Digital slots developer Aristocrat Gaming has produced a number of Chinese-themed pokies titles popular with New Zealand online casino fans. The Lucky 88 slots game, while still using artefacts and colours based on Chinese good-luck superstitions, adds a large extra dose of the number 8, luckiest of all numbers in Chinese numerology, into a number of its prizes.
The five-reel, three-row slots frame hangs against a traditional red background, with strings of firecrackers down the sides that explode to reveal multipliers after certain spins. Lucky 88 uses the standard slots features of Wilds and Scatters to create extra wins and free spins bonuses, but these features come with several extra options, also revolving around combinations of the number 8.
Symbols Mix the Familiar and Unusual
Lucky 88 uses the low-value Poker symbols common to most Aristocrat slots titles, embellishing the font as usual with gold and jewels. The five symbols with higher values, however, are Chinese artefacts that haven’t been overused by other titles: a Drum, a Temple, a Tower, a Crane and a Lion statue.
Prizes start paying out at two of a kind with the lowest-value symbol, the 9, and also for two Cranes or Lions. All other symbols require three or more matches to win. Many of the coin payouts feature 8s; for eaxmple, the top prize in regular play, for five Towers, five Cranes or five Lions, is 88 coins.
Wild is a Riot of 8s
A smiling Chinese Man, the Lucky 88 slot’s Wild, has the usual power to replace any other symbol except the Scatter. However, a Lucky 88 extra is the random multiplier that the Wild adds to any wins it features in, revealed whenever a string of firecrackers explodes at the side of the screen after a Wild appears. This multiplier comes in seven variations, from X2 to X88, making each Wild potentially very lucrative. Combinations of two, three, four or five Wilds on one payline also win 8, 188, 388 or 888 coins.
Scatters for More Multipliers and Free Spins
One or more Scatters, the paper Lantern icon, anywhere on the reels will trigger multipliers on the total bet for the spin; from X1 for one Scatter, up to X188 for five Scatters. Three or more Scatters, as is traditional, trigger the Lucky 88 slots bonus round. Before this free spins round commences, however, the player must choose from a number of options, each with a different tally of free spins and a range of random multipliers, as high as X88, that will be applied to any wins featuring the Wild.
If the player has added 1.00 to the bet for the Extra Choice feature, there will be an additional option among these choices for the free spins as in spin Australian online roulette tables at online casinos. The player can also choose to throw a dice to determine the number of spins and the range of multipliers that will be randomly applied to wins with the Wild. Once the parameters have been set, the free spins commence. The bonus can be retriggered during free spins, so this is the section of the Lucky 88 slot game that offers the best rewards.