Most regular slot players who are already familiar with the Book of Ra Novomatic slot, be it in land-based or online, will probably better know the 10-payline Deluxe version Book of Ra 2 or the Book of Ra 6 Deluxe slot (with an additional reel giving it a 6x3 reel layout), but before that came along, we had the 9-payline variant, now commonly referred to as the ‘Classic’ version. I prefer to use the term ‘old’ version as it really does feel dated now. The Classic Book of Ra slot is pretty much a thing of the past now when it comes to land-based casinos with Novomatic’s Gaminator game-packs all now using the deluxe versions of their games. But you can still find the original at a couple of online casinos as well as on mobile and tablet devices to play for free or real money.
The theme is an expedition through Ancient Egypt
following an Indiana Jones-style explorer, who happens to be the highest paying symbol, into tombs filled with treasure. Landing five identical symbols of this guy gets you 250x your total stake. Other icons include the pharaoh’s sarcophagus, the scarab and a statue of the goddess Isis along with low-value playing card symbols Ten through to Ace. In this online slot, the high-value icons all pay out on two/three/four/five-of-a-kind whereas the lower value symbols start paying out on three matching symbols. There is no Wild but there is a special Scatter which is the book of Ra; it acts as a Wild as it substitutes for all symbols. The graphics have had something of an overhaul in the newer version compared to this old style but the gameplay remains the same. As for the soundtrack, being a rather dated slot expect plenty of Novomatic’s classic dings and bells.
The classic video slot has a 5x3 reel layout and is a medium to high variance slot, which means that you might need a large slot paying bankroll. The minimum bet per line is 0.05 credits so you can play on all bet lines for 0.45 credits per spin. The maximum total bet is 90.00 credits a spin on all pay-lines. Being only 9 (adjustable) pay-lines makes the original a little more volatile than the Deluxe version although the long term ‘theoretical’ payback (RTP) of both versions is the same at just over 94.2%.
What’s great about the Novomatic classic is the free games feature which is activated by three or more Scatters anywhere on the reels and awards you with 10 free spins. A special expanding symbol is randomly selected at the start of the feature and may expand to cover three positions on the reel, this is the unique Expanding Scatter Book of Ra is known for. As it pays like a normal symbol the feature can be quite lucrative if you’re lucky enough to have a high-value icon selected. It’s also very easy to get retriggers during the feature, which means more free spins! The game also has a gamble feature which gives you the chance to double your winnings after every win by guessing the colour of the next card in the sequence. You have a 50:50 chance to double up, so what will it be; red or black?
A slot developer once told me that you can tell a great slot game from the fact there is a sequel… just like movies I guess, and the two Book of Ra games are a testament to the fact that it has become a cult classic down the years. It’s a game I love and the Deluxe version just feels better, although my wallet might argue that one!
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