How To Use Nudges & Holds

nudges and holdsIf you’re a regular player of fruit machines in British pubs, cafes and chip shops then this article will almost certainly hold no lessons for you. Nudges and holds are staple features here in the UK and well understood by everyone who likes to spin the reels.

Not everyone is from the UK however, in fact it’s widely believed that the majority of the planet’s citizens are not from this green and pleasant land and therefore there are plenty of slots players who are not familiar with holding reels and nudging them up and down to your advantage. You may not think this is important when playing online but there are a number of fruit machine-style, three reel games, particularly from Microgaming, which contain these features.


Let’s kick off with nudges then and at the most basic level these will be awarded on a random basis; they allow the player to jog any of the reels down (and sometimes up) with the aim of making a winning combination or doing something else to your advantage. For example four nudges awarded will allow you to make four different reel movements, all on one reel or on a combination of all the reels.

Obviously making a winning combination is one possible aim of using nudges but it’s fair to say that you very rarely receive enough nudges to achieve that aim. The second target is to collect numbers on the reels which will help you complete number trails and a possible third is to collect scatter symbols in view to trigger bonus features. You can read more detail about these Microgaming features here.

Microgaming’s UK-style slots may also randomly give you the opportunity to gamble, bank or repeat the nudges which are obviously all good things. If you win more nudges in the feature, the machine will offer to Autonudge the reels for the best possible win, an option which you should choose.


Holds do pretty much what they say on the tin; they are also randomly awarded and allow the player to freeze one, two or all of the reels. As with nudges, it won’t surprise anyone that if you have two jackpot symbols on the reels and hold them both, the next spin is unlikely to gift you another jackpot symbol. You may also find that the hold feature is repeated but however many times you hope a third jackpot symbol will land, it won’t.

You will occasionally get a winning combo in this fashion but we find them more useful for collecting trail numbers and scatter symbols for the purpose of triggering a funky bonus feature. It’s also a very shallow learning curve to use nudges and holds together to advance your cause.