Graphics - 62%
Gameplay - 70%
Bonuses - 50%
Value - 55%
Whats not so hot?
San Quentin xWays slot pays homage to the famous prison in the United States. The game features 243 Ways to Win, 3 rows, 5 reels, and a mammoth jackpot of 150,000x your stake. When we craft a slot review we don’t just parrot all the facts.
Instead, we play the slots for real money by sharing our expert slot tips and strategy with you. If we look at the engine and bonus features of the online slot play is exceptionally volatile. So much so it clocks a 10’er on the Casinowhizz slots scale. With regard to the slot machine’s special features. It comes with Enhancer Cells that reveal Razor Split symbols. Essentially, it means extra symbols and max ways to win of up to 46,656.
Nolimit City uses the xWays mechanic with gusto to enhance payline wins. However, play pivots around the Lockdown Spins bonus and Split Wilds. Before the Free Spins commence; the game picks a random multiplier and the number of free spins you’ll receive. The other noteworthy release from Nolimit City is Deadwood xNudge.
Moreover, Nolimit City throws in Jumping Wilds that doubles the multiplier value to 512x. On the condition, they land on Razor Split Symbols. If you feel you don’t want to hang around for 3 or more scatters to pop. You can use the Buy Option at a cost of up to 2,000x the stake.
The payouts we received in the base game ranged from 0.3x to 40x our stake.
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You can spin the reels from as little as CAD$0.20 to CAD$32 at our top casinos online in Canada. If you plan on playing the game we recommend that you use the Auto Play function. The RTP or the average return of the San Quentin xWays slot is 96.03%.
We’d like to point out that the RTP is 58.74% in the base game. Now, the Hit Rate of the slot is impressive and stands at 34.25%. Therefore, more than a third of every spin you make yields a winner! The prison theme is strong throughout. San Quentin prison serves as the backdrop for the reels. The visual fidelity is sharp and Nolimit City didn’t hold back and punches. The audio track is a mishmash of Latin hip hop and overtures from the hood.
The symbols that appear on the reels are toilet paper, barbed wire, shivs, cuffs, bars of soap, and Zippos. If you don’t know what a shiv is, it’s a sharp knife inmates use to stab each other. The high-value symbols are Baker Bill, Beefy Dick, Loco Luis, Crazy Joe Labrador, and Heinrich. The premium symbol is Beefy Dick. Five of them on the reels offer a payout of 5x your stake.
Now, it’s easy to plow through the bonus rounds of San Quentin xWay slots. The first special feature on the list is the Sticky Re-spins it causes the reels to expand. Keep an eye on the Pyramid Wilds as well because they transform the reels into wild reels.
The last special feature is the Free Spins with its Expanding Multiplier; more on it in a bit. Players from America can visit any of our instant withdrawal USA online casinos for premier deals. Upon sign up, you receive a casino bonus code with decent bonus terms. Once you become a frequent depositor; you receive cashback on your losses, and daily bonuses plus free spins.
Enhancer Cell positions appear at the top and bottom sections of the reels. When 1 or 2 symbols land in the cells you’ll initiate the Enhancer Cells feature. The feature showcases Wilds, xWays, and Razor Split symbols on the grid. Interestingly, they offer the following special features:
Razor Split Symbol: When it appears in a regular position, it splits symbols which double their positions. When the Razor Split symbol appears in the top and bottom reels it splits the symbol twice. Let’s say, you unlock all the positions, you’ll play with a max of 46,656 ways to win.
xWays Symbol: They unveil normal pay symbols that stacked 4-high.
The Split Wilds can pitch on any position on the grid during the base game. Once they pop onto the grid they activate the Special Wild bonus. As the name implies, the Split Wild splits the regular symbols for the bigger wins. In addition, it’s responsible for increasing the ways to win to a crazy 46,656.
You’ll trigger the Lockdown Spins free spins when 3, 4, or 5 prison tower scatters appear. There’s a lot going on in the free spins so please stay with us. The Jumping Wilds pop up onto each free spins as well. Plus, the Enhancer Cells make their presence felt throughout the free spins.
Before the Lockdown Spins feature starts. It selects the number of free spins you’ll receive and a special symbol multiplier. They land on a convict which offers extra bonus symbols and extra Jumping Wilds.
The Jumping Wild is the police badge that pitches on any position in the free spins. It’s relatively easy to trigger the feature. It doubles the multiplier value but, it must appear with the Razor Split Enhancer. The good news is the top multiplier in the free spins is 512x.
The Bonus Buy option is not available to online casino players from the UK. Luckily it’s available to Canadians, we also caution you to use it wisely.
It’s a progressive Buy Feature. In other words, if you want plenty of scatters it will cost you. The Buy Option has a few treats up its sleeve too. To begin with, it increases the game’s RTP and potential payout.
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We started playing the slots for money at an average bet of CAD$4 per spin. The hit frequency is really as good as they say it is. We snagged a payout on every 3rd spin despite the fact that 98% of them were small. From a psychological point, it can do wonders for you. We advise you to be careful though because the game’s volatility can be bruising!
Unfortunately, we didn’t trigger the Lockdown Free Spins the conventional way, even after 200 spins. It just shows you how volatile the game is. Normally it takes 180 to 200 spins to trigger the free spins of a high variance slot.
Since we failed to initiate the Free Spins feature. The next logical step for us was to try out the Buy Option at CAD$8 per spin. Besides, the buy option is expensive! We tested the Buy Option at two different coin bet levels. The first 4 times was at an average wager of CAD$4 per spin. On all four occasions, our average payout was CAD$600.
On our 5th and final try, we increased our bet to CAD$8. Huge difference! Not only were the pays better but we noticed an uptick in the RTP. If you want the most out of the game bet at least CAD$8 per spin. The final time we tried out the buy option we won a hefty CAD6,976.40 (see screenshot). What was our betting strategy? We triggered the Buy Option at a stake of 4 credits per spin. On our final try, we upped our average wager to 8 credits and score a phenomenal win.
You can follow the same strategy as we did but just at a lower bet level. Furthermore, it’s best to test the strategy in the free slots mode before you risk real money. Note, we broke even after using the buy option after 5 attempts. Never chase your losses and cash out after a big win. Disclaimer, this is solely our own strategy and it does not guarantee you regular payouts. If you use it; you do so at your own risk.
Nolimit City’s San Quentin xWays slot is a high roller’s dream. Just like its namesake in the United States; it’s one of those slots that takes no prisoners. For what it’s worth it takes approximately 230 spins to trigger the free spins. As you can see we weren’t far of the mark. Sometimes it pays to hang around.
The moral of the story is when you play a high variance beast like this. You must grind out the free spins. When the Jumping Wild Multiplier increases to 512x along with 5 bonus symbols in the free spins. The jackpot of 150,000x is yours. However, the average payout for the jackpot is 1.8 million spins.
Although NLC makes a detour to one of the world’s most brutal prisons. The slots studio pulls it off by a country mile. San Quentin xWays is fun and a classic, but it can become a very frustrating romp. Check your casino budget regularly in between spins. Oh, and never drop the soap!
If you’re into slots with extreme volatility, check out RTG’s Cash Bandits 3. The slot machine offers tons of free spins with big multipliers.