The Bigwinboard.com Official Online Slots Review Policy
Unlike other sites that claim to review slots in the best interest of the players, we do not accept commission or payments from game developers. With no obligations towards the game developers (and we intend to keep it that way), we’ve taken the task upon us to write truly unbiased reviews in order to help our readers make the right decision. In spite of our sometimes radically candid criticism, most game developers still take great interest in Bigwinboard.com and are more than pleased to be featured on the site. Not only due to the high credibility our site enjoys, but because developers tend to appreciate the input we provide them with in their continuous effort of improving the games. Unscrupulous game developers, however, are happy to fly under the radar while ripping off their customers without having to deal with any negative publicity.
One of the requirements we have for reviewing games is to be allowed access before they go live, simply because we want our readers to know what they are up against before required to risk their money. Most will gladly offer us this opportunity and some will even allow us exclusive access. If you don’t see us reviewing games from a certain provider, the reason can be one of many, although usually, it boils down to the quality of the games which may be far too low to be featured on the site. If providers deny us access to their games we might also cease to cover them on our site, something that can be a warning sign in itself. Beware, desperate providers will happily pay site owners and casino streamers to paint their creations in a positive light – learn to see through it and do proper research.
While our reviews are fact-based to a large extent, all of them are concluded with a summary and personal reflection. Moreover, the final score is not written in stone and may be subject to change once a game goes live. Several factors may be taken into account post release, such as the frequency of big wins shared on social media, if there is a general agreement in opinion among players that greatly contradicts our score, and if the game behaves differently in a live environment compared to demo play.
Ultimately, most slots can pay no matter how poorly designed and players who have good runs on particular slots are more prone to hold them in high regard. In such cases, it really won’t matter what the rest of us have to say. Either way, we encourage our readers to talk to us in the comments section, to voice your opinion and to correct us if need be.
What we review
We understand that not every player is the same. Some like to try new games while others stick to old proven favorites. There are recreational players who don’t worry too much about variance or RTP, who only wish to escape reality for a while and to be entertained. Then you also have the hardcore gamblers who are into high variance and high risk, who love the thrill of chasing big wins. Because of this, we need to keep an open mind and see the big picture when we review slots.
The following are some of the key factors we take in consideration when we test new slots:
- Balancing – Does the game give you some play time or is the mathematical designed unforgiving. High variance games often tend to be cash grabbers but some providers have still mastered the art of keeping them fairly well balanced. Some games, however, are just horrible and best avoided.
- Playability – Does the game run smoothly without lag or does it have annoying delay between spins? These are factors that can have substantial impact on the overall experience.
- Variance – Most providers try to cater to all sorts of players by releasing low, medium and high variance games. In some cases, we’ve seen games having been designed to play like high variance slots but reward low variance payouts. Not cool!
- Bonus frequency & RTP – How long do we have to wait in between free spin features? Some providers are known to have significantly lower bonus frequencies than others. RTP is also a crucial factor that we look at. As a general rule, any RTP below 96% is currently considered low when it comes to online slots although the number is creeping down due to increased expenses for operators mainly as a result of markets becoming regulated.
- Originality – A slot doesn’t have to be original in terms of gameplay or features to be good. There are many of examples of clones that outshine the original. What we don’t like, however, are providers who repeatedly clone and re-skin their own back catalogue.
- Potential – We’ve seen a tendency towards a demand for increased potential and variance and the massive success of slots such as Bonanza and Dead or Alive 2 are good examples of that. Unfortunately, there are still providers out there who genuinely seem to believe that 400x is an acceptable max win. It’s not.
Bigwinboard.com uses a 100-point scoring system which is expressed as a percentage. The examples here are meant to clarify and describe what those scores most often mean to us. Scores are a helpful summation to the reviewer’s opinion, but it’s worth to accentuate that they’re not the review itself. A final score may be subject to change after a game has been released as the live performance of the slot can end up giving us a better understanding of it.
00%-09%: Broken or offensively bad, possibly even rigged. Horrible value. A clear indication to stay far away.
10%-19%: In best case scenario, and if in a good mood, we might find one nice thing to say about it, but still far from being worth your time or money.
20%-29%: A slot that has fallen short of its goals with very few qualities. Don’t waste your time.
30%-39%: An entirely awkward or derivative effort. There is little to no reason to play this slot with so many other good slots to choose from out there.
40%-49%: Disappointing or flawed.
50%-59%: A slot of mediocre qualities. Other slots likely do it better, or its unique features aren’t executed as well as one would expect.
60%-69%: There’s something to it that there is to like, but can still only be recommended with major caveats.
70%-79%: We like it. An overall good online slot definitely worth playing.
80%-89%: A well-executed slot with superb features, great potential and compelling visuals.
90%-94%: A fascinating recommendation for most slot players. A paradigm for what online slots is all about and likely ahead of its time.
95%-98%: Extremely brilliant. This is far and away one of the best slots we’ve ever played and recommended to everyone who’s into gambling.
99%-100%: A game that has simply been unheard of and that could possibly be an industry game changer.