’s China Shores has been around awhile, but at one of my favorite hangouts, the Emerald Isle in Henderson, they have an Xtra Reward version, China Shores Boosted Wins & Spins.
It still has five reels and 30-lines with a 5x max. The bonus symbols are the same; the gold Chinese one on a red background, a pink lantern, a purple tea pot, the gold turtle, the wild panda and black and white ying/yang. The extra reward on this machine, which costs 15¢ per line bet, causes the center reel’s four symbols to double, so you now have eight symbols.
Not a bad bet since now each of the 30-lines can pay two ways. You actually get 60 lines of pay for only 45 cents. The doubled symbols can be different or they can match and stack.
Two weeks ago when the machines were first put on the floor, I passed a lady who had won 600 free spins. That impressed me. I knew they had to be paying because those machines were always being played.
Last Friday night I finally got my chance. There are only two of these machines and the lady playing the one next to me had $270 on hers when I sat down. I started with $20 and when I was about half way down I got the red Chinese symbol stacked on the center double reel on all except four of the other positions and won $80.
The lady next to me, down to $200 without getting into the bonus game again, cashed out. I got a $12 hit and several $4 and $5 hits boosting my credits to $126.11, which made me think about cashing out. Then the ying/yang symbols appeared stacked everywhere and the free spins started adding up. There were 10 free spins for every four-of-a-kind and 15 for every five-of-a-kind. I ended up with 500 free spins.
On this version of the game, earning over 20 free spins enables you go to a second screen. You have the choice of going with the free spins or taking a chance on a single dollar amount. A scale gives you the high and low the random amount might be. The more spins you have the higher the amounts are.
My starting amounts were from $37 to $845. I decided to go for the free spins. Within just a few spins I retriggered and won 200 more free spins, I retriggered again for 140 free spins and several times for 30 or 40 spins. One of the slot attendants walked by when I got the first 500 spins and said great job. He came by again later after he had been on his dinner break and I still had over 500 spins left. I figure it was close to 1,000 free spins before I was done.
You can, at any time, choose to take the chance on the random amount. At one time the amounts ranged from $57 to $1,267. I stuck with the free spins and won $628.98. I cashed out $755.09.
My column a few weeks ago about commission-free Baccarat and commission-free Pai Gow Poker prompted a reader to send me an e-mail asking for advice on how to improve his play at baccarat. The simple reality is I could not provide him with any advice.
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