Why modern slots are missing out by not having old-fashioned nudge features

  • This age-old feature can transform your reels
  • Nudges are less common these days – but some online slots still sporth them

It’s oh so annoying when you’re really close to a winning combination and just a little nudge of those reels would take you to a juicy jackpot or a lucrative bonus round.

Ah, the simpler days of single payline fruit machines. But actually, the nudge feature made them more complex that most modern video slot alternatives.
Ah, the simpler days of single payline fruit machines. But actually, the nudge feature made them more complex that most modern video slot alternatives.

If only there was a little button put there to help you make that all-important adjustment to the reels, just like with good old fashioned fruit machines. Many a punter has stooped, and craned their head to see what reel they should nudge to get the maximum payout – it was all part of the fun.

But if you play online slots, or machines elsewhere in the world, there’s every chance you’ll not have come across one before.

So here’s a bit more info on just what the nudge button does and why they’ve been steadily disappearing, and why perhaps it is time for a rethink.

Wink wink, nudge nudge

The nudge function is familiar to all those who spent time in pubs, bars and clubs.

It was a feature added to fruit machines (usually with 3 reels and 1 payline), awarded randomly to the player after a few spins and for use over the next few spins.

Once you’ve got a nudge in your sights, you can use it after any spin to move a reel down by one position, thus enabling you to get that winning combination that would have otherwise remained elusive to you. It’s a pretty great deal really.

It was also often coupled with the ‘Hold’ feature, which allowed players to keep certain reels in place and spin others.

While it may not provide any guarantees of humongous wins, it does give the player an added element of control, and helps takes reduce some of the frustrations experienced with slot play – the near miss.

An endangered species

A lot of research goes into what makes players tick, gets them going and keeps them playing and it might surprise you to learn that the near-miss element of slots is actually one of the main contributors to keeping you spinning those reels.

You wanted simple? Jackpot Cherries has one payline, and two winning symbol combinations. It does have a nudge feature however.
You wanted simple? Jackpot Cherries has one payline, and two winning symbol combinations. It does have a nudge feature however.

The sense of excitement releases adrenaline and encourages you to play more.

Nudges satiate that feeling, as the near miss is nudged into a winning payline. So for some players, this will be another element of gameplay which adds to the experience – a sense of control, and even skill, to spot the best nudge combinations.

For other players though, it may be a worry. What if they nudge the wrong reel by accident? What if they are tired and fail to spot it? Sometimes, players just want hassle-free, gameplay upon which they can never make a mistake.

Another reason there’s less and less of these around, is that the trend has steadily progressed to much more video-centric, high-tech games that don’t suit a nudge feature. Take the Microgaming 243 ways to win format, for example, games with complicated payline structures or cluster pays games like Gonzo’s Quest.

And the second point is that many of the big wins on slots are not simply given on the main base game but in bonus features and free spins rounds. These is deemed far more exciting that tinkering with individual reels.

There are some old fashioned fruit machine slots that have been repurposed online, but there’s less of them around, with developers preferring more complex and entertaining themes.

But it still feels like a missed opportunity. Giving players a little more control, may, to the right player, add a little element of skill, and the sense that every spin of the reels could be a winner, if they get the right nudging opportunities.

Go back to the old school

If learning about nudges has whetted your appetite for having a go, there are plenty enough games still on the market which sport this function.

If you fancy some modern yet retro super nudge action, then you may well enjoy this classic vintage slot game from cutting edge developer NetEnt: Super Nudge 6000, available to play at Unibet Casino.

There’s also Jackpot Cherries, which can be played at CasinoEuro. Simple and effective slots, but maybe it’s time to bring the feature to some of the more advanced titles released today.

Approved Casinos

Want to try an online casino? Approved Casinos

Choose an approved casino from our carefully selected list. VIEW CASINOS