Master Joker (Pragmatic Play): Overview
Pragmatic Play appears to be on a bit of a fruit binge at the moment. Hot on the heels of their recent Vegas-style slot Super 7s comes a new one called Master Joker. Fruity themed slots are well known for their unsophisticated styling and gameplay, and Master Joker takes this concept almost to its extreme. For fast-paced, simple gameplay look no further. Yet again, the already chock full fruit/Vegas category has a new addition with which to tempt players. Is it going to though? The question is whether Master Joker will make any sort of impact or be as forgettable as Super 7s was.
Despite being completely different in most respects, the first slot that sprang to mind when Master Joker loaded was Seven 7’s from Crazy Tooth. Using only one row as well, it also caused surprise at how little seems to be going on. Master Joker has an intriguing wheel hovering over the reel so let’s find out how it all operates. One of the first details to leap off the paytable is volatility. Five solid yellow lightning bolts indicate that Master Joker is about as volatile as it gets from Pragmatic Play. That setting along with the high potential will either light fires or have players running for the hills. Less intimidating is the default RTP which sits at a respectable 96.46%. This number can be lowered by the operator, however, so be sure to check before you hit the spin button.
Master Joker’s setup is super minimalist – just 1 row with 5 symbols and 1 payline, that’s it. The benefit of only having one payline means that bets start as low as one penny per spin, but can be raised as high as £/€100 if necessary. You don’t see too many penny slots that actually cost just a penny per spin. That fact might appeal to players looking to stretch their bankrolls as much as possible. Other options that are affected include quick spins which take on a whole new meaning with just one row in play. Seriously, set a hundred auto spins, turn away for a minute, and they are all but gone when you look back. Master Joker redefines the meaning of the phrase ‘fast-paced.’
Combinations in Master Joker are formed by matching three or more symbols on the row. The great thing is that matching symbols don’t need sit side by side, or start from the first reel. As long as there are three or more anywhere on the row, boom, you have a winner. It’s kind of like Ra special symbols in that regard. This mixes things up a little and means that you aren’t just staring at the first 3 reels most of the time. When it comes to symbols, it is fruit and classic icons all the way. From low to high, the game has strawberries, lemons, cherries, plums, watermelons, and gold bars. The most valuable, and by far rarest, symbol is the 7 which is worth 100 times the stake for a full row of five. Decent values, which are quickly made better by the uncomplicated, yet clever, features.
Master Joker (Pragmatic Play): Features
Master Joker’s features are few but effective and revolve around the joker symbol. The joker only lands on the middle 3rd reel, and can substitute for any other symbol in the game. One cool thing is that the wild can create two different symbol combos on one spin. For example, if 2 lemons, 2 cherries, and a wild land, players are awarded for both combinations rather than the highest of the two which is what usually happens.
Also, when the joker is involved in a win, it triggers a spin of the Multiplier Wheel feature. The wheel provides multipliers of x2, x3, x5, x10, x15, x25, x50, and x100. Whichever multiplier the wheel lands on is applied to the total win of the spin it was triggered on.
Master Joker (Pragmatic Play): Verdict
In spite of its simplicity, Master Joker does make something of an impact. It might not be a huge one, but in a way, it works. The game seems almost too basic at first, but it starts to make a kind of sense after a few spins. In a category that bulges like an overstuffed sausage, Master Joker manages to stand out and feel somewhat fresh. It is unlikely to be an all-time favourite, but it possesses a couple of selling points.
For one, players can spin for just a penny which makes it suitable for stretching out those last few bucks left in an account. One observation though is that there was a noticeable difference in results between betting small and large. There is no mention of this in the paytable, so it was probably pure chance, but larger bets led to significantly better returns during test runs. Again, no doubt random, but it might be worth investigating in demo mode perhaps if you are curious.
The second selling point is that for such a rudimentary game, it offers good potential. Land 4 sevens, a joker, and a x100 multiplier from the Multiplier Reel and you’ve bagged an instant 10,000 times the stake. Again, no faffing about triggering bonus rounds or collecting scatters required here.
It takes a certain amount of creativity and thinking outside the box to make a fruit slot feel novel. Kudos go to the creative team at Pragmatic for doing so. Master Joker is far more memorable than Super 7s was and is capable of entertaining players looking for something ultra-quick and easy to blast through.
Master Joker has an old-fashioned arcade appeal and, for what it is, wears its simple premise quite well.