Bonanza slot from BTG is really the ‘Megaways’ series slot that made a name for the hitherto little-known Australian developer Big Time Gaming. Before this we had Starquest and Queen Of Riches and since we have seen what many people refer to ‘Bonanza 2’ viz-a-viz Extra Chilli.
As with the Megaways mechanic the reel rows are dynamic and can be formed with 2-7 symbols each on reels 1 and 6 and 2-6 on the middle four reels, with a scrolling single row of icons appearing each spin above the reels 2,3,4 and 5. This means that anything from 324 to 117649 ways are possible each spin.
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Bonanza’s reels spin when start is pressed but will become ‘cascading’ reels if any wins appear due to winning combinations being removed from the screen and replaced by further tiles dropping down from above. There is no limit to the amount of consecutive wins but over 5 is quite unusual, which if you see in the bonus round will be very beneficial as we shall discover.
The theme is an Australian mining one with a permanent soundtrack of frantic country music played on a guitar, with dynamite exploding when winning symbols are removed – you can’t mute the music without losing all sounds, so get used to it!
Icons begin with the basic card values which in common with all other symbols except the wilds appear stacked on all the reels and pay between 0.6 and 1.75x bet for a full way of 6. As the game has no pay lines and you only require 3 or more consecutive reels from the left to have a matching symbol for a win, which can pay many times over due to the stacks.
The diamond is the gem to look out for as you get a huge 50x bet for a full way of six and it also pays 2x bet for just two. In between these extremes we have red, blue and green gems from this very productive mine paying 15x, 2x and 2x respectively. Wilds don’t appear on the main reels but only on the scrolling icons above the centre 4 reels and you can see 0-4 of them and they don’t multiply wins.
BTG like to make a song and dance about the features and a loud thudding sound means you’ve landed one of the gold ingot scatters on a reel, the first of which will be a letter ‘G’ and you need to see 4 or more of them to trigger Bonanza’s rare but potentially lucrative bonus round. Spell G-O-L-D out to trigger it. As Bonanza spells the letters in order of appearance, after cascades it may spell out L-O-D-G or something if the ingots appear on the reels during them in that particular order. Get the GOLD and you have 12 free games, and each extra ingot awards +5 up to a maximum of 8 in view which will award the top bonus of 32 free games.
During free games you get an increasing and unlimited multiplier for every winning combination. If your first spin awarded four continuous winning cascades, on spin #2 you would begin with a 5x multiplier. As you will be aware by now this increasing multiplier along with the possibility of say 72 ways for a symbol win can lead to some colossal totals, especially the further up the multiplier scale you climb!
There are pallets of gold ingots added to the scrolling reel in the free spins bonus and get 3 in view then you will be rewarded with 5 extra spins, and all 4 present will yield 10. This is very welcome as the more spins you have then the more scope there is for seeing that all-important multiplier rise, to maybe in excess of 30x. Remember those diamonds at 50x for a full way? Well imagine 4 or 8 ways when on a 20x multiplier which would pay 1000x bet for every single way – it does happen!
Bonanza slot is the BTG purist’s preferred game as there are no complications or frills such as feature purchasing and tokens such as you see on Book Of Gods, Extra Chilli and White Rabbit. The bonus pays a long-term average of around 100x bet and for this the counterbalance is paucity of features. Many slots offer their bonus on average every 100-200 spins but on Bonanza it is around 460 spins. Given natural variance this can and often mean going over 1 or 2 thousand spins without seeing one, which some players find hard to stomach. The base game has a very high RTP compared to many feature slots at over 71% and can itself yield wins surpassing 2000x bet. So the rarity of features can be offset by the high amount of bankroll turnover and spins you can see from one deposit.
Rarely has a slot release been discussed and caused more controversy than Bonanza; it really is a case of love it or hate it…..
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