8 Ball Slots

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The version of pocket billiards known as “8 Ball” has its roots in the early 20th century, when the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company introduced a game played with seven yellow and seven red balls, a black ball, and a cue ball. Since 1940, the rules have been standardized using balls numbered 1~7 with solid colours and 9~15 with stripes, while ball number 8 is black and the cue ball is white.

The game of 8 Ball can be played by two opponents or by two teams of opponents playing in rotation. One side shoots stripes, while the other shoots solids. The object is to win by pocketing all of the balls of one’s side and then the 8 ball before the opponent can do the same. When pocketing the 8 ball, it is necessary to first call out which pocket it will fall into.

Software developer Playtech has chosen this popular pool table activity as the theme for its classic online game called “8 Ball Slots.” Here, the object is even more straightforward: spin the three reels, line up matching symbols on the single payline and collect a cash prize.

The credit denominations on 8 Ball Slots range from €0.01 to €5.00. The value can be adjusted using the +/- toggles next to the bet indicator at the lower left of the screen. It’s possible to wager either one or two credits on the solitary center payline. The amount can be adjusted by using the “Bet One” button on the control panel below the reels. Clicking on “Bet Max” will cause a maximum wager of two credits on the payline, but it does not change the denomination of each credit. The total bet limit is €10 per spin.

At the top right side of the display window is the game’s Paytable. Payouts are displayed in a grid of two columns for the bet amounts and ten rows for the winning combinations that may appear on the reels. Betting two credits on the payline will essentially double the amounts paid out.

The 8 Ball Slots symbols are exactly what one might expect—the 15 numbered balls from 1 to 15. The 8 Ball symbol yields the biggest prize when three matches fall on the payline: 800X when one credit is wagered or 2000X for two credits. The other balls also require three matches in a row and pay out from 30X for the 1 ball or 2 ball up to 100X for the 14 ball or 15 ball. Catching a mixed combination of any three Solids pays double the line bet, while three random Stripes is worth 5X.

The reels can be set in motion in three different ways. The most obvious one is to click on the “Spin” button below the second reel. Another option is to click on the adjacent “Bet Max” button, which will automatically set the wager at two credits. The third option is to click on either the “1” credit or “2” credit column on the Paytable.

Unlike most classic 3-reel slots, there are no blanks on the reels of 8 Ball Slots. Otherwise, the game reflects slot tradition through and through. There are no wild symbols, no scatters and no bonus games. Spinning and winning is all there is to it.

Of course, 8 Ball Slots does have an Autoplay option, which can be accessed from the pull-down “Tools” menu at the very top right corner of the screen. Clicking on Autoplay brings up a control panel in the lower right corner. The +/- toggles flanking the spins indicator can be used to set the number of auto spins desired from 1 to 9,999 maximum.

As for audio-visual effects, they are virtually non-existent. Winning amounts light up on the Paytable and are displayed in the “Win” counter to the right of the reels. A bell rings to alert the player to payouts, too.

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