A game studio cloning its own slot has been done countless times in the past and has become rather the norm. Be it for special editions such as Christmas-themed clones or just giving the game a new name and different graphics. However, Microgaming and Triple Edge Studios just took the biscuit with their “new” Bookie of Odds slot.
Book of Oz was released on 12th December 2018 and Bookie of Odds on 6th March 2019. It has, of course, nothing to do with their archrival NetEnt launching Scudamore’s Super Stakes on 7th March, right? Nothing better than beating your competitor by one day with a similarly themed slot, in this case, horse racing.
Anyway, Bookie of Odds is now part of the countless “Book of…” slots with the expanding symbol mechanic in the free spins. All titles of this genre go back to the original Book of Ra slot that was released more than 10 years ago by Novomatic. We could conclude at this point the review and just link to the Book of Oz review as the games are identical twins except for the graphics.
Bookie of Odds is a video slot with five reels, three rows and 10 fixed pay lines. Beat the bookie on mobile or desktop for 0.10 to 25 credits. The RTP of this high variance game is 96.31%, which is very much in line with most other “Book of” slots. Autoplay will allow you to spin 10 to 100 consecutively without interruption.
A horse racing track can be seen in the background of the generic and simple game window. The graphics look sharp and polished and Triple Edge made the effort to use different colours for their jockeys than NetEnt did. So they made some effort. They did less work on the audio and used race track and horse galloping noises for the soundtrack just like their rival.
Yet again, nothing new on the pays symbols when comparing to other similar slots. At the low end are the usual 10 to A card royals, followed by character symbols at the high end. On Bookie of Odds, they are three horse racers with light-blue, purple and yellow jerseys. The top paying symbol is a male race fan who seems to have just won a big bet. Pay for a single five of a kind range from 10x to 500x your stake. The ominous book has yet again a dual function as the wild and scatters symbol.
Players can respin indefinitely any reel individually after a spin to try and hit missing symbols. The five displays at the bottom of the game window will light up after the reels have stopped to show a bet amount for each reel. The amount is based on which symbol is missing and what kind of win could happen should the missing symbol appear on the respins. The higher the win potential when the symbol lands, the higher the bet amount for the respin. The mechanic also works for scatters when only two appear on a spin.
Hit minimum three scatters anywhere on the reels to trigger 10 free spins, which can be re-triggered indefinitely. Additionally, a coin win of 2x, 20, and 200x is awarded for three, four and five scatters. Before the bonus round starts, one of the nine regular pay symbols is selected as the special symbol. When sufficient land on a free spin, they will expand vertically to cover the entire reel and award wins for all pay lines, which are paid on top of any potential organic wins from the spin. It will need minimum three low-paying symbols or minimum two premium symbols anywhere on the screen to see them expand and award a win.
This is, of course, the moment where the slot can produce the maximum win on a single spin. The selected special symbol has to be the wizard and if five land in view across the reels, they will expand to pay 10 times the single line win for a five-of-a-kind, resulting in a total win of 5,000x the stake.
It clearly shows the difference in commitment and effort to developing quality games when one developer releases an exhilarating horse racing game and the other simply clones an existing one to jump onto the bandwagon. To be honest, I am getting doubtful that Microgaming will be able to continue on this track as their games seem to get worse with every release. Bookie of Odds will be on the first page of casino lobbies on its release day and then will disappear just as quick to the end of the list as there is nothing exciting about it that makes it more interesting to play than the good old Book of Ra or Book of Dead slots.