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MicroGaming has offered online casino games for over a decade. Since starting out in the industry, the company has set a high standard for casino games and positioned itself among the market leaders.
In 1994, MicroGaming developed its first online casino software platform offering a couple of slot machines alongside the most popular table games.
However, four years later, MicroGaming had created an impressive game portfolio – especially in the slots section – and was one of the first platforms with a progressive slot machine.
The first progressive slot was called "Cash Splash" and is still present in MicroGaming's slot assortment.
In 2002, a world record jackpot – worth over $1,500,000 – paid out on the "Major Millions" slot.
Since then, the company has received numerous awards for best online casino, and during 2006, 5675 players shared an incredible $200 million.
Today, MicroGaming offers slots in abundance, and you could divide them into these four categories: classic slots, video slots, progressive slots and slots tournaments.
The first slot category is the largest as well as the fastest growing. It's called video slots and is built on advanced graphics and added features such as bonus games, free spins, mini-games, and sometimes a progressive jackpot.
Bonus games and free spins are generally activated by catching a number of identical symbols on the screen.
MicroGaming offers a large assortment of video slots with great graphics and lots of winning opportunities. What separates video slots from traditional slots is that video slots generally offer many additional paylines (lines to wager on).
The games may offer any number between 5 and 50 paylines, although the majority has between 20 and 25 paylines.
The second category is called Classic Slots, where functionality revolves around simplicity and swiftness.
This type of slot machine has been around for a long time and is the most common in land-based casinos worldwide. Few paylines and a limited amount of winning combos is the most telltale sign.
If you prefer less complicated games with a clear and concise pay table, choose classic slots. On the other hand, if you're looking for massive jackpots and lots of added features, video slots are definitely the way to go.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
The third category is progressive jackpot slots. In many ways, these games belong in the video slot category, but hold their own due to the presence of one exceptional characteristic.
A progressive jackpot is defined by that it's continuously growing until someone wins it. It could take weeks, months, or even years before the jackpot is paid out, but for the lucky winner, the reward could very well be enormous as winning jackpots often reach into the millions of dollars.
The whole idea with progressive slots is that one player is supposed to win big, and therefore the average payouts are usually quite few and far between.
In the fourth category, we find slot tournaments. This is a new phenomenon in the world of slots, which can only be found at a mere handful of sites.
You pay a fee for participating and the goal is to acquire as many points as possible within a given time frame, the players with the best scores at the end of the tournament wins a considerable amount of money.
Usually, slot tournaments offer a guaranteed prize pool, and it's often possible to know beforehand how much is at stake. With many participating players, the prize pool will increase.
A fairly common trait of slot tournament play is that they allow re-buys, which means that you have the option to buy some extra time, get more points, and advance in the tournament. This makes for larger tournament prize pools and thus more attractive tournaments.
Classic slot games are still popular, although it's the most traditional of the slot categories. MicroGaming offers a large assortment of this type of slot machines as well.
Nevertheless, what separates classic slots from video slots? Both stakes and potential winnings are generally lower in the classic category, the graphics are usually simple, and there are practically always fewer paylines.
Many a slot player still prefers this type of game, however, because of the simplicity and ease of use.
What kinds of slots are available in the MicroGaming software?
There is a wide range of different machines, which can be divided into different categories depending on the number of paylines. The largest category is the single-payline slot – the most traditional of all slots. MicroGaming offers more than 80 different slots in this category.
A second slot category has either 3 or 5 paylines, and although there are fewer slots in this category, the variety is large enough to satisfy most players.
There are approximately 15 different 3-payline slots and around 30 5-payline slots.
I have chosen a number of classic MicroGaming slots with a varying amount of paylines to clarify how they work:
This singe payline slot machine is one of the most popular at MicroGaming, perhaps thanks to the combination of simplicity and a possibility of large payouts.
There are 12 winning combinations and a jackpot that is second to none among the classic slots – 15,000 times the wager! You win this jackpot if you get three high-five symbols on your payline.
The high-five symbols also work as wild cards, meaning you may combine them with any of the other symbols to produce a winning combination. If you manage to win with one of these symbols, your winnings are multiplied by five, and if you catch two wilds for a winning combination, your winnings are multiplied by 25.
Click image to play High 5
If you're looking for an uncomplicated slot machine with obvious winning chances, you could go for Diamond 7's, which is the simplest kind of slot.
With a maximum payout of 2,500 times the wager and only 10 winning combinations, this is a good choice for players who prefer the basics.
You may still choose between small or large wagers, from $0.25 up to a $5 max.
Finally, MicroGaming has a number of five-payline slots. Most of them are fairly similar and the winning possibilities are about equal in all of the different machines.
If you have to pick one, it has to be Jingle Bells – a classic slot machine that pays out up to 6,000 times the wager, provided you play all five paylines.
All of the bells are wild, and may be combined freely with any other symbols to make up a winning combination. The jackpot varies between 1,000 and 6,000 times the wager depending on how many lines you play.
MicroGaming's main slot category is video slots. It offers more than 120 different kinds of video slots, with anything between 5 and 50 paylines.
Regarding the number of paylines, most slot machines are somewhere in between, with 90% of the machines offering 9, 15, 20 or 25 paylines.
Several factors contribute to MicroGaming's current trend as a hot video slot developer today. The primary reasons are superb graphics, a huge variation, and the high entertainment-factor of most of its machines. There is a nice mix of simple slots and advanced versions with bonus games, free spins and the like.
To illustrate the diversity of MicroGaming's video slots, I'll try to present some of the different varieties and show how they work:
World Cup Mania
World cup Mania is a video slot machine with 15 paylines and a soccer theme that lets you relive some of the energy and excitement of the World Cup. The game lets you win up to 7,500 times your wager!
To further spice up the game, MicroGaming has added both bonus games and free spins. If you catch three or more free kick symbols in a row, a bonus game is triggered and you could win up to 2,500 times the wager.
If three or more whistles show up on the screen, it's time to collect your free spins. You get 10 free spins, and anything you win is multiplied by 3. Free spins can also be re-activated, and there is no telling how much you could win.
If you like Hip Hop and the prospect of a 25 payline video slot, you should give Loaded a try.
The theme of this slot machine is the world of Hip Hop music and everything that comes with it. Beautiful women, fast cars, and everyday extravagance are all the rage in this game.
The best quality of Loaded is perhaps the abundance of free spins. You may choose between 12 free spins with a 4 multiplier, 18 free spins with a 3 multiplier, or 24 free spins with a 2 multiplier. All of the free spins are multiplied one way or the other, often with big wins as a direct consequence.
Tomb Raider - Secret of the Sword
When Tomb Raider 2 – Secret of the Sword was released a couple of years back, it took overall game play to a whole new level.
Tomb Raider introduced a number of new features to the video slot genre.
Super Mode is one of these features, and during this mode, you get five free spins – if you catch any of a number of different wild symbols, heroine Lara Croft will make an appearance to shoot them down, and you get to keep the symbols for the duration of the free spins.
This could lead to some serious winnings!
The bonus game in Tomb Raider is a bit unusual. To activate it you need to collect five special symbols during your playing session, and when the bonus game activates, you get to perform different missions in various parts of the world. If you succeed with the missions, the reward could be massive.
There are also a number of other modes and bonus features waiting to be activated, and altogether, this could be the most entertaining video slot ever made and it comes highly recommended!
A progressive jackpot works as follows: When people play the slot machine, a small amount of each wager is deducted and added to the jackpot, meaning that it gradually increases over days, weeks or months.
In some rare cases it could take years before a progressive jackpot is paid out, and for obvious reasons, a jackpot like that would be gigantic.
It's not uncommon to see jackpots reach into the millions.
There are lots of different progressive jackpot slots in the software from MicroGaming. At the moment, 15 progressive machines are available. Most of these slot machines fall into the video-slot category, but a variety of classic slots also come with a progressive jackpot.
The sizes of the jackpots vary between $6,000 and $5,400,000. In consequence, you should definitely have a look at these games if you're looking to win big.
The following is a sample of the best and most popular progressive jackpot slots available from MicroGaming:
This slot machine has been around for a few years at MicroGaming and is one of the most popular. Its jackpot starts at $500,000 and usually reaches around $1,500,000.
To qualify for the jackpot, you need to put in the maximum wager. In this case, however, the maximum wager is just $2.25, which is pretty low for a jackpot of this magnitude.
The jackpot pays out when you get five kings on the 9th line. Should you catch five kings on any other line; you'll have to settle for a $7,500 consolation prize.
As for the rest, it offers good graphics and a bonus game with a potential for big payouts. There are 32 winning combinations and with a king on the winning line, your prize is always doubled.
Mega Moolah offers the largest jackpot at the moment, $3,100,000 (as of August 2011). Mega Moolah is an unusual slot machine with not one, but four progressive jackpots!
The jackpot activates randomly, but the more you play, the better your chances of winning. If you reach the bonus game where the jackpots are located, you get to spin a wheel to see which jackpot you win – it could be anything between $10 and $3,100,000.
The second largest jackpot is currently valued at $14,200.
Just like King Cashalot, Mega Moolah has a few Wilds that double your winnings.
However, it also has a free spin feature in which you get 15 free spins and your winnings multiplied by three. If you want to win a record jackpot, you should try Mega Moolah.
Slot tournament play is a recent phenomenon to grace the world of slots, and is only available at a select few operators today.
Several operators who use the MicroGaming software platform has started to offer tournament play, and the feedback has been outstanding. It is not unusual to see thousands of players go at it during weekends.
There are several advantages of slot tournaments compared to regular play. One of these is the stakes.
Usually, the stakes are fixed, and you know beforehand how much you risk losing. Even the prizes are predetermined more often than not, since most of the tournaments offer a guaranteed prize pool.
This is a simple way to limit your gambling and at the same time be aware of how much you could win, if you win the tournament.
Another advantage of slot tournaments is that they are relatively fast and can generate quite a lot of money in very little time. Many tournaments are over within 5-10 minutes, with the exception of re-buy tournaments.
Re-buy tournaments, on the other hand, often have the largest prizes because of the rapid growth of the prize pool when re-buys are available. The most popular slot tournaments have prize pools worth about $20,000, which is great considering the buy-in is usually as low as $20.
Besides, there are often freeroll qualifiers available – so theoretically you could win one of these tournaments without risking a single cent.
What kinds of slot tournaments are available online?
The setup is quite similar to poker tournaments; there are scheduled tournaments and Sit & Go tournaments.
Scheduled tournaments have the largest prize pools, but take longer to play. In itself, the tournament is over pretty quickly, but they usually spread out across several days and you won't see the result immediately.
Sit & Go's are much faster, as the number of participants is limited.
Top-Two Scheduled Slot Tournaments
Between Monday and Wednesday is the Midweek $5,000 – a tournament for up to 3,000 players. Registration is free, but if you want to make it to the top, you will probably need to re-buy.
You may re-buy up to four times and each re-buy costs $4.
First place awards $2,000, second $1,000, and third $500, so most of the prize money ends up with the top-three finishers. This makes it an attractive tournament for those who want a chance at some big money with little risk involved.
The second tournament is also the largest. It's called the $20,000 Weekender and is played on the Tomb Raider slot.
In total, the prize pool is worth a massive $20,000 and re-buys cost $20. You can qualify to this tournament for free between Mondays and Thursdays.
The number of participants is limited to 1,000. All players may re-buy up to five times for $20. If you use all of the re-buy opportunities without qualifying for free, the total cost of the tournament would be $120, but the rewards are enormous – first prize is $5,000!
Sit-and-Go Slot Tournaments
Sit & Go tournaments are a faster way of playing slot tournaments. The prizes are smaller than in scheduled tournaments, but you could play several in the same day or even the same hour, should you want to.
Most of the Sit & Go tournaments are limited to five players, and buy-ins varies between $2 and $50.
The house charges a 10 percent fee, and the remainder of the prize pool is shared between first and second place at a 60/30 ratio (the remaining 10% being the fee).
Several different slot machines are used for these tournaments, but the most common are "Thunderstruck," "Avalon," "Loaded," and "Tomb Raider."
More Online Slots
It’s impossible to cover all MicroGaming slots in an article like this – there are too many and this was just a scratch on the surface.
For more info about what machines MicroGaming – and all other big software providers – has to offer, please go to our slots online page.
There we rank and review the top slots casinos and guide you to the best slots sites on the Net.