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Big Red Slot Machines

Humans have lived in Australia for at least 50,000 years. The smallest of the six inhabited continents, Australia’s eco system has evolved separately from the others for millions of years. Itshares many plant and animal species with some nearby Pacific Island groups but has its own set of unique, native species. Australia is home to the world’s largest marsupials, the Kangaroos.

Although inhabited for tens of thousands of years by the Aborigine population, Australia was only discovered by European explorers in the 1700s. Captain James Cook, the most famous Britishexplorer, released a pair of pigs into the wild while visiting Australia. This was a common practice among explorers, who intended to seed newly discovered lands with game animals that futureexplorers and colonists could hunt for food. The pigs have long since gone feral and become nuisances, although by comparison Australian feral pigs do not do as much damage as North Americanferal pigs.

The Eucalyptus tree is part of a genus of more than 700 species of trees and shrubs that is unique to Australia and nearby islands although it once had relatives in South America. Eucalyptusplants and trees have been exported from Australia all over the world. Eucalyptus oils are used as antiseptics, solvents, deodorizers, and cleansers.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited, a slot game design company based in Australia, released Big Red to land-based casinos in 2003. The game was distributed in the company’s popular MKVI slot gamecabinet, which housed many popular slot machine games before it was replaced by later technology. The cabinet featured up to 16 buttons for game controls. Big Red makes use of Australia’s mostwell-known icons: the Kangaroo, Dingo, and Eucalyptus tree. The Australian crocodile was also made famous by the “Crocodile Dundee” movies and by Steve Irwin, a popular wildlife expert andconservationist, through his “Crocodile Hunter” television show.

Aristocrat released an online version of the Big Red slot game in partnership with 2WinPower in the 2nd quarter of 2012. The rest of this article reviews the online version of thegame.

Rules of Big Red Slot Game

The Big Red slot is a 5 reel, 3 row video slot game with 5 pay lines. The game pays all prizes from left to right and multiplied by bet per line on active pay lines. Scatter prizes are multipliedby bet per line. Scatter prizes are paid differently during the free spins bonus, which is described below.

The Kangaroo is the Wild symbol in Big Red. The Kangaroo only appears on reels 3, 4, and 5 and it substitutes for all other symbols in the game except the Scatter.

The Eucalyptus Tree is the game’s Scatter symbol. In the basic game the Scatter must appear in a winning combination on an active pay line in order to pay a prize, which is multiplied by bet perline. During the free spins game the Scatter pays on any position.

In the basic game the Eucalyptus Tree pays 50 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 20 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, 5 times bet per line for 3 of a kind, and 2 times bet per line for 2 of akind.

Other Symbols in Big Red Slot Game

The Crocodile is the highest value symbol in the game, paying 1250 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 600 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, 150 times bet per line for 3 of a kind, 12 times betper line for 2 of a kind, and 2 times bet per line for 1 of a kind. It is hypothetically possible for 5 crocodiles to appear on the screen, each on its own pay line, so that the total win for all5 crocodiles would be 10 times bet per line. A winning combination of 2 or more crocodiles must appear on the same pay line.

The Feral Pig symbol pays 1000 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 250 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, 100 times bet per line for 3 of a kind, 10 times bet per line for 2 of a kind, and 2times bet per line for 1 of a kind. Like the Crocodile above it is hypothetically possible for Feral Pig symbols to appear on separate pay lines, awarding the lowest prize possible in eachposition.

The Eagle symbol pays 600 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 150 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, 50 times bet per line for 3 of a kind, and 3 times bet per line for 2 of a kind.

The Dingo (red dog) symbol pays 400 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 100 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, 25 times bet per line for 3 of a kind, and 2 times bet per line for 2 of a kind.

Low Value Symbols

  • The remaining symbols in the game are low value symbols based on the traditional playing card emblems “K”, “Q”, “J”, “10”, and “9”.
  • The orange “K” symbol is adorned with a large yellow and blue crown and pays 300 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 50 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, and 15 times bet per line for 3of a kind.
  • The yellow “Q” symbol bears a small red and yellow crown on its tail and pays 300 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 50 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, and 15 times bet per line for 3of a kind.
  • The blue “J” symbol bears a red and gold shield and pays 250 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 30 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, and 10 times bet per line for 3 of a kind.
  • The red “10” symbol pays 150 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 20 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, and 5 times bet per line for 3 of a kind.
  • The green “9” symbol pays 150 times bet per line for 5 of a kind, 20 times bet per line for 4 of a kind, and 5 times bet per line for 3 of a kind.

How to Play Big Red Slot Game

Most of the game’s controls are positioned below the playing reels area but there are two controls at the top. The denomination button in the upper left hand corner of the screen allows you tochange currencies if more than one is available; otherwise clicking on it merely shows you how much money you have available in the current currency. The “Menu” button in the upper right handcorner of the screen activates an expandable dashboard. From left to right these widgets represent “Currency or Credits”, “Hidden Menu”,  “Sound toggle on/off”, “Widen screen”, “Full Screentoggle on/off”, and “bottom control dashboard toggle on/off”. The “X” ends your game session.

There five colored, numbered indicators along both sides of the playing reels area. These indicators are used to anchor the segmented display lines that highlight the winning combinations on thepay line. Each indicator on the left is positioned next to the tile that starts that indicator’s corresponding pay line. Each indicator on the right is positioned next to the tile that terminatesthat indicator’s corresponding pay line. The indicators serve no other purpose.

The “Help” button is positioned just below the “5” indicator on the left side of the playing reels area. Click on “Help” to browse the pay table screens. You just keep clicking on “Help” to movefrom screen to screen and eventually to return to the game. There are only five pay table screens. However, while you are viewing any pay table screen you can click on any other control to returnto the game without cycling through the rest of the pay table screens.

The remaining controls are depicted as three-sided buttons on a console dashboard below the playing reels area. These buttons closely emulate the physical buttons on the land-based slot game.From left to right they are:

Auto Start
Click on this button to initiate continuous play at the current number of active pay lines and bet per line. You cannot change your betting options while auto spins are in progress. Thefeature continues until you click Auto Start again, or you exit the game, or you win a special feature, or your available balance drops below the total bet requirement for a spin.
1 Line … 5 Lines
These yellow buttons activate the desired number of pay lines for you, disabling all higher numbered pay lines. e.g., clicking on “3 Lines” activates pay lines 1 to 3 and disables pay lines 4and 5.
Red Gamble
This button only becomes active after you win a prize on a paid spin. It initiates the special “Gamble” feature described below.
Black Gamble
This button only becomes active after you win a prize on a paid spin. It initiates the special “Gamble” feature described below.
Start
This green button initiates one paid spin. It also becomes a “Skip” button when you win one or more prizes so that you can skip past the animations of the highlighted pay lines.

How the Big Red Special Features Work

Unlike most other slot games, the Free Spins bonus in Big Red is triggered when 1 or more Wild Kangaroo symbols contribute to a winning combination. You are awarded 5 free spins for this feature.

During the Free Spins feature the Scatter symbol (Eucalyptus Tree) pays from any position on the reels and pays a prize equal to the total bet that initiated the Free Spins bonus. Each Scatterpays the same amount, so your prize is 1 times total bet for 1 Scatter, 2 times total bet for 2 Scatters, etc. These prizes are in addition to the normal winning combinations the Scatters mayform.

All 5 pay lines are active during the Free Spins bonus. If the Wild Kangaroo appears on a pay line during the Free Spins you are awarded 5 more spins. A “Stacked Spins” indicator (a Kangaroo witha number) appears in the top right hand corner of the screen to keep track of how many “stacked” spin sets you have won. The number goes up as you win more Kangaroos and it goes down once youhave exhausted the initial 5 spins. The number represents the sets of free spins you have won. So if you win 2 Kangaroos during your Free Spins bonus, the “Stacked Spins” indicator shows 2 andyou win an additional 10 free spins.

The Free Spins feature uses a blue background for the playing reels, as opposed to the normal auburn background of the basic game. Lightning bolts flash down across the playing reels when you wina prize.

The Gamble feature is available after any paid spins where you win a prize. Click on either of the two “Gamble” button to enter the special gamble screen. Here you are presented with a face downplaying card and you have the choice of guessing which color (red or black) or which suit (clubs, spades, diamonds, or hearts) it is.

During the Gamble feature the green “Spin” button becomes a “Take Win” button. Use this button to exit the feature at any time.

Clicking on the red Gamble button chooses the red color for you. Clicking on the black Gamble button chooses the black color for you.

You can also click on any of the options buttons on the screen: Red, Black, Heart, Diamond, Club, or Spade.

A “History” indicator bar in the top right tells you what the outcomes of the last four gamble games were. However, take note: the value of the card is chosen randomly each time and really isindependent of what the previous results were.

The prize you won from the spin (the “Gamble Amount”) is displayed directly above the face down card. This is all you risk on the first choice. You can gamble up to five times per prize.

Choosing the right color doubles your money. Choosing the right suit quadruples your money.

If you make an incorrect choice you lose your stake and the game is over. You are returned to the basic game as if you had won no prize at all.

Conclusion

As an older slot game Big Red does not offer all the bells and whistles that modern slot games provide. The player experience is less engaging and more focused on spinning the reels. Thesynthetic soundtrack can be a little monotonous although fans of these games always loved hearing the bells ring, which mean that someone has won a bonus game. In a land-based casino part of theexcitement is hearing the bells ring around you and anticipating your own bonus game bell ring.

If you want to relive that singing moment again you’ll keep the sound active but after you have won your first bonus game you will have heard everything the game has to offer. What it all boilsdown to is what will keep you spinning the reels. That will be the theoretical return to player of 97.04%, which is unusually high for an Aristocrat game this old. The theoretical RTP estimateshow much of players’ bets will be returned over the lifetime of the game, not during any given session. Still, with an RTP that high it’s common to see people keep spinning the reels for hours onend without having to continually feed the game more money.

This is not a high roller game. The maximum bet is $5, although the math works against you with $5 as much as it does with $500. That is if you can bet less than the maximum and still cover allthe options your money tends to last longer. But $5 is not much money to most gamblers and is actually less than the minimum wager you’ll find on some other Aristocrat games.

All in all, if you’re going to play an older slot game for nostalgia’s sake, Big Red is a good choice because it’s easy to learn, has a generous theoretical RTP, and places a heart-healthylimit on maximum bets. This one is worth the time if you just want to spin reels and try to win some money.
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