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Fa Cai Shen is an online slot by Habanero Systems that centers around a Chinese theme. The name of the game is actually the name of the Chinese god of fortune, and the golden concept for the game is tied into that. This is a title that is very visually striking because there's so much gold, and the symbols are a bit more tightly packed than what you see with most video slots in the modern era, and the gameplay is fast-paced with a medium volatility.
The format of this game is a five-reel, three-row video slot. It has a very atypical number of paylines at 28. The reason for this is that in Chinese numerology, the number 8 is lucky, and 28 is considered to be twice as lucky. Viewed in this way, it makes a lot of sense and really fits the overall theme. Coin sizes start off at just $0.01, but you can run them up to the $5.00 level. You can also bet 1, 2, 5, 7 or 10 coins per payline, so there's a really wide range of bet sizes available. You can start at just $0.28 per spin, which is within the budget of any slot player.
The Fai Cai Shen Wild Symbol
This god of fortune appears as the wild symbol in this game on the first, third and fifth reels only. It will substitute for anything but the scatter symbols. Even though it only appears on three reels, it probably gives you more value than the wild symbol does in most games for two reasons. First, it's a 3x wild multiplier, so any combination that uses at least one wild will be awarded at three times the normal rate. Second, this is an expanding wild that covers the entire reel whenever it shows up.
Three Levels of Symbols
There are three main groups of symbols in this slot (more here). The first is the golden dragon that pays 1,000x for five of a kind. Five of the golden coin gets 500x, and five of the golden koi earns 250x. These three are the top tier of symbols, and all of them pay for two of a kind or more. They are the only symbols in the game to pay for just two of a kind. All other symbols require at least three for a payout.
The mid-level symbols are the green ring, the golden banzai tree and the red book. All three of these have the same payout schedule. You'll get 100x for five of a kind, 20x for four of a kind and 3x for three of a kind.
Finally we have the low-level symbols. The A, K and Q symbols all pay 50x for five, 10x for four and 2x for three. You can also earn 25x for five, 5x for four and 1x for three of a kind in the J, 10 or 9 symbols.
Free Spins Bonus Feature
If you pick up three or more of the scattered golden crown, then you'll get a win and a set of free spins. You'll earn 100 times your total bet for five of a kind, and that's the largest regular win in the game since it comes out to the same as a 2,800x line bet win (other than five golden dragons with a wild for a 3,000x win).
Players will pick up 12 free spins when they line up at least three scatters. These free spins are worth a lot, and Habanero (click here for more) has done a good job in giving players extra value by making sure the expanding wild multiplier appears at least twice on every single free spin. You'll only need to line up three more symbols to nail five of a kind wins, so it's easy to see how much value you're getting from this bonus feature.
Some people aren't going to like the fact that the graphics seem a bit crowded in this game. However, even those players can't deny the great gameplay that comes from the feature-packed wild symbols. With a strong theme that's kept up all through the game, including in the number of paylines, this is perfect for players who are gameplay-minded.