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Buffalo Slot Machine

The original Buffalo slot machine was released by Australian
casino gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure in 2008.

Harkening back to the era of America’s frontier wilderness,
Buffalo by Aristocrat is one of the most recognizable slot
machines ever produced. Even if you’ve never played the game
yourself, anybody who has walked through a casino since
Buffalo’s debut has probably heard the game’s unforgettable
calling card. The unmistakable cry of a red tailed hawk piercing
the air is followed by the rumble of a herd on the move, sounds
that echo above the din of normal slot bells and whistles.

Continue reading to learn more, and also find a free version
of the game that you can play.

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Buffalo Slot Overview

The background screen for the Buffalo slot is styled in deep
purple and violet hues, while a golden sunrise appears in the
center. Along with the game’s naturalistic soundtrack, this
background lends Buffalo a definitive outdoor theme.

Like most Aristocrat slots, Buffalo includes traditional
playing card ranks among its reel symbols, so from the first
spin on you’ll be revolving through the 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A.
In addition to those basic symbols, Buffalo includes several
realistic animal depictions to complete its woodsy theme. The
namesake buffalo symbol shows a huge horned animal staring
directly at you. Other animal symbols to look for are the
cougar, the elk, the bald eagle, and the wolf.

The other two symbols in play for the Buffalo slot are the
sunset silhouette and the gold coin.

Buffalo is also the flagship product of Aristocrat’s
innovative Xtra Reel Power slot machine line. By abandoning the
concept of pay lines altogether, games like Buffalo offer a
predetermined number of winning combinations across all four of
the five symbol reels in play. This addition by Aristocrat
ensures that most spins will result in a winning combination of
some sort, but as a result the payouts are typically lower
across the board when compared to other titles.

In eight years since its debut the overwhelming popularity of
the original Buffalo slot has compelled Aristocrat to release a
pair of updated versions. Buffalo Stampede was released in 2013
and Buffalo Grand launched in 2015. Aristocrat also chose to
include Buffalo in the company’s recent move towards online
casino gaming, and an online version of Buffalo slots can be
found on most major online casino platforms.

Gameplay Features and Mechanics

One of the first things you’ll notice after sitting down to
play the Buffalo slot machine is the absence of pay lines, which
are usually used to determine winning combinations along the

Buffalo is a five reel game with four symbols
appearing on each reel.

As an Xtra Reel Power game, Buffalo instead offers a
predetermined number of winning combinations which are available
to players on each and every spin. In the case of Buffalo, the
total number of winning combinations in play is 1,024.

The concept behind Xtra Reel Power games like Buffalo is that
anytime matching symbols appear on adjacent reels, a winning pay
line is created. Despite the large number of winning
combinations in play, the relatively low payout table means
Buffalo offers players medium range variance.

Although the Buffalo game by Aristocrat is classified as a
penny slot, for all intents and purposes the minimum cost to
cover a spin stands at $0.40. You can play for a single penny,
but doing so only purchases the first reel and one symbol on the
next four reels. The credit cost to cover each reel for a spin
on Buffalo breaks down as follows:

  • 1 Reel for 1 Credit
  • 2 Reels for 5 Credits
  • 3 Reels for 10 Credits
  • 4 Reels for 20 Credits
  • 5 Reels for 40 Credits

By playing for $0.40 per spin, you’ll have all 20 symbols on
all five reels available to land winning combinations.

The coin range for Buffalo runs from $0.01 to $1.00, so on
the other end of the spectrum, high rollers can wager $40.00 per
spin when covering all five reels.

Regular players report that Buffalo can also be played with
relatively reasonable success with just three reels activated.
This is because in Buffalo, scatter symbols remain in play even
when they appear on reels you haven’t paid for. In other words,
players on a limited budget can play for $0.10 per spin to play
three reels, rather than $0.40 for five reels, while still
keeping all scatter symbols on the screen in play.

Even better, with all scatter symbols in play, low rolling
players with only a few reels in play can still activate the
bonus round.

Buffalo sports the standard Aristocrat slot machine setup,
which means players will see the usual arrangement of wild
symbols, free spins, bonus games, and multipliers. The original
Buffalo game doesn’t offer access to a progressive jackpot, but
Buffalo Stampede includes this popular feature.

The base game for Buffalo offers a payout table that may
appear to be quite low at first, but as an Xtra Reel Power game,
this is offset by the increased frequency of winning

The jackpot spin for the Buffalo base game with any amount of
reels activated is five buffaloes, which pays out 300 credits.
Four buffaloes with all five reels in play are good for a 250
credit reward, three buffaloes pay out 200 credits, and a pair
of the title symbols returns 50 credits.

The other symbols in play during Buffalo’s base game offer a
similar payout scheme when playing all five reels. An
arrangement of five bald eagles or five cougars returns a 250
credit payout, while five grey wolves or five elk pays out 150

When it comes to the card rank symbols, five As or five Ks
pays out 140 credits, five Qs or five Js pays out 120 credits,
and five 10s or five 9s pays out 100 credits.

Conversely, you can maintain your credit bankroll with low
wins by landing three of any 9, 10, J, or Q card rank symbol on
the screen to earn 5 credits. Three Ks or As will supplement you
with 10 credits. Three elk or three grey wolves returns a 40
credit payout, three cougars or three bald eagles pays out 80
credits, and three buffalo provides an 80 credit boost.

Wild Symbol

Fitting in with Aristocrat tradition, the wild symbol for
Buffalo is the most lucrative symbol in the game. You’ll hear a
man’s voice holler “Buffalo!” every time this symbol appears on
the screen, and as a stacked symbol, the buffalo can cover an
entire reel on a single spin. In fact, sightings of an entire
screen covered in buffalo symbols can even occur, generating
enormous jackpot payouts.

The wild symbol for the Buffalo slot during the base game is
the sunset symbol. When you see the sunset symbol appear
anywhere on the screen, it will automatically substitute for any
other symbol except the scatter symbol to create winning

You’ll only see the sunset symbol appear on the second,
third, and fourth reels, but because it can substitute as the
pivotal and profitable buffalo symbol, this wild can generate
some of the game’s most sizable payouts. During the free spins
round, the wild sunset symbol also adds a multiplier of either
2x or 3x to any winning combination.

Scatter Symbol

The scatter symbol for the Buffalo slot machine is
represented by a gold coin. When you see three gold coins
anywhere on the screen, even when they’re not on adjacent reels,
the payout is a modest two credits. However, three or more gold
coin scatter symbols in play automatically triggers the free
spins bonus round.

Triggering the Bonus Round

Once the free spins bonus round has been triggered, by
landing three or more gold scatter symbols, the number of free
spins you receive will depend on the number of scatter symbols
on the screen. Three scatter symbols rewards you with eight free
spins, four scatter symbols provide 15 free spins, and you’ll
get 20 free spins for landing five scatter symbols.

Players can prolong their free spins bonus round by landing
two or more gold coin scatter symbols anywhere on the reels
during a free spin. Two gold coin scatter symbols during a free
spin means you’ll get five more free spins, while five gold coin
scatters results in a new allotment of 20 free spins.

During the free spins bonus round sunset wild symbols offer
multipliers of either 2x or 3x when appearing on adjacent reels.
This means you can enjoy a huge 27x multiplier should you happen
to line up three sunset wild symbols at the 3x multiplier on a
winning combination.

Buffalo Grand and Buffalo Stampede

The sequels to the original Buffalo slot machine are known as
Buffalo Grand and Buffalo Stampede. Each of these games plays
very similarly to their predecessor in terms of symbols, set-up,
soundtrack, and other fundamental features. A few key
differences between the games do exist, however, and these
divergences are highlighted below.

Buffalo Grand

Buffalo Grand increases the minimum bet to 75 credits and the
maximum bet to 375 credits. The smallest coin credit for Buffalo
Grand is a single penny, while the highest is $20.00. The free
spin bonus round also gets larger, with up to 50 free spins made
available by the appearance of gold coin scatter symbols.
Buffalo Grand also includes four linked progressive jackpot
levels, and players are provided with a chance to win portions
of a larger progressive as well.

Buffalo Stampede

Buffalo Stampede is essentially a replica of Buffalo Grand,
but Aristocrat spruced things up by including high definition
graphics and additional features. The main draw for Buffalo
Stampede is the inclusion of expanding reels. This feature adds
additional reels to the game when activated, so players can
enjoy the additional wins provided by five reels that each
contain six symbols.

About Aristocrat

Aristocrat has been in operation since 1953, and over that
time the Australian based company has been a pioneer within the
world of casino gaming technology. Beginning with the release of
The Clubmaster in 1956, the first slot machine to offer gameplay
features like multiline and scattered payouts, Aristocrat has
been an industry leader in terms of innovation.

The world’s first electronic slots, video slots, five reel
slots, and virtual reel slots were all produced by Aristocrat.
Among the game computing systems to be designed by Aristocrat
over the years were Microstar, the MK Gaming System, the
Hyperlink Gaming System, and Jubilee.

Aristocrat has been a publically traded company on Australian
Stock Exchange since 1997, and in 2000 the company secured
licensure to operate within the world’s largest gambling market:
Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, the company is licensed by 240 gaming
jurisdictions and operates in 90 nations, and although
Aristocrat has released hundreds of slot machine titles over the
years, Buffalo and its sequels have been installed in thousands
of casinos worldwide.


Buffalo is the boilerplate Aristocrat slot machine game, so
fans of the company’s style and setup will almost surely be
satisfied. While the game is actually quite simple in terms of
features offered and free spin bonuses available, the majority
of low limit players enjoy Buffalo’s ability to dial back the
amount of reels in play while still retaining their shot at
hitting a bonus. Along with its sequels and updates, the
original Buffalo slot has become a standard sight in casinos
around the world.