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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru


Patriotic Slots Offer All-American Jackpots!

4 July 2004

Q. What's red, white, and blue--and green?
A. The jackpot you win from a slot machine with an all-American theme!

The Fourth of July is today and you can celebrate liberty and justice for all by exercising your legal right to enjoy casino gambling! There's no better way to do that than by playing a slot machine featuring a patriotic theme. Happily, several slots fit that description, including all-time favorites like IGT's classic Red, White & Blue in its myriad versions and WMS Gaming's BOOM and A.C. Coin's hot-as-coals King of the Grill and Bally Gaming's Ray Charles' America The Beautiful, complete with music and Braille (bless his soul rockin' up in heaven).

Ray Charles' America The Beautiful

Bally Gaming pulled out all the stops in this three-reel slot! It features the advanced computing power of the EVO platform's Microsoft NT Embedded CD-ROM technology on the inside and a flag-waving color scheme on the outside.

No one else alive sings "America The Beautiful" like the late, great Ray Charles and this game makes good use of that fact. Find out for yourself when you win the Concert Ticket Bonus. Line up three Ray Charles Concert Tickets on the third reel center payline with maximum credits bet. Ray appears onscreen and instructs you to pick a ticket, then he shares a personal memory from that particular show date. Then he sings "America The Beautiful" and you win 20 to 1000 bonus credits!

You'll win the "Paylette" Bonus (Get it? His backup singers are the Raylettes.) when a Paylette Bonus symbol appears in any position on or within one position of the center payline with max credits bet. Select one of these three beauties and you'll win a bonus multiplier of 10 to 100 credits.

At the request of Ray Charles himself, Bally said the slot includes its exclusive Audio-Assist feature and a Braille button deck that allows visually impaired players to experience the games. "This makes so much sense because you can do whatever you want by yourself," Mr. Charles said. "Independence is a helluva thing, man. And we all appreciate it. I know I do. So here's a device where I can use it, I can go out and have as much fun as the next guy and I don't have to depend on anybody else to do it. I think that's great."

Red, White & Blue

"Red, White & Blue was introduced in 1990 and has been a popular spinning reel theme ever since," said IGT public relations director Rick Sorensen. "It's been adapted to many variations and recently has been adapted to a video slot version. The popularity of some game themes seems to go on and on, and that's certainly been the case with Red, White & Blue."

Sorensen's right. On a recent stroll through a local casino I noted the regular three-reel Red, White & Blue game plus Double and Triple versions. There also was Red, White & Blue Deluxe and a Red, White & Blue Wheel of Gold progressive game. And ready to be hooked up that very night were two sparkling new Red, White & Blue video slots.

Other adaptations include the Five Times Pay and Ten Times Pay Red, White & Blue. Like the classic Red, White & Blue game, a multitude of 7 and Bar symbols in red, white and blue trigger payouts when they land on the payline.

The game also has the added punch of symbol combinations from the Five and Ten Times Pay games. One of those symbols multiplies any winning payout five or 10 times. Two symbols multiply winning payouts 25 or 100 times, and three symbols pay off in the top award with a maximum bet. The game also features a fun new twist. When one Five Times Pay or two Ten Times Pay symbols land with no other symbols, the game awards a nice payout.

With its patriotic decoration and universal popularity, Red, White & Blue is sure to entertain slot players for years to come.

Uncle Sam

"Uncle Sam wants YOU!" says everybody's favorite uncle when IGT's hilarious Uncle Sam video slot game starts up. The funniest thing about this slot is its cartoon depictions of Sam, Abe, George, the Mount Rushmore gang and a green Martian-like Lady Liberty. Not only do they all just look goofy, but when they land on a payline, they get down and get funky, disco-dancing a la John Travolta in his white suit.

The game offers three bonus rounds. When three IRS Refund symbols appear anywhere on reels 1, 3 and 5 (making a ch-ching! sound as they land), Uncle Sam wants you to win! A giant check "Payable to the order of Mr. or Ms. Playah" fills the screen and reveals the bonus credits won.

Then there's the State Lottery bonus that kicks off when three State Lottery symbols land consecutively on a played line. Select three lottery tickets from seven different regions on a United States map. If four or five State Lottery symbols land consecutively on a played line, one of the tickets is a bonus credit multiplier. If five State Lottery symbols land consecutively on a played line, besides a multiplier ticket, there's also a "bonus pick" ticket somewhere on the map. If you find that ticket, you win an additional 50 credits times the initiating line bet. And what's get another pick.

My favorite is the Flag Bonus, which starts when two or more of the same flag symbol land consecutively anywhere on the reels starting far left. Those two reels stay in place as the symbols turn into two waving flags on tall poles, while the remaining reels commence three free bonus spins. Whenever a flag lands on the reels, your bonus win increases. You could win up to 100 times your initial bet per win. At the end, Uncle Sam tells you, "That's a terrific bonus! Betsy Ross would have been proud!"

King of the Grill

What's as American as the 4th of July? Backyard barbecues, of course! King of the Grill, by A.C. Coin & Slot with IGT, is a video-reel game that focuses on typical outdoor barbecue foods, like corn on the cob, watermelon, burgers and pie a la mode.

The grilling gets hot when you get three of the same symbols on a played line. On the video screen appears a can of lighter fluid and a BBQ grill with two food items. Choose one, then lighter fluid is added to the coals under that dish. As the coals heat up, tongs appear and turn the food over. The result is perfect barbecue or a flaming inferno! Then you can see the credits you won, and those you could have won if your entrée had not be burnt to a crisp.

As the bonus progresses, a cute little pig wearing a chef's hat moves up the chute and two new items are displayed on the grill until the pig makes it to the top. Then you win either an additional prize for being the Best BBQ Cook in the County.

The Bug Zapper bonus (Can you believe it?) starts when three, four or five Bug Zapper symbols appear. Then the screen changes to a backyard with a bug light that attracts and zaps mosquitoes, moths and bees. Touch a bug (yuck!) to start the bonus, and bugs fly in from both sides of the screen, hover, then either fly into or past the zapper. Zapped bugs are vaporized, revealing their value at the top of the screen. Keep zapping until a bug ends up in the potato salad.

King of the Grill is a trademark of IGT. Patents Pending IGT. Powered by IGT Engineering and Design.


We'll end our roundup of Patriotic Slots with a bang-I mean BOOM. WMS Gaming's video reel slot game also takes place in the backyard but features fireworks, not food, although symbols include a root beer mug, hot dog and burger.

Boom is an older video reel game but still popular and fun to play. The first of Boom's two bonus features is triggered when three or more of the same barbecue symbols land on adjacent reels. Five rockets waiting to be lit appear on the screen. Choose one and watch it soar into the sky where it explodes (BOOM!) into colorful firework configurations. A bonus award is paid based on the number of booms that occur.

You'll pick up the second bonus when two Wild Match symbols appear or when 50 or more firecrackers accumulate at the top of the screen. The credits are added to your total.

Get in the spirit of freedom and celebration by trying out these all-American slots at your favorite casino. May you win a flag-waving, red-white-and-blue jackpot!