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Starburst slot review — worth the hype?

Checked by Lorella Fava , Melanie Hart

Yes it is. Simplicity stars in the Starburst slot, and it’s grown into the most popular online slot ever throughout its decade-long life.

It’s a 5-reel slot with 10 paylines from NetEnt, and is playable from just $0.10 a spin. It works on all devices, and even has a mobile-specific Starburst Touch interface. If you’re looking for the big wins, keep an eye out for the Starburst wilds mechanic. Wilds expand to cover entire reels and trigger free respins, chaining together some stellar wins.

An arcade-style, bejewelled, outer-space theme glues the whole thing together nicely.

There’s a reason players love this bright-shining star. Find out why, in our Starburst slot review.

88 /100 Expert Rating byIan Z


RTP 96.09%
Stakes range 100
Volatility Low
Max win 500x Stake
Number of reels 5
Number of rows 3
Number of paylines 10
Software provider NetEnt
Slot type Video slots
Slot theme Uncategorized
Launch date 01/01/2012

General ratings

88 / 100 Expert rating by Ian Z
70 Payouts rating
86 Stake limits rating
85 Bonus features rating
90 Audiovisuals rating
99 Game layout rating
100 Repeatability rating
How we rate
84 Playscore based on 4 critics

Starburst slot casinos — the best deals for real play

What’re the best Starburst slot sites, and can you get Starburst free spins?  If you’re itching to play, we’ve got you.

A couple of the best online casinos and sweeps cash casinos modify Starburst with community jackpots. That means players will have a chance of scoring a local, casino-based jackpot while spinning their Starburst symbols, even though there’s no official ‘Starburst jackpot.’

While no one’s offering Starburst free spins as a welcome bonus, the listed no deposit casinos allow you to wager your bonus cash on Starburst.

Casino Logo Odds rating Bonus Go to casino Button Show more T&C
Mohegan Sun review
92/100 Games rating by Lorella F. 85% Playscore based on 100% up to $1,000
Play now

Good to know

  • Over 790 slot games
  • App for iOS and Android
  • Play Cleopatra for free

9 payment methods

VIP Preferred
ACH Network
Bank Transfer
Cash at Casino Cage
Caesars review
88/100 Games rating by Ian Z. 86% Playscore based on 100% up to $2,500 and 2,500 Reward Credits on a $25+ wager
Play now

Good to know

  • 750+ slot games
  • Great rewards program
  • Rapid registration

11 payment methods

Apple Pay
VIP Preferred
American Express
Bank Transfer
Cash at Casino Cage
BetMGM casino review
85/100 Games rating by Ian Z. 91% Playscore based on 100% up to $1,000 + $25 Free Play
Play now

Good to know

  • Adds Lion’s Share jackpots to Starburst
  • Play with no-deposit free cash
  • Mobile-specific Starburst interface

14 payment methods

VIP Preferred
American Express
Cash at Casino Cage
Bank Transfer
Apple Pay

While these are 3 of our top-scoring online gambling sites in general, we’ve taken into account the unique little twists that can make them stronger slot offers for Starburst players. Golden Nugget’s a great all-rounder, while BetMGM and Borgata run extra jackpots on some selected top slot games, among them Starburst.

Their no-deposit free cash online casino bonuses have wagering requirements of just 1x. To be fair, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll trigger BetMGM’s $10,000 community cash bonus with your $25 worth of free Starburst spins. But no one’s saying it’s impossible…

Payouts: volatility and Starburst slot RTP

Payouts facts

Maximum win500x stake
Highest-paying symbolBAR

The Starburst online slot presents an RTP of 96.09%, which is average for a good slot. The max win of 500x stake is a little low, but Starburst makes up for it with a solid hit rate, meaning wins come in decently often. (For context, some Megaways games have potential max wins of over 100,000x your stake).

Approximately 22.7% of Starburst spins result in a win, according to NetEnt’s game sheet. The game is a win-both-ways slot, so whether 3 symbols in a row line up from right to left or left to right, you still get your payout. This means that symbol lines stretching across all the reels are doubly valuable, since they ‘win twice’.

The highest paying symbol is the BAR. 3, 4 or 5 of these give 5, 20 or 25x your stake. Any 5-symbol line will automatically be payed out twice, due to the win both ways feature.

Payouts rating

70/100 Strong overall, but nothing flashy
  • Consistent hit rate
  • Only caters to low-volatility players

How does this stack up against industry? The RTP% is just above the 96% average, and the game’s popularity, simplicity and frequent payouts have endeared it to beginner and expert casino players alike.

If we’re comparing low-volatility slots, the obvious point of comparison is NetEnt’s Blood Suckers – unlike, say, Dead or Alive 2, which is favored by players seeking high volatility. While Starburst has won the popularity contest, Blood Suckers isn’t too far behind, and both games have found a spot on our best online slots list. The differences are that Blood Suckers offers a higher RTP of 98%, and a possible max win of 1014x your stake, more than double Starburst’s. It’s definitely better on paper. And yet, Starburst is way more well-loved by players. So what’s the advantage?

This is pure speculation on my part, but I think it has to do with Starburst’s simplicity and accessibility. When you win a bonus round on Starburst, you win a bonus round on Starburst. You win a bonus round on Blood Suckers, you need to randomly click on coffins and hope you make the right choice. It’s more relaxing to play Starburst because you’re free of the stress of making money-related choices, even if they are random.

Starburst stake limits — how much can you bet & win?

Stakes facts

The max bet of $100 on the Starburst slot isn’t anything special, but that’s not exactly a downside for most players — it’s just how the game works. Speculating on exact numbers doesn’t give information as important as ‘Starburst is a bonus heavy, low-volatility game, made by a high-quality provider, NetEnt’. A $0.10 minimum bet is pretty much the lowest one can expect from a standard slot game.

Minimum bet$0.10
Maximum bet$100
Adjustable paylinesNo
Bet per line$0.01
Buy featureN/A

The value of your bet can be altered in 2 ways. The first is bet level, which increases the number of ‘Starburst coins’ you wager per bet, and the second is by increasing the value of the coins wagered. The minimum number of coins is 10 with a minimum value of $0.01, going up to 100 coins with a value of $1.

Stake limits rating

86/100 Hits all expectations
  • Good low-high stake level for casual players
  • Stakes not high enough for high rollers

There’s nothing too special to say here — the good ol’ Starburst slot machine practically set the standard for low-volatility slots with its wide popularity, so the only comment worth making is that it does pretty much what it says on the tin.

$0.10 is just about the lowest slots go, unless being lower is their main selling point. The $100 max limit is on the “lower” side, since there are slots that let you wager a lot more (sometimes over $400 — off the top of my head, Double Jackpot, from Everi, hits $250), but is that a problem? Not really, as far as I’m concerned.

Being low volatility, Starburst is a slot that caters to the (relatively) low-risk-low-reward category, so it’s not the right game for people who want to be betting $400 a spin. That doesn’t make it a less-good game, that just means there are categories of players that the Starburst slot doesn’t appeal to. And that’s fine, because nothing is the perfect thing for everyone all the time. Starburst is great at what it does, and that’s more than good enough.

This is one area where Starburst really blows Blood Suckers out of the water. Starburst’s minimum low of $0.10 and max of $100 gives players more betting options than the garlic-and-stake laden slot’s $0.25-$50. Suck it, vampires!

Bonus features

The Starburst slot has a 2-in-1 bonus feature. The Starburst wild symbols can appear on any of the middle 3 reels when you spin. If it does, it expands, covering the entire reel, and paying out on any winning combination, since the wild substitutes for all other symbols. Separately, if you’re interested in casino bonuses that work on Starburst, most casino welcome bonuses will cover you.

Feature facts

Other special symbolsN/A
Gamble featureNo
Reel featuresN/A
Free spinsYes
Other bonus featuresEligible for community jackpots at Borgata / BetMGM

Triggering a wild grants a free respin. The wild then remains on the reels, giving your next spin a higher chance of paying out. If a new wild appears covering a different reel it will trigger a second respin. Double wilds mean there’s an even higher chance of winning, with some form of win guaranteed if the wilds are next to each other on the 2nd and 3rd reel.  You can land up to 3 wilds in a row.

Bonus features rating

85/100 Brilliant bonuses, but not many
  • Epic, win-chain bonus
  • No other bonus features

The  Starburst wilds bonus feature is super-cool, bringing players spicy wins and free spins.

Unfortunately, Starburst’s iconic slot feature is the only one available. There’s definitely merit to the two-way paylines, which are an excellent game mechanic, but they’re always active — is it fair to count them as a bonus feature? They do pretty much ‘double’ your win chance, and double the payout on any 5-symbol wins, so if you want to count them as a bonus feature, you absolutely have my blessing to do so.

There are slots out there that offer a lot more variety and bonus options. NetEnt’s Dead or Alive 2 has scatters, wilds, and 3 different free spin games with multipliers attached to them. The Guns N’ Roses slot has 4.

Blood Suckers is again the point of comparison, it’s NetEnt’s other low-volatility star, famous for its 98% RTP. It’s got wilds and scatters, which is already 1 more than Starburst. The scatters can trigger 10 free spins whenever you land more than 3, and all wins are tripled during the free spin mode. There’s also a separate bonus symbol, and landing 3 of those enters you into the Blood Suckers bonus game, where you can pick vampires out of coffins for cash. Starburst is a great game with a super-fun bonus, but it’s the only one on offer.

Does this hold Starburst back? Not really, but if you’re looking for a wide choice of bonus features, it’s not your game. So what makes Starburst a good slot? Probably, it’s its simplicity. It’s a great beginner’s slot. It’s straightforward af, and it’s still fully capable of delivering those punches of excitement when you score the big wins. Whether you’re playing Starburst for fun or you’re on a Starburst real money app, you can never complain that it fails to deliver.

Graphics and audio? Absolute stars

The Starburst slot has a simple, space-esque theme. The background is all purple with a few firefly-like stars hovering around, and a curved line of light simulates a sunrise happening on a planet thousands of miles below you.

The basic symbols are all jewels, which doesn’t immediately seem to connect, but you can always recall the classic nursery rhyme about stars being like little diamonds in the sky.

Jewels sparkle along paylines and play sounds when you win, with unique sounds and animations coming in for big wins and Starburst wilds respins. In our experience, the paylines animations are far more clear on the mobile app version of Starburst, but it’s a small part of the aesthetic and has no effect on gameplay.

Audiovisuals facts

ThemeSpace, Jewels
Sound qualityGreat, tailored to different spin outcomes
Mobile compatibilityGreat, has mobile-specific interface

The ambient soundtrack sounds spacey and arcadey, but not in the over-the-top blips and beeps kinda way you’d expect from the geeks’ hangout in an ‘80s teen movie. It’s calmer and more ‘distant’, even sounding a bit like Star Trek in places.

Neither graphics nor sound are game-changers in the industry, but the Starburst slot machine hits all its targets here.

Audiovisuals rating

90/100 Good, sweet, simple AVs
  • Lots of intuitive and win-specific animations
  • Not the most groundbreaking AVs ever

Right, so if they’re not the most exciting AVs ever, why is your friendly neighborhood Starbust slot review guy giving those AVs a 90/100? To put simply, because they hit all their goals. They don’t need to be the most exciting AVs ever, because Starburst isn’t the kind of game that requires that. No one writes off The Beatles for being less exciting than Metallica. They cater to different audiences.

The bottom line it comes down to is, does the Starburst slot machine provide good graphics and sounds? To which, the answer is yes. I’ve compared Starburst to its NetEnt compatriot Blood Suckers a few times, so in the spirit of things, let’s keep up the trend. And Starburst wins hands down here.

Even if the jewels are simpler than the different vampire-themed symbols on the other game’s reels, the graphics on Starburst have stood the test of time far better. Blood Suckers, with its cartoonish 2008 graphics, has already  started looking dated..

Is Starburst the best looking NetEnt game? Far from it. But still, the Starburst slot offers a great all-round experience, and unless you’re specifically looking for something different, Starburst won’t put you off.

If you want something with a better look, it’s super hard to pick just 1, but I’ve always been partial to Dead or Alive 2, with its different backgrounds and themed sounds for each of the bonus rounds — from sallon shootouts to train heists. You do get special animations whenever you trigger Starburst free spins, but DOA2 offers a lot more variety.  If you want something with great sound, my top pick is SG Digital’s Rise of the Mountain King.

Starburst game layout

Starburst displays all its info in a simple and clear manner. On opening the slot, players can see their bet level, number of coins per bet, coin value, and total coins, all laid out. The total dollar value of each spin is displayed directly underneath.

The Starburst RTP% info, an explanation of the bonus features, and a breakdown of paylines and symbol values can easily be accessed with 1-2 clicks.

Layout facts

Reel layout5×3
AutoplayYes, with win/loss limits
Turbo modeYes
Ease of useVery easy
Game historyYes

Automatic spins are available in increments of 10 – 1,000, and can be set to stop automatically on wins and losses of predetermined sizes. Quick spin mode can be activated with 2 clicks on desktop, or one tap on mobile. As always, these are interrupted by popups when you play Starburst free.

Each payline is numbered 1 through 10, and you can see the paying patterns by hovering over them with your mouse on the desktop version of the Starburst slot machine. On mobile, clicking the info button on the bottom-left corner will bring up the different paylines.

Hitting the info button also explains how the wilds work, and brings up the symbol values. With just that click, I had 0 trouble understanding what pays out, when, and how much, so it shouldn’t take you long to learn how to play Starburst.

Game layout rating

99/100 The perfect game layout
  • Ultra clear
  • Everything accessible with 1-2 clicks
  • Paylines aren’t adjustable

Starburst is a NetEnt slot, and that means it reaches NetEnt heights. The clear layout and easy access to info is characteristic of the Swedish software provider, and it’s no wonder they’re one of the two most widespread names in US casinos (the other being IGT.)

The game options layout on NetEnt games like Starburst is practically the same as on IGT games like Cleopatra, but I have to say that I prefer how NetEnt lets you in on extra info and rules. NetEnt’s help and info buttons are right next to each other, and right next to the betting options, where IGT throws one of them suspiciously far away in the top right corner.

The fact that all IGT’s help info is minimalist black text on a white background makes the product feel a little cheaper compared to Starburst. Even if I were to bring in another provider like Lightning Box — looking at their autoplay setting, clicking it opens a massive window over the game screen that you need to use to set up your play, while Starburst lets you do everything comfortably in one corner.

NetEnt just has a habit of getting things right and making their slots player-friendly, and their Star slot is no exception.

Expert verdict: Is Starburst worth playing on repeat?

88/100 — Hell to the yes, it’s amazing.

Look, there are hundreds of factors coming together which make this game great, and even if tons of other slots have similar selling points, the particular blend and balance of them in Starburst have made it the most popular slot of all time. By definition, that’s a title that can only be held by a single slot, and it’s this one.

We do have to take a moment (and a line) to give a shoutout to the win-both-ways feature. It’s not a common one, and it’s a stellar stand-out sell for Starburst.

From the starry, spacey theme that infuses the gameplay experience to the RTP% and the clearly laid out stakes and options for play, there’s a lot to love, but if we had to pick what we think are the keys to Starburst’s wild success, they’d be the following:

The simple, easy to understand bonus round. Lots of slots are overloaded in this department, and players who don’t feel like they’re particularly lucky despise pick ‘em bonus games. Starburst strips all that away with a stress-free wilds & respins system that activates every time even a single wild lands on the reels.

Combine that with the both-ways pays, which doubles players’ chances to land a win, and you can really see the ingredients coming together. It’s simple, it’s effective, it’s Starburst.

  • The most well-known online slot game
  • Simple but stellar VFX and SFX
  • Bonuses trigger often, only needing 1 wild to land
  • Low max win per spin
  • Can’t usually bet any more than $100 per spin


Where can I play the Starburst online slot for real money?

The best Starburst casino is probably either BetMGM or Borgata — the game works the same pretty much everywhere, but these 2 casinos mix it up a little. They pick some of their top casino slots to be eligible for small, ceilinged jackpots which drop multiple times a day, and the Starburst slot machine is one of the chosen games. See all the top spots on our Starburst casinos list

Can I play Starburst for free?

Yes, you can play Starburst for free. You can either play a demo at eligible Starburst casinos like Golden Nugget , or you can head to a casino with a no deposit bonus, and try to win real money with Starburst free cash.

How do you win on the Starburst slot?

Like most slots, you win by lining up symbols along the 10 different paylines. Starburst is a both-ways-pays game, so whether they line up left-to-right or right-to-left, you still get paid. We explain payouts in more detail in the payouts section  of our Starburst review.

What is the Starburst RTP?

The RTP of the Starburst game is 96.09%, which falls into the average-good category of online slots. The hit frequency is around 23%, meaning you’re likely to get a win every 5 spins on average. The low volatility should make your credit last a while, but we still recommending playing Starburst free first to see if you like it.

Does the Starburst slot machine have jackpots?

The Starburst slot machine was not designed with jackpots, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist at all. Some casinos have added jackpots to the game to make themselves stand out, and 2 of our top Starburst casinos,  BetMGM and Borgata, have hit this mark. Check ‘em out!

Can I get Starburst free spins?

Yes, you can get Starburst spins for free. There are 2 questions hidden here, so let’s answer both. First, is any casino offering a regular free spins bonus that can be used on Starburst? Unfortunately, no, but there are plenty of casino bonuses that offer things like free cash that can be used on the Starburst game. Refer to our top casinos list.

Question 2: Does the Starburst game have a free spins bonus mechanic? Yes, it does. You can get up to 3 respins on every spin, and  they trigger every time a wild appears. We cover this in more detail in our bonus features  section.

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