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Is 8 your lucky number? Chinese culture says it should be, but don’t just take that notion at face value. Put it to the test in the highly entertaining online slot game 88 Fortunes.
88 Fortunes basics
88 Fortunes is an online video slot from SG Interactive and Shuffle Master consisting of 5 reels and 3 rows. But instead of a fixed number of paylines, it gives you 243 ways to win.
As long as three or more matching symbols line up on adjacent reels from left to right, starting with the reel farthest to the left, they form a winning combination. The symbols do not need to appear on a specific payline.
88 Fortunes is a very colorful slot. The two predominant colors are red and gold. All of the higher paying regular symbols as well as the wild symbol and bonus symbol are figures and artifacts that are popular in Chinese culture. Upbeat Asian music further enhances the cheerful mood, making you feel that good fortune is about to shine down on you very soon. Fittingly, larger wins are punctuated with the sound of a gong.
Playing this Asian-themed slots in conjunction with the Chinese New Year is a no-brainer. However, this is a game that is so entertaining, it would make a good choice any time of the year.
Best of all, 88 Fortunes offers a chance at four jackpots!
Playing 88 Fortunes is always exciting because on top of the many payouts, large and small, that you can win in the regular game, you can also win a jackpot.
In fact, this game awards four possible jackpots—a Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand Jackpot! All four are fixed amounts based on your bet size rather than progressive jackpots that grow steadily with each spin. You will see the amounts of each jackpot you are eligible for prominently displayed in the upper right part of the screen.
Unless you hit the Major or Grand Jackpot while making a maximum bet, winning a jackpot won’t be life changing, but it is still very nice. And another great feature is that if you trigger the jackpot game, winning one of the four jackpots is guaranteed. Nobody walks away from the 88 Fortunes jackpot game empty-handed.
Surprisingly, for a jackpot game, 88 Fortunes still offers a very high return to player (RTP). So even if your efforts to land a big score fall short, as they most likely will, you are highly unlikely to deplete your bankroll in the process. 88 Fortunes is also a relatively simple game. Those who are new to online slots will enjoy it as much as seasoned players.
88 Fortunes bet range
88 Fortunes comes with a minimum bet per spin of only 8 cents and a maximum bet of $88.
But before you assume that this is a game that’s primarily geared towards low rollers, you need to know the two variables that determine your bet size and also know why, in this game, betting bigger is definitely better.
For starters, you need to choose your coin size. It can be any of the following nine values: .01, .02. .03, .06, .10, .20, .30, .60, or $1.00.
You also need to choose the bet level you want to play at, which can be any level from 1 to 5. Each bet level has a certain number of coins or credits associated with it that you need to be willing to risk on each spin: 8, 18, 38, 68, or 88 credits for bet levels 1-5, respectively.
The cost of each bet is your coin size x the number of credits you are risking based on your bet level. Thus, the minimum bet possible is not 1 cent but 8 cents, and the maximum bet possible is $1.00 x 88 or $88.
Bet big to win big
Now here’s the catch. The number of credits you choose to bet has a direct bearing on your chance to hit a jackpot. If you only bet the minimum of 8 credits, you only unlock one of the higher paying gold regular symbols and none of the four jackpots. However, for each successive number of credits you are willing to bet, you unlock one additional gold symbol and one jackpot (starting with the Mini Jackpot).
In other words, you need to bet the maximum of 88 credits on each spin to unlock all five gold symbols and also unlock all four jackpots and be eligible to win any one of them.
Therefore, regardless of what coin size you choose the correct way to play this game is to play at level 5 and bet 88 coins at a time. Otherwise, you will be shortchanging yourself. Even if you only bet with 1 cent coins, this will increase the cost of each bet to 88 cents. However, if you can afford to bet more, do so. You stand a much better chance not only of winning big in the base game, but if you get to play the jackpot game, the jackpots are much bigger, too.
If you’re not sure what would be a good bet size for you, consider playing in demo mode first. This will give you a better feel for the game. However, I must warn you that when I played in demo mode, I had a monster win. Of course, since I wasn’t risking real money, I didn’t collect any money. If you think winning a large amount in play money would upset you, skip the demo mode play and bet real money from the get-go.
Bet the maximum if you can afford it
In most jackpot slots, the tradeoff for a chance at a jackpot is a lower RTP, as evidenced by fewer and generally smaller payouts in the base game than you may be accustomed to seeing. But in this game, the tradeoff is that you need to bet more money.
First to have any shot at all at the Grand Jackpot, you need to bet 88 coins on each spin. However, if you only do so with the smallest size coin of 1 cent, for a total cost of 88 cents per spin, the biggest jackpot you can win is only $2,000. At the other end of the spectrum, if you can afford the maximum size coin of $1, which will bring your bet all the way up to $88 per spin, the smallest jackpot you can win is $2,000. Meanwhile, the size of the Grand Jackpot jumps all the way to $200,000!
Obviously, you should not bet $88 per spin if you can’t afford it, but if you can, you should go for it.
88 Fortunes RTP and volatility
88 Fortunes has an RTP of 96% percent. This is way above average for PA online slots and even more impressive given that this is a jackpot slot.
The game is also described as having medium volatility. What this means is that you should expect some bankroll swings, but they probably won’t be so pronounced as to make a serious dent in your bankroll. Also, even when you’re not winning, frequent smaller size payouts should still keep you in the game. However, keep in mind that your results for any individual playing session can still vary significantly from the expected rate of return, which is the theoretical estimate after a great many playing sessions. That said, as long as you enter this game sufficiently bankrolled, you should be fine.
88 Fortunes slot machine symbols
88 Fortunes consists of 11 regular symbols plus a wild symbol and a bonus symbol.
All five higher paying regular symbols are gold. In descending order of value, they are as follows:
- Pile of gold ingots
- Chinese dollar
Keep in mind that in order to have all five of these symbols in play, you must select bet level 5 and be prepared to bet 88 credits on each spin.
The playing cards 9 through Ace comprise the six lower paying regular symbols.
As mentioned, as long as three or more like symbols line up on adjacent reels starting with reel 1, you get a winning combination, irrespective of paylines.
88 Fortunes paytable
The following paytable shows the number of credits paid out for different winning combinations.
The wild symbol is a Fu Bat icon. It consists of a gold Chinese character with an intricate red background. It can only appear on reels 2, 3, and 4.
In most online slot games, the wild symbol is capable of substituting for any other symbol except the scatter or bonus symbol to help form winning combinations. But in this game, it can substitute for all other symbols.
In addition, at random times, one or more wild symbols will trigger the Fu Bat jackpot game.
The bonus symbol is a gong. Three or more on adjacent reels starting with reel 1 will trigger the free games bonus feature.
88 Fortunes special features
Free games feature
You need three, four, or five bonus symbols to line up on consecutive reels starting with reel 1 (and one or more can be wild symbols substituting for the bonus symbol) to trigger the free games feature. You get 10 free spins to start, during which all of the lower paying regular symbols are removed. This gives you a better chance to score big wins.
This feature can be retriggered if three or more gong symbols land on consecutive reels again during the free spins.
Fu Bat jackpot feature
If you’re very lucky, one or more wild symbols will trigger the Fu Bat jackpot game. You will be taken to a special screen with 12 gold coins, each of which hides a certain mystery symbol. The object is to keep picking symbols until you get three matching ones.
The type of symbol you match determines whether you win a Mini, Minor, Major, or Grand Jackpot.
88 Fortunes MegaWays
As if 243 ways to win isn’t enough, now you can also try your luck with 88 Fortunes Megaways offering 117,649 ways to win!
This game is played with six reels instead of five and has a 96.36% RTP and medium volatility. The opportunity to win up to 15 free spins and a special Cascading Reels feature add to the excitement.
The bottom line
As you can see, 88 Fortunes is a delightfully entertaining game, but one where you have to be willing to take some risks for a chance to win big rewards.
I played this game in demo mode twice. The first time was with a hypothetical bet of $8 per spin. But the second time, I went for the jugular and bet the $88 max.
Betting $8 per spin, I got mostly small payouts in the base game, but one of $160. It took a while to trigger the 10 free spins. Although I won $203 there, it was not quite enough to wind up on the plus side. I finished with an $80 loss.
Betting $88 per spin was a different story all together. It was a little scary seeing my hypothetical starting bankroll of $1,000 dip all the way down to the $300 range, but I quickly bounced back with several $1,000+ wins while still in the base game. Then I triggered the jackpot game. Incredibly, I won the Major Jackpot paying $75K on top of the more than $1,800 I was already ahead!
Don’t take these results to mean that you should expect similar results. I was probably exceptionally lucky. But I mention my experience simply to show that big bets in this game can pay off big time, and if you are able to bet the maximum, ginormous wins are possible.