Dragon slot breathes bonus fire

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The holiday season puts most everyone in the spending mood and I fell right in line.

However, lines in literal form are definitely on my not-to-do list. No way this guy is going to wait outside in the cold for hours – or in some cases days – just to beat everyone on purchasing a product, no matter the discount.

No, I prefer spending money to win some. So my day in holiday court came a few days ago against Dragon’s Law and Dragon’s Voyage.

The Konami games were a solid favorite to take my $70, but having tested the waters over the past few months there was much reason to believe an upset was possible.

All I needed to do was get into the bonus and see the dragon release all those wilds (posing as stars) into the five rows and the kill shot was possible. I had previously hit five of a kind for $150 off a minimum 45-cent play at a penny slot so my competitive juices were flowing.

I only play penny slots, which basically keeps me off the Vegas Strip and into the smaller casinos more conducive to yielding payouts.

So the strategy was set – the $70 into the machine at 90 cents a play (a 2x payoff). Still rather conservative, but it is essential for all gamblers to absolutely remember money management and never to sacrifice dollars you can’t afford to lose. Sadly, I see this happen all the time and most often with bad results.

And, my venture fell right into that outcome. I think it took no more than 20 minutes to blow the entire amount. My anger made me invest another $20 at a different Dragons machine with the same result. The bonus never appeared, the dragon yielded wilds just once and the payoff didn’t amount to much.

It was a frustrating and depressing session for me, a highly competitive person who hates losing whether it’s in the casino or the sports book. But through the years I have come to develop the philosophy of selective memory, meaning that the hurt subsides a lot quicker, calmness returns and tomorrow may turn out better.


In this case it wasn’t even tomorrow but a few hours later in another locale playing a different game – video bonus poker. The 25-cent machine off a 4-bet ($1 per play) produced 4 aces for an $80 win and my mood quickly changed.

Was the total experience fun? Not until the end. It could easily have been over a hundred dollar loss so Thanksgiving came a couple of weeks late.

I will say this about the Dragon slots: Konami has a winner. Unlike most slots, this bonus does produce results. If you do get into one, there are eight free plays and the dragon could give you as many as three wild card deliveries as it slithers around the five lines in the form of stars.

You can play the max for 250 and bring the machine down to its knees if hitting the big kahuna at, say, a $1 machine instead of a penny. But that’s for either the comfortable spender or the all-or-nothing players often foolishly looking for that one shot at changing their fortune.

But that’s what makes Vegas the place it is and why we enjoy living here.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected]

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