It may be that the poker machines were so new to Web-based game designers they hadn’t budgeted any brain power toward working out the pros and cons of different reel arrangements. Clearly the five reel setup would have been better. Microgaming decided to release the game in a five-reel setup a few years after the three reel titles first appeared at Microgaming-powered websites. Today, both versions of the original game are still available at Microgaming sites.
Both the 3-reel and the five reel game have fifteen available pay lines; bettors who want a shot at the largest prize must activate all fifteen lines to be eligible. No restriction is placed on the coin size of the eligible wager for the five reel game; pokies players who place fifteen pay line bets can win the jackpot whether they’re betting $0.20 per line, the five reel title’s minimum at all casinos that host it, or $3 per line, which is the five reel game’s maximum. Since the 3-reel game requires a $1 coin size, only gamblers placing a $15-per-spin bet are eligible for the largest possible payout.
Poker machine players who choose the 3-reel game don’t have the same variety of bet sizes as those who choose the five reel version. Microgaming set the bet size for the 3-reel game at $1 per credit and no variation is available. Gamblers who prefer the five reel game can choose between bets in a variety of increments between $0.20 and $3 per credit, for a total bet range of between $0.20 and $45 per spin.
Cash Clams features include a wild symbol and a scatter symbol, though the 3-reel game doesn’t use the scatter symbol. The Wild symbol for both games is the Cash Clams logo itself, which substitutes for any other game symbol to form winning combinations. The wild is also the symbol that triggers the progressive jackpot – on the 3-reel game, three logo wild symbols on the reels means the gambler wins a prize equal to the amount of the progressive total at the time they spin the symbols, provided the player has activated all fifteen pay lines.
The five reel game, which allows bets on up to fifteen pay lines like the original three reel version, is almost identical to the earlier version except that the sequel has two additional reels.
The scatter symbol in the five reel game is called Blue-Scatter. These Blue-Scatter reel images can appear anywhere across the game’s five reels and still result in a payout – in other words, they don’t have to line up on an activated pay line or appear in any special order.
Another difference in the five reel variant is the use of additional symbols – the five reel game includes a set of symbols that Microgaming uses on nearly all their five reel games, those based on the highest playing cards according to poker hierarchy: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10.
In both versions of the game, the logo of the pokie is the wild symbol. It says “Cash Clams” in the same font as the words on the case; somehow the colours on this symbol are even more garish than the colours on the actual case. When wilds appear and complete combinations, the numbers of symbols on the reels affects the prize. Yes, the wild symbol plays its traditional role, completing winning combos. But it also increases the size of those combos’ payouts proportional to the number of symbols that appear.
It works like this. One wild symbol that completes any winning combo will also double the payout amount for that prize. When the bettor uses two such symbols to form a winner, the prize amount is quadrupled. Take note that the machine will only pay out one winning combination of symbols per pay line. In the case of more than one winning combo on any pay line, the machine rewards you the amount of the most-valuable combo rather than all winning results.
The majority of Microgaming-powered betting websites still host one or both versions of this title even though both of them are more than ten years old. This game has remained popular because of the simplicity of its rules and the fact that it was one of the first pokies games anyone ever played online. Poker machine gamblers tend to have a soft spot in their heart for this trailblazing machine game that would eventually give rise to thousands of Internet pokies.
Today, Internet poker machines are some of the most popular titles in any category, in casino software packages by any company that produces poker machine games. Like many other pokies, you can only play this title in a real money version, so practicing this poker machine with play money or playing it just for fun is not an option.
Microgaming was ahead of the curve, an early adopter of gaming features that are wildly popular in today’s Internet betting industry. Not only is it a valuable game in terms of poker machine history and development, it’s a lot of fun to play and requires little concentration. Microgaming casinos are often at their best when they produce casino games that are simple and relaxing.