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Lucky 88 Slot Machine

Designed to appeal directly to Chinese players, the Lucky 88
video slot machine was released by Australian casino game
manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure in 2008.

Taking its name directly from the luckiest number in all of
the Chinese culture, Lucky 88 takes the eight which is
considered to be a sign of fortune to the Chinese and doubles
up. While the age old superstitions and customs of most cultures
have given way to science over the years, the Chinese still hold
many of the old beliefs close to their heart. The sign of an
eight appearing somewhere in everyday life is still considered
to be a good omen to people of Chinese origin living around the
world.

Continue reading this page to learn more about the slot
game and its origins, and you will also find a free version
of the game that you can play for yourself to see if you want
to play for real money.

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Autoplay
Launch:
2008
Genre:
Software:
Aristocrat
Reels:
5
Paylines:
25
Min. coin size:
0.01
Min. bet:
RTP:
95.6%
Wilds:
Yes
Scatters:
Yes
Multipliers:
Yes
Progressive:
No
Jackpot:
Yes
Max win:
Volatility:
Bonus feature:
Error processing table!

Game Basics

The background screen for Lucky 88 slot machines accentuates
the theme of good fortune, displaying a simple checkerboard
pattern colored in two distinct shades of red. Within the
Chinese culture the color red is viewed as the luckiest of all
hues, so it makes sense that Aristocrat would shade the game’s
screens in this color scheme.

The title screen for Lucky 88 features a traditional scroll
on which the game’s rules are presented to players. Above the
scroll, you’ll see the game’s title, colored in red of course
while red lanterns float overhead. The number 88 is shown twice
on the title screen to further emphasize the role of this key
number throughout the game.

Once you deposit a few dollars and enter the base game,
you’ll find a reel alignment which should be immediately
recognizable to fans of Aristocrat’s slot lineup. That means the
usual card rank symbols of 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A will all be
included along the reels, as well as the game’s assortment of
themed symbols. Symbols which further the game’s ancient Chinese
theme include the following.

  • Smiling man
  • Red lantern
  • Golden lion
  • White crane
  • Golden statue
  • Pagoda building
  • Ceremonial drum

While he appears to be nothing more than a smiling Chinese
man taken straight from ancient times, this symbol actually
depicts the Chinese god of wealth, Choy Sun Doa. Longtime fans
of Aristocrat slots will recognize this name as Choy Sun Doa is
also the title of a bona fide classic title for the company.

Another extension of Lucky 88’s theme appears in either
corner right above the reels. You’ll see a string of Chinese
firecrackers sitting directly above the reels, and whenever you
land a winning combination, the firecrackers will explode in an
animated graphic. This extra touch adds a bit of excitement to
the ordinary sight of reels spinning, landing, and spinning some
more.

Continuing the company’s integration of land based slot
titles to the realm of online casinos, Aristocrat launched an
online version of Lucky 88 in 2011. This game plays in identical
fashion to the land based slot machines, however, so any
information regarding features, gameplay, mechanics, and bonus
games will apply to both land based Lucky 88 slots and the
online version.

The only differences you’ll notice between Lucky 88 and a
slot machine found in a brick and mortar casino are found in the
screen layout. The firecrackers are moved down along the reels
in some online versions or missing altogether in others.

Gameplay Features and Mechanics

Lucky 88 is a five reel, 25 pay line game and each of the
five reels holds three symbols. The game offers a volatility
level which many experts put on the high side, so players should
take this into consideration before sitting down for a session.

The minimum coin denomination for Lucky 88 stands at $0.01,
making it a true penny slot while the maximum coin denomination
climbs to $4.00. You may also choose the amount of pay lines
you’d like to activate, between one and 25, but seasoned slot
aficionados know by now that the added features and fun found in
Aristocrat’s games are only made fully available when you
activate every pay line.

You’ll also notice a special button labeled Play Extra
Choice, or on some newer machines, Power Pay. This option allows
players to wager on all 25 pay lines, with an extra ante bet of
five credits being applied to activate the game’s full
complement of features and functions.

When utilizing the ante bet penny slot fans playing for the
minimum will see their cost per spin climb slightly from $0.25
to $0.30. For high rollers, the maximum cost per spin rises from
$100.00 to $120.00.

For all intents and purposes, unless budget constraints
absolutely limit you to smaller bets, you should always be
playing Lucky 88 with the Extra Choice ante bet in play. First
of all, doing so provides you to all of the game’s built in
bonus games and other features (more on this below. Even more
importantly, though, the house edge you’ll be up against stands
at a whopping 10 percent without the Extra Choice ante bet, but
it drops to 4.4 percent when you wager the extra five credits.
For players familiar with the return to player (RTP) rate,
information for Lucky 88 both with and without Extra Choice
activated.

Just remember, the Extra Choice button may be labeled Power
Pay depending on the model of your machine, but in both cases,
the extra five credit ante bet acts in the exact same way.

The foundation of Lucky 88’s gameplay, like most Aristocrat
favorites, is the tried and true combination of wild symbols,
scatter symbols, multipliers, free spins, and bonus games. You
won’t have access to a progressive jackpot while playing Lucky
88, but the game’s expansive payout scheme makes up for that
fact. A list of basic specifications for Lucky 88 has been
included below:

  • Wilds: Yes
  • Free Spins: Yes
  • Multiplier: Yes, for 2x, 3x 5x, 8x, 18x, 38x, and 88x
  • Bonus Game: Yes
  • Progressive: No
  • Return to Player: 89.97% without Extra Choice ante bet, 95.60% with ante bet

Payouts

During the Lucky 88 base game, the payout table is divided
just how you might expect, with all of the major payouts
predicated on the number eight. The largest base game payout in
play occurs when you land five of the Choy Sun Doa god of luck
symbols, and you’ll see 888 credits hit your account. Four of
the Choy Sun Doa God of luck symbols pays out 388 credits while
three of a kind returns 188 credits.

This puts the maximum cash payout for a Lucky 88 base game
spin at $3,552, which equals 888 when you divide by the $4.00
maximum coin denomination. When playing the typical $0.30 per
spin employed by penny slot players, landing five of the Choy
Sun Doa God of luck symbols pays out $266.40.

When you see five of the red lantern symbols align, you’ll be
paid out 188 credits. For the white crane symbol, the golden
lion symbol, and the golden statue symbol, five of a kind is
good for 88 credits. Landing five of the ceremonial drum symbol
or the pagoda building symbol pays out 78 credits. As for the
card rank symbols, five As or five Ks will return 68 credits,
five Qs, five Js, or five 10s pays out 58 credits, and for five
9s you’ll receive 48 credits.

Longtime slot players will immediately recognize that these
base game payouts fall far on the lower end of the industry’s
standard return setup. But after a few spins of Lucky 88, you’ll
soon realize that the game’s liberal use of variable payouts,
from 2x all the way up to 88x, gives you plenty of chances to
increase these numbers at what feels like an exponential pace
during a lucky session.

Aristocrat’s Gamble Feature

Another way to increase the base game payout after landing
any winning combinations is by employing Aristocrat’s
interactive Gamble feature. By pressing the Gamble button after
a win, you’ll be taken to a side screen in which a simple
guessing game can return either 2x or 4x on the amount at risk.

The Gamble game shows you a single playing card turned face
down, and your job is to guess whether it will be black or red
to earn double your money. You can up the stakes by guessing the
card’s exact suit as well, and when you come up with the correct
choice, your previous win will be quadrupled. Players can end
the game after any winning guess, and after five straight
successful gambles you’ll be returned to the base game.

The Wild & the Scatter

The wild symbol for Lucky 88 is the Choy Sun Doa God of luck
symbol, which can be substituted for any other symbol except the
scatter symbol to create winning combinations. But in Lucky 88,
this wild symbol is made even more special because when it
appears in any winning combination, the game attaches a random
multiplier between 2x and 88x to the impending payout. The
beauty of Lucky 88 slots is that this Choy Sun Doa God of luck
symbol appears quite often, and while you’ll see many more of
the low end multipliers of course, those instances when 38x or
88x flash in red above the reels will leave you feeling a true
rush.

The scatter symbol for Lucky 88 is the red lantern symbol,
and this can generate winning combinations anywhere on the
screen, not just from left to right. More importantly, however,
the red lantern symbol holds the key to entering Lucky 88’s
expansive bonus game menu.

Triggering the Bonus Round

Whenever you land three of the red lantern scatter symbols on
the screen, Lucky 88 will transport you to its bonus game menu.
Unlike many slots which offer just a single bonus game
structure, Lucky 88 gives players four distinct free spin bonus
structures to choose from, along with a special dice based bonus
game.

One thing to remember about Lucky 88 is the inclusion of the
Extra Choice or Power Pay ante bet. The reason players are
advised to make this ante bet of an extra five credits is that
Extra Choice significantly improves the bonus games you’ll
enjoy.

The four bonus game layouts you can select from with the
Extra Choice option activated are described below:

  • 25 free spins, and a multiplier of 5x or 18x when the wild symbol appears in a win
  • 15 free spins, and a multiplier of 8x or 38x when the wild symbol appears in a win
  • 25 free spins, and a multiplier of 18x or 88x when the wild symbol appears in a win
  • 25 free spins, and a multiplier of 88x when the wild symbol appears in a win

On the other hand, the four bonus game layouts you can select
from when declining to activate the Extra Choice option are
described below:

  • 20 free spins, and a multiplier of 5x or 18x when the wild symbol appears in a win
  • 10 free spins, and a multiplier of 8x or 38x when the wild symbol appears in a win
  • 3 free spins, and a multiplier of 18x or 88x when the wild symbol appears in a win

In both cases, the free spin bonus feature can be retriggered
by landing three or more red lantern scatter symbols during any
free spin.

With the 88x multiplier in play for a bonus spin, and your
wager set at the penny slot standard of $0.30 from the
triggering spin, a jackpot lineup of five Choy Sun Doa God of
luck symbols would return $23,443.00.

When you have the Extra Choice option activated on the
triggering spin, Lucky 88 will include a fifth bonus game option
known as the Dice Feature. By clicking on the dice scroll on
your screen, you’ll be taken to a side screen showing nine dice.

The Dice Feature

You’ll begin with three dice rolls, and by touching the
screen, eight of the nine dice will begin spinning, while the
center die remains in place. The number eight is etched on one
side of each die, and the name of the game is simply to land on
the lucky eights. If you don’t land an eight on any of the eight
dice in play, one of your three games is concluded. The dice
game bonus can also be retriggered when a die turns up on the “3
more games” side.

When you do roll an eight, that die will remain in place and
your current game continues with another roll. On the right hand
side of the screen you’ll see a scroll listing payouts for
various numbers of eights rolled. Landing one of the magic
numbers pays out 48 credits, for example, while a perfect run of
eight lucky rolls pays out 10,888 credits.

Regular players who have experience with the Lucky 88 dice
game report that approximately one-third of dice bonus games
will return no payout at all while one out of every seven games
will pay out just 48 credits. To earn the largest dice game
payout in play, you’ll have to fade enormous odds of 6,000 to 1.

Summary

Due to the game’s creative multiplier setup and the high
frequency of wild symbol appearances, Lucky 88 provides a
refreshing change of pace from the usual Aristocrat slot machine
experience. While the base game payout table lands squarely on
the low side, the regularity with which you’ll see a multiplier
sign flash above the reels more than makes up for that. Lucky 88
offers Chinese players a look into the long held customs of
their culture while introducing Westerners to the significance
of the number eight, the color red, and other classic Chinese
omens.