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The spiritual home of the slot, certainly for western gamers, is undoubtedly Las Vegas. Macau may well be the mecca for gaming for players in the Far East, but there’s no doubt that the name “Vegas” has a certain resonance with gamers and, in particular, slot gamers. It’s this which the Vegas Hits slot from Ballys is all about.
What you have here in the Vegas Hits is a slot game that’s about gambling! This may sound like a slot version of an MC Escher picture, but rather than simply focusing on slots, Vegas Hits focuses on all the games that make this city the gambling center of the universe. This includes poker, roulette and dice, all represented on the reels, as well as the slots themselves. Let’s take a closer look at whether this slot, a direct port over from a casino-based game, works as well online.
Overview: Vegas Hits
Vegas Hits is a 5×3 reel slot that offers a total of 40 paylines in play per spin. The number of lines is fixed but you can change the size of your bet by altering the stake you bet per line. You can wager from $0.01 up to $5.00 per line. This means a minimum bet of $0.40 and a maximum bet of $200.00 per spin. This puts Vegas Hits in the firing line for all types of slot player, from the smaller stakes gamer up to the higher roller.
The backdrop for the slot is the City of Vegas itself and the famous Strip. There are searchlights highlighting the casinos and hotels that populate one of the most famous panoramic vistas in the world. The slot is silent until you hit the button. Then some funky dance music kicks in as the reels spin. This gives the slot a nice pace and you’ll find that your foot is tapping along with the beat and the spin of the reels in no time at all.
Who will the Vegas Hits slot appeal to?
The Vegas Hits slot is a port over from a game that was popular in casinos in Las Vegas. Anyone who has played the original slot offline, may well be tempted to give the online version a try. Indeed, anyone who has been to Vegas, or indeed aspires to visit the City of Sin, will likely want to play the slot given the subject matter.
In terms of dedicated slot gamers, there are some nice features on the Vegas Hits slot that can take a good while to get through and try. Players that enjoy slots with more depth and lots of features will enjoy this slot. It’s playable at all levels of experience and is a lower variance slot, as wins are relatively common. I should note, however, that many wins do not cover the cost of the original spin.
Gameplay: Vegas Hits
Once you’ve chosen your coin size, you’re ready to play the Vegas Hits slot by clicking the Start button. This will set the reels spinning and the music playing. The searchlights will scan across the skyline in the background.
The first thing to note is that the slot, although it looks like a modern slot, is actually based on older technology and this is evident. There isn’t the fluidity you’d find on more modern slots and animations are somewhat crude. The symbols on the reels are all rather static too. This makes it feel like a real world slot ported over to the digital realm, which is precisely what Vegas Hits is.
The symbols on the reels are a mix of lower value symbols. These include the dice, the cherry, a bar (with a card symbol spade in front of it) and a Lucky 7. Higher value symbols include the playing cards, roulette wheel, the slot reels, and the Vegas Hits symbol. This last symbol offers the biggest jackpot of 5,000 coins in the base game.
Alongside these higher and lower value symbols are a number of other symbols. The first of these is the Bonus Wheel symbol, which appears on the middle three reels of the slot. Once triggered, you spin the Bonus Wheel which contains different sectors, one of which offers you a chance to spin the Money Wheel. The rest offer you a stated number of free spins with some other bonus attached. This can be some of the reels or symbols being Wild, or the reels will have the high value symbols only on the reels.
There are a large number of these free spins bonuses and each is different. What you’ll tend to find is the bonus that offers more spins often is not quite as good as the bonus that offers fewer spins.
If you spin the Bonus Wheel and land the Money Wheel option, then you receive five spins on the reel. On each spin one of the reels will be completely Wild. On your first spin, Reel 5 is Wild, on your second Reel 4 and so on through to your fifth free spin when Reel 1 is Wild.
Trigger the Money Wheel bonus from the base game and you land a different reel. Here there are values on the reel which you spin and your cash prize is the amount shown multiplied by your standard bet.
Furthermore, if you land any of the four different value Poker Chips on the reels in the base game, then these will award multipliers of between 1x and 25x your total stake as a special prize.
Poker Chips multiplier
Land any of the four poker chips, 1x, 5x, 10x and 25x, and you’ll receive an automatic win of your stake multiplied by the number shown on the poker chip. Although this bonus doesn’t hit very often, it can be lucrative when it does.
Land three of the Bonus Wheel symbols on the middle reel and you can spin the Bonus Wheel. Earn yourself a prize of free spins, plus another bonus, or a spin of the Money Wheel in a feature that comes with a large amount of different options combined with free spins, all of which offer potential for a bigger win.
The Money Wheel bonus offers the chance to win a cash prize of your stake multiplied by the number that you land when you spin the reel. You could win up to 1,000 times your total stake if you get lucky on this feature.
Lots of bonuses
One of the best things about the Vegas Hits slot is that there are a lot of bonus features. Even within the Bonus Wheel feature, there are a lot more individual bonus features on the reels. Each offers something slightly different.
This is a slot which does hit winning paylines relatively frequently. The value of these wins does tend to be on the small side, with many not being enough to cover your initial wager. Hence, even if you win, you can end up losing money on a spin.
Poker Chips multiplier
The Poker Chips multiplier scatter is a nice feature. It awards players wins simply by landing on the reels. However, hitting these features can be very tough, especially the 10x and 25x bonuses.
Bonus games hard to hit
If I have one gripe with the Vegas Hits slot it is that it can require a player to play a large number of spins before triggering a bonus feature. Given there are so many features to play and that the base game isn’t particularly rewarding, I would have liked these features to be a little easier to hit.
Presentation is dated
Although this is a slot that celebrates Las Vegas, it’s based on older slot technology. As such, the presentation of the slot is a little dated. The graphics on the reels are adequate but they’re not spectacular. The lack of music and atmosphere when you load the slot up is palpable at times.
Few bigger wins
A lower variance game means that big wins are hard to come by. The majority of wins you’ll land on the Vegas Hits slot will be lower value. By that we mean below what you have wagered for that spin. Bigger wins do come along, notably in the bonus games. I’d have liked a few more medium sized wins in the 5x to 20x your stake bracket.
Graphics & soundtrack 2/5
Vegas Hits looks and sounds a little dated but it’s based on an older game, so it’s harsh to criticize the programmers for that. What you have here is a reproduction of a popular casino slot. With that comes the restrictions that these games have compared to other more modern slots.
Originality & creativity 3/5
I think Vegas Hits still stands up well in terms of original features. The base game isn’t hugely original but the Poker Chip multipliers do work well. The masses of features in the two Wheel-themed bonus games give this slot plenty of originality and a lot of bonus features to play through.
Play value 3/5
This is a lower variance slot. I think it offers better value for the medium to lower stakes player than the higher stakes gamer. That means more regular wins and, if you can play for a longer period of time and unlock more of the bonus features at a lower stake per spin, then you get decent play value for the money you do spend.
Jackpot potential 3/5
The jackpot in the base game is 5,000 coins. You can achieve similar sized wins in the bonus features. That isn’t a massive amount compared to some modern slots but it is still more than enough to tempt people interested in taking a shot at a decent sized jackpot.
Repeat play 3/5
Played at medium to lower stakes, I think there’s lots of scope for players to play Vegas Hits time and time again, if only to unlock all the bonus features and to see which one of them pays out the best.
Total score: 14/25
Vegas Hits isn’t a bad slot at all, but it does look a little dated compared to some modern slots. This game is packed with features and is enjoyable when you play and as such, it stands up well as a port over from a real world casino slot.