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Zeus Slot Machine

As one of the most popular slot machines ever released by
American casino game manufacturer WMS Industries, the Zeus title
has gone on to become a bona fide classic within the industry.

WMS Industries established its roots as a pinball machine
designer and manufacturer in 1943, and as technology progressed,
the company added arcade games to its portfolio in the 1970s and
1980s. By 1996 WMS Industries was designing modern video slot
machine models, and today the company specializes exclusively in
casino games and slots.

But among the hundreds of slot machine titles WMS Industries
has designed and released during the last two decades, Zeus has
long since secured supreme status. The game is still one of the
most widely played slot options in the world, and every year
millions of players take their shot at the thunder god.

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Greek Mythology
WMS Industries
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More Games by WMS Industries

An Overview of Zeus Slot Games

Taking its name from the king of all gods in Greek mythology,
the Zeus line of slot machines has proven to be such a hit that
several sequels were released over the years. Players will find
Zeus II, Zeus III, and Great Zeus machines in brick and mortar
casinos, along with various online versions for each title.

Please Note

With so many Zeus titles to choose from, and
each game including updated features and new gameplay wrinkles,
this page will limit its detailed examination to the original
Zeus game only.

The game’s theme is derived from the annals of Greek
mythology, when the fates of man were assumed to be ruled by a
group of gods living on Mount Olympus. As the god of natural
phenomenon like the sky, thunder, and lightning, as well as
worldly constructs like law and justice, Zeus reigned over both
humanity and his fellow deities as the king of the gods.

Zeus ruled alongside his wife, and occasional nemesis, Hera –
by whom he fathered several other gods, like Ares, god of war –
but the ancient Greeks believed him to be highly involved in the
affairs of his subjects. Heroic figures like Hercules, Perseus,
and Helen of Troy were said to be the offspring of Zeus and
mortal women, and each was believed to be imbued with higher
powers as half gods.

Zeus became Jupiter under the Roman Empire, and as mankind’s
development continued, mythological figures became sources of
historical curiosity more than anything else. But because most
people learned the basic of Greek mythology at some point in
their schooling, Zeus remains a recognizable name, and for slot
machine manufacturers like WMS Industries, sometimes that’s all
it takes to design a successful themed title.

The title screen for the Zeus slot features the man himself,
adorned in a white robe and wearing a crown of laurels. Zeus is
presented as a strong, stern presence, his unsmiling face
concealed by a thick white beard and flowing white hair. Behind
him are clouded skies and the peak of Mount Olympus, while the
bolded word “ZEUS” dominates the title screen’s foreground.

Upon entering the base game, the background screen is
presented in simple fashion, with blue skies in the background
and the gilded halls of the godly living quarters in Mount
Olympus standing tall near the top of the screen. Two columns
are set near the building, each one bearing Zeus’ signature bolt
of lightning.

When it comes to the reel symbols used in the game, the Zeus
slot features nothing but themed symbols, so the standard card
rank symbols have been replaced. Instead, you’ll be spinning for
Zeus himself, along with Mount Olympus, the thunderbolt, the
winged horse Pegasus, the boat, the helmet, the harp, the vase,
the gold coin, the silver coin, and the wreath.

Gameplay Features and Mechanics

Like most of WMS Industries’ older titles, Zeus is a standard
five reel, 30 pay line video slot machine game.

Three symbol spaces are found on each reel, so a total of 15
symbols are put in play on each spin.

The minimum coin denomination for Zeus begins at just $0.01,
but because this is a fixed pay line game, players must activate
all 30 pay lines on each spin. This caveat moves the minimum
cost to cover per spin up to $0.30, but this is essentially the
standard for multiple pay line penny slot games anyway.

When playing the land based version of the classic Zeus
machine, high rollers can increase the amount of coins wagered
per pay line on an incremental basis, topping out at $1.50 per
pay line for a $45.00 cost to cover per spin. The online version
of the game ups the ante even more, and players can wager up to
$150.00 per spin.

Falling in line with the standard slot setup perfected by WMS
Industries over the years, the Zeus base game is built around
the usual lineup of wild symbols, scatter symbols, and free spin
bonus rounds. The game lacks the multiplier feature, however, so
line pays can’t be increased that way, and no wider progressive
jackpots are connected to either the land based or online
versions. For a list of basic game specifications for the Zeus
slot, see below:

  • Wilds: Yes
  • Free Spins: Yes
  • Multiplier: No
  • Bonus Game: Yes
  • Progressive: No
  • Return to Player: 95.21%

During the Zeus base game players will enjoy much more
frequent wins, although the payouts on most winning spins tilts
toward the smaller side. Nonetheless, players consistently
report enjoying very low variance sessions on Zeus machines in
land based casinos, allowing for longer sessions and more
chances at spinning up a high paying combination. The highest
line pay found on the Zeus pay table, for 500 credits, occurs
when you land five of the Zeus symbols on an activated pay line.
For making four of a kind in Zeus symbols you’ll receive 200
credits, three of a kind is worth 50 credits, and a pair of Zeus
symbols will pay out 4 credits.

Fortunately for players, the Zeus symbol seems to appear much
more often than any other symbol, which helps to reduce variance
by creating small winning combinations on a regular basis. Even
better, the Zeus symbol often appears as a stacked symbol,
covering more than one, and sometimes all of the symbol spaces
on a reel.

The next most valuable symbol is the winged Pegasus symbol,
which pays out 400 credits for five of a kind, 150 credits for
four of a kind, and 40 credits for three of a kind.

Both the boat symbol and the helmet symbol pay out the same
at 350 credits for five of a kind. Landing five of the harp
symbol or the vase symbol is good for a 250 credit reward, while
five of either the gold coin or the silver coin symbols is worth
200 credits. Finally, five of a kind in the wreath symbol pays
out 150 credits.

Wild Symbol

The wild symbol during the Zeus base game is the Mount
Olympus symbol, which can substitute for all other symbols
except for the scatter symbol in order to create winning
combinations. Just like the Zeus symbol, the wild Mount Olympus
can also act as a stacked symbol, covering one, two, or even all
three symbol spaces on a reel. This stacking feature can trigger
massive winners when you combine a few stacked Zeus symbols with
stacked wild Mount Olympus symbols, essentially covering the
screen in winning combinations.

Scatter Symbol

The scatter symbol during the Zeus base game is the
thunderbolt symbol, which can generate winning combinations from
anywhere on the reels. The true importance of the thunderbolt
symbol, however, concerns its ability to trigger the game’s free
spins bonus round.

Triggering the Bonus Round

The free spins bonus round included in the Zeus game is a
tried and true classic, one which has formed the inspiration for
a long line of imitations and knockoffs.

In order to trigger the free spins bonus round, players must
land three or more of the thunderbolt scatter symbols anywhere
on the reels.

When you see three of the thunderbolt scatter symbols on the
screen, you’ll receive an allotment of 10 free spins. Four of
the thunderbolt scatter symbols increases the bounty to 25 free
spins, and if you can manage to make it five thunderbolt scatter
symbols on a single spin, the reward rises to 100 free spins.

Players will also appreciate the ability to retrigger the
free spins bonus round during any free spin. By landing three or
more thunderbolt scatter symbols during a free spin, you’ll
simply add the corresponding amount of free spins to your
current bonus round. This function allows players to trigger one
free spins bonus round, before retriggering several more,
leading the long runs of free spins in which every winning
combination landed equates to pure profit.

Adding to the excitement, both the high paying Zeus symbol
and the wild Mount Olympus symbol retain their stacking ability
during the free spins bonus round. The game also seems to
increase the frequency of these crucial symbols during a free
spin, so you’re very likely to start piling up stacked reels
with Zeus symbols, wild Mount Olympus symbols, or hopefully


A true classic in the minds of slot machine aficionados, the
original Zeus game still holds the title as WMS Industries’
vanguard title. With a simple base game setup, extremely low
variance, and regular session sustaining wins, Zeus is a
favorite for players who prefer to stretch their gaming dollar
out while still hunting for significant scores.

The game’s free spins bonus round is simple yet highly
entertaining, as the presence of both stacked Zeus and wild
Mount Olympus symbols creates the potential for huge wins on
even a 10 free spin round. All in all, Zeus has earned its
reputation as one of the most beloved slot machine titles of all
time, and today a new generation of players continues to
discover the game’s glory via online casinos.