The Ultimate Guide to Starburst SlotsStarburst Slots Guide

Starburst is one of the most popular slots in the online gambling industry. It’s an omnipresent game that all players are familiar with and most of them have played. But where did it come from, why is it so popular, and what are its features and gaming mechanics?


What Is Starburst Slots?

Main Features

The Popularity of Starburst

Starburst Variations and Inspirations


Summary: Starburst Slots

What Is Starburst Slots?

NetEnt launched Starburst back in 2012. Back then, the company was still known as Net Entertainment, mobile gaming was still in its infancy (NetEnt’s own mobile gaming solution had only just been launched), and it wasn’t the iGaming powerhouse that it is today.

Starburst has just 10 paylines spread across its five reels, but these pay both ways—left to right and right to left. It adopts a cosmic aesthetic, taking players into a bright and sparkling universe and filling the reels with precious and semi-precious gems.

You will also find the traditional BAR symbol, albeit with a planetary makeover.

Main Features

Starburst gives players multiple chances to win big and the slot has a very fluid feel to it, helping to make it the immensely popular title that it is.

The Win Both Ways feature is one of the things you will notice as it essentially helps to double the paylines, cramming a lot of action onto a relatively small grid.

Win Both Ways is the mechanic that flips the reels, producing paylines that literally pay both ways. It’s a feature that is shockingly underused in the online slot sector and even a decade or so after its release, Starburst remains one of the best examples.

Starburst also features a massive wild symbol. It’s the game’s highest-paying symbol and it also substitutes for all others. Furthermore, when the wild symbol lands, it will expand until it covers all of the reel, greatly increasing the chance of a big payout.

The only traditional feature on the Starburst slot is the respin feature. Once the wilds expand, they will trigger a respin, with the wild reel remaining in place while the rest of reels spin. It can be triggered as many as 3 times in a single spin, after which the reels return to normal and another spin begins.

Everything takes place on the main game reels. There is no additional bonus feature and no Free Spins. There isn’t even a Scatter symbol. On the plus side, it means that everything moves very swiftly and cleanly, with minimal loading times and a constant stream of action.

The Popularity of Starburst Slots

Starburst’s success has been somewhat surprising because it’s not particularly revolutionary, nor is it loaded with bonus features. A lot of its popularity is tied to its speed, simplicity, and its electric reels. In other words, it looks great, it’s enjoyable, and it keeps your attention, just like a good game should.

The high RTP also helps, as Starburst offers a reliable 96.09%, which was very high for a video slot at the time of its release and still looks impressive to this day.

The game has also been backed by NetEnt, as well as the many casinos that have hosted it over the years. They have pushed it to the front of their games rooms, given it pride of place in Welcome Bonuses and promotions, and have made it the mobile game of choice.

Of course, its popularity is also self-perpetuating because as soon as they started pushing it, they created a fanbase, and these days players expect to see Starburst-based deposit bonuses.

Starburst Variations and Inspirations

When you think of Starburst, you either think of the space-themed slots mentioned in this article or the fruity sweets once known as Opal Fruits. Maybe you think of both, in which case you probably can’t get through an article on NetEnt’s Starburst without your mouth watering (we can sympathise).

In any case, these two things are completely unrelated, but they were brought together in 2018 with the release of Berryburst.

Berryburst is basically Starburst 2, only the gems have been swapped for fruits, giving everything a saccharine glow and creating something even more reminiscent of its candied namesake. At 96.56%, the RTP is a little higher and the slot also adopts a unique Cluster Pays mechanic, taking over from Win Both Ways and creating wins when clusters of symbols appear.

The wild symbols and respins are still present. The respins remain in place for as long as there are wilds on the reels. If they keep appearing, the respins will keep flowing, which means it’s possible to fill all five reels with wilds. When this happens, the game’s biggest payouts will trigger.

Berryburst, like Starburst, is lacking in Free Spins and Scatters, but the expanding wild and the respin feature are more than enough to make up for this. The RTP also helps, as does the maximum payout of 5,000x, potentially turning a £1 stake into a £5,000 payout.

If you like Starburst, you should definitely check out Berryburst.

Starburst has also inspired many other slots because as soon as there is a popular trend, every developer wants a piece of the action. It seems that nothing is sacred in the iGaming industry, and we love it, as it ensures a constant supply of eye-catching titles that give players want they want to see.


  • One of the industry’s most popular slots
  • Uses a Win Both Ways feature across all 10 paylines
  • Its biggest symbol is the wild, which expands to fill the whole reel
  • There is a respins feature triggered off the back of the wild
  • Features a high RTP and some smooth gameplay
  • Available on mobile and desktop
  • Led to the launch of Berryburst, the sequel to Starburst

Summary: Starburst Slots

Although it seems a little simple on the surface, Starburst is anything but. It only has 10 paylines, but they pay both ways, which is something you don’t see as often as you should. It doesn’t have any Scatters, but it has a huge wild that can cover an entire reel; it doesn’t have Free Spins, but its respin feature is just as potent.

It has an answer for everything, and that’s why its popularity has endured for so long.

Here’s hoping that we see a few more Starburst sequels in the future!