Aruze has come out with another interesting new game, Wheel of Pharaoh.
I’m always attracted to Egyptian-themed games, which seem to have a magical air about them. This game is 30 lines and has a nice progressive that is for this machine only.
Wheel of Pharaoh has three bonuses plus the progressive jackpot. The game also offers a "high power" mode that can lead to additional free games and bigger bonus winnings with larger bets. It costs +5 credits per game (35¢).
And you don’t have to be playing max credits to win the progressive.
A sphinx sits in front of a pyramid at the top of the screen. Suddenly a sand storm or a herd of camels will pass in front of the sphinx. Usually this heralds the beginning of one of the features.
During regular play the Anubis feature can randomly trigger. The Anubis character walks across the screen, pounds his staff and turns reels into wild symbols.
Cleopatra Free Games are triggered when scattered Free Game symbols appear on the first, third and fifth reels.
The screen changes and we are ushered into Cleopatra’s throne room. She giggles, crosses her legs and the seven free spins begin.
When the Peridot symbol appears on the third reel during the free games, the Scarab Wild Feature is triggered and the Peridot changes into a Wild. Scarabs randomly change one to 14 symbols into Wilds.
Free games can be triggered again with three scattered symbols appearing on the first, third and fifth reels. When the free games are triggered in "high power" mode, seven or more additional free games are awarded as "High Power Special."
The Spin Bonus is triggered when three scattered symbols appear on the first, third and fifth reels. The Fair Chance Wheel spins on the top box to determine the credit award. The base credit is determined by the Pharaoh’s pointer and illuminates on the wheel.
If the wheel stops on Re-spin Chance, the wheel spins again until it stops on 100, 150, 250 or 500 credits award. Next, the multiplier is determined when the wheel spins again. The credit award is multiplied by both the multiplier and line bet. The result is awarded as the Spin Bonus.
The Progressive Jackpot can be won during the Spin Bonus only, and is awarded if the lit block of the Fair Chance Wheel points to JACKPOT.
I played one credit per line plus the bonus for 35 cents so I wasn’t playing enough to be eligible for the High Power Special and never got into the Spin Bonus. I did get the free spin bonus twice, winning $8.40 the first time and during the second free spin bonus on the third spin.
Cleopatra appeared in the center of the screen and made nine of the 15 symbols wild. That spin paid $21.45 and I had a total win of $23.80. Eventually, I cashed out with $34.40.
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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