4.8 (96%) 10 votes

Game Type Video Slot
Provider Netent
Theme Fantasy
Reel Type 5
RTP 97-99 %
Payline 10
Volatility Medium

Starburst is a massively popular online slot from Swedish developers, Netent. Dominating the lobbies of countless online casinos, it’s the most played slot game in the industry – but why? What makes Starburst so special? To find out, we conducted a top-down assessment of this ubiquitous slot game, to get some idea of exactly why legions of players have become so devoted.


Starburst became a sensation upon its release in 2012, offering a major departure from most of the online slots available at the time. During this period the majority of slots were ports of physical Las Vegas machines. Often simplistic with limited pay-lines and a lack of in-play features, they were meat and drink to casual players. But those craving a more sophisticated gaming experience were overlooked.

Thankfully for them, Netent decided to buck development trends by introducing a slot game aimed squarely at online gamblers. Utilising the latest web-based technologies while offering variable, multi-directional pay-lines (more of that later), ground-breaking animations and frequent pay-outs, Starburst got people’s attention quickly. Some seven years later, Netent’s classic game remains firmly in the limelight. Given the recent technological advancements, that’s some going.

How the Game Looks

It’s quite difficult to nail Starburst down when it comes to theme. Some think that its visuals hark back to the glitzy imagery of 80’s-style disco – we’re not so sure about this interpretation. Having said that, there’s something distinctly retro about the game, with Netent themselves admitting that it fuses ‘old-school symbols’ with ‘new-age graphical detail and precision’. Whatever you make of that particular slab of marketing spiel, it’s fair to say that Starburst still holds its own in terms of appearances despite being superseded by more elaborate, feature-laden online slots.

While there’s no doubting the simplicity of its visuals, which comprises a minimalistic game-play panel and a limited number of symbols, the game looks smooth and polished. Reel symbols are represented by functional renderings of five precious stones coloured blue, green, orange, purple and yellow. Two traditional fruit-machine symbols are also included. And as is typical of Netent slots, the reel spinning animations are flawlessly smooth as are the special feature events.


The game features a 5-reel, 3-row format – nothing particularly ground-break there. However, the game also features win-both-ways mechanics. This basically means that winning combinations pay out from left to right and vice versa – a feature that’s not usually present with even the latest online slots. Although the game’s 10 fixed pay-lines aren’t anything to write home about, there’s one particular game element that usually get players twitching with anticipation – the Wilds feature.

The Starburst Wilds feature is signified by rainbow stars which covers the second, third or fourth reels. Triggering a re-spin, it remains in place while the other reels are re-spun. Should another Wild appear during one of these re-spins, it too remains in place along with any previous Wilds. So there’s certainly potential for some decent wins – handy because Starburst doesn’t have any kind of bonus game to speak of.


The minimum stake required to play is 1p while the maximum bet per line is £10, so it’s possible to spend as much as £100 per spin. Under the information tab, a useful auto-play function has been included which allows players to select 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100 auto spins. Auto-play can be stopped following a win should it exceed a specified amount or if the cash balance reaches a certain threshold. Information about the Starburst Wilds feature and pay-lines is also included together with a pay-table.

The reel symbol values are as follows:

BAR Symbol

Five Occurrences – 250 coins

Four Occurrences – 200 coins

Three Occurrences – 50 coins

‘7’ Symbol

Five Occurrences – 120 coins

Four Occurrences – 60 coins

Three Occurrences – 25 coins

Yellow Gem Symbol

Five Occurrences – 60 coins

Four Occurrences – 25 coins

Three Occurrences – 10 coins

Green Gem Symbol

Five Occurrences – 50 coins

Four Occurrences – 20 coins

Three Occurrences – 8 coins

Red Gem Symbol

Five Occurrences – 40 coins

Four Occurrences – 15 coins

Three Occurrences – 7 coins

Blue Gem Symbol

Five Occurrences – 25 coins

Four Occurrences – 10 coins

Three Occurrences – 5 coins

Purple Gem Symbol

Five Occurrences – 25 coins

Four Occurrences – 10 coins

Three Occurrences – 5 coins

Volatility and RTP

Starburst is a low-volatility slot featuring an RTP of 96.09% – in other words the pay-outs although small, occur regularly and are of course boosted by the Wilds feature.


It almost goes without saying that Starburst operates well across most if not all devices. Casino game developers like Netent have taken great trouble to ensure that their back-catalogues are fully-responsive. Consequently, gamers can enjoy the same immersive features on Starburst mobile as they’d find on desktop versions. Starburst touch is also available for tablets.


To conclude, it’s pretty clear why Starburst remains popular today. Its game-play is easy to pick up, helped no end by the stand-out Wilds feature. Indeed, if it wasn’t for this particular element, Starburst may very well have burned up on re-entry following its astronomical rise in popularity; many players bemoan the lack of extra features and bonus games. These issues become somewhat moot when you consider how taken operators have become with Starburst – show us an online casino that doesn’t include Starburst as part of its welcome offer!

However, there’s more than a touch of irony to the game’s general appeal, especially now that we’re well into 2019. The game was primarily intended for players looking for a more sophisticated gaming experience. But Starburst has since been overtaken by countless online slots comprising hundreds of pay-lines, extra bonus games and numerous features. So these days, many players now flock to Starburst for its simplicity – the very quality that its developers originally eschewed.

Visit our lobby to try your hand at Netent’s Starburst as well as many other online casino slots from leading providers.