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Jeopardy! Slot Game Review

Merv Griffin developed two of the most popular game shows in television history. One was Wheel of Fortune, based on the children’s game Hangman. The other show was Jeopardy, suggested by his wifeJulann while they were flying to New York City. As Merv toyed with several ideas for a game show Julann suggested a question and answer game, a format that had been abandoned in the late 1950safter several game shows were caught giving winning and losing answers to contestants, essentially scripting what were supposed to be live, spontaneous shows.

The Quiz Show Scandals would haunt television game shows for a long time, eventually leading to a movie about the scandal in 1994. Television game shows had already survived one legal challengewhen the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that quiz shows were not a form of gambling, overturning a Federal Communications Commission ruling against ABC Television. The 1958 scandal led to aCongressional investigation and revisions in 1960 to the Communications Act of 1934. From that time forward quiz shows could not be rigged by the producers. Contestants had to win or fail ontheir own merits.

When the Griffins held their conversation in 1964 enough time had passed that TV audiences were ready to accept questions and answers in the form of a game show, although pure quiz shows wouldnot return to US television until the late 1990s. Merv Griffin pitched the idea for What’s The Question to NBC, who picked up the project immediately. Ironically, NBC executive Ed Vane rejectedthe original concept, saying “it doesn’t have enough jeopardizes”. Griffin retooled and the show was launched with Art Fleming as the host.

Twenty years later Alex Trebec began hosting a daily syndicated version of the show and his contract has been renewed every time it has come up. Griffin sold his television production company toColumbia Television in the mid-1980s, retiring from game show development. However, both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! continued to evolve after Griffin was no longer calling the shots. In 2001producers added a new aspect to Jeopardy! when they launched the Clue Crew, experienced journalists who filmed short videos to help the contestants guess the questions to their answers.

Gameplay

The game consists of three rounds:

  • Jeopardy
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Final Jeopardy
Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy

In the first two rounds contestants must guess the questions to answers provided in six trivia categories and they accumulate cash prizes for being the first to ask a correct question. Thereare special “Daily Double” tiles, one in the first round and two in the second round, that give whichever contestants uncover them exclusive chances to win additional money.

Final Jeopardy

The Final Jeopardy! round consists of presenting one question to all three contestants. They must decide how much of their accumulated winnings they will bet on their ability to answer thequestion correctly. The contestant who finishes the game with the most money goes on to become the champion and return in the next game. Over the years special tie-breaking rules have beenintroduced to keep the show moving along. Only one three-way tie has ever occurred.

In 2014 International Game Technology (IGT) signed a licensing agreement with Sony, the current owner of Jeopardy, to release new games under the Jeopardy! brand name. The online slot machinegame reviewed below utilizes images from the show to provide a connection to the game but the basic slot game just consists of spinning the five reels and hoping for winning combinations. Thereare several variations of the Jeopady game but the one reviewed below is the online Jeopardy! Video Slot.

Return to Player

The game adds some randomizing elements that mean the theoretical return to player varies from 92.8% to 96.4%.

Rules of the Jeopardy! Slot Game

Jeopardy! Is a 5-column, 4-row video slot game that pays all prizes from left to right, except for scatter wins, which pay for any combination. Prizes are computed as credits per winningcombination times Coin Value, except for scatter wins, which are computed as credits times total bet. The game features two special symbols.

The Wild symbol (the game logo) substitutes for all other symbols in the game except the Bonus symbol. The Wild Rush feature may be activated when a Wild symbol lands on a slot position above atleast one other slot position. The game may award additional Wild symbols, cascading downward on the same reel. It is possible for one Wild to land in the top position and spawn three new Wildsymbols below it.

The Bonus symbol only appears on reel 3. You must get 2 or more of them to trigger the Jeopardy! Board Bonus game. 2 Bonus symbols award you up to 11 free spins or a 6X multiplier. 3 Bonussymbols award you up to 13 free spins or an 11X multiplier. 4 Bonus symbols award you up to 19 free spins or a 12X multiplier.

The Bonus game shows you a five column Jeopardy! Board. You pick one box from each of the first three columns. If you get a Double Jeopardy! you can choose another box from columns four or five.There are five possible prize categories from the pick round.

Just Spin Baby awards you a random number of spins. X Marks the Spot adds a multiplier to your bonus spins. Potpourri either awards you more spins or more multipliers. The two additional columnsare Wild About You, which assigns additional Wild symbols to the last four reels in the bonus spins, and Really Wild, which awards you a locked column of wilds.

Once all your picks are finished the free spins begin.

The number of active pay lines is fixed at 40, as is the number of coins you bet per spin.

Other Symbols in the Jeopardy! Slot Game

There are two sets of symbols in this game, the Base Game symbols and the Bonus Game symbols. There are only slight but significant differences between the symbol sets. Except for Alex Trebec,there is a blue outline or background on all the Base Game symbols. Except for Alex, there is a purple outline or background on all the Bonus Game symbols. Also, there are special Wild symbols inthe Bonus Game. The prize values for the symbols are the same in both games.

Alex Trebec is the game’s highest value symbol. Although it is not significant to game play, his background colors are both blue and purple. Alex pays 2000 times your Coin Value for five of akind. Four of a kind pays 500 times Coin Value and three of a kind pays 100 times Coin Value. Alex will politely congratulate you for any winning combination using his symbol.

Anyone from the Clue Crew (Sarah Whitcomb Foss, Jimmy McGuire, or Kelly Miyahara) pays 800 times Coin Value for five of a kind, 200 times Coin Value for four of a kind, and 60 times Coin Valuefor three of a kind. The audience applauds when a Clue Crew member’s symbols form a winning combination.

In the Bonus Game you may be awarded additional Wild symbols. These are Clue Crew member tiles and they are distinguished from the normal symbols by having the word “Wild” pasted over their lowerright corners. In both games the Wild symbols only appear on reels 2 through 5.

The five remaining symbols represent categories from the game: Science (an atomic symbol), Entertainment (a film clipboard), Sports (a trophy cup), Music (a musical note), and History (a map ofthe western hemisphere). Each category symbol has its own special color and ambient sound for when it pays a prize.

Five of a kind prizes range from 150 times Coin Value for Science down to 80 times Coin Value for both Music and History.

How to Play the Jeopardy! Slot Game

The five-by-four grid does not operate the way most video slot games do. When you click Spin it looks like each of the boxes is resolving its own spin. While this would be impossible to do in aphysical slot machine the computer technology behind video slot machines makes it quite simple. But whereas most games may be using only one random number per reel per spin it looks likeJeopardy! is using 25 random numbers per spin. This has no real effect on how you play the game but the unusual spinning patterns may be a little distracting at first.

  • The Pays button is located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You can click on it in-between spins to browse the help screens that explain how the game works. Therules are very simple, though, so most players won’t pay any attention to it.
  • The remaining game controls are mounted on a control panel below the playing reels. The left-most widget is just informational. It tells you there are 40 active pay lines (documented in thePays table) and that the game is set to a fixed number of coins (60) per bet or spin.
  • The Coin Value widget uses minus and plus buttons to allow you to scroll through possible values of 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10. Unless you have a lot of money to gamble with you’llleave this setting on 1. Most of your prizes are calculated in multiples of Coin Value, except for the Scatter pays (2 or more Bonus symbols on reel 3), which are calculated in multiples of TotalBet.
  • The Total Bet widget displays the computed total of active coins times current Coin Value.
  • The Spin button is set in the middle of the control panel and only initiates a single game.
  • The Win widget merely displays the total amount of your last win. Individual pay line wins are displayed on the informational bar in between the playing reels and the controlpanel.
  • The Balance widget displays how much money you have left to play with.
  • The Auto Spin button brings up a small menu with five options (10, 20, 30, 40, 50) for how many spins you want the game to play for you. The Auto Spins continue until youinterrupt them, you win a Bonus game, you leave the game, or your balance drops below the Total Bet amount.
  • The Wrench to the right of the Auto Spins button brings up a menu that allows you to adjust the display quality.
  • Adjusting the amount of your wager has no effect on how the game is played. You are no more likely to get a Wild Rush or a Bonus Game at max bet than at minimum bet.

Since the game’s events are determined by the random number generator you have as good a chance of playing three bonus games in a row as of playing one at all, but don’t sit there and spin thereels waiting for a bonus game. You can easily go broke in multiple successive practice games just playing the minimum wager.

Summary

This is an expensive game to play. It is designed so differently from the way most video slot games work that it may even be confusing for players who get caught up in the excitement of thesoundtrack (which plays the game show’s “Think” music continuously) or the anticipation of playing the bonus game.

The chances of the Bonus game coming up seem to be pretty slim. You can win big prizes without the bonus game but just looking at all the multiplier options in the pick rounds should make itclear that if you get a bonus game your chances of winning lots of money are very good. But that is why it is so hard to get to the bonus game.

Our Thoughts:

This game is targeting high rollers who want to play high stakes slots. It’s really not intended for low-budget gamblers who want to manage their money and keep playing for entertainment. Asmuch as you like the show, if you don’t have the budget for high stakes gambling this is not the game for you.

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