100 Lions Slot Machine – What Makes It Special: You collect gold frames, which can trigger a wild cascade at the same time, unless you have a series of gold-framed reel spaces that are touching each other.
Zodiac Lion follows the path of other games at IGT, such as Scarab and Star Bandia, where gold-framed spaces can eventually turn wild. This game makes it a little harder to turn a bunch of spaces wild, but the potential is still there.
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The Zodiac Lion has an unusual 4-5-4-5-4 reel set with 50 lines and a credit bet increment of 60. The game also has a bigger/better bet, the Zodiac Wheel bet, which has a 100 credit increment.
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When a lion appears, a gold frame is added to the reel the first time it appears on a reel space. If a lion appears on a reel space that already has a gold frame, it will turn that space wild, as well as any other connecting spaces with a gold frame.
In the end this works like a combination of Scarab and Wild Pirates, where the connected spaces turn into Wild Pirates when one is wild. If you have a lump disconnected from a space or spaces that turn wild, that lump stays. So you ultimately hope that the different gold frames will be connected before wild hits.
The gold frames on the reels are a steady state feature and will stay behind, even if you cash out. Each bet option has its own persistent state, so gold frames are attached to the bet option.
The biggest/best feature of this game is the Zodiac Wheel. On any random spin, the Zodiac Wheel can come out and add gold frames to anywhere from 1-22 spaces on the reels that don’t have them.
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This doesn’t give you any immediate payouts, but it can link up chunks of gold frames that otherwise wouldn’t turn out because they’re not trivial.
The paytable confirms that the Zodiac Wheel can rarely appear on the regular bet, but you will see it much more often on the Zodiac Wheel bet.
The Lion Spin bonus can be triggered if three or more Lion Spin symbols land in reel spaces where a gold frame is present. You earn one spin for each Lion Spin symbol caught in a gold reel. They don’t always appear, and when the bonus opportunity is there will be a suspenseful twist.
Once triggered, the wheel spins behind the reels for each Lion Spin, landing on a number between 3 and 22, which determines how many spaces a lion will reveal for each spin. Like the base game, if a lion lands in a space without a gold frame, it will add one. If it lands in a gold-framed space, it and its associated gold-framed spaces will also turn wild. The combination of lions and wilds is where some of the larger pay can be, and with many spins pays repeatedly.
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You cannot withdraw the bonus in this particular game. The gold frames you collected before the bonus carry over into the bonus, and the remaining frames complete the bonus.
Unlike Scarab, there is no set number of spins before the frames turn gold wild, so if the game gets stubborn and the lions don’t show themselves for a while, you could spend some money trying to get the lions to get. So, this isn’t as good or a guaranteed advantage as some of the others, but with lots of gold frames in the right places, it’s worth a try. And with 10 bet options, there’s a lot to check out on this machine.
[Updated 8/1/20:] A regular reader of the site shared another scenario to look at that I hadn’t come across, but it makes perfect sense. Because of the way the bonus round works, it can drop a lot of lion heads on the last spin of the bonus. That means there will be lots of frames to populate immediately when you go back to the base game. But if you look at it visually it might not be clear.
He shared this example, which shows 10 lions on the last spin of the unframed bonus. But we know that those 10 will now be frames, which are a large part of the slot reels that have already been placed. The placement of the heads, and the number left after them, will determine the potential value, but this is another case worth looking for, which is not so obvious.
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RandomSlots comes through as usual with a video explaining how the game works, as well as feature pictures of the pay tables:
My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something who works in technology as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during free hours. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the different ways you can play slots, games that give you a potential advantage, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.In a post earlier on slot volatility, I noted that Stacked Symbols can be a sign of higher volatility…or lower volatility. The reason this feature is so widely used, and so difficult to do, is because when paired with other attributes, it can increase or restore volatility.
So in this post I will review some of the ways stacking symbols are used, and how other slot mechanics can increase or decrease volatility. These are general statements – there are different ways to play with the math and make something more volatile less, and vice versa, so keep that in mind.
I talked about the concept of each way slots pay, and how the way payouts are calculated can affect the game when clumped or stacked symbols come into play, in a previous post. But in short, if a symbol is stacked and lands in a game that pays each way, the multiplier can add up quickly.
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For games like the Gold Stacks Aristocrat series, it is impossible to pay full screen 1024 times (as the games are 5×4 reel sets). Even if a symbol only pays a few cents on a small bet, 1024x adds up a few cents quickly.
With a limited number of lines, stacked symbols on a line game can only pay a set number of times. This limits the payout amount at the line count, vs. each way pays where a 5 x 3 reel set could theoretically pay the 5-of-a-kind pay 243 times, for example.
So with 30-50 lines, that caps it. Cheshire Cat at WMS is an example of a game where a full screen of many symbols can appear, and the 40 lines caps out at a 50x win for the full screen of the highest non-wild symbol, the Cheshire Cat.
The Cheshire Cat characteristics of all symbols being stacked, and the odds of a full screen being high but paying less, deliver another characteristic of a less volatile game.
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The old school High 5 Games with stacked symbols, distributed by IGT, does this too – you get solid hits often from stacked symbols, but nothing into the stratosphere. But the lower wages allow them to get up more often, which explains the volatility.
Of course, when the raise pays, that’s when you’ll see some chances at some big wins, so often. An example of this is Great Zeus, part of the Zeus series of games by WMS, which highlights a premium symbol, Zeus, for overseas pay. Zeus will pay you a lot for lining up, but the flip side is that he’s not as easy to trigger, which makes the game more volatile.
The bonus also emphasizes Zeus, with the goal of trying to collect additional Zeus symbols throughout the bonus and then line them up. Similarly the bonus is designed to increase the volatility, but Cheshire Cat has the same layouts but gives you the chance to get more reels and wild reels, giving you even more chances to get full screens on multiple sets of reels.
There are games that will either choose a symbol to be the Stacked symbol for the spin, or have a Mystery symbol reveal. In both cases these features will increase volatility.
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In a game that chooses a symbol, such as Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow by WMS, a lower paying symbol may yield a lower payout but the wilds may yield a huge win on a single spin. As you can see in the picture above, I got a 100x win with just four wild symbols on the screen, including one 5x. If more had been present the victory could have been enormous; in the bonus, that 5x would be 10x as well.
In the case of the latter, for example Bier Haus 200, if you find the right symbol, or if a full screen of Mystery is revealed, it could lead to a big win as well, but they could also prove to be blockers if the wrong.