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My new favourite slot machine

When I say I have a new favourite slot machine, what I really mean is that I found a slot machine which I not only find tolerable, but also find quite enjoyable!

Apart from taking a shot on Megabucks every now and then (and, really, who can resist with the jackpot at a juicy $32 million?) I just don’t get excited by them.

I even found my experiement into hammering Wheel of Fortune on a 10x slot points day (which made it a reasonable chance of being a break-even game, plus getting me on the radar for room offers) extremely boring.

So, it’s pretty rare to find a game that (a) makes me want to sit down, (b) makes me want to put more money in when the first lot runs out and (c) has be make a special trip back to that casino to play it again.

This is exactly what happened with the “multi-strike” game I found at Terrible’s.

The multi-strike concept originated in video poker.  You play for four games at a time, but only progress for games 2, 3 and 4 if you win on the previous game.  However, you win double on the second game, four times on the third game and eight times on the top game.  As I suspect that doesn’t really explain it well enough, you can click here to play it online for free.

In fact, with some strategy adjustments (which, I’ll admit, I am a long way from knowing) multi-strike provides a slightly better payback than the same paytable on regular video poker.  It’s only another 0.2% or so, but every little helps.

However, as you’d expect, there’s no strategy at all to multi-strike slots.  But still, this is what reeled me in, curious as to how it would work on a slot game.

If you win on one level, you get to spin again with the winnings multiplied accordingly.  In fact, you don’t even need to press the button again – it will spin automatically for you until you get to the top or die.

When a “free ride” symbol lands on both reels 1 and 5, you advance to the next level even if there is no winning combination on the reels.  In addition, free ride gives you a bonus multiplier on the next level – for instance on level 2 instead of 2x you will receive between 3x and 8x.

In addition to the multi-strike feature, the game is otherwise a “greatest hits of slot machines”.  It’s all there, and you’ll see most of it in this epic clip which resulted in a massive $18 win.

Let’s start with the stupidly high number of pay lines – 25, in fact.  This is mandatory on video slots – you’re just not allowed to fully understand the game.  Sometimes you just won’t know how you’ve won but the credit meter will go up and it’ll be a nice surprise, and yet other times you’ll be left wondering why on earth you just won nothing for three symbols top-bottom-middle when you’re absolutely sure that combination paid out last time.

Then there’s the good old triple diamond wildcard.  It only appears on reels 2 and 4 in this game, but it can be used to complete any winning sequence – and triples the win.  Use both of them and the win is multiplied 9x (and then multipled again if you are on level 2 or above).

There’s also a free spins feature – another staple of video slots.  Why just give you a cash award when it can spend a few seconds flashing up small win after small win, hypnotising you into thinking that the machine is paying out much more often than it actually is?  There’s some really clever stuff going on behind all those pretty flashing lights.

Of course, no self-respecting slot machine is complete without a wheel.  Wheel of Fortune is like the most popular, longest running slot machine ever, or something.  Heck, when the Las Vegas Hilton ripped out their poker room last year, they replaced it with… Wheel of Fortune World.  It’s been around longer than I can remember (so I’m no old-timer, but ten years is a long time in Vegas years) and folks still seem to love it.

Although I don’t really know why it’s so popular as a dull 3-reel slot machine, I can appreciate the awesomeness of having a wheel spin right above your head, with the only possible result of where it lands being that you will definitely win some amount of money.  You just don’t know how much yet.

It’s so awesome, in fact, that here’s another clip.  This one in slightly better quality from my camera rather than my phone (look closely and you’ll see me reflecting in the machine at the end) - and a slightly bigger win too :)  

The multi-strike wheel determines the multiplier for your level 4 win, between 6x and 100x.  If you got there on a free ride (as we did in this clip) a bonus of up to 20x is added to the number on the wheel (not multiplied, unfortunately).  Here we have a top line win from the free spin feature for 345 credits ($3.45) which was multipled by 25x on the wheel and 10x on the free ride to give a total level 4 win of over $120!

Not bad for a 1c game, eh?  Even if you do have to play at least 100 coins to activate all the features…

Here’s the bad news though – you can play this game online and for free.  I expect I’ll be wasting plenty of time on this…

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