Our Favorite Games
BEST OF SLOTS 2012 – This year’s results show a return to the classics in the reel-spinning genre, as well as many familiar titles in video. Bally Technologies and International Game Technology, as usual, battle it out among players to see who comes out on top in traditional reels. WMS Gaming, also as usual, dominates the video category, and IGT—to no one’s surprise—maintains its stranglehold on the video poker market.
Here are your picks for the BEST OF SLOTS 2012 .
Favorite Slot Machine – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
Yes, we have split games by reel, video, bonus games, progressives and poker. But we also asked the big question in our survey. What is your favorite slot machine?
Your answer could surprise some. In an age of huge video screens, joysticks and interactive virtual-reality games, the favorite slot machine of our players is a classic three-reeler: Blazing 7s by Bally. Whether it carries multiple progressives as in the “Hot Shot” series, or enhanced by any manner of modern features, the basic appeal of Blazing 7s remains the same: Lots of “7” combinations in the pay table. There’s something about lining up three 7s that goes to the heart of slot-playing. And that’s Blazing 7s.
The runner-up for Favorite Slot Machine is another classic, IGT’s Wheel Of Fortune. Like Blazing 7s, this game has taken many forms over the years, but the basic appeal remains, and it’s one that’s universal among slot players: spinning that bonus fortune wheel, to the cheers of a game-show audience. Rounding out the top five are Monopoly Grand Hotel by WMS—a tower-box bonus version of the board-game theme—and variations on two more classics—Triple Blazing 7s by Bally and 3X4X5X Double Diamond from IGT. BEST OF SLOTS 2012
1. Blazing 7’s, Bally Technologies
2. Wheel of Fortune, IGT
3. Monopoly, Grand Hotel
4.Triple Blazing 7’s, Bally Technologies
5. 3X4X5X Double Diamond, IGT
Favorite Reel Slot Theme – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
Since our readers named traditional three-reelers as their favorites, it naturally follows that our reel slot category would follow suit with the same games.
For the most part, your favorite games are also winners in the Favorite Reel Slot Theme category. The venerable Blazing 7s by Bally tops the list, followed by Wheel of Fortune, 3X4X5X Double Diamond and, in fifth place, Monopoly Grand Hotel. Coming in fourth in our survey is Return of the Sphinx, a high-denomination reel-spinning version of the classic video slot Sphinx, by the former Atronic (now Spielo).
1. Blazing 7’s, Bally Technologies
2. Wheel of Fortune, IGT
3. 3X4X5X Double Diamond, IGT
4. Return of the Sphinx, Bally Technologies
5. Monopoly Grand Hotel, WMS
Favorite Reel Slot Bonus – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
There was a time when reel-spinners didn’t have bonuses, other than a multiplying wild symbol here and there. Now, bonuses on top-box video screens and mechanical top boxes are commonplace. Still, your favorite reel-spinning bonuses contain the same appeal as the games themselves: they are simple.
Leading the pack is the Quick Hit series by Bally. The bonus on the games in this series are simple free-spin events, but those events give players that many more chances to trigger the main appeal of Quick Hit—progressive jackpots. The more “Quick Hit” symbols that land in the pay window, the higher the progressive won. The jackpots are frequent, and free-spin events make them that much more so.
The runner-up for reel bonuses is that tried-and—true wheel. Spinning that fortune wheel on this game was really the first of the modern slot bonus events. Close behind that is Monopoly Grand Hotel, which uses the mechanical top box for unique bonuses based on the classic board game; Bally’s Vegas Hits, with its unique double-wheel bonus; and the classic Monopoly game, which features any number of top-box bonuses based on the board game.
1. Quick Hits, Bally Technologies
2. Wheel of Fortune, IGT
3. Monopoly Grand Hotel, WMS Gaming
4. Vegas Hits, Bally Technologies
5. Monopoly, WMS
Favorite Video Slot Machine -BEST OF SLOTS 2012
Video slots have evolved much over the years, but one thing has remained constant: No one does them better than WMS Gaming. Your pick for Best Video Slot Machine is the Lord of the Rings series, ingenious games that allow players to earn “miles” related to the trip across “middle-earth” in the blockbuster movies based on JRR Tolkien’s landmark three-part fantasy novel. More miles mean more bonus events. Players can even go on a special website to earn miles and unlock new bonus events between casino visits.
Second place in the video slot category goes to Aristocrat’s Buffalo, a popular free-spin game in the “Xtra Reel Power” series, scatter-pay games that offer more than 1,000 ways to win on each spin. Rounding out the top five are Triple Blazing 7s, a video version of the reel-spinning favorite; the venerable Wizard of Oz, still one of the best video slots in the casino; and Cleopatra, one of the most popular games in IGT’s history.
1. Lord of the Rings, WMS Gaming
2, Buffalo, Aristocrat
3. Triple Blazing 7’s, Bally Technologies
4. Wizard of Oz, WMS
5. Cleopatra, IGT
Favorite Video Slot Theme – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
“We’re off to see the Wizard…” How can you beat the classic 1939 film we all grew up watching for a video slot theme? The fact that WMS used its “Sensory Immersion” platform, with a sound chair, booming speakers and high-definition video, to create the game makes it all the better.
Second place for video slot themes is Triple Blazing 7s by Bally—as we said before, there are few things slot players like more than lining up three 7s, and this games got lots of those combinations. Rounding out the top five are Pompeii by Aristocrat, which uses artwork to convey a powerful theme from the ancient world; IGT’s Wheel Of Fortune, because again, we love that wheel; and Buffalo by Aristocrat.
1. Wizard of Oz, WMS
2. Triple Blazing 7’s
3. Pompeii, Aristocrat
4. Wheel of Fortune, IGT
5. Buffalo, Aristocrat
Favorite Progressive Slot Machine – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
The winner in this category has staked out a long-term home in our Best of Slots survey. WMS Gaming’s Wizard Of Oz took the slot world by storm with its immersive bonus round based on the classic 1939 MGM film, and it’s no surprise the progressive version of the game tops our survey.
Second place goes to Quick Hit by Bally, which, with its frequent multiple jackpots, is the quintessential progressive slot. Rounding out the top five are Megabucks, the original big-money progressive; the Tarzan series by Aristocrat, one of the hottest new themed games; and the progressive version of good old Blazing 7s.
1. Wizard of Oz, WMS Gaming
2. Quick Hit’s, Bally Technologies
3. Megabucks, IGT
4. Tarzan, Aristocrat
5. Blazing 7’s, Bally Technologies
Favorite Video Poker -BEST OF SLOTS 2012
More often than not, your favorite video poker game has been one of IGT’s many varieties of Bonus Poker—the games that award a bonus for various four-of-a-kind hands. Once in a while, thought, the Deuces Wild game from IGT tops our survey. This is one of those occasions.
Deuces Wild is popular because playing it perfectly can be done with a very easy-to-learn strategy, and when the top pay table is found, that optimal play results in a payback percentage over 100 percent—a player-advantage game. Full-pay Deuces Wild (it’s the one with a 5-for-1 payout for four of a kind) at optimal play returns 100.76 percent, but what’s great about Deuces is that there are four other pay tables that pay more than 99 percent.
Rounding out the top five in video poker are various versions of the IGT four-of-a-kind bonus games, starting with straight Bonus Poker at No. 2, and continuing with Double Bonus, Triple Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus.
1. Deuces Wild, IGT
2. Bonus Poker, IGT
3. Double Bonus, IGT
4. Triple Double Bonus, IGT
5. Double Double Bonus, IGT
Favorite Video Poker Bonus Game – BEST OF SLOTS 2012
There are video poker games out there with fancy bonuses involving animated sequences, but for our readers, when it comes to video poker, simple is better. Your favorite video poker bonus game is the classic Bonus Poker, which pays 80-for-1 for four Aces, and 40-for-1 for four 2s, 3s or 4s.
1. Bonus Poker, IGT
2. Triple Double Bonus, IGT
3. Deuces Wild, IGT
4. Double Bonus, IGT
5. Ultimate X Poker, IGT
As with your favorite video poker games, two of the other favorite poker bonuses are variations on the Bonus Poker genre. Second place goes to Triple Double Bonus; third place goes to the tried-and-true Deuces Wild, a fourth place goes to Double Bonus (160-for-1 for four Aces). Fifth place goes to a newer bonus video poker genre, IGT’s Ultimate X Poker. If the player doubles his bet and gets any paying hand, a multiplier is applied to the next hand, up to 5X. We hope this helps you with BEST OF SLOTS 2012 .