If you enjoy listening to your favorite singer or band while playing slots, add The Beach Boys to the current casino "playlist" that includes Elvis Presley, KISS, The Monkees and Michael Jackson. This new Beach Boys slot machine is currently available exclusively at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Bally's Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah's Resort and Showboat Casino-Hotel are expected to install the machines in late May or in early June.
The basic "cabinet" has three video screens, a spinning mechanical wheel, and even a horizontal touchscreen - Bally Technologies' proprietary "iDeck" - to choose your bet and set the game in motion. The background of that "iDeck" looks like sand, with the occasional wave washing across the screen.
The set-up: Symbols on five reels across four rows give players up to 1,024 ways to win. Minimum bet on this penny version is 40 cents, with a maximum of $4. In between are bets of 80 cents, $1.20 and $2.
Among the symbols in the base game are two different group pictures - one against the background of the famous circular Capitol Records building in Los Angeles and the other showing the Beach Boys carrying a surfboard across the sand - a portable record player, a Beach Boys "45" record, a collection of Beach Boys records and individual pictures of the original Beach Boys - Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Carl Wilson. A replica California license plate - WILD - is wild for all symbols but the Gold Record (see below).
How it plays: All wins begin with the leftmost reel and pay left to right on adjacent reels. Wins are triggered not by pre-determined patterns of like symbols, but by how many identical symbols appear on as few as two reels, although most require a minimum of three reels. For example, one record on reel one, two records on reels two and one record on reel three would translate into two three-of-a-kind wins.
To possibly increase your wins, and the amount of those wins, symbols on reels two and four may randomly stack to fill up to all four positions on the reel.
In the background, you'll hear the Beach Boys singing some of their biggest hits: "California Girls," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Little Deuce Coupe," "I Get Around" and "Dance, Dance, Dance." Video clips of the Beach Boys in concert also add to the excitement.
Bonus features: If a Gold Record symbol appears anywhere on reels one, three and five, the wheel at the top of the machine starts spinning. When it stops, it triggers one of three possible events:
•At even the lowest bet level you can win from 20,000 to 100,000 credits ($200 to $1,000) if the wheel stops on one of those amounts.
•If the wheel stops on "U-Spin," the screen below will display a digital wheel which you control by swiping the screen toward the right or left. Your spin is guaranteed to win one of five mini-Progressives - currently ranging from more than $400 to nearly $1,300. Again, unlike some other machines, you don't have to be playing max bet to win one of these.
•Most likely, it will stop on a close-up of one of the Beach Boys. At that point the screen will display that digital "U-Spin" wheel, but offer different options.
•If the wheel stops on one of the Beach Boys you win one of the five mini-Progressives.
•If the wheel stops on a free games bonus, you'll get five to 25 additional spins. During these games, the Beach Boy who triggered the game on the mechanical wheel at the top of the cabinet also becomes wild, but only on reels two and four. During any one of your free spins, get two or three Gold Records and you win one, two or three more spins - up to a maximum of 50.
•If the wheel stops on a credit award, you win that amount.
•If the wheel stops on "Record Reveal" or the "Beach Boys Video Reveal," you win a credit award ranging from 250 to 2,500 times your initial bet.
To watch a video about the game, uploaded by the machine's manufacturer, Bally Technologies, go to YouTube.com and search "Beach Boys Slot Machine."
Where you can play it: At Borgata, three Beach Boys slot machines are located across from 28 West (formerly the bar at Seablue restaurant).
Recreational gambler Darryl McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. He is based in Wilmington, Del. His column appears every other week.
Watch a video about The Beach Boys slot machine, uploaded by the machine's manufacturer, Bally Technologies, at http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=beach+boys+slot+machine&mid=C986A5F437D87741B707C986A5F437D87741B707&view=detail&FORM=VIRE6.
The Beach Boys slot machine has three video screens, a spinning mechanical wheel, and even a horizontal touch screen to choose your bet and set the game in motion. [Bally Technologies]
If a Gold Record symbol appears anywhere on reels one, three and five of the base game, the wheel at the top of the machine starts spinning. When it stops, it triggers one of three possible bonuses. [Bally Technologies]
If the mechanical wheel stops on "U-Spin" bonus the screen below will display a digital wheel which you control by swiping the screen toward the right or left. Bonuses range from credit awards, Progressives and free spins. [Bally Technologies]