Barb’s Best Bets: Toast The Year Of The Dog With These Lucky NJ Online Slots
On Friday, Feb. 16, millions of people all over the world celebrated Chinese New Year. How fitting, too, that only 12 days after the underdog Eagles knocked the favored Patriots down from their pedestal to win their first ever Super Bowl, we ushered in the Year of the Dog!
And just as the over-the-top celebrating by Eagles fans is far from over, the celebration of the Chinese New Year isn’t confined to one day either. For anyone who plays on NJ gambling websites, I can’t think of a better way to ring in the Year of the Dog than to play some lucky Chinese-themed slots.
But not just any slots. Only those with the best payout percentage will do to maximize your chances of winning.
Three slots that I especially recommend you try are Lucky Tree, 88 Fortunes, and Fu Dao Le (which means “fortune has arrived” in Chinese). It’s no coincidence that all three names suggest good luck. But more importantly, all of these games have a return to player (RTP) of 96 percent. That puts them in the very top echelon of NJ online slot games.
Lucky Tree and Fu Dao Le are a joint product of Bally Technologies and SG Interactive. 88 Fortunes is produced by SG Interactive and Shuffle Master.
This game is called Lucky Tree because instead of leaves, the giant tree overlooking the reels is brimming with golden coins.
Of course, as pretty as the coins may look on the tree, they’re not nearly as pretty as the sight of a multitude of coins falling from the tree into your account. If you get five dragons on a payline, you win 20,000 coins. Another time the tree can be very lucky is when the Wild Coin Mystery Feature is triggered.
Lucky Tree is a five-reel slot with 3 rows and 30 fixed paylines. Lucky Tree won’t get your adrenaline pumping the way some slot games do. But whenever you’re in the mood for a slot game that will put you in a relaxed, tranquil mood, it is an excellent choice.
The serene setting by a Chinese pagoda under a purple sky and soothing Asian music in the background will have all of your stresses relegated to the back burner in no time.
Lucky Tree symbols
The higher paying symbols include a toad, fish, turtle, bamboo plant, and pink flower. The playing cards Jack, Queen, King, and Ace comprise the lower paying symbols.
Lucky Tree also has four wild symbols and two scatter symbols. The wild symbols are the Dragon, Wild Yin Yang, Gold Coin, and Wild Fortune Cat. Each of these substitutes for all other symbols except other wilds. The Yin Yang and Fortune Cat symbols that are not marked “wild” are the game’s scatter symbols.
Lucky Tree bonus features
Any of the three bonus features of Lucky Tree can go a long way towards building up your winnings. The possibility, too, that any of them could be activated at almost any time enhances the excitement of the game.
Wild Coin Mystery Feature
The Wild Coin Mystery Feature can occur randomly on any spin during the base game. The Money Tree shakes, and up to seven gold coins will fall onto the reels, turning into wild symbols!
The Free Spins Bonus feature is triggered by having three Yin Yang or Wild Yin Yang symbols land anywhere on reels 2, 3, and 4. You get at least 10 free spins. However, the total could be a lot more because if three Yin Yang symbols appear again on any of the free spins, the bonus is retriggered! On each free spin, extra wild gold coins are added to the reels as well, to improve your chances for a big win.
The Pick Bonus is triggered by getting three Fortune Cat or Wild Fortune Cat symbols anywhere on reels 1, 3, and 5. First, you select one of the three spheres on the screen to see how many picks you get (6-15).
Then the object is to find matching symbols, each of which shows a different multiplier. The symbol with the most matches is the one whose multiplier you will be awarded. If you’re lucky enough to find eight white fortune cats, you win the jackpot of 5,000 coins!
Lucky Tree bet range
Lucky Tree has an RTP of 96 percent and medium volatility. The minimum bet is 30 cents (1 cent per line) and the maximum bet is $90 ($3 per line).
Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture. So why not put that belief to the test with the game 88 Fortunes?
Like Lucky Tree, 88 Fortunes has five reels and three rows, but rather than having a designated number of separate paylines, it has 243 ways to win!
The important distinguishing feature of 243 ways to win slots is that as long as three or more matching symbols appear on adjacent reels from left to right, they form a winning combination. They do not need to appear on a specific payline.
88 Fortunes is a colorful slot, with red and gold the predominant colors. Upbeat Asian music playing in the background adds another nice touch.
88 Fortunes symbols
The higher paying symbols include a bird, ship, turtle, a pile of gold ingots, and the Chinese dollar. The lower paying symbols are the playing cards 9-Ace.
88 Fortunes also has both a wild symbol and bonus symbol. The wild symbol is the Fu Bat icon. It appears on reels two, three, and four only, but substitutes for all other symbols, and sometimes is even capable of triggering a jackpot.
The bonus symbol is the gong. Three of them on adjacent reels triggers the Free Spin Bonus.
88 Fortunes bonus features
88 Fortunes offers two bonus features: a Free Spin feature and a Progressive Jackpot feature. With the help of these bonuses, a lucky player can score a huge win.
Free Spins Bonus
The Free Spins Bonus is triggered when three or more gong symbols appear on adjacent reels starting from the left side. The player receives 10 free spins, during which all the low paying playing cards are removed from the reels, thereby giving you a better chance at a big payoff.
The Free Spins feature may be retriggered simply by having three gong symbols land again on one of the spins.
Fu Bat Progressive Jackpot
The Fu Bat wild symbol is capable of performing double duty. If you’re very lucky, when this symbol appears on the reels, it will trigger the jackpot game. You will then be taken to a special screen, where you have to keep picking symbols until you get three matching ones.
The type of matching symbol will determine whether you win a Mini, Minor, Major, or Grand Jackpot.
88 Fortunes bet range
88 Fortunes is a medium volatility game. The minimum bet is only 8 cents, while the maximum bet is $88.
In addition to selecting a betting unit, players have the option to bet at five different levels ranging from 8x the betting unit to 88x the betting unit. With each higher level, one more tiered symbol will be gold and worth more money. In addition, the more gold symbols there are, the more jackpots can be won.
In order to be eligible for all possible jackpots, regardless of betting unit, you should always select level 5. This will put your bet per spin at 88x your betting unit. Thus, with the minimum betting unit of 1 cent, each bet becomes 88 cents, while the maximum betting unit of $1 will bring the bet per spin to $88.
Fu Dao Le
This is another five reel slot with three rows and 243 ways to win. This game won Honorable Mention for Best Slot Innovation in the 2014 Asian Gaming Supplier Awards.
Fu Dao Le is no ordinary slot. The dazzling design will grab your attention as much as the unusual name, which means “Fortune has arrived.”
Fu Dao Le symbols
The higher paying symbols include a baby on a koi carp, gold ingot, Chinese lanterns, and oranges. The lower paying symbols are the playing cards 9-Ace. While the reels are spinning, pleasant Oriental music plays in the background.
The game also has multiple wild symbols. Three of these appear on free spins only:
- Normal wild
- Wild with a 2x multiplier
- Wild with a 3x multiplier
Two other types of wild symbols can appear on any spin:
- Wonus: Both a wild and bonus symbol, on reels two, three, and four only (except during Free Spins, when it appears on reel 5 only)
- Clumped Wild: stack of three wilds, on reel three only, which nudges up and down to make the whole reel wild
All of the above substitute for all standard symbols (but not each other) to help form winning combinations.
Fu Dao Le special features
Fu Dao Le also includes all of these special features:
Each reel contains stacked mystery symbols. After each spin, all of the mystery symbols will be replaced by the same randomly selected other symbols.
If three or more “Wonus” symbols land anywhere on the reels, you receive eight free spins with a 2x multiplier. But that’s not all. During the free spins, wild symbols are added to reels two, three, and four, and some in reel three even have a 2x or 3x multiplier. Also, if the Wonus shows up on reel five during any of the free spins, you receive an extra free spin!
Jackpot Bonus Feature
When a clumped wild on reel 3 makes the entire reel wild, it may randomly trigger the Jackpot Bonus Feature. You are then taken to a new screen with 15 coins. You keep selecting a new coin until you get three with the same jackpot. That is the jackpot you win: Mini, Minor, Major, or Maxi.
Red Envelope Jackpot
This feature is available in the base game only. Envelope 1 appears only on Reel 1, while Envelope 2 appears only on reel 5. If both turn up on the same spin, you win the Red Envelope Jackpot!
Fu Dao Le bet range
Fu Dao Le, like the other two games described here, has a 96 percent RTP and medium volatility. The minimum bet per spin is 88 cents, and the maximum is $88.
It should be mentioned that the Mini, Minor, Major, and Maxi Jackpots are fixed at $18, $88, $880, and $8,888, respectively, regardless of your bet size. However, the Red Envelope Jackpot does depend on the amount you bet.
Where to play these lucky online slots at NJ gambling sites
While the theme of these three slot games is Asian, all of them offer the kind of experience any slot player can enjoy: a wide betting range, frequent payouts, exciting extras like stacked wilds, free spins, and pick bonuses, and even the opportunity for a big jackpot.
Feeling lucky? Play all three games at Betfair, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Tropicana, or Virgin online casinos. These games are not only fun to play. They offer many ways to win.