Games Related to Santa
Have you ever wondered where the name Santa Claus comes from? Well in actual fact, the modern-day Santa Claus has derived from three different traditions. The first being Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop famed for giving gifts. His legend was adopted by the Dutch who changed the name slightly to Sinterklass (sometimes called Sinter Klass). This of course became anglicized to Santa Claus.
In British history, Santa Claus is also tied in with their legend of Father Christmas, who up until Victorian times, was more concerned with adults enjoying themselves and 'making merry' than bringing gifts. However, in the Victorian era, celebrations in Britain became more family-centered and thus Father Christmas, like Santa Claus, began to deliver gifts and thus Father Christmas/ Santa Claus became somewhat synonymous.
As the central figure for Christmas celebrations for many billions across the world, Santa is always busy around this time of the year and there's usually a raft of slots to enjoy about the Christmas festivities and this year Pragmatic Play have got straight to the point with the release of their Santa slot.
Let's take a look at the game's basic information.
Where can I play the Santa slot?
If you want to play the Santa slot this Christmas at a top-quality casino that offers you not just outstanding seasonal games, but also plenty of top quality entertainment throughout the year, including regular new releases, then Spartan Slots is the casino you should be signing up to right now.
As a new customer, you will receive a fantastic 25 Free Spins when you sign up, plus your first deposit will receive a massive 200% bonus which will triple the amount of money you have available to spend at a stroke.
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With this offer being spread out over five separate deposits, this is a fantastic offer, especially for players who cannot front load their deposits too heavily and who often miss out on offers which are calculated on the first deposit only.
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The presentation of the Santa slot is excellent with the backdrop of a snowy winter scene and snowflakes falling to the ground in front of a purple moon. The sound is also very Christmassy with a rather snazzy jazzed up version of Jingle Bells playing as you spin the reels. You cannot but help to be carried away by the Christmas spirit when you load the slot up.
The reels are centralized on the screen with the controls for the slot at the bottom of the screen including an Auto Play feature and also the ability to increase or decrease your total bet size and number of coins wagered by using the + and - buttons.
What's on the reels?
I was a little disappointed to look on the reels and see the usual playing card symbols, from the 10 through to the ace, displayed as the lower value symbols. With so many different items that could have been used for Christmas instead of these symbols, I do feel it is a little lazy to just add a bit of mistletoe or a bauble to each symbol and think that will do for the theme.
These lower value symbols offer smaller value pay outs ranging from a quarter of your total bet up to five times your total bet, which means the majority of wins with these symbols don't pay out as much as you wager.
There are four higher value symbols on the reels too and these add even more Christmas-feel. There is the Candy Cane, two bells, a reindeer with a red nose and a rather cheerful looking elf. Again, these offer prizes ranging from half your total stake per bet, up to 20 times your stake per bet. Plus, you can win very small amounts if you land two of the elf and reindeer symbols on the reels, although these wins are just a tenth of your total bet.
The Wild symbol on the reels is of course the smiling cheery face of Santa himself and this symbol appears stacked on the second, third, fourth and fifth reels. It can replace any of the lower or higher value symbols listed above to help create additional winning pay lines or multiple winning lines on a single spin.
The fact that the symbol is stacked on the reels also means that it is possible to land several on a single reel and then combine that with other Stacked Wilds to land some of the much bigger wins available in the base game, this comes when you land multiple Stacked Wilds across the middle reels in particular, especially with some of the higher value symbols occupying spaces on the first reel.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins bonus round is activated when you land three of the Christmas Tree Scatter symbols anywhere across the middle three reels on the same spin. When you land this, you are awarded a total of six free spins, which are played on slightly different reels.
During Free Spins, the reels will start to spin and any of the second, third, fourth or fifth reels can become completely covered by Wild symbols. Between one and four of the reels on any spin can be turned completely Wild and obviously the more reels that turn Wild, then the better your chances of landing a better value win.
Your wins over the six free spins are added together to give you your final win and once the Free Spins are completed, the game returns to the base game as you cannot re-trigger the bonus.
Other bonus features
The other Bonus feature is triggered by the Golden Christmas Present Bonus symbol, which appears on the first, third and fifth reels. When you land three of these symbols on a single spin then the bonus game will trigger.
In this bonus game, you will see a total of 12 gifts on the screen. You can select a gift to open to reveal a cash prize and you can keep winning these cash prizes until you land a Jackpot symbol. Land this symbol and the bonus game ends and you are paid the total of all your cash prize wins plus the jackpot won as your total prize.
There is a total of four Jackpot prizes you can win in this bonus round, Mini (10x your total bet), Minor (25x your total bet), Major (50x your total bet) and Grand (250x your total bet).
Best feature of the Santa slot
There's lots of things that I like about the Santa slot from Pragmatic Play. I like it's simplicity and Christmas-themed presentation which they have captured very well. The bonus features are well thought out and have a level of depth which means they are playable and enjoyable and I like the fact that it isn't too difficult to trigger them either, especially the Free Spins bonus game although the Christmas Present Bonus is more difficult to unlock.
For me the best feature of the slot however is the Wild Santa's and the fact that they are stacked on the reels in the base game and also feature as the key element in the Free Spins round. Without them, this would be a much poorer game (and also be considerably higher variance too) but with them it is possible to win decent amounts in the base game, as well as when you trigger either of the key bonus features.
What does the Santa slot lack?
The one thing I feel the Santa slot lacks as it stands is a decent multiplier pay out. I would have liked to have seen some additional bonus when you land a win with the Stacked Santa's or perhaps a randomly triggered base game bonus that offers a multiplier win of some form as I felt that would have made some of those very small wins more useful to players and added a bit of extra play value to the slot.
I think Pragmatic Play have done a very good job with the Santa slot. In terms of presentation, the slot is very nicely done and the fact it is a low to medium variance game means that it has a nice mix of wins from very low wins, but also some higher value wins which can keep your balance topped up nicely. The different bonus games also add a level of complexity to the slot which keeps you keen to play to trigger the features.
I feel the Free Spins bonus and the Stacked Wilds are great additions, but the Christmas Present bonus feature is somewhat tricky to land and you need to be patient to hit this bonus, but when you do some stellar wins are possible, especially if you can land that Grand Jackpot prize.
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