Slots of Vegas
You can get some brilliant slots from your house with little more than a tablet or a smartphone. However, there's nothing quite like taking a tour to Vegas, and seeing the slots for yourself. Here's a guide to a few of the new or popular slots you might want to check out while you're there..
Wheel of Fortune (IGT) - If you're talking popular - and we mean *really* popular - then you have to try out IGT's Wheel of Fortune slots. These are showing their age a bit (the first machines were released in 2005), but the progressive jackpots are enough to bring in huge numbers of bettors. One lucky bet can bring untold riches - in January 2014, a single one-cent bet was enough to scoop $4.5 million! $1M+ jackpots are won almost every month at one of these. The bonus game (featuring the famous spinning wheel) is rightly renowned, while newer versions even have video clips and multiplayer formats. As a starting point in Vegas, it's hard to ignore this one.
Blazing 777 or 7s (Bally) - These are amongst the most popular slots of all time on the strip, and can be found at almost every casino. The game itself is relatively simple, and consists of little more than a glorified fruit machine - replete with fiery sevens. Like Wheel of Fortune, the real appeal of this machine - besides its simplicity and easy availability - is the progressive jackpot, and just a small starting bet can lead to a huge pot of money. Blazing 777s hasn't been quite as successful in its conversion to the online arena, where players are a little more demanding. In its Vegas surroundings, though, it feels as much a part of the scenery as a fake Statue of Liberty.
Betty Boop (Bally) - In Vegas, the city of the gimmick, relative newcomer Betty Boop has quickly worked its way into the scenery. Forget the authentic but slightly risque graphics. The real appeal of this slot revolves around the 'fortune teller' game, where a sensor supposedly detects how hot your hand is, and gives you higher bonus amounts if you're generating lots of heat. Mind you, the slot's hit rate is supposedly above 45%, which also partly accounts for its popularity - if you're looking to get plenty of action, Betty Boop should be an interesting choice.
Michael Jackson (Bally) - The legend lives alive and well in Vegas. The main appeal of this relatively straightforward slot will be the huge array of sequences and music extracts that accompany you. You can even sit down and get stunning quality surround effects. It also has a spinning wheel which you activate yourself by swiping your fingers across a touchscreen.
Texas Tea 2 (IGT)- The eagerly-anticipated sequel to the fantastically popular oil-pumping slot, Texas Tea, this is one of the hottest brews in Vegas. The Center Stage multiplay option lets several gamers go up against one another, and 24-hour leaderboards add an additional sense of competition. The graphics are bright and bold, and the fun bonus games let players pick prizes or try to lock in wilds. You even have a choice of characters, ranging from Texas Ted himself, to his faithful horse and armadillo, Horace and Armando.
Da Vinci Diamonds (IGT) -Highly popular in online form, too, the Vegas original remains extremely popular. Strictly speaking not a slot machine (there are no reels, and the symbols explode only to be replaced by others dropping elegantly into place), it's fast and furious - the game ends when you can't make any new combos - and the bonus free spins round gets faster and faster, increasing the heartbeat.
Indiana Jones (IGT) - Based on the (mainly) 80s films, these are generally linked to a progressive jackpot, and winnings can easily top $1.5M. Like Wheel of Fortune, the main draw is the huge spinning wheel round, allowing you to hit some hefty multipliers - or even to grab the jackpot itself. Other bonuses take you through segments from the films, and you must try and gather a large bonus amount. It's not an eart-shattering slot, but it is a lot of fun. And that, at heart, is exactly what Vegas is about.