The Fu Dao Le slot machine from Bally Technologies is another in a long line of Asian-themed games that include Double Dragon, Duanwu, and Lucky Tree. The five-reel slot includes 243 ways to win, four progressive jackpots, and multiple bonus features.
What the Heck is Fu Dao Le?
If you’re not accustomed to Chinese tradition, then you’re probably clueless about the meaning of Fu Dao Le. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
During Chinese New Year, it’s customary for people to hang the symbol for good fortune (Fu) on the door of their home or business. The word “dao” means upside down, but it also means “arrive.” Therefore, it’s also traditional to hang the fu upside down, inviting good fortune to arrive at the door.
Fu dao le means “good fortune has arrived.” You don’t need this information to be successful at the game, but land-based players might find it helpful when striking up conversations with fellow gamblers of Chinese ancestry.
Fu Dao Le first appeared as a slot machine for land-based casinos. Once it proved suitably popular, Bally started working on adapting it for online play. The latter came to fruition in May of 2017, when the game was made available for both PC and mobile gamblers.
While Fu Dao Le has more than 240 ways for the player to win, there’s a strange lack of variety on their base game paytable. Despite 10 different symbols, there are only two actual payout sizes.
It should be noted, however, that the prize amounts rise or fall based on the player’s wager. Also, Bally pay tables list the actual payout instead of a multiplier, which makes it easier for the customer to determine the amount they can expect to receive.
With the exception of the scatter icon, all symbols pay when they appear on adjacent reels from left to right (beginning with the leftmost reel). Scatter pays provide a reward on any position of the reels, and they pay in addition to regular line wins.
When a clumped wild shows up on reel three during the base game, it nudges up or down to create a full reel of clumped wilds. These symbols substitute for all icons except the envelopes and Wonus.
Each reel contains stacked mystery symbol positions. After each spin is complete, these are replaced with one random symbol. All icons are eligible to be used, with the exception of the Wonus, clumped wild, and envelopes.
Prior to any spin on the base game, Envelope 1 may be added to the first reel, and Envelope 2 may be added to the fifth reel. When both appear at the same time, regardless of the bet level, the player receives the Red Envelope Jackpot.
During the base game, this feature can be randomly activated when a full stack of clumped wilds appear on the third reel. When this occurs, the screen presents the player with a grid of 15 coins. The player must select these coins one at a time until three of the same type are matched.
This feature is available at all bet levels. However, the chances of winning increase with the overall size of the wager.
When three scatter Wonus symbols show up anywhere during the base game, this feature is activated. The player receives eight free games, as well as a payout equal to 2x the total bet.
During the free games, the player can earn an additional spin each time a Wonus icon appears on reel five. The Wonus is wild in any winning combination, and it substitutes for all icons except Wild, Wild 2x, and Wild 3x.
When a Wild 2x symbol is part of a winning payline, the value of that combination is doubled. The same applies for the Wild 3x icon, except the payout is tripled. These symbols are only available on reel three.
The Wonus only appears on reel five. Meanwhile, the icon labeled “Wild” is only available on reels two through four.
While the base paytable is rather lackluster, the Fu Dao Le slots machine from Bally Technologies is still worth a look thanks to its multiple progressives and bonus features. Now that it’s been released for both land-based and virtual platforms, you’ll be able to enjoy the game everywhere from Macau casinos to the checkout line at your local grocery store.