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The fun, nice-looking slot machine has so many different ways to pay you out some flattering wins. It may not be gorgeous as some Chinese-themed video slots, but when the multipliers kick in it becomes a win-pumping beast. Each time you miss the annual Chinese New year celebration you can make it up by playing Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Gong Xi Fa Cai slot goes to show that not all festivities have to be about the mainstream holidays such as Halloween or Christmas. This one is about the Chinese New Year, a pretty big festivity in the Asian world. It was developed by IGT and celebrates all things Chinese. The title translates to ‘Happy New Year’ from Mandarin and the game announces preparations for the big show. An upbeat soundtrack tune accompanies animal symbols such as tigers, roosters, dogs and koi fish, led by colourful dragons.
On the side of the reels there is a funny character that seems to be a part of the parade. He smiles and points to the shimmering riches at the bottom of the screen. The Scatter symbol is a Chinese letter, whereas the Wild has ‘Wild’ written over it, in Chinese style. This Oriental-themed video machine may not be as visually impressive as some other IGT releases, but it offers dynamic gameplay and low volatility payout scheme.
The excitement builds up across 5 reels and 3 rows of symbols, with 50 paying lines finishing off any attempt at forming a winning combo. The player can adjust coin value and thus determine the size of the bet per spin. Once you hit that Spin button, there’s no turning back - the festival of flamboyant characters and celebratory animations has begun. You’ll notice four jackpot values on screen, the Mini, Minor, Major and Maxi jackpot. Their amounts are fixed and can be won in a random bonus feature.
The rest of the special features in Gong Xi Fa Cai slot will keep you in a celebratory mood. From mighty multipliers to generous free spins, you’ll just keep marching ahead, collecting fine payouts. Three Chinese Letter Scatters trigger the Free Spins round when they land anywhere on reels 1, 3 and 5.
The prize is 8 extra spins that can be re-triggered in the same way as they were activated. Up to 88 free spins can be awarded. We all know how much the Chinese like the number 8 - it is their lucky number. There are no low value symbols (A, Q, J, K, 10) during free spins mode; also. Animal symbols turn into gold and offer higher payouts. For example, 5 dragons in the base game pay 550 coins, but during free play the same combination is worth 750 coins.
To win one of the four jackpot rewards, you just need to wait until the game randomly offers you red envelopes with blue, red, green and purple gems. Choose wisely and if you find three matching gems inside you’ll scoop a sizeable jackpot win. Each jackpot corresponds to a gem colour, and that is how the final win value is determined. Gong Xi Fa Cai carries a return rate ranging from 92.41% to 96.23%.
Two more attractive features can happen: Multiplier feature and Dynamic Symbol Replacement. Both in the base game and during free spins, symbols with multipliers can appear on reel 1. Once that happens your win will be multiplied by the shown index - 2x, 3x or 5x to be precise. In addition, symbols landing on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5 can transform into high value animal icons prior to any base game spin.