Online Slots You’ll Want To Play This Summer–Barb’s Fantastic Five Picks

Updated on July 12, 2021
best online slots summer

Summer is all about relaxing, destressing, and having fun. So, whether you’re at home, at the beach, or traveling or waiting for an appointment with extra time on your hands, NJ online slots are a perfect choice.

Best online slots to play this summer

But out of the hundreds of slot games available to you at NJ online casinos, singling out which one to play is no easy task. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new and different, that’s fine. But picking any random slot on your own with little or no advance information can be hit or miss.

Instead, I’ve saved you the time and guesswork and picked out five fantastic slots that I think you’ll enjoy playing immensely.

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Five exciting high RTP online slots

Slot makers today are using the latest advances in online slot technology to produce some highly intricate games that just a few years ago could not have even been envisioned. Some of these new releases are outstanding, while others, in my opinion, fall short. When it comes to online slots, newer and fancier does not necessarily mean better. Many slot players prefer simpler games, and fortunately, plenty of those still exist.

Also, in summer particularly, choosing games that are not overly complicated makes a lot of sense. Other games to steer away from are those that get your adrenaline pumped way up by the sense of danger at every turn and/or whose high volatility makes you feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride.

Ditto for games with scary themes and characters. A rendezvous with ghosts or vampires definitely won’t be boring, but when your primary goal is to relax and decompress with some enjoyable me-time after a stressful day, you need to look elsewhere.

Which five best online slots made the cut and why?

So, which online slots would make better choices for most players this summer?  I recommend slots that keep your eyes glued to the screen, not by the intensity of the action or sights and sounds that jar the senses, but by visual displays that dazzle you with their beauty. Fruit slots and those with a nature theme, provided special features are also included so you won’t get bored after 10 minutes are also an excellent choice because they are reminiscent of summer.

Lastly, as always, a high return to player or RTP is a must. All five online slots highlighted in this article offer a published RTP above 96.0 percent. None of them have an added lure of possibly winning a progressive jackpot. But rather than recommending chasing a longshot, I wanted to choose games that are guaranteed to leave you with a happy feeling every time you play,

Starburst: One of the most popular online slots of all time

The first slot on my summer must-play list is Starburst. This oldie but goodie by the world-renowned online games manufacturer NetEnt has been around since 2012.

Yet as anyone who has had the pleasure of playing Starburst before already knows and anyone new to the game will soon find out, even though this is a relatively simple slot, it’s delightfully captivating. An online slot does not have to be over the top and have a lot of bells and whistles to be highly entertaining.

Starburst is the type of game that no matter how often you play, never grows old on you. Starburst continues to be one of the most popular slots of all time.

Starburst basics

Starburst is an online slot consisting of five reels, three rows, and 10 fixed paylines. But don’t let the small number of paylines deter you from giving this time-tested game a try. Not only is Starburst with its spectacular visuals far from boring. It is downright fun to play.

The setting for the game is a nighttime sky filled with dazzling gems of different colors. Like in most online slots, winning combinations can only be formed when three or more matching symbols line up in a row across a payline. However, what makes Starburst different from most online slots is that instead of limiting payouts to sequences that start with the farthest reel to the left, Starburst pays both ways.

In other words, winning combinations can also occur when the sequence of three or more matching symbols in a row starts with the reel furthest to the right.

Starburst doesn’t include any bonus rounds, nor does it offer a progressive jackpot. But even without these extra features, this reliable standby keeps you happily entertained.

Players who like frequent payouts and don’t mind that many of them are on the small side will especially appreciate what Starburst has to offer. Starburst is simultaneously as calming and relaxing as a summer breeze and as exhilarating and awe-inspiring as stargazing with a loved one beside you.

Starburst has an RTP of 96.10 percent and low volatility. This combination is ideal for low-stakes players whose primary goal is to conserve their bankroll rather than seek a big win.

Although the wide bet range includes a high enough maximum to appeal to high-end players, too, most high rollers would probably prefer a game with more paylines and special bonus features, greater variance, and higher top payouts.

Starburst bet range

The minimum bet per spin is only 10 cents, and the maximum is $200.

Since the number of paylines is fixed at 10, you don’t have the option to play with fewer than all of them. However, you can adjust your bet size within the allotted range by moving the bet level and/or coin size up or down between 1 and 10 and 1 cent and $2.00, respectively. The cost of each bet is the bet level x the coin size (line bet) x 10.

Starburst and all of the other slots featured in this article can also be played for free in demo mode.

Which NJ online casinos offer Starburst?

You can play Starburst online or on supported iOS and Android mobile devices at all of the following NJ online casinos:

Starburst symbols

Starburst doesn’t need a lot of symbols to bedazzle you, just seven regular symbols and a wild symbol.

Regular symbols

The most mesmerizing of the regular symbols are the different colored gems. Every time they form a winning combination, they explode right before your eyes. But surprisingly, they are not the game’s highest-paying1 symbols.

The highest paying regular symbol is actually the bar. Three, four, or five bars in either direction across a payline return 50 coins, 200 coins, or 250 coins x 2 respectively. The second highest paying regular symbol is the red 7. Three, four, or five of those across a payline return 25 coins, 60 coins, or 120 coins x 2, respectively.

The payout value of the gems depends on their color: yellow (highest), followed in descending order by green, orange, blue, and purple.

Five of a kind of any regular symbol pays double because you get the same winning combination in both directions.

Wild symbol

The wild symbol is a multicolored star. On its own, it has no payout value, but it can substitute for any of the seven regular symbols to help form new winning combinations or add to existing ones.

The wild symbol can only appear on reels 2, 3, and 4, but in addition to possibly giving you an immediate win, you’re awarded a re-spin with an expanded wild covering the entire reel! Then if any new wild symbols land on the re-spin, you can trigger up to two more re-spins.

If you’re really lucky, all three middle reels will turn completely wild, with an opportunity for a mega-size win!

The bottom line–What makes Starburst one of the top 5 online slots to play this summer?

I recommend this slot highly as much for the dazzling visual display as for its high rate of return. Because this is also a low-variance game, it’s ideal for players looking for great bang for their buck. On the other hand, if you’re hoping for more than a modest win, you probably have to bet big.

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Reach for the stars with Starmania

Starmania is the second online slot on my top-5 list for this summer. Starmania is a great choice for any online slot player who’s had a tough day and is looking for a temporary escape far, far away from the stressful grind of everyday life.

What can be further away than outer space? And that is exactly where this extraordinary game transports you. Besides the twinkling stars that light up the nighttime sky you see in the background, all of the regular symbols on the reels are stars.

Starmania basics

Starmania is a product of NextGen Gaming, a subsidiary of NYX Gaming that currently manufactures slot games for many markets worldwide. NextGen Gaming is a highly experienced company that has been in business since 1999.

Like Starburst, Starmania contains five reels, three rows, and 10 fixed paylines. It’s also a fairly simple game with only one bonus round and no progressive jackpot. The stars of the show are the brightly colored symbols that light up the screen with winners.

Another thing that Starmania and Starburst have in common is that like Starburst, Starmania pays both ways. In order to form a winning combination, three or more like symbols need to line up adjacently on consecutive reels across a payline, But they can do so either the traditional way from left to right starting with reel 1 or from right to left starting with reel 5.

Starmania betting options

If you’re not sure how much to bet or you want to try the game for free before risking real money, you can play Starmania in demo mode.

Otherwise, the minimum bet per spin is 20 cents, while the maximum bet is only $40. This makes Starmania best suited for low to medium stakes players rather than high rollers.

However, players who don’t mind risking a little more to try to win a little more can do so by clicking on the gamble feature whenever they so desire after any winning spin.

Simply guess either just the color (red or black) or the suit (club, spade, heart, or diamond) of the next playing card. If you guess the correct color, you will double the amount you just won. If you guess the correct suit, you quadruple it.

After that initial gamble feature win, you can either return to the regular game or press your luck and repeat the gamble feature up to five times.

But here’s the catch. If, at any point, you guess wrong, the gamble feature ends immediately and you forfeit your last win completely!

Outstanding RTP combined with low medium volatility

All of the games recommended in this article have an RTP of at least 96 percent. However, Starmania is in a class of its own in the top echelon of online slots with an RTP of 97.87 percent. Very few online slots even come close.

Along with its exceptionally high return to player, Starmania has low-medium volatility. This means even when you’re not having great luck, you probably won’t lose much because pronounced bankroll swings are highly unlikely. This is great news for small bettors who need to watch their bankroll carefully.

On the other hand, this game also comes loaded with special features that give you more ways to win (paying combinations in either direction and a potentially highly lucrative free spins bonus round with expanding wilds).

So, even though most of your wins will probably be small, the possibility exists for some huge wins, too. A single spin could end up paying you up to $18,400!

Which NJ online casinos offer Starmania?

You can play Starmania online or on supported iOS and Android mobile devices at all of the following NJ online casinos:

  • BetMGM
  • Borgata
  • Caesars
  • Golden Nugget
  • Hard Rock
  • Harrah’s
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Pala
  • Party
  • PlaySugarHouse
  • PokerStars
  • Resorts
  • Stardust (formerly Betfair)
  • Unibet

Starmania symbols

The nine symbols in this game include seven regular symbols, a wild symbol, and a scatter symbol.

Regular symbols

Many online slots have the game’s theme reflected only in the higher-paying regular symbols and use unrelated playing cards as the lower-paying symbols. However, in Starmania, all of the regular symbols are stars. There is not one distracting playing card insight.

The highest paying star symbols are the bejeweled red and yellow stars, Five of them across a payline will pay 500 coins each way.

Next, in descending order of payout value are the bejeweled purple stars, followed by the bejeweled green stars, and lastly, the plain purple, blue, or green stars.

As mentioned, paying combinations are formed whenever three, four, or five matching symbols land on consecutive reels on a payline either starting with reel 1 and going from left to right or starting with reel 5 and going from right to left. Therefore, if you’re lucky enough to have five matching symbols land, you get paid both ways.

Wild symbol

The wild symbol a big gold square bearing the word WILD. It can appear either singly or stacked on reels 2, 3, and 4 only.

The wild symbol can substitute for any other symbol except the scatter symbol to help form or add to winning combinations.

Bonus scatter symbol

The bonus scatter symbol with the word “BONUS” can appear anywhere on the reels on any spin. Frequently, one or two will show up, but that’s no better than having none show up. In order to trigger the bonus round, which is where you have the best chance to win big bucks, you need at least three bonus scatter symbols.

That might not happen for quite some time, but it’s worth the wait.

For starters, if the triggering spin is a winner, the bonus scatter symbol acts as a win multiplier.

Depending on how many of them land (3, 4, or 5), the payout on your line bet gets multiplied as follows:

  • Three scatter symbols:20x
  • Four scatter symbols:100x
  • Five scatter symbols:200x

In addition, regardless of whether or not the triggering spin itself is a winner, you automatically advance to the Free Spins bonus round, consisting of at least 10 free spins.

Starmania Free Spins bonus round

The free spins are your best shot at accumulating a huge win because on each successive spin, reels 2, 3, and 4 each get an extra wild symbol. Also, the scatter symbols are still in play, so if three or more land simultaneously again, the bonus feature can be retriggered one more time, and you get another 10 free spins with extra wilds.

That all adds up to 30 or maybe even 60 extra wilds, which should produce lots of stacked wilds and the potential for mega-size wins.

The bottom line–What makes Starmania one of the top 5 online slots to play this summer?

How could you not want to feast your eyes on a beautiful collection of stars lighting up the night in all their colorful glory? And more importantly, if you’re a slot player who cares about your bankroll and wants to maximize your chances of winning, how could you not jump at the chance to play a slot with a 97.87 percent RTP?

When I tried this game in demo mode, I won all three times I played. Play it for real money this summer and experience for yourself how much fun and how rewarding stargazing can be.

Play BerryBurst and savor the taste of summer with every spin

Summer is berry season in New Jersey, It’s the time of year when delicious, fresh fruit like blackberries, blueberries, plums, and raspberries are the cheapest, most plentiful, most nutritious, and best tasting.

Berries are also one of the foods you will want to incorporate into your summer diet often. Because the steamy weather and lazier, more leisurely style of living call for eating lighter, simple, healthy, colorful fresh fruit that requires little or no preparation should be at the top of your shopping list

Likewise, for summer slot play, simple, colorful online slots reminiscent of summer that is not only a joy to look at but give you great bang for your buck belong at the top of your list of favorite games. BerryBurst by NetEnt checks all the boxes.

BerryBurst basics

This game is one of many online video slots by NetEnt. Like most modern online slots, it has five reels, But instead of the traditional paylines, it uses a cluster pays mechanism.

Winning combinations are formed when five or more of the same symbol appear in a cluster in which each symbol is either vertically or horizontally adjacent to another like symbol. Only the highest paying combination of any given cluster is paid. Frequently, however, multiple clusters will show up on the reels simultaneously, in which case you are paid on all of them. The larger the cluster (up to 15 symbols), the more you will be paid.

Modeled after Starburst

In other respects, Berry Burst closely resembles Starburst, the online slot game that BerryBurst was patterned after. Like Starburst, Berryburst is a very colorful slot. In fact, the oversize fruit symbols in Berryburst are even bigger and brighter than the brilliant gems that light up the nighttime sky in Starburst.

Another similarity is that both slots are completely devoid of any potentially disturbing components like foreboding symbols, a macabre soundtrack, or overly complicated gameplay. Instead, you get to relax and unwind while feasting your eyes on the breathtakingly beautiful images on the screen.

BerryBurst is not, by any means, the type of slot you would choose when seeking a big adrenalin rush. Like the other slots recommended in this article, it is much more laid back, just as you would expect from a fruit slot.

But unlike some fruit slots that are overly repetitive and offer few, if any, extra features, so they quickly become boring, BerryBurst is far from boring. On the contrary, even though this game lacks the extra bells and whistles that some online slots offer like separate bonus rounds and games within games, you’ll hardly miss them. Every time you trigger the Expanding Wilds and Re-Spins feature, you’ll feel an extra jolt of excitement sensing that a big win could be right around the corner.

BerryBurst bet range

BerryBurst is a slot game with a wide enough bet range to accommodate virtually everyone from penny players to high rollers. The minimum bet per spin is just 10 cents, while the maximum is $200.

Adjusting the bet size to the level you want is quick and easy. Simply move the indicators for game level (1-10) and coin size (1 cent to 50 cents) up or down to find the bet size that suits you.

Or, if you prefer, you can play in demo mode first with no risk, before switching to real money.

By the way, many NJ online casinos also offer a high volatility variation of BerryBurst called BerryBurst Max with the same bet range but a top payout of $1 million vs. $600,000 in BerryBurst. High rollers might prefer BerryBurst Max to the original, but due to the high volatility, it is not recommended for small bettors.

BerryBurst RTP and volatility

BerryBurst has an exceptionally high RTP of 96.56 percent. It also has low-medium volatility, so in the course of your play, you should expect to be paid frequently. However, many of the payouts will be modest. What makes this game a great choice for small stakes players and those with modest bankrolls is not only the high RTP but also the likelihood, during those times when you’re not winning, your bankroll won’t dip appreciably.

BerryBurst Max has an RTP of 96.23 percent and high volatility, which make it primarily a high roller’s game.

Which NJ online casinos offer BerryBurst?

You can play Berryburst online or on supported iOS and Android mobile devices at all of the following NJ online casinos:

  • Bet 365
  • 888
  • Bet America
  • BetMGM
  • Borgata
  • Caesars
  • Golden Nugget
  • Hard Rock
  • Harrah’s
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Pala
  • PlaySugarHouse
  • PokerStars
  • Resorts
  • Scores
  • Tropicana
  • Unibet
  • Virgin

Berryburst symbols

BerryBurst contains just seven regular symbols and a wild symbol. There is no scatter symbol.

Regular symbols

Only the four higher-paying symbols are fruits. The remaining three symbols are playing card suits. These are the seven regular symbols, in descending order of payout value.

  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Limes
  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • Spades

The amount of the payout for any given symbol will depend on both the bet size and the size of the cluster. However, much more often than not, you will get clusters of only five symbols, which don’t pay much.

Therefore, in order to push you over the hump and possibly even give you a huge win, you will probably need more help than the regular symbols by themselves can give you. But another symbol can–the expanding wild symbol.

Expanding wild symbol

The wild symbol is an ice cube marked with the letter W. Much like you’ll be quenching your thirst all summer long with the ice cubes in your drinks, every time an ice cube appears on the reels, you’ll be quenching your thirst for additional winnings.

Do you recall the expanding wild symbol in Starburst described earlier? This is another way the two games are very similar. The wild symbol in BerryBurst is an expanding wild, too!

Anytime a wild symbol appears anywhere on the reels, it expands immediately to cover the whole reel. The wild symbol also substitutes for other symbols next to it to form a new winning cluster or add to existing ones.

But that’s not all. Any expanded wilds remain in place for a re-spin, which could give you more wins and more expanding wilds and re-spins.

That’s what makes big wins possible, In the best possible scenario, the wild symbol could show up on all five reels simultaneously, which would turn every reel into an expanded wild covering the entire reel! It’s highly unlikely but not impossible.

The bottom line–What makes BerryBurst one of the top 5 online slots to play this summer?

If you’re looking for an action-packed slot game that’s full of adventure and intrigue, you will have to look elsewhere. If you’re hoping for a myriad of special bonus features like free spins with multipliers and games within games like spinning the wheel to see what prize you win, that’s not why you play BerryBurst either. BerryBurst doesn’t offer those added extras, but instead, you get a superior game that not only gives you frequent payouts but is very easy on the budget.

But you will also love this game for another reason entirely. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen, where the colorful raspberries oranges, grapes, and limes look so delicious, you will wish they are real. If you don’t have any berries or other fresh fruit in the house, this slot will make you want to go to the market ASAP to buy some.

Or here’s an even better idea, Go to the kitchen, grab what you have on hand and enjoy it while you’re playing for a winning experience both on the screen and off the screen simultaneously.

Boost your bankroll with stacks of cash from Butterfly Staxx

This delightful slot with the unusual title of Butterfly Staxx is the next online slot I am suggesting for your summer enjoyment. After a long, frustrating day, you deserve a reprieve, and this is another game that can work wonders on your mood and morale.

But this time, the destination is a tropical paradise. Even if nothing were to happen, the symphony of colors is so captivating, you cannot help but be drawn in by the beauty and wonder of it all.

But you’re not dreaming, so don’t let the soothing soundtrack lull you to sleep, You don’t want to miss a single moment because it’s only a matter of time before multiple pink, blue, or purple flowers start dancing or stacks of butterflies fly across the screen, magically showering you with cash.

Butterfly Staxx basics

Butterfly Staxx is an online video slot from NetEnt consisting of five reels, four rows (rather than the more commonly seen three), and 40 fixed paylines.

It is a very calming game, so if your taste in online slots gravitates towards gameplay that is fast and exciting with a thrill a minute, this is not the right game for you. But when you simply want to relax and unwind after a particularly grueling day and possibly lock in some big winnings to boot, Butterfly Staxx is ideal.

Another big plus that Butterfly Staxx offers is that it is surprisingly friendly to your bankroll. If you want to bet big in this game and have the bankroll to do it, that option is certainly open to you. But if you’re a casual player with a limited bankroll, no problem. Whatever your preferred bet size might be, Butterfly Staxx is a slot game that you can feel comfortable playing.

Butterfly Staxx bet range

The 40 fixed paylines may seem like a lot, but for those of you who are small players, don’t let that deter you. Even though there’s no option to play this game with fewer paylines, you can choose any bet level you want from 1 to 10 and any coin size (line bet) you want from 1 cent to $2.00.

This will allow you to choose from a very wide range of bet sizes starting at just 20 cents per spin and going all the way up to $400 per spin if you’re a high roller.

Butterfly Staxx can also be played for free in demo mode.

However, some players might find the slow pace and low volatility of this game (described below) not to their liking. For them, Butterfly Staxx 2, the 2019 sequel to Butterfly Staxx, might be a better option.

Butterfly Staxx 2 is very similar to the original 2018 version and also quite laid back, but it comes with an even wider bet range, extra bonuses, and a bigger maximum win. The minimum bet per spin on Butterfly Staxx 2 is 25 cents, and the maximum is $1,250.

Exceptionally high RTP combined with low volatility

Butterfly Staxx has an RTP of 96.80 percent, which places this game in the top echelon of online slots as far as return to player is concerned. Only a handful of slot games available to NJ players even come close.

In addition, because Butterfly Staxx also has low volatility, you not only enjoy very frequent payouts but very little likelihood of worrisome negative swings when you’re not winning. The only negative is that many of the payouts will be small. But this game also comes with two very cool special features (described below) which can rectify that shortcoming in a heartbeat and send your bankroll soaring.

Butterfly Staxx 2 has an RTP of 96.35 percent and low-medium volatility.

Which NJ online casinos offer Butterfly Staxx?

You can play Butterfly Staxx online or on supported iOS and Android mobile devices at all of the following NJ online casinos:

  • Bet 365
  • 888
  • Bet America
  • BetMGM
  • Borgata
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • Golden Nugget
  • Hard Rock
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Ocean Online
  • Pala
  • Party
  • PlaySugarHouse
  • PokerStars
  • Resorts
  • Scores
  • Stardust (formerly Betfair)
  • Tropicana
  • Unibet
  • Virgin

Most of these casinos also offer Butterfly Staxx 2.

Butterfly Staxx symbols

Butterfly Staxx contains seven regular symbols and three special symbols.

Regular symbols

The pink, purple, and blue flowers are this game’s three highest valued regular symbols.  Each color flower has the same payouts: 10 coins x the bet level for three of a kind, 20 coins x the bet level for four of a kind, and 40 coins x the bet level for five of a kind.

The four remaining lower-paying regular symbols are the playing cards J, Q, K, and A, all of which are green. Their payout values for three, four, and five of a kind are exactly half of those for the flowers—5 coins x the bet level, 10 coins x the bet level, and 20 coins x the bet level, respectively.

Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner. Three or more matching symbols must line up on consecutive reels horizontally or diagonally starting with the reel farthest to the left. Whenever this happens in Butterfly Staxx, you will know immediately because the sleepy soundtrack temporarily becomes more upbeat and the symbols contributing to the win become animated.

Butterfly

The symbol with the highest payout value of all is the butterfly. Another difference between the butterfly and the seven aforementioned regular symbols is that you only need two butterflies to line up on adjacent reels starting with reel 1 to form a winning combination, not the customary three. Of course, two butterflies don’t pay much, but they are a winning combination nonetheless.

The payouts for two, three, four, and five butterflies in a row are 2 coins, 15 coins, 30 coins, and 50 coins, respectively.

In addition, and the reason why this game is called Butterfly Staxx, is that the butterflies can show up on the reels stacked as well as individually. While a short butterfly stack (two or three butterflies) is worthless, every time you get a full stack (one that covers all four visible positions on a reel), you activate the Re-Spins feature.

Wild symbol

Whenever the wild symbol appears, you will recognize it immediately because it has the word “Wild” on it. It can appear anywhere on the reels on any spin and can substitute for all symbols except the scatter symbol to help form or add to winning combinations.

Scatter symbol

The scatter symbol is a purple flower with the word “Scatter” on it. This symbol can only appear in the base game, where it can show up anywhere on the reels, If two of them land before the spin is completed, the music becomes louder and the anticipation builds while you wait to see if any more show up.

One or two scatter symbols won’t do you any good, However, three or more scatter symbols will trigger the potentially highly lucrative Butterfly Spins bonus feature.

Butterfly Staxx special features

I’ll admit that the slow pace of the main game might get to you, particularly when you can’t seem to get any big wins. But hang in there because Butterfly Staxx also comes with two special features–the Re-Spins feature and the Butterfly Spins bonus feature–that can send the win meter skyrocketing.

Re-Spins feature

Anytime a stack of butterflies covers all four positions on a reel, that triggers the Re-Spin feature. First, you get paid for any winning combination. Then, unless the butterfly stack is already on the reel, all of the stacked butterflies fly across the reels as far left as they can go to occupy a space not already taken by another butterfly. Any other butterflies positioned to the right of the full stack also fly across the reels and resettle next to one of the stacked butterflies.

Frequently, but not always, this activity immediately produces more winning combinations. All you need for that to happen is for two or more butterfly symbols to appear adjacently starting with reel 1.

But wait–win or lose, you get another chance in the form of a free re-spin. During the re-spin, all of the butterflies that have already landed stay in place. Then, if any new butterflies land, they fly across the reels in the same manner, and you get another re-spin. The wins and re-spins continue until no new butterflies land on the screen.

Butterfly Spins feature

This feature is harder to trigger than the Re-Spins, but with its potential for huge profit, it is worth the wait.

As mentioned, three or more scatter symbols need to land simultaneously on the same spin in the main game. The number of scatter symbols that show up–3, 4, or 5–determines how many free spins you get–5, 6, or 7, respectively.

During these free spins, the only symbols are cocoons. Those that don’t remain dormant turn into butterflies that immediately spread their wings and fly across the reels as far left on the same row as they can go to a space that another butterfly is not already occupying. Any winning combinations that occur are then included in your total win.

Then, just like in the Re-Spins feature, all of the butterflies remain in place in their new positions for the duration of the free spins. Any new butterflies that land also fly across the reels to reposition themselves as far left as they can go on the same row.

The Butterfly Spins feature cannot be retriggered.

The bottom line–What makes Butterfly Staxx one of the top 5 online slots to play this summer?

Even on nonwinning spins, the beautiful array of different colored symbols will keep your eyes riveted to the screen. It’s hard to imagine anything else in the game that could top that visual display until you see it–the incredible sight of a whole stack of butterflies flying across the reels in unison.

But the main reason to play this game is that you get the double benefit of a low-risk slot that also offers an exceptionally high rate of return with the potential to win big. I played in demo mode during four separate sessions and won all four times. This is not to say that you should expect to win every time you play, but with all that Butterfly Staxx has going for it, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Complete your sizzling summer slot experience on a high note with Fruit Shop Megaways

Last, but certainly not least, I would be remiss if my list of top 5 online slots to play this summer did not include at least one type of slot that is all the rage right now—Megaways slots,

What are Megaways slots?

Megaways slots are an exciting and innovative way to play online video slots, offering a fantastic gaming experience and the potential for ginormous wins.

Megaways slots contain a total of six reels rather than the usual five.

Also, instead of requiring you to line up matching symbols from left to right on the same payline to form a winning combination, all you have to do is have the specified minimum number of symbols line up from left to right on adjacent reels. The position of the symbols on each reel and the number of matching symbols on each reel don’t matter.

But the biggest difference from traditional slots is that Megaways slots also utilize a random reel modifying mechanic that can alter the number of symbols appearing on any given reel. During every spin, from 2 to 7 symbols can appear on a reel, giving you up to 117,619 paying combinations on every spin!

The technology was developed by the Australian company Big Time Gaming in 2015. But it was not until the introduction of the immensely popular Bonanza the following year that Megaways slots caught with the betting public. More recently, in order to meet the growing demand, various other slot manufacturers such as NetEnt have entered into licensing agreements with Big Time Gaming, allowing them to use the Megaways technology for their own games. That is how NetEnt is now able to offer many of its online slots, including Fruit Shop in the Megaways format as an alternative to the original version.

Fruit Shop Megaways basics

NetEnt launched the original Fruit Shop slot way back in 2011. This simple but charming slot game comes with five reels and just 15 paylines. However, a 96.7 percent RTP and free spins galore can keep players glued to the screen for a long time. You can still play it, so it has clearly stood the test of time. However, it was not until a decade later, in Jan. 2021 that the revved-up modernized version known as Fruit Shop Megaways also became available.

The setting for the action hasn’t changed. It is still a colorful market stall with lush green plants and a clear blue sky in the background.

117,649 ways to win and free spins with multipliers, too

The symbols are also the same as in the original game, but instead of five reels, you now have six. But an even bigger difference is that getting paying combinations of higher valued matching symbols to line up across a payline is no longer the name of the game. In fact, in determining which spins produce winning combinations and how much they pay, paylines don’t even enter into the equation.

Instead, during every spin in both the main game and free spins, the number of symbols landing on each reel is randomly chosen and can be any number from 2 to 7. As a result, you get up to 117,649 paying combinations on every spin!

Another thing you will love about Fruit Shop Megaways is that the free spins are very easy to trigger. Just like in the original Fruit Shop, during the base game, all winning combinations with fruit symbols award free spins, while during the free spins, all winning combinations with any symbols award extra free spins.

What is new in the Megaways game is that during the free spins, instead of using a fixed 2x multiplier as before, on each successive free spin, the win multiplier increases by 1–up to a maximum multiplier of 10! Not every free spin has a winning outcome, far from it, but getting all of these free extra chances not just to win but to win big adds immensely to the fun and excitement of the game. According to the manufacturer, the maximum payout is 10,000x your stake!

Fruit Shop Megaways bet range

Fruit Shop Megaways is a slot game that virtually any size bettor can play. The minimum bet is only 20 cents per spin while the maximum is $100. (The original game has a bet range of $15 to $150.)

Therefore, in both games, you have a lot of options. But if this is your first time playing a Megaways slot, your best bet might be to play for free in demo mode first to get a better feel for the game and for what bet size is right for you. You may be accustomed to playing games that have less variance, in which case you should probably select a bet size that is a little less than what you usually play.

High RTP and medium to high-medium volatility

Fruit Shop Megaways has an RTP of 96.06 percent. This figure is not as high as the RTP of the original game, and the other four online slots described in this article also have higher RTPs. However, it’s still well above average for NJ online slots, and it’s good enough to meet NetEnt’s 96 percent or higher standards, so it should be good enough for you.

Perhaps a more noticeable change from the original game and a potential concern for players who have to watch their bankroll very carefully is the increased variance. The manufacturer describes the original Fruit Shop slot as having low-medium volatility but Fruit Shop Megaways as having medium volatility. But, after playing in demo mode a few times, I disagree. I would rate the volatility of the Megaways game as high-medium.

The Megaways configuration is such that the variance will always be greater than in the original game. With thousands of possible outcomes for every spin, there will inevitably be long stretches of spins that pay very little or nothing at all.

Based on the foregoing, as suggested in the previous section on RTP and Volatility, it might be prudent to make smaller bets than usual.

Which NJ online casinos offer Fruit Shop Megaways?

You can play Fruit Shop Megaways online or on supported iOS and Android mobile devices at all of the following NJ online casinos:

  • 888
  • BetMGM
  • Borgata
  • Caesars
  • Golden Nugget
  • Hard Rock
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Pala
  • Party
  • PlaySugarHouse
  • PokerStars
  • Resorts
  • Unibet

Fruit Shop Megaways symbols

The symbols on the reels include 10 regular symbols and a wild symbol. There is no scatter symbol.

Regular symbols

All five higher paying regular symbols are fruits, while the five lower paying symbols are the playing cards 10 through A.

The entire list is shown below in reverse order of value.

  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Watermelons
  • A
  • K
  • Q
  • J
  • 10

Except for the highest paying symbol, the cherry, in order to form a paying combination, you simply need three or more matching symbols to land anywhere on consecutive reels starting with reel 1. And for the cherry, just two in a row starting with reel 1 will suffice. However, the longer the sequence of matching symbols (up to 6), the bigger the payout.

Wild symbol

The wild symbol is a square displaying the Fruit Shop logo. It can appear on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 in both the main game and free spins and substitutes for all other symbols to help form additional winning combinations.

Best online slots – Free Spins bonus feature

During the main game, a win with two cherries triggers one free spin, and a win with three, four, five, or six of any like fruit symbol triggers 2, 3, 4, or 5 free spins, respectively.

Likewise, any new fruit symbol winning combinations during the free spins will trigger up to five additional free spins. Also, any winning combination of three, four, five, or six playing cards during the free spins awards 1, 2, 3, or 4 additional free spins, respectively.

All free spins also come with a win multiplier. The multiplier starts at 1 but increases by 1 thereafter, up to a maximum of 10 after each additional consecutive winning free spin.

The bottom line–What makes Fruit Shop Megaways one of the top 5 online slots to play this summer?

Fruit Shop Megaways combines the familiarity and simplicity of a classic fruit slot with the thrill and excitement of a Megaways game.

For starters, every spin gives you a taste of summer. Even when you don’t get a winning combination, you cannot help but smile just looking at the colorful array of succulent fruit right before your eyes–watermelon, oranges, lemons, plums, and cherries.

But the bright colors and cheerful vibe aren’t the only things that will keep you coming back for more. There’s also the big sense of anticipation knowing that this game is bursting with exciting possibilities and at any given moment, the screen could light up with a mega-size win.

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