Mon, Jun 11, 10:45pm by Mia Chapman
Last Updated Tue, May 12, 11:15pm
When the first pokies in the Lightning Link series were released in 2015, they introduced a brand-new bonus feature. ‘Hold and Spin’ allows you to win progressive jackpots and cash. You keep spinning until you either fill the screen with special symbols – or run out of spins.
This feature was a huge success. Live casinos are now filled with pokies that have similar bonus features.
Since the original titles were introduced, the Lightning Link range of slot machines has grown. Here is the current list of 16 titles, along with the theme:
• Magic Pearl (Underwater)
• High Stakes (Las Vegas)
• Sahara Gold (Arabian Nights)
• Happy Lantern (Asian)
• Moon Race (Space)
• Best Bet (Horse Racing)
• Heart Throb (Romance)
• Tiki Fire (Pacific Island)
• Wild Chuco (Mexico / Wild West)
• Bengal Treasures (Historic India)
• Eyes of Fortune (Wildlife)
• Magic Totem (Native American)
• Fire Idol (Tribal)
• Dragon’s Riches (Asian)
• Mine Mine Mine (Gold Rush)
• Raging Bull (Spanish Bull Fighting)
As well as unique themes, each game has a different take on free spins. There are giant symbols on some games. Other titles have ‘reveal’ symbols, added or expanding wilds – or even remove the lower paying symbols from the reels.
There is a separate list of pokies with hold and spin features. These are the Asian-themed Dragon Link games.
You’ll need to wait a little longer for Lightning Link pokies to become available at online casinos. These games are exclusive to live casinos, and so not available for in demo mode.
There are plenty of classic Aristocrat titles online which can be enjoyed in free play mode. For the Lightning Link games, you’ll need to head to your closest casino to catch the action.
Each game has a similar setup. Once you learn how to play one game in the Lightning Link family, you’ll be able to play them all.
These pokies have a range of denominations (coin sizes) and win-lines to choose from. They interact, at the smallest coin sizes, the minimum number of win-lines is bigger:
• 1c or 2c denomination: 50 win-lines
• 5c or 10c denomination: 25 or 50 win-lines
• $1 or $2 denomination: 5 win-lines
You can add multipliers to your bets. This makes larger numbers of win-lines available for bigger bet sizes. As you’ll see in the bonus game information below, jackpot bonuses go up alongside your coin size.
Each game has wild symbols. Typically, these appear only on reels 2 through 5. Stacked wilds are common, though they also appear as single symbols. While unique symbols which match the themes are used for the higher prizes – all the Lightning Link pokies use playing cards for smaller wins. If you look closely, you’ll realise that aces are missing. Kings down to nines make up the smaller wins.
The hold and spin bonus feature is shared between all the Lightning Link pokies. The symbols used to trigger this vary by theme. Gold coins, pearls and even casino chips are all used.
Aristocrat kept the Lightning Link range fresh by including a lot of variations of the free spins bonuses. You can trigger the hold and spin feature from these, and retrigger for extra spins.
A feature that many players miss is that the progressive jackpots can be won at random. Any paid spin where you get at least one hold and spin symbol can award either of the two progressives.
Every Lightning Link pokie has special symbols with number or words on them. On most spins, these will not do anything. It is only when you get 6 or more from a single spin that the hold and spin bonus begins.
None of the other symbols are used for this feature. They are greyed out, leaving only the special symbols on the reels. You now get 3 spins to hit more coin wins or jackpots. Each time you hit an extra win, the number of spins resets to 3.
You’ll win everything on the reels when you run out of spins. These are counted via lightning strike effects, with the total appearing in a box above the reels. You can win the Mini, Major or Minor jackpot as many times as symbols with these words on appear.
To win the biggest (Grand) jackpot, you need to fill all 15 spots on the reels with the special symbols. You can do this while spinning at any denomination. The Grand is shared between all the Lightning Link pokies in a casino. This starts at $10,000 – and continues increasing until it is won.
There are several entertaining free spins variations on the Lightning Link slots. Triggering them requires 3 or more bonus symbols. You’ll get scatter prizes, with up to 100x your total bet if you trigger with 5 bonus symbols.
Here are some of the lightning Link free spins variations:
• Giant Symbols: Reels 2,3 and 4 merge into one reel. Giant symbols always fit into this 3×3 gap. Big wins are possible if you match them with the symbols from reel 1 and 5.
• Reveal Symbols: Long strips of the reels are covered in special symbols that open after the spins stop. These will often cover a lot of the reels. They will all show the same symbol (picked at random) when they reveal their contents. Special hold and spin symbols or wilds can be revealed.
• Richer Reels: This simple bonus removes the playing card symbols. You have a better chance of getting both high paying line hits and the hold and spin features.
• Expanding Wilds: When you get any wild during the free spins, it expands to cover all 3 positions on the reels.
• Extra Wilds: Some Lightning Link free spins bonuses will add up to 200 extra wilds on the reels. Other games will add win multipliers to the wilds.
The number of free spins you start with, and how many are awarded for retriggers, will vary from game to game. See our individual Lightning Link pokie reviews for those details.
No. These games have not yet moved from live to online casinos. This is standard for Aristocrat titles. Newer games are given plenty of time on the floor of live casinos, moving online later. It is hoped that the first Lightning Link games will be available online for real money in the next few years.
Yes, there are two progressive jackpots and two further fixed jackpots. These can be won via the hold and spin bonus. You can also win a jackpot at random after any paid spin where at least one special symbol used for the hold and spin appears.
Both Dragon Link and Lightning Link pokie series are created by Aristocrat. They share a setup, hold and spin bonus and many of the free spins game ideas covered above. The key differences are separate progressive jackpots and an Asian theme to the Dragon Link games.