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The Red Queen Slot Machine

One of the latest trends in casino gambling has been the introduction of some skill-based games. These new machines are designed to attract players (mainly younger ones) who don’t seem to have the interest in casino slot machines that older generations have, with the thought being that more arcade-style elements might be more appealing to these gamblers.

But while these machines are only just beginning to be developed for limited jurisdictions, some manufacturers have already included limited ways for players to influence their results for some time now. The Red Queen by Aristocrat is an excellent example of this, as it takes traditional slots play and throws in a few video poker style gameplay elements. It’s a unique twist that might just give you a reason not to play your next session on autopilot.

A Royal Offering

The Red Queen video slot is a sharp looking video slot machine from Aristocrat that can be found in live casinos. As the name suggests, players will be presented with a very red theme, and various shades of the color make up the backdrop and much of the cabinet as well. Combine that with some royal theming, and you have a simple but effective package. At the time of this writing, you can’t yet find this game at online casinos just yet, which means that there’s no play for free version. However, the good news is that this is an affordable low limit machine, with most versions we’ve seen offering penny slots play.

As is typical in most machines, the object is to match identical symbols from left to right across the game’s five reels. This uses an all ways format, and four positions per reel, that means you’ll have 1024 ways to win on every single spin. For smaller prizes, players can put together lines of the common card ranks (jacks through aces), while larger payouts can be earned by matching black knights, royal seals, chess pieces, and the red queen herself.

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The Red Queen

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Take a Bite

The key symbol in the Red Queen video slot is the golden apple. Hit three of these icons anywhere on the reels, and you’ll be taken into a free spins round. However, this is a very special version of this common bonus feature, in that it offers a level of interaction we’ve rarely seen in classic slots.

Here’s how it works. Players get seven free spins, each of which is guaranteed to come with at least one respin. After the reels initially come to rest, no prizes are awarded. However, gamblers can then hold as many or as few reels as they like before their reel re-spin. The machine will offer a suggested set of holds, but this can be manual overridden, allowing players to influence their odds of winning. Only after the re-spin will payouts be awarded.

In some cases, the player might get the benefit of additional re-spins on a given round, in which they can again choose what they want to hold. Once the final re-spin is taken, the next spin begins, starting from scratch with no holds. The free spins round is even more lucrative than the normal game screen as well thanks to the addition of stacked wild symbols, which can potentially be held just like anything else.

Fit for a Queen

We’ve found that when we play The Red Queen, it feels a bit like a video poker machine in the bonus game. The nice thing about this is that it keeps players more engaged, since you’ll have to think about what you want to achieve with all of your holds before you allow the paying re-spin to take place. Of course, some gamblers are going to be turned off by this: even though you can just take the computer’s suggestions (which, we imagine, are probably optimal or close to it), those who are uncomfortable with this format are probably going to feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t make the right decisions themselves.

With that in mind, we’re happy to give this title a conditional recommendation. If the ability to make some choices that might actually impact how well you do sounds fun and interesting, absolutely give this machine a try! On the other hand, if you want to play without having to worry about which option is best for you, you might want to stick with classic slots that don’t offer this sort of decision making component.

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