Ice Hockey

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For speed, excitement and a sheer adrenalin rush, few sports can match ice hockey. What started as a hybrid form of English field hockey in the 18th century soon became Canada’s national pastime. Today, the sport is a major attraction in countries across Europe and throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with intense rivalries established and big international matches greatly anticipated.

Drawing on the sport’s popularity, software developer Playtech introduced a modestly named slot game called “Ice Hockey” in the summer of 2012. It is now broadly available at Playtech affiliated online casinos, including Bet365 and Titan Casino. The format closely resembles another Playtech hit, “Top Trumps World Football Stars, and it offers the opportunity to create match-ups between any two of seven powerhouses—Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Once the two competing teams have been selected, the first team chosen will have players paying on the reels from left to right, while the second team’s players will pay from right to left. The game uses Playtech’s five-reel, 15-payline format. It is possible to bet in increments from €0.01 to €5.00 with one credit per payline for a maximum wager of up to €75 per spin. To speed play, there is an Autoplay toggle, too, that allows repetition of bets up to 99 times.

The illustrated skaters that appear on the reels as symbols are dressed in national uniforms with their respective country’s flag appearing in the upper left corner. To score a payout, the player symbols must appear on selected paylines in winning combinations of from three to five symbols, and two players from each side require just two matching symbols to score.

Three, four or five “mixed” players on the same team also pay 10X, 60X or 120X times the line bet, respectively. The top player on each side is worth 5X, 100X, 500X or 5000X in combinations of 2, 3, 4 or 5. Additional winning combinations are formed by matching card symbols, Nines through Aces, with values of 5X to 300X for three to five matches.

A Wild Net symbol appears on each of the five reels, too. It substitutes for any player or card symbol to form a winning combination, with the exception of mixed players. When 2, 3, 4 or 5 Wild Nets appear on a winning line, they multiply the payout by 10X, 200X, 100X or 10000X, respectively.

The Ice Hockey Logo is the scatter bonus symbol for this game. Catching 2, 3, 4 or 5 of them pays 1X, 5X, 25X or 125X, respectively, whenever they appear anywhere on the reels. Payouts are multiplied times the entire bet and added to any line wins.

One of the special features of Ice Hockey is its “Pass the Puck Bonus.” This is activated whenever the “Bonus Puck” lands on reel 2 or reel 4 adjacent to one of the left side or right side skaters on the first or last reel, respectively. Then, the puck is passed between players of the same team, rewarding triple the total wager for each player that receives the puck. The word “Goal!” flashes across the screen after the last pass. Winnings are added to any other amounts won on the spin.

Another key feature of this game is the Free Games Bonus. It awards 12 free spins whenever matching Team Flags appear on reels 1 and 5. During the Free Games, only players from the triggering team appear on the reels, but paying out in combinations from left to right as well as right to left. Mixed players and scatter bonuses are also paid, but there are no Bonus Pucks or Team Flags on the free spin reels, so retriggering the free spins is not possible.

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