Lucky Horse Online Slot Machine
High 5 Games developed Lucky Horse for IGT and released the game to land-based casinos in May 2013, in time for the Triple Crown of horse racing. The game is styled on the popular horse racing events such as the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness, and the Kentucky Derby.
Horse racing is one of the oldest sports known to civilization and it has always drawn large crowds. Even in states and countries that have been reluctant to adopt other forms of gambling, horse racing has often found a solid foothold. The sport has inspired famous plays like "Guys and Dolls", movies like "Let It Ride", and one of the most well-known gambling songs in history ("Fugue for Tinhorns" from "Guys and Dolls").
You almost want to start singing "Can do, can do, the horse can do" as you play the game.
The unique feature in Lucky Horse is the horizontal expanding Wild that appears during the Bonus game. The game also boasts 466 pay lines, of which 16 are used only if you play the max of 450 selectable pay lines.
Gameplay Features and Mechanics
Lucky Horse is a 6-reel, 4-row video slot game that boasts 466 pay lines. The game employs an unusual betting notation system where you choose from 1 to 466 pay lines, which determines how many base credits you are betting (up to 90), and you then apply a multiplier that is used to determine the full bet. Prizes are awarded from left to right.
The credit is equal to 0.01 of the current currency. The multiplier is combined with the number of credits you're betting to determine the total value of your bet. Prizes are awarded per line and are equal to the value (in credits) of the winning combination times 0.01 times the multiplier.
There are three special symbols in Lucky Horse.
The Jackpot only appears on reel 1 and must be paired with the Wild symbol – which is the slot game logo. The first Jackpot prize, 25 times your bet, is paid for 1 Jackpot and 2 Wilds. If adjacent Wilds appear on reels 2 through 6 the Jackpot pays 1000 times your bet.
The Wild symbol only appears on reels 2 through 6 and it substitutes for all other symbols except the Scatter.
There are 9 regular symbols in the game. Each symbol has its own range of prize values given as follows:
|Symbol||3 of a Kind||4 of a Kind||5 of a Kind||6 of a Kind|
|Horse||8 Credits||40 Credits||100 Credits||400 Credits|
|Man||5 Credits||30 Credits||80 Credits||300 Credits|
|Woman||4 Credits||20 Credits||60 Credits||250 Credits|
|Jockey||3 Credits||15 Credits||50 Credits||200 Credits|
|A||2 Credits||10 Credits||25 Credits||150 Credits|
|K||2 Credits||10 Credits||20 Credits||100 Credits|
|Q||1 Credit||4 Credits||15 Credits||75 Credits|
|J||1 Credit||3 Credits||15 Credits||50 Credits|
|10||1 Credit||2 Credits||10 Credits||30 Credits|
To illustrate how the prizes are computed, let's say you spin up a screen with all horses on Reel 1 and all Wild symbols on the rest of the screen: that is 24 horses. You'll win 400 credits per active pay line times the multiplier. At the lowest settings (5 active pay lines and a X1 multiplier) your total prize is 20.00 (400 credits times 5 pay lines). That would be the payoff for a bet of only 0.01 (1 credit times a multiplier of 0.01).
Now let's suppose you were betting on all 466 pay lines. That bet would be equal to 0.90 (90 credits times a multiplier of 0.10). Your prize would be 186,400 credits (400 times 466 pay lines) or 1864 dollars in US currency. In this highly unlikely scenario you could win almost $2 million by playing the maximum bet and spinning up 24 Horses and Wilds.
The game controls are placed below the screen. The betting window contains a base credits display, active pay lines display with up and down arrows, multiplier display with up and down arrows, and a computed total bet amount.
There are five options for active pay lines:
The number of base credits for your bet is determined by the active pay lines: 1 credit for 5 pay lines, 20 credits for 100 pay lines, 40 credits for 200 pay lines, 60 credits for 300 pay lines, and 90 credits for 466 pay lines.
There are 8 options for multipliers: X1, X5, X10, X100, X200, X500, and X1000. The maximum possible bet is thus 90,000 credits which in US currency is $900.
To the right of the betting controls window you will see the total of your combined prizes (if any) from your last win and how many available credits you have.
To the right of the Win/Credits window you find the Replay, Question (help/pay table), and sound controls. Clicking on Replay shows you how your last spin performed. You cannot replay the bonus games. Clicking on the Question mark brings up the pay table or help system, for which there are 24 screens.
The Sound control toggles the sound between on and off.
Next you have the Auto Play button which allows you to select from 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 paid spins. Your available credits will be adjusted for each spin. You can stop the Auto Play at any time and the Spin button counts down the number of remaining auto spins you have.
The Spin button starts a game and doubles as a Stop button. The pay table says that pressing Spin does not affect the outcome of the game so this feature is only there to help you save time by skipping over the animations, especially when you win prizes on a lot of lines.
The soundtrack for the Bonus game is interesting. It sounds like they recorded real race announcers and mixed them in with the music and other ambient sounds. Of course, voice actors could have read from a script but you almost get the sense of sitting in a box at a race track and listening to the crowd and the announcer getting ready for each race.
Triggering the Bonus Round
The Scatter symbol is the Trophy cup. When 3 of them appear you win from 2 to 7 free games. If you are playing 100 lines or more the minimum number of awarded games is 5. The Trophy only appears on reels 3, 4, and 5.
Sometimes when two Trophy symbols appear the far right columns speed up. This is usually a sign that you can indeed interrupt the spins to "catch" a symbol. It may only be a visual effect since the game disclaims the use of the Stop button for changing the outcome of a spin, but some players enjoy the feeling of the challenge.
There is no Trophy symbol in the free games so you cannot trigger the Bonus game again from within itself. You have to wait until the free games end and win another three Trophy symbols during regular play.
The special feature of the Bonus game is the horizontally expanding Wild. It extends to the left from its position and replaces all the symbols on the same row down to Reel 2. The expanding Wild cannot extend to Reel 1. If three or more reels are covered by the expanding Wild you should see one or two horse silhouettes race toward the left across the newly transformed Wild tiles.
Although the rules for Lucky Horse can be confusing at first it's a relatively straight-forward Click-and-Spin game. There are no pick rounds, or choices between sets of rules, or extra work involved for the player. You really don't need to worry too much about how many credits the various winning combinations pay. With 466 active pay lines you'll quickly tire of trying to keep up with the game.
What you need to focus on is how much you are betting and how many total credits you have left. Make adjustments to the value of your bets by first scrolling down on the multipliers. If you think you should be getting larger payouts, make sure you have 466 active pay lines.
The stacked Wilds are a nice touch but don't expect to see a full reel of Wild symbols when the stacks come into play. You may see 2 stacked Wilds or 3 or just 1, and they can have 2, 3, or 4 symbols in the stack. It's all random.
And whereas in some games it seems like a throwaway spin if Wild symbols appear in the far right columns, you seem to get value from a lot of those far-right Wilds in Lucky Horse. The prizes are usually small but they can add up. Two stacked Wilds on reels 4 and 5 can make a big difference in how much you win.
If you don't mind complicated betting systems then you may enjoy Lucky Horse. You could almost use a handicapper to help you figure out how much you should wager on your spins.
If you prefer simple slot games then just ignore the complicated rules and keep your total bet values in a manageable range while playing as many pay lines as you can. That is really the best way to play any slot game.