There are plenty of Chinese-themed slots around, many drawing their inspiration from Chinese myths and legends. Australian developer Aristocrat has instead opted to take its theme from Chinese numerology and other good-luck omens in Lucky 88. The number 8 is particularly auspicious in China, so the title Lucky 88 is intended to be doubly lucky. The background to the five reels is a wash of red and gold flames, two lucky colours.
Each Lucky 88 reel displays three big, bold symbols, in the vibrant colours and intricate 3D detail typical of Aristocrat artwork. There are 25 pay lines, and players can bet any number from 1 to 25. Bets per line can be varied in several increments from 1 to 200 coins, and for an extra 5 coins per spin, the player can also engage the Extra Choice feature, which will give them more options when they trigger free spins rounds.
Base Play Uses 11 Ordinary Symbols
There are 11 ordinary symbols use in Lucky 88, starting with the six poker values 9 to A. These are familiar Aristocrat icons, appearing in the usual bright enamels with gold and jewel adornments. Two 9s on a pay line are rewarded with a consolation prize of 2 credits, but all other poker symbols require three matches from Reel 1 or better to win prizes. Top prizes for five of a kind all end in 8, in another nod to the theme, and five Ks or As win 68 credits.
The higher-value online casino Malaysia symbols return to the Lucky 88 theme of Chinese lucky charms. The drum and golden pagoda win equal-value prizes, up to 78 credits for five of a kind. An ornately filigreed golden axe wins 88 credits for five matches, as do the live crane and golden lion. However, the last-named two also win 2 credits for a match of two, so players can win small amounts on them more often.
Multi-Function Wild can Win Big
A grinning Chinese man serves as the Lucky 88 Wild, with the usual role of substituting for any ordinary symbols to complete combos. A bonus offered by Lucky 88, however, is that each time a Wild substitutes to complete a win, it can add a random multiplier to the win: X2, X3, X5, X8, X18, X38 or X88, so the wins involving a Wild can be substantial.
The Wild also pays prizes for two or more matches with itself, in succession from Reel 1 on the same pay line. For two to five matches, Wild combos win 8, 188, 388 or 888 credits.
Lantern Scatter Triggers Variable Bonus Games
A glowing red paper lantern, inscribed with gold Chinese characters, is the Lucky 88 Scatter symbol. Two or more Scatters win a multiplier of the bet on the whole spin: X1, X2, X8 or X188.
Three or more Scatters also triggers the bonus free spins round, and this is when it is important for the player to have the Extra Choice bet staked, as they will now have extra options. They can choose 25 free spins with the multiplier for wins involving Wild substitutions set at either X5 or X18. Or they can choose from three other options, with fewer free spins but bigger multipliers, up to the level of 4 spins with a X88 multiplier on Wild-substitution wins. Or the player can choose to roll the dice, which will set up a random number of spins and a random selection of multipliers.