This is New Year Festival by WMS Gaming. Advantage opportunities on this machine do not present themselves as rapidly as other advantage slot machines but nonetheless they can be very profitable when they do. It comes in a variety of denominations. So far I have seen this machine in a 9-line 1 & 2 cent denom as well as a 5-line 25 cent, $1 & $5 denom. There is a difference in how you bet between the 5 & 9 line machines. More on that in a moment.
When playing New Year Festival you are hoping to trigger the “lucky firecracker.” Firecrackers are popped when the wild symbol lands on a played line. On the 5-line you can choose how many lines to bet. You could choose to be conservative & bet a single line but you could miss out when a wild lands on another payline. Thus no firecrackers will pop. It’s generally best to bet all 5 lines because you could have a wild land on multiple lines meaning more firecrackers get popped at the same time.
Now on the 9-line version, all paylines are active even on minimum bet. Because of this many slot hustlers choose to minimum bet the 9-line. Minimum betting will take longer to trigger the “lucky firecracker” because the amount of firecrackers that will pop is dependent on the bet multiplier.
When the lucky firecracker is popped it will trigger the mini-game where you choose an envelope & you will win one of the 5 colored jackpots. My unscientific results show that you will hit one of the three lower jackpots 99% of the time.
So where’s the advantage?
The lucky firecracker is embedded randomly in one of the 15 strands of firecrackers. There are 34 firecrackers in each strand for a total of 510 firecrackers. A normal gambler will play no matter what the number of strands remaining are displayed in the hopes the lucky firecracker is in one of the first few strands.
But a smart, observant gambler will wait for opportunities where the number of strands remaining are significantly lower. Most slot hustlers typically wait for the number to go down to 5 or under. 6 or 7 is still advantageous, particularly on the $1 denom but you may take some decent sized losses every now & then for taking a more aggressive approach.
Overall New Year Festival is a strong game that every advantage slot player should pay close attention to if it’s available at their local casino.