What are Cascading Reels?

For many, many years we were stuck with mechanical slot machines and static paylines. 3-reel slots with 1, 2 or 3 paylines. 5-reel slots that added diagonal paylines to ramp up the win opportunities to 5 paylines.

Technology stepped in and we saw software begin to give us slots fans even more chances to line up those tricksy little symbols. Straight lines and diagonals were bolstered by symmetrical shapes and interesting patterns and we were able to count on up to 25 paylines as we waited for that winning ring.

And then everything changed.

In 2010, NetEnt debuted a game that is still one of the world’s most popular today: Gonzo’s Quest. This little story of a conquistador on the search for a city of gold revolutionised slots, especially in the online world. It changed how the game was played and how the player won.

How? With a simple mechanic that was, at the time, called an Avalanche feature. You can still find players referring to Avalanche Reels or Collapsing Reels or Rolling Reels but we mostly know this innovation as Cascading Reels.

What are Cascading Reels?

In the usual slots format, you will be faced with 3 to 7 reels, each with 3 to 7 symbols. You hit the spin button, the reels go into action, they stop, you calculate your win based on the paylines.

You start a new game by hitting the spin button again.

Cascading Reels add so much more to the slots game by giving you extra opportunities to win.

Once the reels come to a stop, all the symbols that line up according the paylines disappear and leave gaps in the reels. New symbols then fall from the top of the screen to take up the gaps. If these symbols line up, then they too disappear to reveal gaps which are filled up from the top by new symbols.

Each time your symbols match you win according to the pay table.

Only once there are no symbols matching up do have to hit that spin button again.

It’s like Tetris, the game with the blocks that fall down the screen You line up the blocks so that they create a solid unbroken block which then disappears. Same with Cascading Reels.

what are cascading reels

Why are Cascading Reels so exciting?

Two reasons: big wins and extended gameplay.

If you hit one payline and are done it’s cool and fun, but if you happen to hot multiple cascading sequences and see those wins start adding up – it’s pretty amazing!

Your wins are so much bigger and better, especially if there are multipliers involved, and just watching those symbols pop off screen and trying to anticipate what symbols you need to keep the sequence going is thrills on a whole new level.

Sometimes it looks like your symbols and sequences are flowing as fast as water cascading over a cliff.

Which online casinos offer Cascading Reels slots games?

Any online or mobile casino that claims it has top quality slots games will have a huge selection of Cascading Reels slots. Since the first appearance of Cascading Reels in Gonzo’s Quest (which is still available to play and still hugely popular) other game providers have released their own versions of Cascading Reels slots games.

Net-Ent were the pioneers but Microgaming, IGT, Playtech, Play’n GO and all the other developers have certainly not sat back and Cascading Reels have become some of the top played online and mobile slots games in the world.

The CasinoPlay crew have our favourite trusted online casinos and we highly recommend you check them out (read our reviews here) and see just what Cascading Reels are on offer.

Our top online and mobile casinos for Cascading Reels slots:

  • Jackpot.co.za
  • PlayLive Casino
  • Casino.om
  • Fun Casino
  • Europa Casino

Are Cascading Reels the pinnacle of slots games?

No way! Absolutely not! Why not? Because game providers are clever folks that are always looking to go bigger and better. With technology what it is today, and the massive advances being made in the video game industry when it comes to sound and graphics, slots games are just going to get even crazier – and more thrilling.

While Cascading Reels certainly changed the face of slots, there is an even bigger innovation that makes Cascading Reels even more insane!

And it’s called Megaways™.

Big Time Gaming took the Cascading Reels concept and added it to their Megaways™ games, created an entirely new way of looking at paylines and introduced gamblers to the slots games that give you up to 117,695 ways to win. There are even a Megaways™ slot (White Rabbit) that gives you up to 248,832 ways to win and another (Holy Diver) that gives you up to 586,971 ways to win if you unlock the bonus game.

Rather than lining up symbols according to a rigid payline (as is the case in traditional slots) with Megaways™ you need to land identical symbols on adjacent reels from left to right. Bring in the random reel modifier which changes the number of symbols on each reel from 1 to 7 on each spin, add a touch of Cascading Reels spice and you’ve got a slots experience that will blow your mind!

What are the best Cascading Reels slots?

Gonzo’s Quest – NetEnt

The original and still one the best. There have been a few upgrades to the game over the years, but it is the perfect illustration for what a great innovation Cascading Reels was.

Gonzo’s Quest Megaways™ – Red Tiger Gaming

One of those upgrades was to add in the Megaways™ format to the classic game and create an incredible experience that just adds to Gonzo’s legend.

White Rabbit Megaways™ – Big Time Gaming

Big Time Gaming has licensed the Megaways™ gameplay to all the big developers like Red Tiger, NetEnt and more to help create some of the best slots games on the market. But this incredible online slots game by the original developers is still one of our absolute favourites.

Reactoonz 2 – Play’n GO

Quirky, weird, fun, awesome graphics, great music – and Cascading Reels. What’s not to love in this 7×7 slot from Play’n GO. It’s like Monsters Inc. meets Candy Crush meets Tetris with a little jaunty soundtrack thrown in.

Vikings Unleashed Megaways™ – Blueprint Gaming

What would a slots list be without a few Vikings thrown in? Blueprint Gaming have put their Vikings into a Megaways™ with Cascading Reels, impressive graphics and s stirring Nordic soundtrack to bring us the legendary raiders and warriors with some thrilling bonus gameplay. Another favourite here at CasinoPlay.


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