In Sept. 2021, DraftKings launched a new game called “Rocket.” It is the 37th game that DraftKings has developed entirely in-house exclusively for its own use.
At this time, only NJ DraftKings Casino players can play Rocket. However, pending regulatory approval, DraftKings Casino players in Pennsylvania and Michigan will also have access.
Jason March, DraftKings Vice President of iGaming, expressed his enthusiasm for the new product as follows:
“By developing DraftKings Rocket, our team continues to innovate our Casino offerings as we set out to create an all-new, one-of-a-kind iGaming experience for customers. We’re thrilled to be providing an exclusive iGaming experience to DraftKings customers. At DraftKings, a customer-first approach is essential to our products, and the addition of DraftKings Rocket is sure to provide a new and exciting way for customers to wager with peer-to-peer interaction.”
How the DraftKings Rocket game works
Rocket is an innovative new game that DraftKings is introducing exclusively for its NJ online and mobile players. In this article, I will do my best to describe the basics. However, the only way to fully appreciate how the highly interactive nature of this game works is to try it yourself for real money. I promise you that every trip you take on the virtual rocket (and like Lay’s potato chips, no one can stop with just one) will be an unforgettable wild ride and different from anything you have ever experienced before.
One of the reasons why Rocket should appeal to a very wide range of players is that DraftKings makes it very easy to customize the game to suit your bankroll and playing style. Everyone from small players to high rollers can enjoy the experience. Likewise, regardless of whether you consider yourself a conservative player or a risk-taker, or somewhere in between, you control what you want your risk to reward ratio to be.
Within seconds of placing your bet, you and other DraftKings players who will be accompanying you for the ride will start your virtual takeoff. As the virtual rocket climbs, so does the game multiplier. Therefore, the higher your rocket rises while you are still aboard before it comes to a screeching halt and explodes, the more you can win. But here’s the catch. Timing is crucial.
In order to win your bet, one of two things must happen:
- The multiplier you automatically set prior to the game as the point where you will “bailout” is reached while the rocket is still in flight, or
- You “bail” on the rocket while it is still in flight to lock in the multiplier at that point.
Bet range and win multiplier options
The minimum bet is $1, and the maximum is $1,000. You also have the option to set your own auto-cashback multiplier. While the default setting is 1,000x your bet, which is the maximum payment possible, you have the option instead to play much more conservatively.
When you’re ready to start a new game, you can check the numerical setting to the right of the screen and adjust the multiplier to where you want it. The starting number is 1, but while the rocket rises, the multiplier will steadily rise as well according to a preset logarithm. Assuming that the following time intervals elapse before the rocket explodes, the multiplier will go to 1.1 in about a second, 2.0 in about 12 seconds, and 5.0 in about 30 seconds. Then it will continue to get higher thereafter for as long as it can.
Keep in mind that the amount you stand to win in each game is your bet x your designated multiplier. Therefore, the higher the multiplier is able to go, the better the outcome. However, here’s the catch. If the rocket explodes before the multiplier has a chance to reach the level you have locked in, you don’t win a lesser amount. You lose your entire bet!
How much of a risk-taker are you?
So, the challenge you face is to decide how much of a risk you are willing to take in the hope of a big win. If having a high probability of winning even though the amounts will be small is preferable to you, then play it relatively safe and choose a small multiplier. If you have more of a “go big or go home mentality,” then choose a big multiplier.
By the way, if you don’t select any multiplier as your bailout before the game starts, you still have the option to do so at any point while the game is in progress. Also, the same option exists if you did select a multiplier ahead of time and you wish to change it.
This is a nice feature because at any point, your gut may tell you that you might have set the multiplier too high (or too low). The only problem is that you must act instantly. Otherwise, you could be off by even a second or two and be too late. If the rocket explodes, which could happen at any moment, you and/or any other players who are still aboard will lose.
On the other hand, if you don’t select any multiplier at all, the game will use the default setting of a 1,000x multiplier (the maximum payment possible).
How much can you win playing Rocket?
The return to player (RTP) for this game is 97 percent. That is substantially better than most slot games, but even so, you need to be careful, limit your bets to what you can comfortably afford, and manage your money wisely. This is especially important with a fast-paced, highly volatile game like Rocket. Yes, the potential to win big exists, but it’s a longshot, and if you’re not careful, rockets won’t be the only things disappearing into thin air–your bankroll could be, too!
Theoretically, Rocket could make some players millionaires. Players who bet the maximum of $1,000 and play with a multiplier of 1,000 will win $1 million if—and it’s a big if–the rocket successfully reaches that level without crashing. It’s possible but highly unlikely.
At the opposite extreme, you could bet as little as $1 and play with a very low multiplier (i.e., 2 or less) to virtually assure yourself of a tiny win. But after a while, the game will become boring, and you’ll feel like you’re wasting your time.
So, as eager as you might be to start playing this thrilling game for real money immediately, here’s what I suggest instead. I strongly recommend watching a few rounds of other people playing before you start participating to get a better feel for the flow of the game.
It may take some experimenting to find the right combination of bet size and bail-out multiplier for your personal taste and bankroll. Once you do, then you might want to utilize another optional feature that this game offers to automatically preset both the bet and multiplier for up to 50 consecutive games.
That way you can simply watch the exciting drama unfold in launch after launch without the added pressure of having to make any impulsive, gut-wrenching split-second decisions.
I have already mentioned two of this game’s special features:
- The option to set the machine to automatically play up to 50 consecutive games.
- The ability to bail out and lock in a certain win multiplier, either automatically before the game starts or manually, while the rocket is in flight.
These two options not only enhance the adrenaline rush but give players a much greater sense of control than is possible in most slot games. Here are some other exciting extras that help to make Rocket the highly entertaining experience it is:
- You can customize the appearance of your rocket to your taste.
- Each virtual rocket launch takes place in real-time. Therefore, while you can’t join a game that is already in progress, you never have to wait more than six seconds to start playing.
- A special chat feature lets you talk to other players, similar to what you’ll find in live dealer games.
- While the rocket is in flight, you can observe the point when other players bailout, which could help you with your own game.
- Even if all of the players aboard the rocket bail out early, the rocket will continue to fly without passengers until it crashes. This will show you how you could have won more by staying aboard longer.
Additional thoughts: Rocket pros and cons
Rocket is not recommended for penny players since the smallest bet is $1. However, with an extremely wide betting range starting at $1 and going all the way up to $1,000, it will appeal to a very wide audience of players.
Regardless of what stakes you play for, the challenge to try to set a high enough multiplier to lock in a decent size win before the rocket explodes and leaves you walking away empty-handed has to intrigue you. Rocket is the type of game that will get your adrenalin pumping from the get-go to the finish. It is a very fast-paced game with never a dull moment.
Some reviewers worry that Rocket could be addictive and that the way it lends itself to being played over and over again could trigger a gambling problem or exacerbate it in those who already have one. I tend to agree. I would have also liked to see the option to play this game in demo mode rather than just for real money.
As with any other casino game, it is important to play responsibly, limit one’s bet size to what one can comfortably afford, and avoid marathon sessions. If the nature of this particular game makes it too tempting to stray from these guidelines, you should probably not play it.
Another problem I have is with the DraftKings video emphasizing the prospect of winning $1 million. The only way you even have a chance to win $1 million is to make $1,000 bets with a $1,000x multiplier, Obviously, this is way outside the overwhelming majority of players’ budgets. Also, it could take many $1,000 bets that come up empty before the player finally succeeds, if ever. Personally, I would consider risking so much money on an extremely improbable outcome foolhardy.
The final verdict: Is Rocket worth your time?
Without minimizing the importance of any of the foregoing reservations, there is no denying that Rocket is a very well-executed game with a lot going for it. Besides being highly entertaining, it includes multiple great innovative features that will keep you coming back for more.
So, if you’re a NJ DraftKings player who’s hankering to try a wildly exciting new game with a high RTP and high variance that’s strikingly different from anything you’ve played before, Rocket could have your name written on it. Climb aboard and see how high it can take you.
The July 4th holiday weekend is right around the corner. Are you looking for a safe but fun way to celebrate with a bang but coming up empty? Have no fear.
Barb’s Best Bet is here to rescue you out of your doldrums, bring a big smile to your face, and show you how to let the good times roll. It’s the brand new slot game from Inspired Gaming called Book of Independence.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic City casinos will also be open again (finally) starting July 4th weekend but with many restrictions. Wearing a mask, maintaining your distance from others, and not being able to eat or drink inside the building might not be fun, but it’s for everyone’s safety.
Or stay safe at home and celebrate Independence Day and your independent spirit another way. Open Book of Independence and play online!
Introduction to Book of Independence
Book of Independence is a new video slot consisting of 5 reels, 3 rows, and 10 fixed paylines. The manufacturer, Inspired Gaming, isn’t a household name like NetEnt and IGT, but it is a reputable global games technology company that has been in the business of making online and mobile casino games since 2014.
If you usually play slots with 40, 50, or more paylines, you might not have realized that slots with only 10 paylines are still being manufactured, or mistakenly assume that you’ll be bored playing them. So let’s put that misconception to rest.
Book of Independence is the opposite of boring. All of the symbols celebrate Independence Day and what it means for Americans in a big way, and the rousing music accompanying each spin will make you feel like a patriotic parade is due to start any minute. You almost want to get up from your chair and start marching!
The only thing missing that would make the spectacle complete are fireworks. But maybe not–if the screen lights up with big winnings. All winning spins, even the small ones, are accompanied by a cascade of gold coins falling down from the reels.
Book of Independence bet range
Book of Independence is a slot game that should appeal to a very wide range of bettors. The minimum bet per spin is only 10 cents while the maximum is $50.
Those of you who are high rollers might think that a $50 maximum bet isn’t that much, but trust me—in this game, it is plenty. For starters, Book of Independence is a high volatility slot, so betting $50 per spin is only appropriate for those with a big bankroll and nerves of steel. Also, if you want the opportunity to up the stakes, even more, you can do so by activating a special Gamble feature, which I’ll describe later.
On the other hand, if you’re not a high stakes player, consider betting a little less than you usually do. That will help you preserve your bankroll longer in the event you don’t have good luck early on.
Alternatively, if you want to get a good feel for the game before you risk any money, you can play in demo mode, with the same 10 cents to $50 betting options that you have betting real money.
Book of Independence has an outstanding RTP—just what you want in an online slot
All games that meet my stringent requirements for Best Bet status must have a return to player (RTP) of 96 percent or higher, and Book of Independence, with a published RTP of 96.23 percent, is no exception. It is well above the average for NJ online slots.
The RTP is a useful estimate of a game’s probable rate of return over the long run, not necessarily how you well you can expect to fare in any given session. Your single session results could deviate markedly from what the RTP suggests in either direction.
But even so, because no one’s bankroll is unlimited, just in case you don’t have good luck early on, a higher than average RTP will help keep you in the game longer and lessen the likelihood of losing a big chunk or all of your bankroll. A high RTP is also associated with more frequent payouts even though most of them will be small.
Of course, you can still win on a slot with an average or below-average RTP, just as you can still lose playing a slot with a very high RTP. But if you play frequently, and particularly if you need to be mindful of your bankroll, you should grab every edge you can get and play only slots with a high rate of return.
But watch out for the high volatility
Another important consideration when deciding which slot to play is its volatility or variance. The manufacturer describes the Book of Independence as having high volatility. This means that during the course of your play, you should be prepared for big swings in your bankroll.
When I tried the game in demo mode, I once had 15 consecutive non-winning spins, and the same or worse could happen to you. I also had some big wins. If you get lucky and score a big win, I strongly advise locking in the win by ending the session then rather than continuing to play and more likely than not seeing all of your winnings evaporate.
What makes Book of Independence Barb’s Best Bet for July 4th
Despite the volatile nature of this game, it qualifies for Best Bet status based on its other attributes. Not only the outstanding RTP and wide bet range, but also and even more so, I chose this game because the theme and timing couldn’t be more perfect. During these difficult times, when it is so easy to become disillusioned, this game reminds us of the great things about our country that we can and should appreciate, yet does so in a highly entertaining way. Book of Independence is as American as Uncle Sam and apple pie.
Which NJ online casinos offer the Book of Independence slot game?
Book of Independence can be played either on your computer or on iOS or Android mobile devices. However, I was hoping that this game would be more widely available than it is. Only two NJ gambling websites offer it:
Alternatively, here are two other July 4th-related slots from IGT that you can play instead:
- Fantastic Fireworks
- Red White & Blue
Book of Independence symbols
This star-spangled salute to America contains nine regular symbols plus one additional special symbol that does double duty as both a wild symbol and a bonus scatter symbol, and all of them directly relate to the July 4th theme.
The six higher-paying regular symbols, in descending order of value, are as follows:
- American flag
- Bald eagle
And here’s another welcome change. There’s not a playing card in sight! Instead, the remaining lower paying symbols in red, white, and blue, respectively, are three letters—U S A!
Book of Independence Paytable
Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner. You need either two or more or three or more like symbols to appear adjacently on consecutive reels, starting with the reel furthest to the left.
The following paytable shows what you will be paid for each winning combination involving each symbol.
Book of Independence Paytable
Multiple of Bet Paid Out for Different Winning Combinations
The wild symbol is the Book of Independence over an American flag. It can appear on any reel during either the base game or the Free Spins, so you will encounter it frequently. It can substitute for all other symbols except the identical symbol when it becomes a bonus symbol instead and the specially designated expanded symbol during the Free Spins round. So even though the wild symbol has no monetary value on its own, it helps create and add to winning combinations with other symbols.
Bonus scatter symbol
The bonus scatter symbol is also the Book of Independence over an American flag. The way to tell it apart from the wild symbol is that you need three or more of them to appear anywhere on the reels. Once that happens, you trigger the potentially very lucrative Free Spins bonus round. As indicated below, your prize depends on how many bonus symbols—3, 4, or 5, land on the reels simultaneously.
- 3 bonus symbols: Awards 10 free spins and 2x your bet.
- 4 bonus symbols: Awards 10 free spins and 20x your bet
- 5 bonus symbols: Awards 10 free spins and 200x your bet
Book of Independence special features
This game includes two special features: the just mentioned Free Spins bonus round and an optional Gamble feature.
10 Free Spins, with one randomly assigned expanded symbol
When the free spins start, one symbol is randomly chosen to expand vertically and add to your winnings.
You decide if you want to play with this feature on or off. If you leave the Gamble feature on, after any winning combination with a payout equal to or greater than 5x your bet, you can use this feature to try to increase your winnings.
You will see two wheels and will be asked to pick which one you want to spin. The left wheel offers the chance to increase your winnings by 1/3, or double or triple your winnings. The right wheel gives you the chance to win up to 20 free spins.
If the pointer stops on the green segment, you win the cash prize or number of free spins indicated. You can then either end the Gamble feature and collect your winnings or keep going to try to win more. However, if the pointer stops on the red segment of the wheel, you lose all of your winnings.
Given the highly volatile nature of this game, if you decide to use the Gamble feature at all, I recommend that you be conservative. For example, after winning $400 on a $20 bet in demo mode, I spun the wheel once and doubled my win to $800 but chose not to try again.
The bottom line: Book of Independence is a great online slot choice for July 4th
If you’re looking for a great way to stay safe but still have lots of fun on July 4th and beyond and maybe even win a nice pile of extra holiday cash, look no further than Book of Independence.
Do you know which progressive jackpot has been hit on PA and NJ gambling websites more times than any other? In fact, this year alone, it hit three times in March and again in April and May. It’s a Divine Fortune Jackpot!
Especially now, in these uncertain times, a little Divine intervention would be a most welcome change in anyone’s life, just as it was for these winners.
And the way this out of this world slot game has been gushing out mega-sized jackpots, not only recently, but frequently over the course of its online history, suggests the next time could be right around the corner. So what better time than right now, when online slot play is more popular than ever, to highlight Divine Fortune as this month’s Barb’s Best Bet!
Incredible but true: the Divine Fortune Progressive Jackpot was hit three times in March–and again in April and May
The first of the three progressive jackpots that were hit in March 2020 took place on March 15 when a NJ woman named Netty won $278,802.58 on a $2 bet on the NJ gambling website PlaySugarHouse.
The other two progressive jackpots were won by Pennsylvania players and, interestingly, both of those also occurred on SugarHouse Online Casino at PlaySugarHouse.com but at its PA online casino.
On March 20, the slot made a $1 bettor $278,430.23 richer, and on March 29, another Pennsylvania man won $159,052.43 on the same slot game at the same online casino.
But lest you think that all of the Divine Fortune progressive jackpot wins have taken place at PlaySugarHouse, that’s not true. As long as you’re in the right place at the right time, a mega-size win on this online slot can happen anywhere. In April, good fortune was smiling down in a big way on two more NJ players at different online casinos.
A furloughed worker named Gary hit the progressive jackpot for $230,552.71 on a $5 bet at Hard Rock Online Casino. Then a Rotogrinders contributor named Yisman won over $219,000 on a $3 bet while playing Divine Fortune on his mobile device at Betfair Casino.
The biggest Divine Fortune progressive jackpot ever
But wait–the best was still to come. On May 26, 2020, an Audubon, PA woman who was playing Divine Fortune at PlaySugarHouse on her mobile device hit the progressive jackpot for $533,239.70. It’s the largest jackpot paid to date on this game in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the only two states where Divine Fortune is currently available.
By the way, the surge of progressive jackpot payouts reported lately is no fluke. PlaySugarHouse.com has only existed in Pennsylvania since the summer of 2019. Yet the Divine Fortune progressive jackpot has already been hit there 15 times.
In New Jersey, where Divine Fortune was launched in 2017, the game’s progressive jackpot has paid out more than $3 million.
It’s definitely not too late to get on the bandwagon.
Divine Fortune Basics
Divine Fortune is a video slot by the world-renowned online casino games manufacturer NetEnt. It consists of five reels, three rows, and 20 fixed paylines. So upon first glance, it might look quite ordinary. But as soon as you start playing, you will quickly discover that it is anything but.
Here’s what this unique but justifiably very popular slot has to offer that elevates it from the ordinary to the extraordinary:
- Wide range of bet sizes appealing to all types of players
- Intriguing Greek mythology theme
- Falling Wilds with free re-spins
- Wild on Wild feature where one or more reels turn completely wild!
- Free Spins bonus round
- Three jackpots, including a potentially life-changing progressive jackpot that hits frequently!
- An exceptionally high RTP (especially for a progressive jackpot slot) along with medium volatility to keep the game affordable
The instantly recognizable Greek mythology theme is reflected in every aspect of the game, including the setting and soundtrack. An imposing statue stands on each side of the reels, and a Grecian urn has been placed just below the statue on the right side. The music complements the mood without being overpowering.
You don’t have to be a mythology buff to enjoy this game. But if you are, you will recognize that all of the higher paying symbols on the reels, starting with the snake-haired Medusa, are associated with Greek mythology as well. And the wild symbol, which plays a prominent role throughout, is the winged white horse, Pegasus. The scatter symbol (three or more of which activate the Free Spins bonus feature) is a fist holding a lightning bolt while the bonus symbol (three or more of which activate the Jackpot Bonus Game) is a golden coin.
A product of NetEnt one of the most trusted names in the business
As you can see, Divine Fortune is in many ways unique. That’s a quality that any frequent slot player looks for because let’s face it, even the most entertaining slots can grow tiresome if you keep playing them every day. Slot players crave variety and excitement, and Divine Fortune, especially with the added lure of a huge progressive jackpot waiting to be won, fulfills that craving in a big way.
But at the same time, Divine Fortune shares the same important qualities that characterize all NetEnt slots. The ability to combine the latest techniques in advanced, cutting edge online and mobile gaming technology to make every playing session highly entertaining is only one part of the formula.
NetEnt considers it no less important to create slots that will appeal to a very wide range of online casino players regardless of bankroll or playing style and give every player a more than fair chance to win.
Every slot game in NetEnt’s vast catalog has a return to player (RTP) of at least 96.0 percent, and some such as Divine Fortune has an RTP approaching 97.0 percent. These stats put NetEnt slots in the top echelon of NJ online slots.
NetEnt also manufactures top-quality table games for online and mobile casinos. It is no surprise that NetEnt has built a reputation as one of the leading providers for online casinos worldwide. It is no surprise either that many of the slots I single out as Barb’s Best Bets are NetEnt slots.
Exceptional RTP combined with a shot at a progressive jackpot–online slots don’t get better than this!
It’s highly unlikely you’ll go wrong playing any NetEnt slot. But what puts Divine Fortune in a class all by itself is not only its extraordinarily high RTP of 96.60 percent but also that a return to player of that magnitude exists for a progressive jackpot slot.
The RTP indicates the theoretically expected rate of return over many thousands of spins over a long stretch of time. So don’t be surprised if your results for a single playing session are quite different. Early on, you could be either a lot luckier or a lot unluckier than the RTP suggests.
Because everyone’s bankroll is to some extent limited, just in case you don’t get off to a good start, it’s always reassuring, especially if you’re a small stakes player, to know that the game has a high RTP. Frequent payouts, even if they are mostly small ones, can help you recoup or at the very least, minimize your losses.
Most progressive jackpot slots come with a below-average RTP and high volatility
The overwhelming majority of progressive jackpot slots only offer a mediocre RTP combined with high volatility. In exchange for the possibility of the elusive mega-size jackpot you’re chasing, the payouts in the base game will probably be quite a bit smaller and less frequent than you need them to be to stay ahead. In fact, huge negative swings are common, so if you’re not careful, you could deplete a big chunk or even all of your bankroll long before the slot has a chance to turn in your favor.
Divine Fortune offers way above average RTP and medium volatility
Divine Fortune is the exception because this progressive jackpot slot combines an unusually high RTP (even for non-progressive jackpot slots) with medium volatility. You will experience enough variation in results to keep you in suspense and maintain interest but not so much that relative to your bet size, you risk losing a fortune.
As long as you bet within your means, even if you don’t win, you shouldn’t have a problem. You can stay in the game for a reasonable length of time and have enough funds left over to try again.
Moreover, even though the manufacturer states that the likelihood of hitting the progressive jackpot increases if you make big bets, betting big is not a requirement, as some of the most recent $200K+ winners have proven.
Could the extremely high RTP and medium volatility combination help explain why players keep hitting the Divine Fortune progressive jackpot so frequently? Probably. It also explains why, even if you don’t win the jackpot, you can still be a big winner in this game.
Which NJ online casinos offer Divine Fortune?
All of the following NJ online casinos offer Divine Fortune for both online and mobile device play.
- Golden Nugget
- Hard Rock
- Mohegan Sun
Divine Fortune bet size
Divine Fortune can be played either in demo mode or for real money. The game offers a wide enough range of bet sizes to satisfy most players. You can’t alter the number of paylines, which remains fixed at 20. But you can adjust the bet level anywhere from 1 to 10 and the coin size to different denominations ranging from 1 cent to 50 cents.
Your bet size per spin is simply the coin size x the bet level x 20. The minimum bet per spin is a mere 20 cents, and the maximum is .50 x 10 x 20 or $100.
Divine Fortune symbols
Divine Fortune contains a total of 11 symbols. Eight of these are regular symbols. The remaining three special symbols include a wild symbol, scatter symbol, and Jackpot Bonus symbol.
The four higher-paying regular symbols are recurring creatures in Greek mythology. In descending order of payout, they are Medusa, a Nemean lion, a Minotaur, and a Phoenix.
The lower paying regular symbols are the playing cards J-A depicted with Greek lettering.
Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner. Three or more like symbols need to line up on consecutive reels horizontally or diagonally starting with the reel farthest to the left.
The following paytable shows the payouts for three, four, or five of a kind for each of the eight symbols.
Divine Fortune Symbol Payout Values
To determine the applicable payout for a given winning combination, simply multiply the number of coins displayed in the table by the product of your bet level and coin size.
The wild symbol is the mythical winged horse, Pegasus. By itself, it has no payout value. However, it can substitute for any other symbol except the free spins and bonus symbols to help form or add to winning combinations. It can also do a lot more.
At the very least, every wild symbol turns into a Falling Wild that moves down the reel one position where it remains for a free re-spin!
The Falling Wilds and associated re-spins continue until the last such wild symbol has dropped out of view.
However, before that happens, anytime another wild symbol lands directly over a Falling Wild on a re-spin, you trigger the Wild on Wild feature in which the whole reel turns wild!
Also, during the Free Spins bonus feature, all wild symbols automatically turn the entire reel wild!
The scatter symbol is a clenched fist holding a lightning rod. Three or more scatter symbols anywhere on the reels will trigger the Free Spins bonus feature.
Jackpot Bonus symbol
The Divine Fortune Jackpot Bonus symbol is a gold coin. As with the scatter symbol, one or two gold coins won’t help you at all. But if three or more land simultaneously, the screen will switch to the Jackpot Bonus game for a chance to win a Mini, Major, or Mega Progressive Jackpot!
Divine Fortune Jackpot – Special Features
Falling Wilds Re-Spins feature
As mentioned, this feature occurs automatically anytime at least one wild symbol shows up on the reels. First, any payments due you on that spin, with or without the help of the wild symbol, are awarded. Then the wild symbol moves down one place on the reel, where it remains for the ensuing free re-spin.
The higher the row on which the wild symbol first lands, the better, because the Falling Wilds feature continues until the Falling Wild symbol drops off the reels completely. Of course, new wild symbols can show up during the re-spins to become Falling Wilds as well. Therefore, the Falling Wilds Re-Spins feature can continue for quite a while.
Wild on Wild feature
Any Falling Wild can potentially lead to the even more lucrative Wild on Wild feature. During the base game, you will activate the Wild on Wild feature anytime a new wild symbol appears during a re-spin directly over an already existing Falling Wild. This is where a giant size white-winged horse will magically cover an entire reel!
But during the Free Spins bonus feature (unlike in the Falling Wilds Re-Spins feature), any wild symbol anywhere on the reels will activate the Wild on Wild feature immediately!
Free Spins feature
To activate the Free Spins feature and receive 5, 8, or 12 free spins, respectively, 3, 4, or 5 free spins scatter symbols must land simultaneously anywhere on the reels. This can happen either during the base game or during the Falling Wilds Re-spins feature.
Once the Free Spins feature is in progress, it can’t be retriggered. But that one drawback is more than offset by the fact that exclusively during the Free Spins, any wild symbol at all instantly becomes a Wild on Wild, rendering the entire reel wild!
So, in effect, you could wind up with many more free spins than the number initially awarded. During that time, ginormous winnings are possible.
Jackpot Bonus Game
The Free Spins feature is hard to top, but Divine Fortune offers one more feature that has that capability. It’s the Jackpot Bonus Game!
There is only one way to activate the Jackpot Bonus Game. Three or more gold coin Jackpot Bonus symbols need to land anywhere on the reels simultaneously.
Each bonus symbol you just collected gets a random coin win value of 10-200x your bet size before it is randomly placed on the reels.
You get three free spins to start. However, each time a Jackpot Bonus symbol lands, the multiplier is applied, and you receive three additional spins.
The Jackpot Bonus Game continues until either you win one of the three jackpots or have no more free spins remaining, whichever comes first.
- If you fill one entire row with Bonus symbols, you win the Minor Jackpot: 20x your bet.
- Or If you fill two entire rows with Bonus symbols, you win the Major Jackpot: 100x your bet.
- If you fill all three rows with Bonus symbols, you can add your name to the growing list of players who have won the Divine Fortune Mega Progressive Jackpot!
How I fared playing Divine Fortune four times in demo mode
Betting $10 and $20 per spin during the first two sessions and then $50 per spin during the last two sessions, I finished way ahead all four times. As expected, the bigger bets produced bigger wins, but even betting just $10 a spin, I finished over $200 ahead.
In my third session, betting $50 per spin, I was down nearly $400 in the base game. But then I triggered the Free Spins bonus. What started out as five free spins multiplied into many more, and on one occasion, three reels turned completely wild simultaneously, culminating in a “super mega win” of $10,430!
During session 2, I triggered the Jackpot Bonus Game rather than the Free Spins but did not win a jackpot. (A jackpot is not guaranteed when you trigger this bonus, just the opportunity to try for one).
However, in session 4, though not until I had lost more than $2,000 of my hypothetical $5K starting stake, I triggered the Jackpot Bonus Game and won the Major Jackpot! If I had been making real $50 bets (which I can’t afford) instead of using play money, on top of the $10,000+ I would have collected in session 3, I would have won another $5,000!
The bottom line
Even with this game’s exceptionally high RTP and medium volatility, substantial negative swings are possible, as my playing sessions in demo mode illustrated. So it is important to go into this game adequately capitalized.
As long as you play responsibly, at a level you can afford, even if you don’t win, the chances are very slim that you will deplete your bankroll. But you might fare so much better. You might even win a Divine Fortune progressive jackpot!
DIVINE FORTUNE STATS
- Five reels, 20 fixed paylines
- Bets: 20 cents to $100
- RTP: 96.60 percent
- Greek mythology theme
- Falling Wilds with Re-Spins and Wild on Wild feature turning one or more reels completely wild!
- Free Spins feature where every wild symbol turns the entire reel wild!
- Three jackpots that are hit surprisingly frequently, including a mega-size progressive jackpot capable of paying well over $100,000!
Gov. Murphy ordered all nine Atlantic City casinos to close as of 8 p.m. Monday, March 16. And celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at your favorite local Irish pub is also out. What a bummer! But here’s another great way to get in the party mood–visit Finn’s Golden Tavern online and win CASH!
Finn’s Golden Tavern never closes
So you’re welcome to stop by, join the fun and maybe have a big helping of Irish luck rub off on you, not just on St. Patrick’s Day but anytime.
Where can you find Finn’s Golden Tavern?
Finn’s Golden Tavern is ready to serve you 24/7 on any of the following NJ gambling websites. The game can be played either on your desktop or on iOS or Android mobile devices.
This online slot is so much fun it will be hard to tear yourself away. And surely you can use all of the cheering up you can get in these uncertain times. So whether you’re Irish or not, leave your cares and worries behind and get ready to party. You might even win a big pot of gold!
Also, don’t forget that at Finn’s Golden Tavern, the fun and festivities never stop. This game could become one of your favorite slots on NJ Gambling Websites.
Finn’s Golden Tavern picks up where Finn and the Swirly Spin leave off
NetEnt, the same world-renowned gaming manufacturer that brought you Finn and the Swirly Spin, a March 2018 Barb’s Best Bet, has recently released a sequel, Finn’s Golden Tavern, that is equally entertaining, if not more so.
Finn, the lucky leprechaun with flame-red hair whom many of you have come to love in Finn and the Swirly Spin is back to welcome you to Finn’s Golden Tavern. While he’s not as prominently featured in the newer slot, he is still taking in all of the action from the sidelines. As your biggest cheerleader, he wants your visit to be enjoyable and profitable, and he’s always looking out for you.
But if you’re expecting to find the usual five reels, three rows, and a fixed number of paylines, a big surprise is in store for you. In both of these games, all of the action takes place inside a 5×5 grid with 25 spaces and a cluster pays feature.
Another thing the two games have in common is that they are filled with exciting bonus features. But you don’t have to wait until you trigger a special bonus to make the game worth playing. There’s nonstop action from the get-go in the base game, too. Every time you win, the winning symbols explode and set off an avalanche!
Finn’s favorite tavern serves up nonstop fun
The setting for the two games is different and so are the symbols. Instead of the lush green Irish countryside setting the stage for the action, this time the fun takes place inside a bustling local tavern. So you won’t see any four-leaf clovers. Instead, the screen is filled with gold coins and jugs, bottles, and tankards of ale.
On non-winning spins, the music playing in the background is relatively quiet–nothing to get too excited about. But once you start winning, especially if it’s a big win, then it’s cause for celebration. The music becomes much livelier, and everyone in the bar including Finn is celebrating along with you. If you want to prolong the party vibe, simply wait a minute or two before your next spin. The rousing soundtrack won’t stop until you resume playing.
Finn’s Golden Tavern basics
Finn’s Golden Tavern is a new video slot from NetEnt, one of the most recognizable and highly regarded names in the online casino gambling industry. This company is not only at the forefront of online and mobile slot technology but has been making innovative and highly entertaining games for online casino players in New Jersey and around the world for a long time.
However, this particular slot bears little resemblance to the games you’re used to playing. Most recently released online slots contain five reels, three rows, and a specific number of paylines. Furthermore, much more often than not, winning combinations are formed only when three or more matching symbols show up adjacently on consecutive reels, starting with the reel furthest to the left. Winning combinations in Finn’s Golden Tavern are formed completely differently.
Innovative 5×5 grid layout
The layout for the game is a 5×5 grid consisting of 25 spaces. Each space is occupied by a symbol. Winning combinations for the ale-related symbols are formed whenever three or more of the same symbol line up in adjacent spaces either horizontally or vertically. However, coin symbols will pay you even when only one of them shows up. With all symbols, the greater the number (up to 5 for each winning combination), the greater the payout.
You will frequently get winning combinations simultaneously in multiple places on the grid, which also increases the amount of your win. Sometimes you will see big clusters of winning symbols.
But the winning doesn’t stop there. Whether you get just three winning symbols or a bunch of them, all of them explode. Each space on the grid formerly occupied by one of those symbols is then empty, This sets in motion an avalanche whereby other symbols move to fill the empty spaces and frequently form more winning combinations to trigger another avalanche. These avalanches can last a long time and give you big wins.
You’re going on a treasure hunt!
Finn has a super exciting challenge for you–a treasure hunt. The direction is all mapped out for you, and lots of rewards are waiting to be scooped up. All you need to do is to find them is to get lucky.
Spin Mechanic feature
Each time you win, the winning symbols are destroyed and get replaced by other symbols. The way this happens is that symbols move from higher-numbered spaces to the next lowest numbered space in the directions of the arrows, as depicted in the diagram below.
You will also notice that at the start of each spin, a treasure chest always occupies square No. 25 at the bottom. The game contains only one treasure chest so, unlike the other symbols, forming a winning combination of three or more is impossible. But that’s a good thing because this symbol never gets destroyed. Instead, every time you win, the treasure chest is on the move.
Unfortunately, as soon as the grid ceases to display any new winning combinations, the treasure chest will return to its original position in square No. 25. That can be frustrating.
Multiple wins in succession are best because with each consecutive win, the treasure chest will move closer to the center square marked “1”. Once the treasure chest lands in the center, that triggers the Free Spins game with five free spins and a Free Spins Multiplier.
What makes Finn’s Golden Tavern Barb’s Best Bet?
As a NJ slot player, you want every playing experience to be fun, and while winning is never a sure thing, at least you want to have a good chance to win without undue risk to your bankroll. But where do you start? With hundreds of slots to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of slots.
Barb’s Best Bets can help you make better choices. I use very stringent criteria in deciding which slots make the cut. While I can’t guarantee a winning outcome, what I can guarantee is a highly entertaining playing session, great bang for your buck, and a better chance of winning than most slots offer.
Here are the specific reasons why I chose Finn’s Golden Tavern as Barb’s Best Bet this week.
The perfect slot for St. Patrick’s Day
Probably the last place you thought you would be spending this joyful holiday is at home. You would much rather be hanging out at your favorite casino, bar or restaurant. This year it’s impossible, so instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself, put some extra fun in your life and do something that is not only different and exciting but could be financially rewarding, too.
The online slot game Finn’s Golden Tavern is a new release, so the chances are you never played it before. And the Irish tavern setting makes it the perfect choice for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day you can’t go out and would like to play a game that is certain to cheer you up).
Lots of special features
When it comes to special features, the more the merrier, and this slot is filled with them. Even in the base game, there’s never a dull moment. Best of all, even though you don’t have to travel anywhere and can enjoy all the comforts of home while playing on your desktop, smartphone, or tablet, you get the opportunity to go on a treasure hunt. How exciting is that!
Wide range of bet sizes
This game gives you a very wide range of coin sizes, so you can adjust the size of your bets up or down to your liking. The cost per spin is the coin size multiplied by 10. You can choose a coin size from 1 cent all the way up to $50. This makes the minimum bet per spin 10 cents and the maximum bet per spin $500.
Created by NetEnt, a name synonymous with quality
If you play NJ online slots frequently, the name NetEnt should already be very familiar to you. There’s a good chance some of your favorite slots are NetEnt slots. And by the way, you have all of March 2020 to keep earning entries for the NetEnt $250,000 Giveaway, and Finn’s Golden Tavern is one of the slots where your play qualifies.
It is also no coincidence that many slot games I select as Barb’s Best Bets are NetEnt slots. This manufacturer pays as much attention to ensuring that every game it releases offers an excellent chance to win as it does to the myriad of special features that make gameplay so enjoyable.
Exceptionally high return to player (RTP)
One of my criteria for Best Bet status is an RTP of 96 percent or higher. That immediately rules out the majority of online slots but not NetEnt slots because every online slot game that NetEnt releases has an RTP of at least 96 percent.
Finn’s Golden Tavern has a published RTP of 96.10 percent.
Keep in mind that your results for any given playing session might deviate considerably from this figure in either direction. This is especially true in a game like Finn’s Golden Tavern due to its medium-high volatility.
The RTP is simply the theoretical estimate of the amount of a player’s starting bankroll that the player can expect to receive back after a great many sessions. However, no one’s bankroll is infinite. Playing games with a high RTP will not only give you better odds of winning but greatly minimizes the likelihood that an extended early losing streak will wipe you out before you have a chance to recoup.
Finn and Swirly Spin
All of the above NJ online casinos mentioned above also offer Finn and the Swirly Spin.
You can also play Finn and the Swirly Spin at these NJ online casinos which do not currently offer Finn’s Golden Tavern:
Finn’s Golden Tavern symbols
Lower paying symbols
Finn’s Golden Tavern includes a total of eight regular symbols. The four lower paying symbols are as follows:
- Jug of ale
- Bottle of ale
- Silver tankard
- Wooden tankard
Each of these symbols pays the same: 1x your bet for three symbols, 5x your bet for four symbols, and 50x your bet for five symbols.
Higher paying symbols and Coins Ahoy feature
The remaining regular symbols are coins. Each coin is marked with a different value: 5, 10, 20, or 50. The following pay table shows the bet multipliers for each coin, depending on how many of them appear together.
|Coin Symbol Bet Multipliers|
|Type of symbol||One
As you will see, any three or more matching coin symbols of the same value pay out the sum of the values of all of the matching coins. In other words, it’s Coins Ahoy!
A yellow star is the game’s wild symbol just as it is in Finn and the Swirly Spin. As such, it can help to form winning combinations when there otherwise wouldn’t be any as well as add to the value of existing winning combinations.
When a winning combination does not include the wild symbol, a wild symbol will appear after the win and possibly contribute to another win.
In Finn and the Swirly Spin, the ultimate goal is to move the key from its No. 25 starting position in the bottom left-hand corner of the grid all the way to position No. 1 in the center of the grid. In Finn’s Golden Tavern, instead of a key, you hope to accomplish the same result with the treasure chest. You must get the treasure chest in the center square to unlock the Free Spins bonus game, where if your good Irish luck continues, you have a chance to win a fortune.
Finn, who is continually rooting for you but rarely makes an appearance, finally will after the treasure chest lands in the center square to trigger the Free Spins. He will personally appear in the center of the grid and raise his jug of ale to toast your good fortune.
Finn’s Golden Tavern additional special features
We already described the Spin Mechanic, Avalanche, and Coins Ahoy features. But those only begin to describe the multitude of exciting extras you are likely to experience playing the Finn’s Golden Tavern slot game. The others are listed below.
Fist Slam feature
In the main game, this feature can be randomly activated on a non-winning spin. Finn slams his fist on the table, and a coin symbol moves to create a win!
Random Coin feature
This is another special feature that can randomly occur in the main game. If the Free Spins chest symbol lands in the immediate loop of symbols around the center position, this can activate the Random Coin Feature whereby the winning low paying symbols turn into higher paying coin symbols!
After all wins or Avalanches have occurred, if the Free Spins chest symbol is in the central position, this activates the Free Spins game with five free spins and a Free Spins Multiplier.
Free Spins Multiplier
A Free Spins Multiplier Meter appears on the screen while the free spins are in progress. It goes up 1 step for each wild symbol that is involved during an Avalanche.
For every 5 steps up the meter, the Free Spin Multiplier increases by 1.
Free Spins Coin Bonus feature
During the free spins, if a Free Spins chest symbol lands in the center position on the grid upon the completion of an Avalanche, this activates the Free Spins Coin Bonus feature. Multiple coin symbols appear with randomly assigned values.
No progressive jackpot, but you can still get a mega-size win
Finn’s Golden Tavern doesn’t offer a progressive jackpot. That is probably just as well because in most progressive jackpot games, the trade-off is playing with a lower RTP so other meaningful wins are harder to come by. Instead, the plethora of special features both in the base game and during the Free Spins, but especially in the latter, can add up to not just a meaningful win but a ginormous win. According to the manufacturer, you can win up to 1,000x your bet–for a maximum payout of $500K!
How I fared playing Finn’s Golden Tavern in demo mode
My winnings in my free sessions in demo mode were far from earth-shattering. But I was a winner nonetheless.
Session 1: +$250
For my first playing session, I selected a coin value of 50 cents, which had me betting a hypothetical $5 per spin
During the base game, I had a mixture of small wins and larger wins. So my bankroll went up and down but not by much either way. Then, sooner into the game than I expected, the treasure chest symbol landed in the middle, so I was awarded 5 free spins.
At the start of the free spins, I was up $64. During the free spins, the Multiplier Meter never climbed higher than 1, leaving me with an additional win of $186 and a total win for the playing session of $250.
Session 2: +$27
This time I doubled the coin value to $1.00, which made the cost of each bet $10.
However, I did not fare as well in the base game. As a result, even though, once again, I triggered the Free Spins, by that time I was already down by $194.
I won $221 during the Free Spins, which was slightly more than I won in Session 1 but not as much as I would have expected since my bet size was doubled. After concluding the Free Spins, not wanting to put the medium-high volatility to the test further, I ended the session.
For my final playing session in demo mode, I decided to get bold and raise the stakes. I increased the coin size to $5, which made the cost of each bet $50. I would not have done this if I were playing with real money, but with an imaginary starting bankroll of $5,000, I felt I was sufficiently capitalized.
On my very first spin, I won $585, with multiple coins contributing to the big win. Another big win of $450, with the help of wild symbols, followed shortly thereafter. However, the good luck didn’t continue and the game turned ice cold on me. Despite being up $755, I lost all of my winnings. So I was back to square 1 while the treasure chest, which I was hoping to land on square 1 on the grid, kept reverting back to square 25.
My bad luck continued, and my loss mounted to $980. Then, finally, on one spin, I not only won $585 but triggered the Free Spins. From then on, the grid went crazy wild with winning symbols exploding all over the place. The treasure chest even landed in the center square to trigger the highly lucrative Free Spins Coin Bonus. Everything was happening so fast, I couldn’t keep up with it.
When all was said and done, the Multiplier Meter had risen to 4, and with the Free Spins winnings added to the win on the triggering spin, my total win on my last $50 bet came to $6,480. After subtracting $980 (the amount I was behind just before the Free Spins), that left me with a net win for the session of $5,500.
The bottom line
My results playing in demo mode show that the degree of volatility or variance associated with this online slot can be quite high. For this reason, it is imperative to select a bet size that you can comfortably afford.
I highly recommend Finn’s Golden Tavern. The many special features not only make playing great fun, but combined with the very high RTP, contribute to many ways to win. This Irish-themed slot is especially appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. If you can’t go out to celebrate, all the entertainment you could ask for is a click away on your computer or smartphone at Finn’s Golden Tavern!
If you’re looking for an online slot game that is both wildly entertaining and pays out frequently, this is it. Go Bananas!
Not only will you love this game from the get-go, but playing is so much fun that no matter how long you play or how often you play, it will never grow old on you. That’s fine because Go Bananas also happens to have an exceptionally high return to player (RTP). The wild action on the screen never lets up, which can only mean one thing–lots of paying combinations and an excellent chance of ending your playing session a winner.
Go Bananas basics
Go Bananas is a relatively simple but highly creative online video slot by one of the leading online slot makers, NetEnt. It is a jungle-themed slot consisting of five reels, three rows, and 20 fixed paylines.
The fast-paced game takes place in a treehouse overlooking a tropical jungle. As you spin the reels, you’ll see plenty of monkeying around–much of it to your benefit.
The 5X3 format with 20 paylines is the same as on many other online slots. Many online slots also include a special wild symbol along with the game’s regular symbols. So does Go Bananas but with one big difference.
Much more often than not, only one symbol is designated “wild.” As such, it substitutes for other symbols to help form or add to winning combinations. However, the wild animal-themed Go Bananas slot takes the meaning of wild to a whole new level. On any given spin, any of five different types of monkey symbols can show up on the reels and turn themselves and certain adjacent symbols into wild symbols!
What makes Go Bananas Barb’s Best Bet
As frequent readers of NJ Gambling Websites realize, I take my task of deciding which online slot game will be the next Barb’s Best Bet very seriously. If you love playing online slots, you’re in luck because the NJ online casinos offer hundreds of them. But if you play for real money, as I assume you do, playing any random slot is a big mistake. Maximize your chances to win by playing only the best slots.
Of course, apart from hoping to win, another reason for playing online slots is that many of them are highly entertaining. All of the slots I select as Best Bets offer enough fun and excitement to satisfy even the most avid slot player. They also offer an outstanding return to player, so you can play to your heart’s content (within reason) and never have to worry about depleting your bankroll.
If your luck has been going south lately, there’s no better time than now to start anew and get yourself back in the plus column. Don’t get lost in a sea of slots. Go Bananas!
How could you not want to play an online slot that offers all of the following?
Nonstop fun, action, and suspense
If you have had a stressful day, playing online slots is a great way to decompress, not worry about a thing, and simply experience the fun of the moment. Slots taking place in a dark, foreboding setting or on a battlefield might be calling your name sometimes, but if your mood could use a quick pick-up they are not the best choice. You want a slot that’s not only entertaining but light-hearted and wacky.
Because Go Bananas is all that and more, it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The setting is supposed to be a jungle. But along with mischievous monkeys, you’ll see an array of other seemingly misplaced symbols such as a glittering pink gem, a monkey shaped money clip, and not just bananas but a banana split! The lower paying symbols consist of other fresh fruits instead of the usual playing cards.
All of the above makes Go Bananas a very colorful slot. At times, it will look more like a Hawaiian luau or fruit and dessert buffet than a jungle filled with wild animals. But as long as the symbols keep lining up to form winning combinations, you couldn’t care less.
The sound effects are the same kinds of sounds you would expect to hear in a jungle, so they set the mood for the game without being overpowering. As the reels spin and you wait in eager anticipation of what you hope will be more “monkey business” that you can cash in on, you will also hear thumping drums.
Wide range of bet sizes
The minimum bet per spin is only 20 cents, while the maximum is $200. This makes Go Bananas a go-to slot game for virtually anyone from low-stakes player to high roller.
Not just one wild symbol but five
Go Bananas doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles as some slots. If you’re looking for extra features like a progressive jackpot, or even a scatter symbol, free spins, and bonus rounds with multipliers, you’ll have to look elsewhere. You won’t find them in this game. But what you will find instead is five different wild symbols, each with the capability of turning themselves and other symbols wild. That’s where the name Go Bananas comes from because each of these transformed symbols magically turns into a banana! How wild is that! You will find out when you see for yourself how many spins you thought were nonwinners turn into big wins.
Created by NetEnt
Like many of the other slots that have made the cut as Barb’s Best Bets on NJ Gambling Websites, Go Bananas is a creation of NetEnt. You can’t go wrong playing any slot from this top-name manufacturer because NetEnt has proven over and over again that it knows what qualities are important to online slot players and unfailingly delivers them. Using the latest in online slot technology, NetEnt consistently offers slots that players of any bet level not only find enjoyable and exciting but give them an excellent chance to win.
Not just an above average RTP but one of the highest RTP levels of any online slots
Return to player, or RTP, is the statistical indicator of the percentage of money wagered on a game that can be theoretically expected to be returned to players over an extended period of time. After any given session, your results might vary widely from this percentage in either direction. However, the RTP gives you a very good idea of how you can expect to fare in the long run. Since we play with much more limited bankrolls than the casino, it makes sense to maximize our chances of winning—or at worst, minimize our losses—by playing games with the highest RTP possible in their category.
All NetEnt slots have an RTP of at least 96 percent, which is already way above average, even for NJ online slots. But the RTP for Go Bananas is 96.91 percent. Very few online slots have an RTP that high. So even if you play this game and don’t win, rest assured that you are playing one of the top paying slots available to NJ players.
Go Bananas also offers medium volatility. This is a desirable characteristic because it means that wins will occur frequently enough to keep you in the game even if your bankroll is limited. At the same time, there is enough variance to give you larger wins along with the smaller ones, which keeps the game from becoming predictable and boring.
Which NJ gambling websites offer Go Bananas?
You can play the slot game Go Bananas online or on your mobile device at any of the following NJ online casinos:
Go Bananas symbols
Go Bananas includes 10 regular symbols. The higher paying symbols, in descending order of value, are a large pink gem, golden monkey statue, monkey-shaped money clip, a pair of bongo drums, and a banana split.
The lower paying symbols consist of five different varieties of fruit or enough to make a fruit salad: orange, pineapple, coconut, lime, and plum.
The highest paying regular symbol, the pink gem, pays 700 coins for five in a row. The lowest paying regular symbol, the plum, returns only 30 coins for five in a row.
Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner. You need three or more matching symbols on adjacent reels, starting with the reel furthest to the left
These are the symbols that will have the game Go Bananas do just that. On any given spin, one or more of five different types of monkeys can pop up on the reels. If they do, watch out!
Depending on which type of monkey it is, it will transform itself and one or more adjacent symbols into bananas. Then, if you’re lucky, the bananas, which are also wild, will finish the job and line up just right with other symbols to create big wins.
Five different monkey symbols are all wild
Here are the five different kinds of monkeys and what they will do each time they show up on the reels.
- Gorilla: It turns itself and the four other symbols diagonal to it into bananas in the shape of an X.
- Orangutan: It turns itself and three adjacent symbols into bananas forming a square.
- Baboon: It turns itself and the symbols above and below it into bananas, creating a vertical row of three wild symbols.
- Langur: It turns itself and the two symbols next to it into bananas, creating a horizontal row of three wild symbols.
- Tarsier: It turns itself and one adjacent symbol (either vertically or horizontally) into bananas.
Except for the wild gorilla, which can only appear on reels 2, 3, and 4, all of the other monkey symbols can appear on any of the five reels. Sometimes, especially when the animal appears on reel 4 or 5, no winning combination results. Alas, monkeys can sometimes be mischievous and up to no good. On the other hand, if you’re really lucky, two or more animals will show up simultaneously on different reels, and that’s when you might see some monster size wins–just like I did but with play money. Anytime any of the monkeys create a winning combination, they become animated.
How I fared playing Go Bananas
Before deciding that this game was worthy of Best Bet status, I played three sessions at different stakes in demo mode. The results are revealing because even though the bet sizes varied greatly, so did my ups and downs. But in every instance, I was able to come roaring back. That’s what a game with a high RTP will do for you. Here is how I fared.
Session 1: $10 per spin, +$205
Keep in mind that you can bet as little as 20 cents per spin. But since I wasn’t risking real money, I decided it would be more fun to play for bigger stakes.
At first, I was getting lots of small wins. But I still fell behind over $300 before two big gorilla wins put me on top for the session.
Session 2: $20 per spin, Even
I wanted to see if doubling my stake would make a difference. However, I don’t recommend it unless you are properly bankrolled. A substantial negative swing early on put me in the hole for nearly a grand. Then, out of nowhere, I recouped everything on a single spin with a $925 mega-size win that got me back to exactly even. I decided to end the session then and not press my luck.
Session 3: $100 per spin: +$26,350
Now we’re talking! However, betting at this level or the top bet of $200 per spin with real money is only for those who are sufficiently bankrolled. Although I was never more than $800 down, the negative swings could have been much greater. The good news is that the wins can also be huge.
After a mega jackpot of over $7,000 put me comfortably ahead, I thought about ending the session but didn’t, partly because I was having so much fun and partly because I had a feeling that I would continue to win. What I didn’t expect was for three different wild monkey symbols including the gorilla all to show up on the same spin. The amount of the win kept climbing as the words “BIG WIN” on the screen changed to “MEGA WIN,” and then to “SUPER MEGA WIN!”
The bottom line
I have to admit that the name Go Bananas! piqued my curiosity immediately. But as impressed as I was by the 96.91% RTP, it wasn’t until I discovered for myself how much fun playing this uniquely designed game is, too, that all the pieces came together. I didn’t have to search any further for my next Best Bet. I found it.
GO BANANAS STATS
- Five reels, 20 fixed paylines
- Bets: 20 cents to $200
- RTP: 96.91 percent
- Maximum payout: $140,000
- Five wild symbols
- No free spins, bonus rounds, or progressive jackpot but plenty of monkey business
It’s getting to feel a lot like Christmas. But along with all of the excitement that the holiday season and anticipation of the big day offer, there’s the stress of planning and preparing for the holiday–shopping, decorating, baking, mailing cards and gifts–you name it.
So how about another activity that will also get you into the Christmas spirit in a big way but is fun, rewarding, and completely stress-free? Barb’s Best Bet is to play the slot game Jingle Spin!
Jingle Spin is NetEnt’s special Christmas spin on the slot game Egg-O-Matic
Have you ever played the NetEnt slot game called Egg-O-Matic? To the right of the reels, there’s a pressure cooker operated by a rooster that randomly dispenses special eggs onto a conveyor belt over the reel farthest the right where the space isn’t already occupied by another egg.
You win the prize that the egg contains when a wild symbol randomly appears on the same reel as the egg. Otherwise, the egg will move along the conveyor belt one reel to the left. This will keep happening until either the player wins the prize or immediately after the spin where the egg is above reel 1, after which the egg disappears. On any given spin, the number of eggs positioned over the reels can range from 0 to 5.
As ridiculous the above may sound, the Egg-O-Matic egg dispenser is not only wildly entertaining (literally) but is a big factor in this game’s 96.48 percent return to player (RTP).
This year, just in time for the holiday season, NetEnt has released Jingle Spin, a Christmas-themed version of this delightful game. There’s not a rooster or egg in sight. But Santa’s chief elf is in the house instead to spin a special wheel, with his five helper elves all lined up at the top of the reels. They’re ready on cue to deliver the special bauble they are holding straight to you.
Jingle Spin basics
Jingle Spin is a new video slot from NetEnt consisting of five reels, three rows, and 20 fixed paylines. In other words, the basic layout is no different from that of hundreds of other slots. What makes this slot unique is the prize wheel to the right of the game window that makes this thrilling slot two games in one.
Every time you make a bet to spin the reels, and on free spins, too, the wheel also spins. Either spin or both can produce a win. You never know what surprise is in store for you next–it might even be a mega-size win!
Special features include a wild symbol, which substitutes for all other symbols and the above-mentioned Bauble Wheel, The two of them together can make you a big winner by gifting you often with extra coin wins, spreading wilds, or free spins.
Jingle Spin does not include a scatter symbol or bonus symbol. There is no progressive jackpot either. But with so much else going on and so many other ways to win, you’ll hardly notice.
What makes the slot game Jingle Spin Barb’s Best Bet of the holiday season
As a NJ online casino player, you can choose from hundreds of slots. In fact, Golden Nugget Online Casino alone, which continues to lead the pack and set new revenue records month after month, currently offers 636 slots and counting.
Having that many slots to choose from is great. But your time and bankroll are precious, so simply picking any random game is not a good idea. That’s where Barb’s Best Bets come in. I put a lot of time and effort into deciding which slots make the cut. I can’t promise you will win playing these games. But besides finding them highly entertaining to play, I can promise that you will get great bang for your buck. That’s because you will be playing some of the best slots that NJ online casinos have to offer. That said, here are the reasons why I selected Jingle Spin as my latest Best Bet.
Although you can play any online slot game anytime you wish, I think you will agree with me that playing a game with a timely theme adds to the enjoyment. That’s one reason why last December I chose the NetEnt game Secrets of Christmas as my Best Bet and why this year I chose Jingle Spin.
There’s a Christmas tree topped with a star to the left of the reels, while the reels themselves are set inside a window with patches of ice and filled with Christmas tree symbols.
If seeing the brightly decorated Christmas boxes on the reels being filled with gifts being delivered by Santa’s elves doesn’t make you feel like a child again and embrace the magic of the season, I don’t know what will.
Special features galore
This game is packed with special features like a wild symbol, spreading wilds, and free spins. An upbeat soundtrack and brightly colored symbols of the season create a festive mood without distracting you from the nonstop action taking place on the screen.
Wide enough betting range to appeal to most players
The minimum bet per spin is only 20 cents, while the maximum is $200.
Created by NetEnt, a name you can trust
It is no coincidence that many of the slots designated as Barb’s Best Bets come from NetEnt. And if you have been playing NJ online slots for a while, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of your favorite games are from NetEnt as well.
What makes NetEnt slots consistently superior is that they utilize the latest in cutting edge online slot technology while remaining steadfast in their commitment to quality. This translates into games that are not only highly entertaining but give you an excellent chance to win.
Exceptionally high Return to Player (RTP)
The huge number of games in the NetEnt collection, representing a wide variety of themes, with new offerings like Jingle Spin being continually developed, assures NJ slot players, whatever their personal tastes and preferences may be, there’s something for everyone. But one important feature that remains constant for all NetEnt slots is an exceptionally high RTP. Every NetEnt slot has at an RTP of at least 96 percent, which is also the minimum RTP I look for in deciding if the game is a potential Best Bet. Jingle Spin has an RTP of 96.48 percent (just like Egg-O-Matic, the game it was patterned after).
Of course, after any given session, the amount of money you end up with compared to what you started out with might vary considerably from the theoretical 96.48 percent rate of return in either direction. But over the long run, you are far better off playing slots with a high RTP than those with an average or below average RTP.
The game’s medium volatility is another attractive feature. On the one hand, wins aren’t so few and far between that players face a strong possibility of depleting their bankroll. On the other hand, the variance is just enough to keep the action exciting.
Which NJ online casinos offer Jingle Spin?
Even though NetEnt didn’t even release Jingle Spin until Nov. 29, 2019, finding a place to play it in New Jersey should be easy. Many NJ gambling websites grabbed it right away so that you can spin and win to your heart’s content at the time of year that this slot game is especially intended for–the Christmas holiday season.
You can play Jingle Spin online or on your mobile device at any of the following NJ online casinos:
Jingle Spin symbols
Jingle Spin includes 10 regular pay symbols, The higher paying symbols consist of various Christmas tree decorations–pinecones, reindeer, bells, oranges with a cinnamon stick, and red and gold baubles.
The lower paying symbols are the playing cards 10 through Ace.
Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner. You need three or more like symbols to line up on adjacent reels horizontally or diagonally starting with the reel farthest to the left.
The payout for five matching symbols in a row ranges from 2.5X your bet 50X your bet if you’re lucky enough to get five red and gold baubles in a row.
A Christmas gift box with a red bow is the game’s wild symbol. As such, it substitutes for all other symbols and helps to form or add to winning combinations.
But in this game, the wild symbol has an even bigger function. Each time a spin of the Bauble Wheel sends a prize-containing bauble over to the reels, it creates added excitement as you wait with bated breath for what you hope will be a big win.
I don’t want to burst your bubble (or bauble), but you only win when a wild symbol lands on the same reel where the bauble is located. The little elf holding the bauble at the top of the reel then sends it down, and with great fanfare, the gift box is opened and the prize becomes yours! Otherwise, the bauble is worthless—at least on that spin. But the good news is you have up to four more chances to win the prize inside the bauble since with each successive spin, it moves one position to the left.
See the section below on the Jingle Spin Christmas Bauble Wheel for more about the different types of bauble prizes you can win from the spin of the wheel with the help of the wild symbol.
Jingle Spin Christmas Bauble Wheel
Progressive jackpot games attract lots of play because they appeal to every slot player’s dream of a big payday. But the problem is that while chasing after that elusive big jackpot, something has got to give. Much more often than not, it is the rate of other winning combinations.
What Jingle Spin offers instead and keeps the frequency of wins high is a Christmas Bauble Wheel loaded with surprise prizes for Santa’s elves to hand out.
The Jingle Spin Bauble Wheel gives you so many different extra ways to win, it will make your head spin. Each time you spin the reels, the wheel to the right of the reels is spun too. Some of the slots on the wheel are blank (the house has to win sometimes). But whenever the wheel lands on a bauble containing money or another prize, the bauble flies over the top of reel 5.
If a wild symbol shows up on that reel simultaneously, the prize is yours. If not, you still have four more chances to win that prize. The bauble keeps moving one reel to the left with each subsequent spin you take until either a wild symbol shows up on the same reel or the bauble travels unsuccessfully across all five reels and then drops off.
Oh well. Better luck next time. And there will be plenty of next times because with every spin you take, you get a new opportunity for another prize from the spin of the wheel.
On the other hand, you will often have baubles at the top of multiple reels at the same time. As long as a wild symbol shows up simultaneously on at least one of those reels, the elf will release the bauble and place the prize in your gift box.
Types of prizes generated by the wheel
The wins generated by the spin of the wheel are independent of whether or not your own spins produce winning combinations.
The spaces on the wheel contain four different types of colored baubles, as follows:
Yellow Coin Win Bauble
If a wild symbol lands on the same reel, this bauble will award you with a coin win. The amount can range anywhere from a measly 2.5X your bet up to a thrilling 125X your bet.
Red Spreading Wild Bauble
If a wild symbol lands on the same reel, the Spreading Wild Bauble will turn all of the symbols adjacent and diagonal to the wild symbol into wild symbols, too, thereby creating more possibilities for winning combinations.
Green Free Spins Bauble
If a wild symbol lands on the same reel, the Free Spins Bauble will activate the number of free spins displayed on the bauble, which can range from 7 to 50.
Just before the free spins start, four baubles are placed at the top of the reels, and a fifth one is added just after the spin. During all subsequent free spins, a new bauble is placed at the top of the reel farthest to the right.
Another important feature of the free spins round is that unlike in the main game, where several spaces on the Bauble Wheel are blanks, during the free spins, all of the positions contain a bauble. This assures you that a new bauble will appear on the reels for every free spin.
Furthermore, during the free spins the higher value Coin Win Baubles and Spreading Wild Baubles appear on the wheel more often, improving your chances for a huge win. By the way, the free spins can be retriggered if during the free spins, a green bauble lands on top of the same reel as a wild symbol again.
Rainbow Colored Surprise Bauble
This bauble is a surprise. It could be any of the other three types.
How I fared playing Jingle Spin
Prior to recommending any slot game as a Best Bet on New Jersey Gambling Websites, I play it a few times in demo mode. I don’t necessarily have to win, but I have to enjoy playing and feel I am getting a good run for my money. Here is what happened.
Session 1: $4 per spin, +$29
My results at this betting level were hardly spectacular. But I did finish my session with a small profit. One lucky spin which resulted in 32 free spins (20 initially plus 12 more that I retriggered) did the trick. Prior to the start of the free spins, I was down $225. The 32 spins took a long time, but I won $243 in the process and finished $29 ahead.
Session 3: $200 per spin (maximum bet), + $23,900
I don’t have the kind of bankroll to support this level of play with real money, but as long as I was playing for fun, I decided why not. I also wanted to see if my hunch was right that to win big in this game, you have to be bet big, and was it ever.
Obviously, making bets of this size is not for the faint-hearted. My starting hypothetical bankroll of $5,000 had dwindled to only $2,000 before my luck turned around. That put me about $100 ahead, and I would have ended my session then, except that the incredible happened. I don’t recall exactly what symbols landed on the reels except that were a lot of wild symbols. First, the screen read “Big Win,” then it changed to “Mega Win,” and finally to “Super Mega Win!” I had won $12,800!. But I wasn’t finished because I had also triggered 10 free spins, which gave me another $10,000 in winnings!
Session 4: $4 per spin, + $253
Back to reality. Since I doubt that many players can afford to bet $200 per spin, I decided to give the game another try with hypothetical $4 bets. This time I fared better. Even at my lowest point, I was never more than $100 down. I got a lot of small wins and two larger wins, one $92 and another $54, which is quite respectable in the base game for this bet size. I soon found myself $107 ahead, so it was decision time. Do I quit and pocket my winnings or do I keep playing and hope I trigger the free spins? I opted for the latter. Although I gave most of my winnings from the base game back, my decision to keep playing paid off. I triggered 20 free spins and ended my session $253 ahead.
The bottom line
Even though three sessions only provide a small sample of play to go by, I came away with two conclusions. The first is that while you can bet as little as 20 cents per spin, don’t expect to win much. Even at the $4 bet level, a substantial win is unlikely.
It pays to bet big–if you can afford it
The problem is that you might not trigger the potentially lucrative free spins round for a long time, if at all, and in the meantime, most of your wins in the base game might be so small that they don’t even cover your bet size. If you are betting small amounts, even the higher payouts aren’t great. These results lead me to believe that this is the type of game where you need to bet big to win big.
An adequate bankroll is essential
The second conclusion that I came to is regardless of what your bet size is, being adequately bankrolled is a must. Some experts recommend a bankroll of 200-250X your bet size for three hours of play. I recommend limiting playing sessions to no more than 75 minutes and starting out with at least 75X your bet per spin unless your bet size is large, in which case 50X your bet size should suffice.
What often happens in this game, and it can be very frustrating, are wild symbols landing on reels where there are no baubles or baubles making their way across the reels with no wild symbol landing on the same reel. Either way, you win nothing.
That’s why an adequate bankroll, patience, and sensing when it’s time to quit are all important. As long as you possess these qualities, I recommend that you give Jingle Spin a try. This game will definitely put you in the holiday spirit, and with good luck and good money management, winning big is definitely possible. Alternatively, you can play the game for fun as I did, and it won’t cost you a cent.
- Five reels, 20 fixed paylines
- Bets: 20 cents to $200
- RTP: 96.48 percent
- Maximum payout: $250,000
- Christmas theme
- Wild symbol
- Bauble Wheel awarding coin wins, expanding wilds, and free spins
It’s that time of year again. Oktoberfest season is in full swing. So ready or not, there’s no time like the present to get into the spirit with the NJ online casino Oktoberfest slot game, Beer Barrel Bash.
Of course, you don’t have to fly all the way to Germany to partake in the fun and festivities. You can probably find some fabulous Oktoberfest parties taking place very close to home. But what if your busy schedule doesn’t allow time for a night on the town?
No problem. Roll out the barrel, grab a bag of pretzels, fill a glass to the brim with your favorite beer, and enjoy your own Oktoberfest slot party at home. Beer Barrel Bash by High 5 Games will provide all the entertainment you need!
Where in New Jersey can you play Beer Barrel Bash?
Beer Barrel Bash did not even hit the market until June, 2019. Given its recent release, it is certainly possible that some NJ gambling websites that do not offer this Oktoberfest slot game as yet will do so in the future.
Meanwhile, the NJ online casinos where you can play Beer Barrel Bash as of this writing are as follows:
Beer Barrel Bash – Oktoberfest Slot Intro
Beer Barrel Bash by High 5 Games is a video slot adapted for both online and mobile play consisting of five reels, four rows, and 80 fixed pay lines. As the name suggests, it’s a great way to recreate the fun-filled atmosphere of Oktoberfest without having to travel. Instead, the game brings the sights and sounds and party-like vibe directly to you wherever you happen to be.
In both the base game and the free spins bonus round, winning combinations occur when the same symbol appears four or more times on adjacent reels from left to right, starting with the reel furthest to the left. This is different from most slots where the same symbol only needs to appear adjacently three times.
Beer Barrel Bash is a nonstop barrel of fun
Whether beer is your party beverage of choice or not, if you love playing NJ online slots, and especially those that combine fun, excitement, and a high probability of winning, you owe it to yourself to give Beer Barrel Bash by High 5 Games a try.
Beer Barrel Bash is such a colorful and cheerful Oktoberfest slot, from the instant you log in to play, it is guaranteed to lift your mood. But the party is only getting started. So settle in and get comfortable because I promise you won’t want to leave anytime soon. You will be having far too much fun.
Three important components of any good party are food, drinks, and entertainment, and Beer Barrel Bash serves up an abundant supply of all three.
An oompah band keeps the party swinging nonstop with lively polka music while you feast your eyes on reels filled with sausages, pretzels, and beer steins, along with a bevy of pretty waitresses who know a good party when they see one.
Don’t Worry, ‘BEER’ Happy with High 5 Games
High 5 Games might not be as well-known as some of the other leading slot manufacturers like NetEnt and IGT. But if you have been playing NJ online or mobile slots for a while, there is a good chance that some of your favorites come from High 5.
Many High 5 slot games, including Beer Barrel Bash, offer two distinctive features, not found elsewhere.
- Double and triple split symbols
- Lasting Loot feature, including locked wilds that become upgraded to double or triple split symbols on the next spin
If you wish, you can play Beer Barrel Bash online. But you can also play this mobile-friendly game on the go on your smartphone or tablet. In fact, the user interface was especially designed with mobile players in mind, with buttons on the sides of the screen rather than below the reels.
Exceptionally high Return to Player (RTP)
As readers of my Barb’s Best Bets articles on NJ Gambling Websites know, I set very high standards when choosing which slots deserve Best Bets status. Of the hundreds of slots that NJ online casino players can choose from, only a small minority make the cut.
Virtually all of the slots designated as Barb’s Best Bets have a Return to Player (RTP) of 96 percent or higher. Beer Barrel Bash excels in this category with an RTP of 96.50 percent.
With its volatility rated as medium, the game also produces just enough variation to keep you on your toes and sustain interest, but not enough to produce the huge negative swings that can deplete your bankroll.
Minimum and maximum bets
The minimum bet per spin is 80 cents, and the maximum is $160. So this game suits high rollers and mid-range bettors more than very small bettors. Even betting at the lowest levels of the range, a per session bankroll of at least $200 is advisable in case you run into bad luck early on.
Beer Barrel Bash does not offer a progressive jackpot. However, if you’re lucky, this game is capable of producing big wins. Players placing the maximum bet per spin of $160 can win up to $400,000.
Beer Barrel Bash symbols
All of the higher paying regular symbols convey the fun and revelry of an Oktoberfest slot celebration. So even when they don’t form winning combinations, they make every spin enjoyable.
They include a waitress (the highest paying symbol of the bunch), an accordion, Alpine hat, Bratwurst sausage, and pretzel. The playing cards 9 through Ace comprise the lower paying regular symbols.
In addition to all of the above, this Oktoberfest slot game includes the following special symbols.
First and foremost, the title of this slot should tell you that for it not to have a wild symbol would be unthinkable. However, the wild symbol is exactly what you would expect it to be–a stein filled with beer.
Like the game’s regular symbols, sometimes only one beer stein will show up in a given spot on the reels; at other times, it will appear as a double or triple wild.
But in this game, besides the usual capability of substituting for other symbols to help form winning combinations, wild symbols hold even more power because they also become locked upgrading wilds. See the next section to learn all about this special wild feature.
A free games bottle top serves as this game’s scatter symbol. Three of them need to appear simultaneously on reels 2, 3, and 4 to activate the free spins bonus round (see below).
Alternatively, three bonus wild symbols appearing simultaneously will activate the free spins bonus round as well.
Beer Barrel Bash special features
Now we come to the additional features that make this slot game unique. I will describe them here as best as I can. However, the only way to fully appreciate what these innovative extras add to the game—and potentially to your winnings—is to play.
Lasting loot feature: locked upgrading wilds
As mentioned, the beer stein wild symbol can show up initially as either a single wild symbol, a double wild symbol, or a triple wild symbol. These wild symbols won’t turn every spin where they appear into a winner, but when they do, double wild symbols count as two symbols and triple wild symbols count as three symbols.
All single wild symbols remain locked into place and get upgraded to double wilds on the next spin and to triple wilds on the spin after that.
This gives you up to three chances to win every time a wild symbol lands. Unfortunately, in the base game, once you get a triple wild symbol, if you don’t win with it immediately, you don’t get any more chances. The wild symbol disappears on the next spin.
Free spins bonus round
Whenever you trigger the free spins bonus round, either with three bottle cap scatter symbols or three free spins bonus symbols, you’re taken to a new screen where you get six free spins. The locked wilds are still in effect, but in the free spins, they can be much more lucrative. That’s because, unlike in the base game, triple wilds, instead of disappearing on the next spin, stay locked into place for the duration of the free spins.
What happens on the free spins is really wild. With double and triple wilds popping up all over the reels, you will form lots of winning combinations. All six spins should be winners, and some of the wins might be huge.
However, six free spins are all you get. While the free spins are in progress, you cannot retrigger more free spins. However, after you return to the base game, you could trigger the feature again, as I did, by having three scatter symbols land.
How soon after you start playing you trigger the free spins, if you do at all, can vary considerably, but once you do activate this feature, it will almost certainly produce winning results. The only thing I didn’t like about it is how long the free spins take.
After each spin, the band plays a rousing tune while the screen keeps displaying all of the winning combinations over and over again. Six spins aren’t that many compared to what players can win in some slot games.
But I clocked them, and 10 minutes elapsed before I was finally returned to the base game. That’s a lot of idle time to be staring at the screen doing nothing!
How I fared playing Beer Barrel Bash in demo mode
As part of the process in deciding whether any given slot I am considering as a Best Bet passes muster, I always put the game to the test by playing it in demo mode. Beer Barrel Bash is no exception. My first two sessions were with a hypothetical bet of $4.00 per spin. My third was with a hypothetical bet of $8.00 per spin.
Session 1: – $97
I could not get off the ground and was never ahead. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. It would have helped if I could have activated the free spins, but after a half-hour of play, it didn’t happen. The maximum I was down was $150, but then my luck turned a little better and I reduced the deficit to just shy of $100. At that point, I decided to stop playing.
Session 2: + $503
Even though I was betting the same $4 per spin, the difference from Session 1 was like day and night. I started winning from the get-go, and after only a few minutes of play, I triggered the free spins bonus round.
Then when the free spins ended, I decided to give the base game another try to see if I could win more. I not only did but triggered the free spins a second time. Upon completing the second bonus round, more than happy with my $503 win, I ended the session.
Session 3: + $166
This time I wagered $8 per spin. I was down a little when I activated the free spins, but back in the plus column by the time I completed them. At that point, I decided to end the session and not press my luck.
The bottom line
As you can see from these results, luck comes into play on even the best NJ online slots. The fact that Beer Barrel Bash has an RTP of 96.50 percent doesn’t mean that over the course of a few playing sessions, you are going to win that percentage of the time or wind up with that percentage of your bankroll intact.
But what a high RTP does tell you is that over the long run, you have a significantly better chance of winning than on a slot with only an average or below-average RTP.
To the ‘PINT’ of no return
The same goes for another Oktoberfest slot game called Bier Haus that was Barb’s Best Bet featured on NJ Gambling Websites in October, 2018.
So check your cares and worries at the door, raise your beer glass, toast your good fortune, and let the fun begin. Beer Barrel Bash is a blast.
Are you stuck in the same old routine and eager to add some extra fun and excitement to your life? Decisions, decisions.
You love NJ online slots, but either you’ve grown tired of playing the same games over and over again or your luck has gone south, or both. So you’re more than ready to try something different.
One approach is to pick a brand new game, but that, too, can be hit or miss. Starmania isn’t new (it’s been around since 2015), but the fact that you’re reading this column tells me that so far this “out of this world slot” has eluded you.
You can remedy that oversight right now. Starmania is this week’s Barb’s Best Bet.
Which NJ online casinos have Starmania?
You can play Starmania either on your desktop or mobile device, whichever you find more convenient.
As of this writing, all of the following gambling sites offer it:
- Golden Nugget
- Hard Rock
- Mohegan Sun
- Ocean Online
What makes Starmania a Barb’s Best Bet?
No need to travel if you don’t feel like it or spend large sums of money. If you have access to New Jersey online casinos, all you have to do is log onto your favorite one. Then choose from up to hundreds of slot games and see where your next adventurous ride takes you.
But assuming you’re just as serious about having an excellent chance to win as having a great time, why pick any random slot?
Here’s what makes Starmania one of Barb’s Best Bets.
Think about the various online slots you enjoy playing the most. In all probability, they each have a readily identifiable theme. Even when you’re about to explore what for you is new territory, you prefer to be able to relate to the game and its symbols in some meaningful way.
In this case, the theme is the stars that light up the nighttime sky. Whether you’re already an astronomy buff or not, playing the slot game Starmania will give you a whole new appreciation for stargazing. Especially when you discover that this activity, besides being a lot of fun, can also be extremely rewarding.
From the second you open this game on your desktop or mobile device, there’s no doubt in your mind that Starmania is no ordinary slot game. You’re immediately greeted by the loud blast of a flashing laser.
Then, without further ado, except for a quick preview of the multiple ways you can win, the scene shifts to the screen where you’ll be playing. You can tell right away that you’re in outer space by the twinkling stars in the background and by the fact that all of the regular symbols on the reels are also stars.
Hit-and-miss soundtrack but the messages are clear
The one aspect of the game I thought could be livelier was its less than rousing soundtrack.
But just in case the overly relaxing music makes you feel like drifting off, simply look at the messages, like the ones below, alternating on the bottom of the screen, and you will be jolted back into action in no time.
“Is your future in the stars?”
“Will the stars align to make your lucky day?”
“Starlight, star bright, lucky stars I see tonight.”
“Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars.”
Many other NJ online slots also have an outer space theme, so obviously, it takes more than just that to make Starmania a Barb’sBest Bet. One feature that makes Starmania stand out from the pack is the unique way it seamlessly combines the simplicity of slots back in the day with 21st-century online slot technology.
When you first see that this game only has 10 paylines, you might mistakenly assume that it will quickly become boring. But nothing could be further than the truth.
Starmania doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some recently released slots. For example, there is only one bonus round. Nor is the game tied to a big celebrity or superhero, and there is no progressive jackpot either.
Instead, the dazzling array of brightly colored symbols that light up the screen with winning combinations are the true stars of the show.
As such, every win in this game, from the smallest to the biggest, gets star-worthy treatment. Whenever you spin a winning combination, the winning symbols start spinning as a shooting star moves across the screen, bouncing off each winning symbol.
Many ways to win
Then add on a few special features like the ability to form paying combinations not just from left to right, but also from right to left, and a lucrative free spins bonus game with extra expanding wild symbols. That’s how Starmania gets transformed into a slot game like no other.
Except maybe the NetEnt game Starburst, as the two slots do have many features in common. Suffice to say, if you’re already a fan of Starburst, you will love Starmania.
Besides, with all those extra ways to win, and the frequency of those wins, and a maximum payout of $18,400, who needs a progressive jackpot? There’s even an optional gamble feature that gives you a chance to double or quadruple your win after every winning spin.
Wide betting range
The minimum bet per spin is only 20 cents, and the maximum is $40. While the top bet falls a little short of what some high rollers like to wager, the range is certainly wide enough to accommodate most bettors.
Outstanding return to player
All of the above features are consistent with what I look for in an online slot to help me decide if it might be worthy of Barb’s Best Bet status. But one additional criterion is also a must — a superior return to player.
After all, it won’t even matter how action-packed and entertaining a game is if its return to player (RTP) is mediocre. By that, I mean insufficient to be likely to keep a player in the game for a reasonable length of time without the risk of depleting one’s bankroll.
Of course, anyone can get lucky in the short run even on a relatively low returning slot. Conversely, playing a high returning slot does not guarantee that you will win by any means. But you will definitely fare better in the long run if you stick to slots that are in the upper echelon with regard to their theoretical rate of return.
That is why the minimum RTP for me to consider a slot as a Best Bet is usually 96%.
The majority of NJ online slots have a lower RTP. In fact, many have an RTP of about 94% or even lower. While you could win playing those slots, why chance it when you can give yourself a better chance to win playing a slot with a higher RTP?
You might not think that a difference of one or two percentage points in either direction is significant, but it is. That’s why when I played Starmania in demo mode in three separate sessions and quit a winner all three times, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.
The published RTP for Starmania of 97.87% is so far above the norm that it is out of this world!
More about Starmania
Developed by NextGen Gaming
Starmania is a video slot by NextGen Gaming consisting of five reels, three rows, and 10 fixed paylines. NextGen Gaming is a subsidiary of NYX Gaming. The company dates all the way back to 1999, so it has a long, impressive history in the slot development business.
NextGen Gaming currently makes online slots for markets all over the world and is a significant contributor to NJ online slots.
Loaded with special features
It would seem that a slot machine with only 10 paylines would not create as many winning combinations as you might get from a machine with a lot of paylines. Actually, having fewer paylines means less likelihood for a given spin to come up empty. But that’s not the only reason Starmania pays out as frequently as it does.
On the overwhelming majority of slots, winning combinations are formed in only one way — with three or more matching symbols from left to right. But Starmania also pays you when three matching symbols line up from right to left. This feature alone greatly increases the number of winning combinations.
Other features (described in more detail below) which give you even more opportunities to win include the following:
- Wild symbol (frequently appearing as stacked wilds)
- Scatter symbol, three or more of which activate the Free Spins bonus round with extra wild symbols added
- Gamble feature
Exceptionally high RTP combined with low medium volatility
Granted, many of the payouts are small, but you can count on enough big ones, too, for a very good chance to win. Meanwhile, the smaller payouts serve a purpose, too, especially for bettors on limited bankrolls. They help ensure, even when you’re not winning, that you never fall very far behind.
Besides having an RTP that is one of the highest of any NJ online slots, Starmania is a game with low medium volatility. Together, it’s the perfect combo for a winning slot game.
As mentioned above, all of the regular symbols are stars. While their payouts vary, what a welcome relief not to see any distracting low paying playing card symbols added to the mix as an afterthought.
The lower paying symbols are plain stars of a single color, while the higher paying symbols are stars set with gold jewels. But you’ll really thank your lucky stars when you land a winning combination of bejeweled stars that are red and yellow combined, as those are the highest paying regular symbols.
Three or more matching symbols on a payline either from left to right starting with reel 1 or from right to left starting with reel 5 will form a winning combination. Here are the payouts for five of a kind:
- Plain purple, blue, or green stars: 50 coins
- Bejeweled blue or green stars: 75 coins
- Bejeweled purple stars: 100 coins
- Bejeweled red and yellow stars: 500 coins
The wild symbol is simply a big gold square with the word WILD on it. It can appear either alone or stacked, but on reels 2, 3, and 4 only. The wild symbol is capable of substituting for all other symbols except the scatter symbol to help form or add to winning combinations.
Its increased presence in the free spins bonus game is a big contributor to the large amount of money you can win at that time.
Bonus scatter symbol
The bonus scatter symbol is equally easy to identify since it has the word “BONUS” written on it. One or more of these symbols can appear anywhere on the reels on any spin. But in order for good things to happen, you need three or more to show up at once.
The amount of time it will take for that to happen can vary from the first few spins to many spins. As in many other slot games, two scatter symbols will show up simultaneously quite often, at which point the soundtrack builds up to a loud crescendo in anticipation of the needed third symbol.
Much more often than not, it’s all for naught. But sooner or later, you will get the result you want and you’re in business.
Starmania bonus features
Even though getting three or more scatter symbols to land on the reels simultaneously might be a long time in coming, it’s worth the wait. That’s because this valuable symbol then becomes capable of performing double duty. First, it serves as a win multiplier. But that’s not all. Even if that spin is not itself a winner, you earn a minimum of 10 free spins, where you will definitely win.
For starters, if the spin is otherwise a winner, the scatter symbol will multiply the amount of your winning line bet as follows:
- Three scatter symbols: 20x
- Four scatter symbols: 100x
- Five scatter symbols: 200x
Free Spins bonus round
But wait — the best bonus is yet to come. Three or more scatter symbols automatically activate the Free Spins bonus round where, at the very least, you’re awarded 10 free spins. However, if you’re lucky enough to have three or more scatter symbols land again during the free spins, you can retrigger this feature one more time and receive another 10 free spins.
Not every free spin will be a winner. But this is the point in the game when your winnings can mount big time. That’s because, on every free spin, an extra wild symbol is added.
So altogether, with 10 free spins, you get to play with 30 extra wilds, or with 20 free spins, 60 extra wilds. Expect to get lots of stacked wilds on your free spins, too, which will further increase your winnings.
Upon completion of the free spins, the screen will display the total amount you have won. Then you will be returned to the base game to continue playing as before and maybe activate the free spins bonus feature again.
Starmania also comes with a gamble feature. This option becomes available to you immediately after any winning spin. You will find the gamble feature just above the Spin button. It’s tempting because it gives you the chance, with the correct guess, either to double or quadruple your winnings.
Here’s how it works. You can either guess just the color of the next playing card or the suit of the next playing card. If you guess the correct color (red or black), you double the amount you just won. If you guess the correct suit (clubs, spades, hearts, or diamonds), you quadruple the amount you just won.
The catch, of course, is if you guess wrong, you lose your winnings entirely!
If you win your first gamble feature bet, if you wish, you can press your luck and try again up to five times. But keep in mind you would be taking a big gamble. One wrong guess in the sequence, and you wipe out your entire win. The gambling feature might be fun to try once in a while, but don’t make a habit of it.
How I fared playing Starmania
Before deciding to call any slot game a Best Bet, I need to try it out for myself, and Starmania was no exception. I played the game in demo mode, in three separate sessions, betting a hypothetical $5 per spin each time. As mentioned earlier, in all three instances I concluded the playing session a winner.
What helped me get over the hump each time more than anything else were the 10 free spins. However, as soon as I completed them, rather than return to the base game, I ended the session.
The first time I managed to activate the bonus round on only my third spin. However, my win from the free spins was only $37.50. The second and third time it took a lot longer before the three scatter symbols finally showed up, so I needed a bigger win to get back in the plus column. No problem. My second go-around at the free spins gave me a $181 win and my third gave me a $191 win. Not bad at all for a bet of $5.
In addition, just for the fun of it, I decided to gamble one of my larger wins of $36 in the base game. I correctly picked red as the color of the next card and doubled my winnings from that $5 spin to $72.
Time to give Starmania online slot a try
Starmania is a great option for anyone looking for a superior NJ online slot game. Far from just another slot game you may decide to try once or twice before moving on to something else, Starmania will have you so hooked on its spectacular features that you’ll want to return again and again.
But there’s nothing wrong with all that because this game can be as rewarding as it is entertaining.
Are you ready to reach for the stars?
- Five reels / 10 fixed paylines
- Bets: 20 cents to $40
- RTP: 97.87 percent
- Outer space theme
- Wild and scatter symbols
- Free Spins bonus feature
On Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28, the North Beach area of the Atlantic City Boardwalk was Party Central as both Ocean Casino Resort and Hard Rock Atlantic City celebrated their first anniversary.
Along with countless other people, many of who traveled long distances, I stopped by to enjoy the festivities, including ribbon cuttings, free or bargain-priced food, free entertainment, and a dazzling fireworks display.
But more importantly, I wanted to use this opportunity to look around and see for myself the many exciting additions and improvements these facilities now have to offer.
Two days of big celebrations with many more exciting days to come
Both casinos made Atlantic City history a year ago by debuting on exactly the same day, June 27, 2018. However, this time, rather than competing for attention, each casino resort decided to hold the major part of its celebration on different days. Ocean Casino was first, on Thursday, June 27, followed by Hard Rock, on Friday, June 28.
However, if you didn’t get a chance to attend those two celebrations, but are reading this post on Saturday or Sunday, no problem. It’s not too late to take advantage of the special offers continuing all weekend long and enjoy some great entertainment, too.
Also, make no mistake about it. The summer of 2019 is just getting started. Both of these resorts are more than ready anytime you are to give you a great time all summer long!
First Year Anniversary Celebration at Ocean Casino Resort, AC
Debut of two new elevators for quick, easy transport between the lobby and casino
The June 27 party at Ocean Casino Resort started early and ended late. At 11 a.m. a big crowd gathered round the new elevators located on the casino floor near Wahlburger’s. The ribbon cutting ceremony for that long awaited addition to the Ocean Casino dining options took place on Friday, June 21. But this time the ribbon cutting–and complimentary champagne toast–was for the debut of two spacious elevators especially designed for the added convenience of hotel guests.
No need anymore for those staying overnight or longer at the hotel to crowd themselves into the same elevator with those only wishing to get to the casino from the Boardwalk level or vice versa. Instead, the new casino floor elevators will whisk hotel guests quickly and comfortably directly from the hotel level to the casino level and from the casino level back to the hotel level later when they wish to return to their rooms.
1927 Lounge & Speakeasy
No time for dallying. Revelers who wanted to keep up with the energetic guides had to walk fast, full glass of champagne in hand, or otherwise miss the rest of the ribbon cuttings and free handouts.
The next stop on the tour was the brand new 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy. Royal Jelly is out, and this new 1920s themed lounge replaces it. On Sunday – Thursday evenings, you can relax in the lounge and enjoy easy on the ears live entertainment. On Friday and Saturday nights, the energy level kicks up a notch with a live variety show in the Speakeasy Club.
Admission to the 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy is free. However, you need to be 21 or older.
Lounge & Speakeasy entertainment
I returned to the lounge at 7 p.m. to hear the band Sweet Talkers perform. The two sets I heard included a variety of familiar older pop tunes like Summer of 69, Umbrella, Jessie’s Girl, and Say My Name.
I was surprised to see only a handful of people there for the debut lounge show. I hope the 1927 Lounge catches on because after a hectic day, the comfortable seating and pleasant music make it a very nice place to unwind. And you can’t beat the price–free!. However, the drink prices (i.e., $11 for a screwdriver) seemed rather steep.
I sat on a sofa near the stage. However, if you prefer, other seating options include chairs at a high table or at the bar. You can even play slots and video poker close enough to the lounge to hear all of the entertainment.
1927 Lounge & Speakeasy hours
The hours when the 1927 Lounge and Speakeasy are open are as follows:
- Sunday – Thursday: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Friday and Saturday: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Speakeasy Afterhours (starting in July)
- Same two nights: 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Pit Boss BBQ & Fish Fry
Following the ribbon cutting for the 1927 & Speakeasy, we headed to the new eatery called Pit Boss BBQ and Fish Fry for another ribbon cutting ceremony.
Anytime you’re hungry but looking for a place where you can dig your teeth into some mouthwatering food quickly and cheaply, Pit Boss BBQ & Fish Fry certainly fits the bill. For example, you can get a pulled pork or chicken, fried fish, Texas brisket, or crab cake sandwich for only $11-$15.
Fish fries served with pickles and slaw come in a choice of fried shrimp ($16), calamari, ($13), crab cakes ($17) or fish & chips ($14). Or order a platter including all four for $27.
Baby back ribs are on the menu, too. A half-rack will set you back $24.
And of course, you need a beverage to accompany all this tasty food. Water, soda, or lemonade costs $4, while domestic beer is available for $6 and imported beer for $7.
However, my June 28 Pit Boss stop cost me nothing. Everyone who stopped by for the ribbon cutting ceremony got a free crab cake slider!
Pit Boss BBQ & Fish Fry Hours
Pitt Boss BBQ & Fish Fry is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
You can eat right there on the premises. Or if you prefer, order your food to go. Then take it with you to enjoy while watching the game you bet on at the William Hill Sportsbook or the evening entertainment in the 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy.
Shops at the Row
The final stop on the Ocean Casino ribbon cutting tour was at the Shops at the Row. Your choices there, including several newly opened shops, are so eclectic and impressive, it called for free cake for everyone!
The Shops at the Row really do offer something for everyone–yourself, the other adults in your party, your kids, and don’t forget gifts for friends and family.
If you forgot to take along any essentials or items for the beach, no problem. Several of the Shops at the Row carry them. Or maybe you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special event of your own. Or during the course of your stay, you hit a big jackpot. This calls for splurging on a nice bottle of wine or a sparkling piece of jewelry. Once again, look no further than the Shops at the Row.
List and hours for all of the Shops at the Row
Here, in alphabetical order, is a complete list of all of the Shops at the Row along with the hours they are open.
However, keep in mind that this information is accurate of June 27, 2019. Quite possibly, additional shops will debut at a later date.
Bangz Salon & Blow Dry
- Tues. – Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bergio: Fine jewelry
- Sun. – Thurs. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Core Departure (also on the Lobby level): Beachwear, sundries, souvenirs, and snacks
- Daily 8 a.m. to midnight; the shop on the Lobby level is open 24/7.
Flying Reef & Surf Shop
- Daily 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Hooligan’s: Kids’ clothing and accessories (Note: This shop is moving in July to a larger space nearby where it will expand its offerings to include items for older children, too.)
- Mon. – Thurs. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
O-Man: Men’s clothing and accessories
- Daily 10 a.m. to midnight
Ocean Wine & Spirits
- Daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Renee: Women’s clothing and accessories
- Daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Rocket Fizz: Old fashioned candy and soda shop
- Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Time After Time: Jewelry, especially watches. This store also changes batteries while you wait and does watch repair.
- Sun. – Thurs. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. to midnight.
Rocket Fizz: A unique candy store for kids and kids at heart of all ages
Don’t get me wrong. The area of Ocean Casino Resort called Shops at the Row is not a mega-size mall designed for shopaholics to shop till they drop. But that’s probably not what you want anyway. It is a place where you can take a break from the casino and readily find both items you need and items you don’t, but are too irresistible to pass up.
Strictly in the latter category is one shop I had to single out, not only because its undeniable appeal drew me in, but also because I don’t believe another place in Atlantic City exists like it. Even the name of the place will have you and your kids flying inside. Get ready to experience Rocket Fizz!
Every type of candy you could possibly long for, and more
Whatever your age, Rocket Fizz is guaranteed to make you feel like a kid in a candy store. But not just any candy store, but one that will actually take you back to your childhood.
Think back to some of your favorite candies when you were a youngster, but haven’t had in years because none of the stores you frequent carries them. But this one does!
Does a Moon Pie, Mallo Cup, or Whatchamacallit bring back nostalgic memories? Those are just few possibilities in the enormous assortment of candies you’ll find here, many of which you probably thought no longer existed. This candy shop offers many varieties of taffy and licorice, too.
Rocket Fizz is the epitome of exactly what you would expect an old fashioned candy store to be, but with 2019 prices. No five cent candy bars in this place! Small candy bars cost over a dollar, and loose candy you bag yourself is $10.99 for a small bag or $12.99 for a large bag. Or if you would like a nostalgic memento to take home, show biz photos from back in the day (maybe long before you were born) are $7.99 each and tin signs are $19.99 each.
Every flavor of soda pop you never imagined existed
Rocket Fizz is also where you’ll find shelf after shelf of bottled soda. The store is called Rocket Fizz because that’s one of the of soda brands you can buy there, along with many others. At $2.29 a bottle, surely you will be tempted to buy one or two. The only hard part will be choosing from the incredible assortment of flavors. Forget the mundane choices in your local supermarket or convenience store. I’m talking about flavors like Key Lime Pie, Coffee Cake, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Havana Banana, Orange Creamsicle, and Cotton Candy! And that’s only a tiny sampling.
The June 27 celebration ended with fireworks
The only fitting end to what was a spectacular day of celebration was the fireworks show that got underway at 9:30 p.m. The Ocean Casino Sky Garden provided an unsurpassed view of the spectacular display.
Keep celebrating at Ocean Casino Resort
For the benefit of those who couldn’t make it to the Thursday, June 27 first year anniversary events, as well as those who had such a good time they can’t wait to come back, here are few things you can do to keep the celebration going.
Both Sat. and Sun.
- 15% off sale at the Flying Surf Shop
- $1 hot dog at the William Hill Sportsbook (starting 4 p.m.)
- Free evening entertainment at the 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy
Monday, July 1 (and every Monday thereafter, weather permitting)
- Music Row Mondays free entertainment on the Boardwalk 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
First Year Anniversary Celebration at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino AC
On Friday, June 28, I returned to Atlantic City for the first year anniversary celebration at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
$200,000 donation to charity
The festivities kicked off on a high note with the announcement by Hard Rock executives that the casino hotel would donate a total of $200,000, to be equally divided among the following five local charities:
- Atlantic City Rescue Mission
- Atlantic City Police Foundation
- Turning Point Day Center
- Covenant House
Initially, Hard Rock was going to give each recipient a gift of $20,000. But at the last minute, Hard Rock Chairman and CEO Jim Allen announced to the thrilled crowd that he and the property’s owners–Joseph and Michael Jingoli and Jack Morris–had jointly decided to double the contribution.
Hard Rock’s wish to give back to the community after a very successful first year
As Allen told the huge throng that gathered for this event,
“I think it truly demonstrates that not just Hard Rock, but us, as individuals, truly care and want to give back to the community.”
According to Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City, since its official opening on June 27, 2018, this facility has generated more than $320 million in gambling revenue. It also ranks fourth in the market in overall casino revenue and second in table game revenue.
Lupo further indicated that to date, 3.6 million people have visited the casino, 1.2 million have stayed as hotel guests, and nearly a half million have attended concerts there.
That, he said, all adds up to having “a very successful first year.”
However, he also made the following point:
“As successful as we have been from a gambling revenue standpoint, what’s even more important is creating a new brand, a new energy in Atlantic City”
Mayor Gilliam proclaimed June 28 Hard Rock Day in Atlantic City
Then Mayor Frank Gilliam came to the podium and presented the Atlantic City property with a special proclamation on behalf of the city. June 28 will be recognized hereafter as “Hard Rock Day” in Atlantic City.
The party was just getting started
At 4 p.m. the Hard Rock Anniversary parade got underway on the Boardwalk. Participants included local bands, dancers, and cheerleaders. In addition, various celebrities and New Jersey notables appeared on floats or in classic cars. Newly crowned Miss New Jersey, who will go on to participate in the Miss America competition, was among them.
Many guests also took advantage of the these special Hard Rock Anniversary Day special offers:
- $10 brunch at Fresh Harvest Buffet
- 10x free play for slot players
Keep celebrating at Hard Rock Atlantic City
At Hard Rock, as at Ocean Casino Resort, all of you who want to celebrate some more are in luck. Here are a few suggestions for more fun things to do the rest of this weekend and beyond.
- Jersey Boys: performing at Sound Waves on Sunday June 30 at 8 p.m. and on selected dates thereafter through July 21.
- Music Row Mondays: free musical entertainment on the Boardwalk from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, July 1 and every Monday thereafter, weather permitting.
- Play your favorite casino games to earn entries all summer long for the September 1 prize drawing where one super lucky player will become an instant millionaire!
NJ online casino slots cover every theme under the sun. But what if you have a pressing need to get as far away from the everyday mundane as possible and escape to a whole new world of sheer fantasy with your favorite NJ gambling websites?
Even if you know it’s just a fairy tale. Does any such online slot actually exist? Of course, and one of them–Aladdin’s Legacy–is this week’s Barb’s Best Bet!
A Legacy based on the famous Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
The timeless story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is familiar to and loved by every generation of not only children, but also adults.
Whether you read the book or see one of the many TV, musical theater, or movie adaptations, and whether it’s for the first time or for the umpteenth time, the experience is utterly captivating.
In fact, during the weekend of May 24, 2019, Disney released a brand new live action version of the 1992 animated film. But for all of you who want to enjoy even more of the Aladdin experience, why stop there?
You can recreate the fantasy at home or wherever in New Jersey you happen to be any time you wish playing the Aladdin’s Legacy slot game on your computer or smartphone.
Best of all, each time you play, it’s not just the same old story because you have no idea what new treasures you’re about to unlock. Aladdin’s Legacy is unique because it lets you step into a whole new world of enchantment, magic, and exotic treasures.
All sorts of special features and surprises could be in store for you, including a wild and scatter symbol and three lucrative bonus games with the potential to boost your online bankroll big time. Ride the magic carpet to big bonuses and see where it takes you.
Why Aladdin’s Legacy qualifies as Barb’s Best Bet
When selecting which of the hundreds of slot games that players on NJ gambling websites can choose from to single out as “Best Bets,” I use a variety of criteria.
For starters, I try to find slots with an identifiable theme that I think will appeal to a large cross section of players. The game should be fun and exciting and sufficiently different from other games so that frequent players won’t quickly become bored.
Outstanding graphics, sound, and animations are a must, along with a variety of special features to make the game more entertaining and offer additional ways to win. In addition, the game must be available in a wide enough range of bet sizes to appeal to low, mid-range, and big bettors alike.
Lastly, and most importantly, no game meets my high standards for Best Bet without a superior return to player (RTP).
While no slot can assure you of a winning outcome every time you play, a higher RTP not only increases the likelihood of winning, but also your ability to withstand the inevitable dry spells without their making a major dent in your bankroll.
It’s all about being able to stay in the game, which is critical for any slot player.
Of course, the proof is in the playing, which is why prior to recommending any slot game in my Best Bets column on this website, I play the game myself in demo mode.
Aladdin’s Legacy basics
Aladdin’s Legacy is an online video slot by NYX Gaming consisting of 5 reels, 3 rows, and 20 fixed paylines.
If you have watched Aladdin on TV, or performed live on Broadway or anywhere else, or the 1992 or 2019 version of the film, you won’t be too surprised to see that the Aladdin’s Legacy slot game has a desert oasis setting as well. Palm trees and minarets in the distance add a realistic touch, while the reels themselves are set in a gold ornamental frame.
The minimum bet is only 20 cents per spin, while the maximum is $100 per spin. So as you can see, this is a game that will appeal to a very wide range of players.
Aladdin’s Legacy does not offer a progressive jackpot, but it doesn’t need one because the maximum payout of 2,500 coins in the base game and 11,500 coins in the Treasure Room bonus provide more than enough incentive. While a super size win of the magnitude of the game’s top payout is, of course, highly improbable, frequent small payouts will keep you in the game for as long as you want to play.
RTP of 95 percent
Ordinarily, I insist on slot games with an RTP of 96 percent or higher. Aladdin’s Legacy has a published RTP of 95 percent, which falls a little shy of my usual minimum, but it is still above average for NJ online slots. Furthermore, when I played the game in demo mode, betting a hypothetical $5 per spin, I had great results from the get-go.
The first time, on just the second spin, I activated the free spins bonus round. The second time it took five spins. Each time I received 10 free spins, during which my wins kept mounting. On the first set of free spins, I won over $200, while the second time, the amount was a little less but still well over $100. Not bad at all for just one $5 bet. When the free spins finally came to an end, the screen lit up with the message “Big Win!”
The manufacturer also lists Aladdin’s Legacy as having low volatility. In other words, even during a playing session when you’re not having good luck, huge negative swings are highly unlikely.
This is a particularly important feature for anyone whose bankroll for online slot play is limited. You can play with no worries and the reasonable assurance that whatever happens, you’ll have plenty of betting money left to try again whenever you want.
Where in New Jersey can you play Aladdin’s Legacy?
You can play Aladdin’s Legacy on the following NJ gambling websites:
Aladdin’s Legacy symbols
An important part of what makes playing Aladdin’s Legacy so thoroughly enjoyable is the great attention to detail that the maker of this NJ online slot, NYX, has demonstrated in every aspect of the game.
- The rich, warm, earthy colors against which the reels are set are consistent with what you would expect a desert oasis to look like, while the decorative border of the reels themselves includes elaborate golden scrollwork.
- All of the symbols, even the lowest paying ones, have golden embellishments, while the higher paying symbols also reflect the theme of the story.
Meanwhile, a soundtrack of upbeat Arabic music sets the mood.
The higher paying regular symbols, in increasing order of their payouts, are as follows:
- Red and white awning over an Arabian market stall
- Clay pot filled with parchment scrolls
- The princess who marries Aladdin
- Desert oasis
- Aladdin, himself, clad in purple, with face partially veiled
All of these symbols become animated whenever they contribute to a winning payline.
The lower paying regular symbols are the playing cards J through A.
Winning combinations are formed in the usual manner, with like symbols appearing in adjacent reels going from left to right, starting with the reel farthest to the left. However, instead of needing a minimum of three like symbols, as is usually the case, just two will suffice. Of course, the payoffs for two like symbols are quite small, but they’re a winner nonetheless.
The highest paying regular symbol, Aladdin, pays 2x, 50x, 100x, or 200x your line bet for 2, 3, 4, or 5 of them across a payline, respectively.
By the way, whenever your spin forms a winning combination, any unused symbols darken. This makes it very easy to see at a glance exactly what your winning combination is.
Aladdin seated on top of his magic carpet serves as the game’s wild symbol. As such, it is capable of substituting for all other symbols except the scatter symbol to help form or add to winning combinations.
The wild symbol can appear on any of the reels. Therefore, whenever two or more of them appear adjacently on a payline, starting with the reel farthest to the left, that’s another way wild symbols can add to your winnings. The greater the number of adjacent wild symbols there are on the same payline, the greater the payout. Two or more adjacent wild symbols pay more than the same number of any of the regular symbols: 10x, 100x, 500x, or 2,500x your line bet, respectively.
The scatter symbol is Aladdin’s golden lamp. However, two of those symbols won’t do you any good. You need at least three to land simultaneously anywhere on the reels in order to activate the Free Spins bonus round.
Depending on how many scatter symbols show up–3, 4, or 5–you will receive 10, 15, or 20 free spins, respectively.
It is possible to win a lot of money during the free spins, and if you’re really lucky, move on to the next bonus feature, where you’ll be rewarded with even bigger wins. However, during the free spins, the symbols on the reels are different. There are no scatter symbols on the reels, so the free spins cannot be retriggered.
In addition to the base game, Aladdin’s Legacy offers three separate bonus features. In other words, even though they’re all part of the same slot, playing Aladdin’s Legacy is like playing four games in one!
Free Spins bonus feature
As mentioned, you need to have 3, 4, or 5 Aladdin’s magic lamp scatter symbols land anywhere on the reels simultaneously to be awarded the Free Spins bonus feature. This is the easiest of the three bonus features to trigger.
During the free spins, the symbols on the reels are not the same ones that appeared during the base game, but gems of varying shapes and colors. Winning combinations are formed in the same manner as before. However, the one new symbol you really want to see is the Into the Cave symbol on reel 5. If you do, you will have triggered the second of three possible bonus features: the Into the Cave bonus game.
Into the Cave bonus feature
The object of the Into the Cave bonus game is to unlock the cave door. You will be asked to pick three gems, each of which will award a cash prize. If you pick the right three, you will also trigger the third and potentially biggest paying bonus feature of all–the Treasure Room bonus game. Otherwise, you will be returned to the Free Spins bonus game to complete the remaining free spins.
Treasure Room bonus feature
The Treasure Room bonus feature is hard to trigger, but if you make it that far, a new challenge awaits you. Aladdin’s treasures would not have been obtainable without the help of his magic lamp. Likewise, your task is to pick the right path that will lead you to your own pot of gold. And is it ever–11,500 coins!
If you pick the wrong path, better luck next time. Meanwhile, you will have to settle for a much smaller prize.
Aladdin’s Legacy summary
Some slot games, progressive jackpot slots especially, have as their big draw the lure of a huge jackpot. But the flip side is the reduced frequency of smaller payouts. Aladdin’s Legacy is the opposite. Winning combinations that produce small payouts occur very frequently. In many instances, they don’t even equal the bet size.
On the other hand, even though many of the wins in the base game are small, they occur often enough to make you feel like you’re winning. If you’re not winning, the good news is you’re probably not losing by much.
Lots of small wins add up
The biggest payouts in this game will almost certainly take place during the bonus rounds rather than in the base game. However, even in the base game, interspersed among all the small payouts, there will be some fairly large ones. Even without the additional contribution of the bonus rounds, those could be enough to give you a winning session.
The base game could get a little boring if you don’t trigger the Free Spins bonus feature early. However, I wouldn’t know because that didn’t happen when I played.
State-of-the-art graphics, sounds, and animations
Superior graphics, sound, and animations further enhance the slot play experience. Whether you play NJ online slots regularly or only occasionally, you cannot help but be impressed by what this game has to offer. From a technology standpoint, Aladdin’s Legacy offers everything that players on NJ gambling websites want from an online slot.
The bottom line
Aladdin’s Legacy is a fun and potentially rewarding slot that you will want to come back to play again and again. The high RTP and low volatility ensure that you will be able to do so often.
As soon as you are ready to access Aladdin’s Legacy and other great NJ online casino games, be sure to take advantage of the lucrative NJ online casino bonus codes.
- Five reels / 20 fixed paylines
- Bets: 20 cents to $100
- RTP: 95.00 percent
- Aladdin fairy tale theme
- Wild and scatter symbols
- Free Spins bonus feature
- Into the Cave bonus feature
- Treasure Room bonus feature
Available at Golden Nugget and PlaySugarHouse