I have been playing Book of Ra in land-based casinos and online, and I can give an honest opinion about this slot to all players who haven’t yet played it. This is one of the most popular games of all time even if it does have theoretical return to player (RTP) of only 92.13%, which is barely enough to make it a serious slot machine. However, Book of Ra makes up for it by offering players one very powerful special symbol, a free spins game which can be very rewarding if the randomly chosen expansive symbol is of high value, and high variance which may deliver big wins.
The game is played in over 2000 land-based casinos in 50 countries, and players then also play the game at home or on their mobile device online. The everlasting appeal of this game comes from simple gameplay and high variance. The online slot Book of Ra was released back in 2005, soon followed by several alternate versions of the game.
Main game and paytable
The game has only 9 paylines on a 5×3 board, and you may even increase the variance further by choosing less than 9 paylines, you can go as little as only 1 payline. Minimum bet per payline is 0.05 and the maximum is 10 coins. The main character of the game, often used in promotional items for this game, is the Explorer, and you’ll get a whopping 5000x prize for landing five-of-a-kind. Sphynx also pays well, 2000x, and two symbols pay 750x while the five card symbols are practically worthless and you won’t care about them. This unbalanced paytable with a big maximum prize is exactly what the players like, and I personally find playing this type of slots more rewarding than those with a balanced paytable in which no symbol stands out.
Book of Ra is a very powerful symbol as it serves both as a Wild and as a Scatter, and it pays a small prize, too. You need to land three Scatters anywhere on the reels in order to trigger a free spins game that will always give you exactly 10 free spins. Wins can be substantial as the free spins game also has high variance but also gives a chance of sometimes landing a really big win.
Before the start of the free spins feature, one symbol will be randomly chosen to become a special expansive symbol. Depending on your luck, it may be either a low-value symbol, which means wins will be more frequent but smaller, or one of the high-value symbols, which means your free spins game will have less wins but if they come they will be significant. The special expansive symbol may expand to cover all three positions on a reel, and that symbol also pays even on non-adjacent positions. The best thing that can happen in this game is getting the Explorer as the special expansive symbol, and then landing at least one Explorer on each of the five reels, after which they’ll expand and will have a full board of Explorers, which means a 45,000x win. Few games can match this kind of output and the seemingly easy way to get to that huge win.
Book of Ra is among the most popular classic slots and it kickstarted the Egyptian theme genre. This particular title is just the basic game of Book of Ra, and there are more versions that offer various different features while retaining the core and the appeal of the original. There are Deluxe, Deluxe 6 and Jackpot Edition versions of the game, and Book of Ra Two Symbols and Fixed Book of Ra aren’t yet available online. Experienced slot players often choose either Book of Ra Deluxe (2008) as a straight swap or one of the alternate versions that best matches their expectations and the playing style. The alternate versions are better, but you might as well give the true classic a few spins!