Golden Symbols in the 88 Fortune Base Game
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All the symbols contain an element of gold in this game – with gold also coming into play for the randomly triggered jackpot pick round. 88 Fortunes uses a ‘Reel Pays’ system, effectively an all-ways setup which pays all combinations of 3+ on consecutive reels from the left. This gives you 243 winning combinations at a spin cost of 88c and multiples of that amount.
The highest paying symbol is a dragon, which looks like it has been stamped onto a golden ingot. This has a bright red background, creating a vivid contrast. You will also find 3 gold ingots on top of each other, a gold coin (complete with the square cut out of the middle) and a turtle which is made of gold.
Wilds are an elaborate gold and red symbol, with Chinese writing in the middle. This will substitute for all the other symbols (including the scatters). With the all-ways winning system in place, you can create a lot of win-lines with wild symbols in the right place. Each time a wild lands on the reels, even when not involved in a win, this adds gold to a pot above the reels. This increases the chance of the random jackpot game being triggered.
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Betonline 200% bonus. Gong symbols land with the crashing of a gong sound effect. You’ll need 3 of these from the left to trigger 10 free spins.
Bonus Games on the 88 Fortunes Slot
There are two bonus games, both of which are fairly generic – though they do offer you the chance of hitting a bigger win. The first is the free spins game and the second the jackpot picks game.
3 gongs on consecutive reels give you 10 free spins. Wild symbols will substitute for gongs. Other than the background of the reels turning from a red hue to a darker shade of gold, there is nothing different compared to the base game. You can add 10 more spins at any point with 3+ gongs from the left-hand side.
The jackpot game will start at random – preceded by the elaborately designed pot of gold above the reels closing and wobbling a little. You are given a grid of 12 gold coins. Tapping them will reveal a ‘Fu Baby’ (a pale skinned traditional baby figure). There are 4 types, and you get a jackpot by picking 3 of the same ones. The jackpots start small with a mini-prize (low double figures) and include a grand jackpot which is typically a low 4-figures ($1000 and up)
In Chinese culture, the number 8 is seen as having good fortune attached to it, so it’s not unusual to see online pokies with an Oriental theme and lots of ‘8’s popping up all over them. 88 Fortunes, from Shuffle Master, has the number in the title and comes packed with images that couldn’t be more stereotypically Oriental if they tried.
Decorated in the reds and golds that seem to fill most games of this nature, it’s a good-looking pokie and has some interesting features like the option to have more valuable symbols in play, a free spins round with richer reels and several progressive jackpots.
Playing For 88 Fortunes
The rich design and fine attention to detail makes it stand out, with a decorative background in various shades of red setting the predominantly gold reels off very effectively. Above the reels there’s a couple of babies holding scrolls, and while the significance of this isn’t very clear, these so-called Fu Babies become important when the progressive jackpot round is triggered.
Players can stake as little as 0.08 on a spin of the 5 reels, while the maximum wager is appropriately, 88.00, although we shall come to the difference that bigger bets will make in a minute.
Instead of trying to land symbols across specific paylines, this game sees wins come when 3 or more of the same symbol appear on adjacent reels running from the left side, and there’s 243 different ways that this can occur, leading to a low-volatility game where lots of smaller wins tend to be had, rather than fewer bigger wins.
The lowest value wins come from the J, Q, K and A playing card symbols, while the picture symbols that are unique to 88 Fortunes will be worth more.
A coin, ingots, statue of a turtle, ship and carved bird give this game its distinct appearance, but players will have noticed that to the left of the reels is a table that shows 5 bet levels. The more coins activated on each line, the more of the picture symbols will be turned gold, and therefore worth higher payouts when they are part of a winning combination.
Just staking 8 credits sees a single picture symbol going gold, while 88 credits will activate them all, and on top of this, players will only qualify for the higher jackpots when more credits are staked. For a bit of added clarity, a little image above this table clearly shows which symbols are in gold mode.
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An elaborate red and gold symbol with Chinese writing on it is wild, so it can substitute for all except the scatter to complete winning lines. As an example, if a player lands the A symbol on reels 1 and 3, plus the wild on reel 2, they will be paid out for a line of 3 Aces.
This wild symbol only appears on the middle 3 reels however, so can’t make up lines on its own and has no value until it completes combinations with others.
The scatter is a green, red and bronze-coloured gong, and this leads players to a free spins game when it lands on reels 1, 2 and 3 at once. Although just 10 spins are awarded, these can be quite lucrative, as the playing card symbols are removed from the reels, giving players fewer symbols that need to line up and bigger payouts when they do so.
Progressive Jackpots Feature
To the right of the reels the current values of 4 progressive jackpots are displayed, with the Mini starting at just 40.00, the Minor seeded at 75.00, the Major grows from 1,500.00 and the Grand is set at 4,000.00 and increases from there.
Players enter the jackpot round at random after a spin where the wild symbol appears, and they will be taken to a screen where 12 gold coins are lined up before them. Clicking on each coin will reveal a cute Fu Baby and once 3 matching babies have been found, the jackpot associated with them will be awarded.
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Once the round is triggered, players are guaranteed to win a jackpot, even if the most likely outcome is the Mini, but remember that the more credits wagered, the better the mix of jackpots behind the coins.
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Although Chinese-themed pokies are very common, this one comes with some nice extra features and an eye-catching design. Paying out higher wins with more credits is an interesting option, while higher jackpots is an added incentive to stake more.
Quite why Fu Babies are involved is perhaps a mystery, but they can result in a big progressive jackpot win, so their presence is welcomed anyway.