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Smart Restart

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Smart Restart Slot

While many online casino slot machines don’t require you to put a lot of thought into them, the Smart Restart game from Merkur challenges the brain cells. Many of us don’t want our brain cells challenged, but it’s good to know that there are slot machines out there which require a little thinking and decision-making to be done. Put simply, when the five reels of fruit-themed symbols stop, you can have the option of spinning certain reels again. Normally, it’s up to you to decide if the extra cost of these respins is worth the potential rewards when the right symbols line up across the game.

It’s a great concept that’s been used before, but rarely in a game which is otherwise as straightforward as the Smart Restart video slot. Load this online and mobile-optimized game onto your chosen device, and you could be forgiven for initially wondering what all the fuss is about. It looks very basic, with pretty standard symbols of cherries, oranges and plums set against a simple wood-effect backdrop. But take a closer peek, and you’ll see the option to activate the Smart Restart feature, which transforms this from a basic fruit machine into something pretty special.

Casino games developer Merkur is based in Germany and has been operating since 1957. There are now some 5,000 staff across the different parts of this business, creating a range of games that’s popular not just in Germany, but across much of the world. Is Smart Restart a smart choice? It’s time to examine these fruit-filled reels in some more detail to find out.

Basic Gameplay

Just five paylines cross the reels of Smart Restart. You’ll need to see matching fruit symbols across a line from the left side to claim a prize, and the smallest payouts are from the cherries. You win five times the stake per line when this symbol stops on just reels one and two, while three, four, or five cherries across a payline are worth ten, 50, or 200x.

All other symbols will need to be on at least the first three reels from the left to be worth anything. Oranges and limes pay up to 300x the line stake, plums and strawberries are valued at up to 700x, and the bunch of grapes pays out a high limit of 2,500x the line bet.

The top prizes are claimed when you see a golden watermelon land on a payline. This strange-looking fruit symbol returns 100x, 1,000x, or a huge 5,000x when it’s seen on three, four, or five reels. There are no wild symbols, scatter icons, win multiplier or bonus symbols in play here – just the seven pieces of fruit.

Get Smart

As we’ve said, this is no ordinary fruit machine. After a spin, you could see values appearing above any reel. It could be one reel or it could be several; quite often, it’s none of them at all. When a value appears, you can click the relevant reel and spin it again for a chance to line up a winning combination. The software works out each value, based on the likelihood of you landing a win and the potential payout from any new combinations.

Reels can be spun over and over, or new reels could be highlighted with a respin value. There’s some fairly complex maths behind which reels can be spun and for how much. Gamblers with decent mental arithmetic skills can probably work it out, and there’s an element of skill in optimizing which reels to respin. Alternatively, you could do what we did: have a bit of a guess at what the winning potential is, based on how much more the game is asking you to wager on a respin.

You have the option to deactivate the Smart Restart feature, which turns this into a standard five-reel, five-line fruit machine. But that would kind of miss the whole point of the game.

Gambling for Greater Rewards

Like most Merkur slots, on Smart Restart you are given the option of gambling wins in one of two ways. There’s a simple 50/50 card color guessing game, or the Ladder gamble that you move up or down as win values flash on and off.

Correct picks mean that you can keep going in the gamble features, potentially turning a modest prize into a substantial reward. As with any feature like this, get it wrong and you lose the initial prize, along with any gains made so far in the gamble round.

Smart Betting

Although it’s easy to set your bet levels by clicking on any of the eight values on offer, the maximum real cash wager is only 10.00 per spin. That’s going to be too low to attract a large number of gamblers, although casual punters should be fine with it. The minimum stake is 0.05 per spin, and free Smart Restart video slots are provided at online casinos that carry the Merkur range.

This game doesn’t have an autoplay mode or turbo function, so you’ll need to click a button each time you want to spin the reels. If you play on Android smartphones or tablet computers, iPhones, iPads, or Windows devices, a tap of the reels is all that’s needed to spin each one when the Smart Restart feature is activated.

Other Smart Slots

Smart Restart isn’t the only online casino slot machine that gives you extra chances to complete a winning combination. Others offer a similar feature, and to be honest, they do it with a bit more style and color. The Dragon Dance video slot from Microgaming is a case in point. This game has a popular Chinese celebration theme, where you will see ceremonial dragons, firecrackers, dancers and musicians on the reels. It’s a 243-ways-to-win slot that gives you the option to respin any reels after every spin – for a price, of course. Free spins with all winnings tripled in value and wild substitutions are also featured.

Beach volleyball players wearing next to nothing are the stars of Bikini Party, which is also from Microgaming. It’s actually a ‘skin’ of Dragon Dance, with exactly the same features and format, but which moves the action to a different setting. So, if fruit machines and Chinese celebrations are not of interest to you, then perhaps the glamor of a volleyball game will attract your attention.

A Smart Decision

If you don’t mind the simple style and choice of basic symbols, Smart Restart is an exciting game that goes back to basics, then adds a special twist to the classic fruit machine format. There’s no need for free spins, wild symbols or anything else for that matter, as the whole reason for this game is to give players the chance to respin reels at their own discretion.

It’s worth noting that the return-to-player percentage can vary from just 81.46% to a high limit of 97%, depending on how good your judgment is. Keep it smart, and on average you’ll get almost all of your stakes back as winnings. But make a mess of things, and your bankroll is going to take a beating – so tread carefully.

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