Cluster Pays Slots
Introduction to Cluster Pays
Cluster Pays slots: Do you like them? Have you played them?
Love them or hate them , the online casino industry has seen a big increase in the popularity of slot games that are powered by the cluster pays mechanic.
Cluster Pays, also known as Cluster Wins, is a slots feature that differs from traditional pay-lines and Ways to Win games, allowing you to trigger a win by landing a cluster of symbols instead of lining them up in a specific pattern. I guess you could all say that it kicked off with Candy Crush. if that wasn’t the first game to use the mechanic, it was certainly the earliest one that went viral.
This article will discuss how cluster pays slots work, the pros and cons of playing them, and provide examples of popular cluster pays slots.
How Cluster Pays Slots Work
Cluster Pays slots do not have traditional pay-lines like traditional games such as Tomb Raider. Instead, you need to land a cluster of symbols next to each other to set off a win. The number of symbols required to build a cluster depends on the game and can range from four to 25 symbols.
Winning clusters disappear from the reels, and new symbols drop into the empty spaces, so you get another shot at creating a win in one paid turn. That mechanic is known as cascading reels, avalanche, or tumbling reels, and you’ll see that on pay-line games.
This possibility of creating multiple winning combinations in a single spin is one of the reasons that Cluster Pays is so popular. It is more efficient at releasing that dopamine in your brain I guess. You can form extra winning clusters and the cycle continues until there are no more winning combinations. Often, a multiplier is applied that may even nudge up on successive wins, so your winning streak is amplified.
Pros and Cons of Cluster Pays
✅ More action – an exciting gameplay experience.
✅ Win multiple times in a single spin.
✅ Typically these games have higher than average hit frequencies.
❌ Payouts tend to be lower on small to medium sized wins (to keep the action high).
❌ The pay-out rules can be complex, less clear payout structure.
Examples of Cluster Pays Slots
Probably the most popular, and one of the earliest Cluster pays slots is NetEnt’s Aloha! Cluster Pays. This game is set on a tropical island and features a six reel and five row reel layout. You must land a cluster of nine or more symbols to trigger a win, and there is a Sticky Win Re-Spins feature that can lead to decent runs.
Another popular Cluster Pays game is the Sweet Bonanza slot which has obviously been inspired (let’s be generous) by Candy Crush. Well, it was a good strategy by Pragmatic Play, because this 6 row, 5 reel game is probably the most played Cluster Pays slot out there.
The big news on Sweet Bonanza the free spins feature: those tasty Sugar Bomb symbols can give your wins a 100x your stake sugar rush. The top theoretical pay-out is 21,000x your stake. The base game is pretty staid though.
Rise of Olympus is a popular Cluster Pays game from Play ‘n GO. This game is similar to Moon Princess (well, a bit more manly). If you like that game, chance are that you’ll enjoy this Ancient Greek one too. This plays out on a 5×5 grid and sports 2 bonus features, so there is plenty of action going on.
Other Cluster Pays Slots
Cluster Pays slots offer a different experience to traditional pay-line slots where you trigger wins by landing clusters of symbols next to each other. The Avalanche Reels feature can result in successive wins in a single spin.
While Cluster Pays slots may be more difficult to understand the pay-out structure, they offer higher hit frequencies and more action on average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they pay out more, that will depend on the game (check the RTPs).
Popular examples of cluster pays slots include Aloha! Cluster Pays by NetEnt and Jammin’ Jars by Push Gaming.