Slot Machine Review: Bally's 88 Fortunes Slots
by Paul Ace Diamond "Huggy" Blow
88 Fortunes is a fun slot machine game with four progressive jackpot prizes
by Paul Ace Diamond "Huggy" Blow
88 Fortunes is a five reel "243 ways to win" game (as opposed to the standard dedicated lines slot machines) and you can play the game with one to five Gold symbols activated -- that is, the five highest paying symbols in the game turn to "gold symbols" when you play with all five gold symbols, and payouts on winning spins are larger. You can play with just one Gold symbol for just 18 cents a spin (the minimum bet), but without the Gold symbols your payouts will be very small, so the best bet is to play with all five Gold symbols, with a minimum bet of 88 cents (thus the name of the game, 88 Fortunes). Also, the more Gold symbols you play with, the more progressive jackpots become available to you. Playing with just one Gold symbol means you will not get any random progressive jackpots; playing with two you can only win the mini jackpot; playing with three gives you mini and minor jackpots; four gives you mini, minor, and major jackpots available; playing with all five Gold symbols gives you mini, minor, major, and the grand jackpots made available to win. The minimum bet per spin on 88 Fortunes is 18 cents (with one Gold symbol), and the maximum bet is $8.80 per spin.
The 88 Fortunes Free Spins Bonus Round
The 88 Fortunes bonus round comes into play when you get three or more consecutive (from left to right) GONG symbols in a spin. You will be awarded ten free spins (getting more than three GONG symbols just increases the scatter award, but does not award extra free spins), and in the bonus round the lowest paying symbols (the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and 9 symbols) do not appear, meaning that only the highest five symbols will appear making for much larger wins than in the base game. The bonus round can be retriggered by getting three or more GONG symbols in a bonus round spin. What with just the highest paying symbols appearing, the 88 Fortunes bonus round can give you some nice, juicy payouts.
The 88 Fortunes FU BAT jackpot bonus
88 Fortunes also features the FU BAT bonus, where you have a chance to win one of four progressive "jackpot" prizes: the mini jackpot, the minor jackpot, the major jackpot, or the grand jackpot. The base amounts for the four jackpots are $10 for the mini, $25 for the minor, $800 for the major, and $10,000 for the grand jackpot prize. The prizes are progressive, meaning that they each increase until somebody wins one, then the prize is reset to the base amount. In the FU BAT jackpot bonus, you are shown 12 Gold Coins and have to pick coins until you match three symbols, which will reveal the jackpot prize you are awarded.
The 88 Fortunes FU BAT jackpot bonus is triggered randomly, but only when you get a FU BAT symbol (which also doubles as the wild card of the game) in a spin. When a FU BAT symbols shows up in a spin, it flies up into the rice bowl above the reels. It makes it look like once the rice bowl is full the lid will close and you will get the FU BAT bonus, but in reality it is just random... you never know when you will get a FU BAT bonus.
The 88 Fortunes FU BAT jackpot bonus is deceptive, however. You may uncover two of each symbol, making it look like you have a 50% chance of winning the big major or grand jackpots, but in reality the prize you win is determined in advance, meaning it doesn't matter which coins you pick. 90% of the time you will just win the mini jackpots (averaging around $10-20), and 10% of the time you will win the minor jackpot (averaging around $20-60). If you are extremely lucky, you may eventually win a major (or even the grand) jackpot amount, but that is pretty rare.
The FU BAT jackpot awards are the same no matter if you are playing with just 88 cents per spin or the max bet of $8.80 per spin. Since most of the awards will be $10-20 mini awards, it can be disappointing to win that low amount when betting max credits, but some say you have a better chance of hitting the major or grand jackpots when betting larger amounts.
Overall, the 88 Fortunes slot machine game is fun to play and I have been experimenting with it and having some success. So far I have played around 15 FU BAT bonus rounds, with all but two being mini awards ($10-$20 each), one being a minor award ($42), and one major jackpot award ($1333.00), all on 88-cent bets. I will keep experimenting with this game and update this review.