The Wizard of Oz slot really has become a legend in Vegas in a very short space of time. In may ways, this game all the best qualities of a modern video slot - it has a theme that we love, interesting bonus rounds and it also keeps us enthralled with suspense during play
Wizard of Oz is one of the most fun games in the casino - it gives more entertainment value than almost any other slot machine out there in terms of sheer excitement and emotion. The feeling when you hit a bonus feature is quite something and as you walk around the casino in Vegas you will still see crowds around the machines, watching and waiting to get a game
New versions of the game are about to be released in 2010 and it's going to be great to see what they have in store for us in terms of new features
The jackpot is currently over $700,000 in Vegas casinos and over $500,000 in California
There seem to be two different ways to approach playing Wizard of Oz slots, depending on what you want to get out of the game. Do you want to play for the fun and sheer enjoyment of all the bonus rounds? Or do you simply want to try to win the jackpot and nothing else matters?
The first way, and the way I prefer to play is to bet low and play lots of lines. So, I usually find a penny slot version and then play 15, or maybe even the full 30 lines. That way, I get to see lots of wins and also, when I get the flying monkey bonus round, or glinda the good witch bonus coming along, I can see plenty of bonus lines lighting up. Playing this way reduces the variance (win more often, but they are small wins) and so allows me to play the game longer. when a 'big win' does come, this tends to be about $10, so you won't get rich playing this way, but you can have fun and enjoy the free drinks in the casino at the same time
But, what if you ambition is to win the jackpot? Well, this is going to cost more. To stand a chance of winning the jackpot, you must bet the maximum credits on any given line you are playing. Depending on which machine you are playing, this means 10 credits per line. So, the thing to do is to first find a penny version (they nearly all are penny versions these days) and then decide how many lines you ant to play. For me, playing just one line is way to boring, whilst playing all 30 lines is a bit too expensive at $3 per spin. So, if I play this way, I usually opt to play 5 lines. Playing this way is far higher variance than the 'fun' way mentioned above (fewer wins, but when they come they can be bigger). But, the big thing is, because you are max betting on the lines you are playing, you have automatically qualified to win the jackpot
One thing I've noticed about the Wizard of Oz Slots this year, compared to last year is that the bonus rounds are less frequent. The reason for this is clear, when you land the three symbols to trigger the multi-choice. It used to be that one of the options was the flying monkey bonus round, one was a cash prize and the other one was the Emerald City bonus round. the best bonus to pick was most often (but not always), the flying monkey bonus, with the emerald City one also being very exciting
Now, when I have played more recently (tested three casinos so far, so need to test more) more often than not only one of those three boxes contains a bonus round, with the other two being cash prizes (one larger and one smaller one). So, rather than have a 2/3 chance of hitting a bonus round, it is now most often a 1/3 chance. I suspect that the slot machine makes up for this on other ways, perhaps by giving more regular wins, or perhaps by adding more money to the jackpot from every spin.
I've also noticed that when you now hit the flying monkey bonus round, you get far fewer 'wilds' being pulled out by the monkeys than a couple of years ago. This seems to be a common trend in slots, where they seem to be set to pay out higher when they are first released, then the winning is reduced in after years. Whether this is myth or reality is yet to be proved, though
Right now, the Wizard of Oz slots payback rate is set very low in casinos that are hooked up to the progressive jackpot (they are hooked up with the other WMS slots in this series, which are Top Gun, John Wayne slots and Clint Eastwood). The payback is a measly 87%.
With the payback so low, it really brings home the fact that internet slots have better payback and so are much better value with much higher rates (most are well over 90% and some are as high as 97 or 98%).
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