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Fu Dao Le Slot Machine

In recent years, there has been a move towards the spectacular in live slot machines. That means more eye-catching graphics, head-turning sounds, and as much interactivity as possible. It’s a winning formula, provided that all the glitz and glamour is backed up by solid gameplay underneath it all.

One of the best examples of this is the Fu Dao Le slot machine that was developed by Bally Technologies. The winner of an Honorable Mention for Best Slot Innovation during Inside Asian Gaming’s 2014 Supplier Awards, Fu Dao Le is one of the most distinctive and recognizable slots you’ll find on a casino floor today. With a dazzling display and some major progressive jackpots to win, this is one game that every slots lover should take a look at the next time they step into a brick-and-mortar resort.

Chinese Theme Sets Tone

It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to realize that this game utilizes a Chinese theme. Fu Dao Le means “fortune has arrived,” a rather appropriate title for a slot machine (at least from the player’s perspective). The game features a tall screen that can alternately show the reels and information above them, or a large graphical display – one that will sometimes show you lucky children or fireworks in anticipation of a coming feature.

In this game, which is typically played as a penny slot, you’ll be trying to match like symbols across the reels from left to right. You won’t have to worry about paylines, though: the machine uses the now widespread 243 ways mechanic, in which all winning combinations will score prizes no matter which position the symbols are located at on each reel.

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Fu Dao Le

Fu Dao Le
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For this game, we’re looking at matching a variety of traditional slots and Chinese symbols. The poker ranks from tens up through kings represent the lower prizes, while a variety of fruits, balloons, and other symbols represent bigger wins.

One of the key elements of this game is the free spins round, which can be triggered any time you hit three wild gong symbols. When this occurs, you’ll instantly be rewarded with eight free spins, each of which comes with a variety of benefits. Entire reels can be turned into stacked symbols, and the standard wilds symbols are joined by 2x and 3x multipliers that could potentially increase your winnings even further. As a bonus, you can retrigger additional free spins: each time the gong symbol shows up on screen, you’ll get one extra free spin. That makes this a feature that can continue for a very long time, and build some unforgettable wins in the process.

Two Ways to Reach Progressives

Fu Dao Le comes with four different progressive jackpots, ranging from the mini to the minor, major, and maxi jackpots. This isn’t the kind of game that will make you millions, but the maxi jackpot can be worth many thousands of dollars for a player lucky enough to win it at the right time.

The first way to grab a progressive is simple. If you find a red envelope symbol on both the first and fifth reels on the same spin, you will instantly be awarded one of those jackpots. There’s no mini-game to play in this case: the machine will just surprise you with one of the four awards.

Alternately, there is a lucky symbol that has the potential to expand into a full stack that covers an entire reel. When it does so, it may also randomly trigger the Progressive Pick Feature, in which case you will be presented with a screen containing 15 coins. You’ll then be able to use the touch screen feature of this machine to pick the coins of your choosing. Each coin will correspond to one of the four jackpots. Once you’ve revealed three of the same prize, you’ll win the associated jackpot.

The Complete Package

Fu Dao Le’s popularity is easy to understand. If you ever walk by it on the casino floor, just take a couple minutes to watch the amazing display put on by this machine: one beautiful animation seamlessly flows into the next, and the display is used cleverly to constantly change the dimensions of the playing area and draw your eyes to different locations.

Then there’s the sound work. The music is strangely memorable, though it’s not immediately obvious why: what is clear is that the songs, particularly in the bonus spins round, are absolute earworms that might stay in your head for hours after you play. All of the other sound quality is extremely high as well; from the laughter of children to the crackle of Chinese fireworks, everything feels true to life.

But none of this alone would be enough to give this game any enduring fame. It’s the melding of classic gameplay with some very modern elements like the 243 ways format and the progressive jackpots that have made this machine a winner, and one that we expect will delight fans around the world for many years to come.

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