Some things are just a little too hard to work out. Here’s one.

In the world of slots, hundreds of them have been made since the late nineties when they first appeared at online casinos.

They’ve had endless themes, lots of types of bonus features, intricate mechanics and other unique aspects of them that have intrigued and delighted players.

And of all of them, Starburst is perhaps the best-known and best loved of all of them. Or at least it was, up to a few years ago.

As we started by saying, it’s a bit of an odd phenomenon because this isn’t an action-packed game, there aren’t new and exciting rounds popping up all the time nor did it make its name by being notoriously and delicious volatile like say, the infamous Dead or Alive.

But whereas we can’t really explain why people love it quite so much, we can certainly explain how it works, how you win and the other essential elements of it.



Quite why it’s called Starburst isn’t so obvious, either.

The symbols on the reels are mostly brightly coloured gems rather than stars, though there is a star at the heart of the game. We’ll obviously cross that bridge when we come to it.

Shall we go through which gems are worth the most? Let’s.

Bottom of the barrel (relatively speaking) are the purple and blue (worth the same) followed by the orange gem, the green one and the yellow one.

More valuable than any of the gems is the Red Seven and most valuable of all is the Bar symbol, both of them nods to the old-school ‘fruities’ found in dusty casinos in the 1970s.

As ever, you can adjust your stake to whatever you like (maximum bet 100 Euros/GBP) by using the plus and minus symbols.

What you can’t do is adjust the number of paylines because in this case, you don’t have the choice to have it all your own way: there are always 10 active paylines.

But one of the interesting aspects of this game that contributes to its popularity is that it pays both ways, something of a rarity on slots.

Another is that you can have Combos: multiple winning combinations on the same spin.


Tips and Strategy 

Some games can produce huge wins on any given spin, especially if you activate a particularly profitable bonus round.

But as a low volatility slot, individual wins aren’t huge here and as we’ll soon see, the game’s bonus features aren’t necessarily a case of the gift that keeps on giving.

So, with no huge upside to playing spins for big money, you’re better off keeping stakes sensible and leave spins for high stakes to other sorts of slots.


Bonus Rounds

Proof of the fact that this is a game with a popularity and huge following that’s hard to explain is the fact that there is just one bonus feature in place here.


Now, you’d think that would mean it was a free games round that could easily be triggered time and time again for big wins. Or a free games round that led to another one, or even a different sort of round. Maybe you were guaranteed winning one of several Jackpots each time you entered it.


Think again. As all Starburst fans will know only too well, there’s just the one feature, it’s not complicated, nor will you win life-changing sums of money on it.


Here’s how it works.

Free Games

The Star symbol only appears on Reels 2, 3 and 4. In addition to being a star symbol, it’s also the Wild.

So, every time it appears, it will start by doing its ‘day job’ of substituting for other symbols to form winning combos.

But once it’s done that and paid out on those, it then comes to life in its other capacity.

It will start by expanding to cover the whole reel in three positions, so you have not one but three Wilds in place. But for what?

The answer is: for a respin.  You’ll get a respin with those stacked Wilds locked in place and most of the time there will be a win somewhere, very often more than one, because there could be combos, too.

What’s even better is if the Re-spin produces another Star symbol because it will then lead to a further respin, up to a maximum of five. You’ve probably worked out by now that three or four respins here are your bet route to walking away in profit when playing Starburst.



It’s typical of NetEnt to produce a game that’s this clean, bright and tidy. Fans of the high-profile software provider will also instantly recognise their iconic green colour on the different buttons while you play. 

Nothing seems out of place.

Because of the simplicity of the game, nothing is too busy either, so the action is easy to follow.

Those famous gem symbols shine brightly but the game’s star attraction, the Starburst symbol itself, shines even brighter.

There are also some good animations when you get a load of combos on the same spin, with the game celebrating your win with you!


Final Thoughts

So, there you go. A game with one bonus feature, a simple one at that, is arguably the world’s most popular slot. Answers on a postcard if you know why!

But joking aside, this has the NetEnt stamp of quality on it, it’s beautiful to look at, its simplicity is also one of its strong points and if you don’t love watching that Starburst symbol popping up, then you probably shouldn’t be playing slots in the first place!