Big X

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Published: 12/03/2013

Although they may resemble traditional slots, U.K. fruit machines have several significant differences, such as “hold” and “nudge” options that allow the player some degree of control over the positions of symbols on the reels. These aspects of the game demand a different level of skill and strategy of players than do classic slots.

JPM Interactive has been responsible for brining a number of popular fruit machines to the online gaming environment. Among them is “Big X,” featuring 3 reels, 4 symbols and a single centre payline. There is a jackpot worth 100 times whatever stake is wagered, in addition to a full line-up of fruit machine hold and nudge capabilities.

The display for Big X has the reels slightly off-centre to the left of the screen, making room for the paytable on the right. At the top is the Jackpot indicator, on the far left is the “Auto Nudge” indicator and the various controls are located at the bottom of the screen. The game console appears to be made out of stainless steel, giving it a very sleek, modern look.

To begin the game, the player must choose an amount to wager by using the up/down arrows under the green “Stake” button in the lower right corner. Available values range from £0.25 to £10. The amount of the Jackpot will change, depending on the stake selected. The total amount of the bet can be seen in the “Stake” indicator on the right below the paytable. Clicking on the green “Start” button will set the reels in motion.

After the reels come to rest, there are several possibilities. If three matching symbols appear on the payline, the winning amount will be paid as shown on the paytable. Three Single Red Bars are worth a stake multiplier of 5X, three Double Blue Bars in a row are worth 10X and three Triple Green Bars are valued at 25X. The fourth reel symbol is the Big X, appearing on the middle reel. It is wild and substitutes for any of the other symbols to form winning combinations, paying 27 ways. This is indicated by four “X” marks appearing on the reel apertures and the relevant wins light up.

Holds are offered at random and will automatically freeze the highest single symbol or a matching pair. There is no way to cancel the hold or choose a different combination to hold. However, holds may be offered after a winning combination, thus allowing the win to pay out a second time or even a third in some cases, even for the Big X. Three “Nudges” are available randomly following spins, too. They automatically nudge to the highest possible outcome, either a win to the highest single symbol or a matching pair.

Some special circumstances apply to nudges and holds, too. Following a game with non-winning nudges, sometimes holds are offered. If there are two like symbols on the win line and these are not held, the corresponding three of a kind win will be spun in automatically. On occasion, the win will be promoted to a higher win. If two like symbols are held on three consecutive games, the third game will automatically result in a matching symbol appearing on the win line. And if there is a reel win above or below the centre payline, occasionally all three reels will hold and the win will either step down or up to bring the win onto the payline.

A message display directly beneath the reels shows what action is taking place at any given time, such as “Spinning,” “Unlucky” or the number of nudges as well as the funds remaining in the player’s balance, which is also displayed at the top right corner of the screen. Two other options on Big X are “Turbo” to speed up play and “Autoplay” to enable from 5 to 100 spins at the same stake to be played without touching the controls.

Published on: 12/03/2013

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