in most of the IGT slots featuring Split Symbols, the Wilds double all the wins they help to form.
Despite the negative criticism, at the end of the day, I believe the positive outweighs the negative. As you can see from the online video slots described above which headline the Split Symbol function, you know you’re in store for some exciting and sizable wins, especially when the feature is coupled with an added bonus like a free spins round! Therefore, it most definitely is a profitable feature.