Barb’s Best Bets: Lucky Slots To Play This Weekend Even If You’re Not Irish

Updated on March 17, 2018
st. patrick's day

If you’re an NJ online slot player, what could be more fun for St. Patrick’s Day weekend than playing a highly entertaining, high-returning, Irish-themed slot game?

Leave the pub crawling to those who have nothing better to do with their time. Stay warm and comfortable instead, cozying up to your desktop or mobile phone watching the winnings roll in effortlessly. If you’re not Irish, no problem. The Luck of the Irish can still rub off on you, and either of the lucky slots described below is likely to do just that!

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle from NextGen Gaming is a slot game with five reels and 20 paylines. Set in the lush green Irish countryside with a rainbow in the background, the theme and symbols are as Irish as the game title.

Emerald Isle symbols

The low-paying symbols are the playing cards 9 through Ace. No surprise there, but even the playing cards have Irish decorations so they don’t look out of place on the screen. However, what you really want to see show up on the reels are the higher paying symbols with the potential to produce, if not a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, at least a good payday. Whenever the reels line up with four-leaf clovers, red-haired Irish lasses, pots of gold,  leprechauns, or rainbows, you know the Luck of the Irish is with you.

In between winning spins, you’re reminded to “spend a while on the Isle,” which you certainly don’t mind doing. The idyllic setting and lilting Irish music will make it hard for you to leave, and the thought of the hidden treasures you’re hoping will soon be yours makes it even harder.

The leprechaun serves as the game’s wild symbol. As such, it substitutes for all other symbols except the rainbow scatter symbol to help form winning combinations. Either one of these symbols has the potential to produce major wins. If you’re lucky, you could walk away with a big bag of riches.

Emerald Isle bonus features

This game offers two exciting bonus features that can increase your wins dramatically: the Leprechaun Bonus and the Free Spins Bonus.

Leprechaun Bonus

If you’re not enamored with the halfhearted smile on the leprechaun’s face when he is no help in providing a payout, wait till you see how happy he becomes when he is part of a winning combination. Especially when he lands on both reels 1 and 5 at the same time, that’s when he will be positively beaming — and so will you because you will have just triggered the Leprechaun Bonus!

The Leprechaun Bonus is a mini-game pick ’em challenge, in which you keep opening treasure chests one by one until you get a match. The matched amount is then what you win. If you’re really lucky, you can win up to 500x your bet!

Free Spins Bonus

The Free Spins bonus feature is activated by three rainbow symbols appearing on consecutive reels from left to right.

You are immediately rewarded with 10 free spins, during which all wins pay triple. In addition, if you’re lucky enough to have three rainbow symbols show up on adjacent reels again on any of the free spins, the Free Spins feature is retriggered.

Bet range and return to player

The minimum bet per spin is 20 cents and the maximum bet per spin is $80, making this a suitable game for a wide range of players. Emerald Isle is a medium volatility game with a way above average return to player (RTP) of 96.36 percent.

To bet or not to bet?

The combination of a very easy on the eyes (and ears) game, outstanding graphics, two exciting bonus features, and an exceptionally high payout rate mean there’s little not to like in this Irish slot.

Granted it’s not the most action-packed slot game out there, but if you’re looking for a game with the potential to be both relaxing and rewarding, this is an excellent choice.

Don’t get too discouraged if you play for a while and get a lot of small wins while a big win continues to elude you. You may see your balance go up and down, but even when it goes down, it probably won’t be by much. Of the two bonus features, the Leprechaun bonus is much more likely to come up than the Free Spins bonus. In most slot games, as long as three scatter symbols show up anywhere on the reels, it triggers a bonus game. However, in this game, because the three scatter symbols must show up on consecutive reels from left to right, the odds are very much against it.

Even with these shortcomings, Emerald Isle is a very entertaining game that belongs at the top of your list for lucky slots to play this weekend. You will find it on all of the following NJ gambling websites: Betfair, Borgata, Caesars, and Golden Nugget.

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Finn and the Swirly Spin

Finn and the Swirly Spin is the second of the lucky Irish-themed slots included here as best bets for perfect entertainment this weekend. This new release from NetEnt is played on a 5×5 grid with 25 spaces and a cluster pays feature.

Finn is the little leprechaun playing traditional Irish music, while at the same time closely observing the nonstop action unfolding on the reels. When he sees you winning, he becomes animated and tips off his hat, rooting you on to keep winning more.

Finn and the Swirly Spin symbols

The symbols for this game include spades, hearts, 4 leaf clovers, lucky horseshoes, acorns, and rubies. Of these, the rubies are the highest paying symbol. Five of them across a payline pays 50x your bet.

The wild symbol is the star. As such, it replaces all other symbols except for the key, which is the game’s scatter symbol.

You win when you get any horizontal or vertical line with three or more of the same symbol.

Better yet, when a winning combination occurs, all of the contributing symbols are destroyed and the vacated spaces are filled with other symbols. In addition, symbols from spaces that are higher up move to the next lower available space, creating an avalanche where your wins from the same spin can keep growing!

But wait—there’s more. Anytime a winning combination is formed with the help of a wild symbol, the wild symbol will explode and destroy the other adjacent symbols in the same row or column. This also can greatly increase your winnings.

Finn and the Swirly Spin special features

There are a lot of them, so pull up a comfortable chair and read on. One thing’s for certain: You will never get bored playing this slot!

Base Game

Finn and the Swirly Spin won’t make you wait until you trigger a bonus round. You’ll find plenty of action and excitement in the base game, too, where four random features can be triggered at any time.

  • Starfall Wilds Feature: 2 to 5 additional wild symbols appear on the reels.
  • Dragon Destroy Feature: A random number of symbols are destroyed, setting off an avalanche.
  • Irish Luck Feature: You get a whole line (either horizontal or vertical) of the same symbol, for a guaranteed win.
  • Magic Transform Feature: All heart symbols are transformed into a higher paying symbol.

Free Spins

In order to set off the Free Spins Bonus Feature, after all previous wins associated with a given spin have taken place, the scatter symbol–the key–must appear in the center position.

There are four different Free Spins games, each requiring a specified number of keys to unlock. The four games and number of keys required are as follows:

  • Star Bar: 1 key

7 free spins with 2 to 5 wilds added on each.

  • Lava Lair: 4 keys

3 free spins with a random number of symbols destroyed on each spin, thereby creating a win, followed by an avalanche and more winning. In addition, a sticky wild replaces the key symbol.

  • Lucky Mug: 9 keys

4 free spins with either a horizontal or vertical line all of the same symbol, guaranteeing a win on every spin.

  • Golden Pot: 16 keys

2 free spins with all heart symbols transformed into a higher value symbol.

Bet range and return to player

The minimum bet per spin for this game is only a penny, while the maximum is $50. So even the smallest players can participate in this highly entertaining and potentially very lucrative slot game, while all but the highest rollers can take a shot at an even bigger return. Finn and the Swirly Spin is a medium volatility game. With an even higher RTP than Emerald Isle, 96.62 percent, you can play this lucky slot as long as you want, with no worries.

To bet or not to bet?

Finn and the Swirly Spin is without doubt one not only one of the most fun to play Irish-themed slots but also one of the most innovative and highest paying of all the slots on NJ gambling websites. Players can win up to 420 times their stake in the base game and up to 500 times their stake on the free spins. But even if you only win a fraction of that amount or lose a little, the entertainment is first rate.

If I have any complaint at all, it is that the design of this game may be more complex than some slot players are accustomed to in other games. But for anyone who loves action and loves winning, there is no better Irish-themed slot on the market. You can play this game at Betfair, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Sugar House, Tropicana, or Virgin NJ online casinos.

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