From China Rivers to Jewel of the Dragon, Bally Technologies goes to great lengths to please their Asian customers. Duanwu is another example of a slot machine filled with Chinese iconography, and it features five reels and 50 paylines. Created for brick-and-mortar casinos, it stands out by offering free games, bonus rounds, and multiple progressive jackpots.
This slot is named after the Duanwu Festival, which is often known in the West as the Dragon Boat Festival. A public holiday in Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, it falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar and commemorates respect for one’s ancestors and fealty.
While a number of traditions have sprung up around the holiday, the three most common involve drinking realgar wine, preparing and eating sticky rice dumplings, and dragon boat racing. The latter are wooden vessels comprised of teams of paddlers, with races taking place annually for more than 20 centuries.
The icons found throughout the game either support the Duanwu Festival or relate to gambling in general. The ever-present playing card symbols are included, as well as lucky Chinese coins, a dragon boat, jade chests, fish, drums, aquatic flowers, and ceremonial lanterns.
The lanterns serve as the game’s wild symbol, although they don’t substitute for the gold coin, jade box, or Quick Shot icons. They normally appear as individual symbols, but they have a tendency to bunch up and cover an entire reel.
Like most slots from Bally, Duanwu requires the player to activate all paylines during a spin. Since the game has 50, the smallest denomination of 0.01 per line winds up costing 0.50. If you prefer to be more ambitious, you can wager up to 0.10 per line for a maximum total of 5.00.
While the above totals are ideal for low-limit players, big spenders are likely to be turned off by the lack of action. Keep in mind, however, that plenty of major casinos have a high rollers room where slots such as Duanwu are available for much larger maximum bets.
If three or more of the lucky coin icons turn up on the reels of the base game, the player is rewarded with a display of fireworks followed by 10 free spins. A lot of games from Bally require these symbols to appear on the middle three reels, but that’s not the case with Duanwu.
Prior to each complimentary spin taking place, one of the reels is randomly selected to be filled with wild symbols. Since the red lantern wilds are also part of the available icons, this can lead to some rather respectable wins.
These icons appear on the first, third, and fifth reels of the base game. When they show up at the same time, the boxes are illuminated while the rest of the screen goes dim.
A pick’em feature is then initiated, and the player is asked to touch the screen in order to select one of the boxes. Each container has one of the following win multipliers: 4x, 5x, or 20x.
Once the choice has been made, the contents of the other boxes are revealed. The player receives their prize, and the base game returns back to normal.
Any single spin of the reels can lead to a progressive payout thanks to the game’s Quick Shot symbol. This icon appears on the fifth reel of Duanwu, and you’ll win one of the progressives if the symbol is part of a successful payline.
Getting the top progressive jackpot is much harder, as you’ll need four of the Quick Shot symbols to be part of at least four winning lines. This isn’t going to happen often, but the huge payout potential makes it worth the risk.
If you’re a low-limit player who loves Chinese-themed games, then the Duanwu slot machine from Bally Technologies is worth a look. The total wager per spin ranges from 0.50 to 5.00, and a progressive jackpot can be obtained during any individual game. The bonus rounds may not be especially original, but they still serve as a welcome change of pace and provide an additional opportunity to increase your bankroll.