Fifty-five years ago, Elvis Presley experienced many firsts: recorded his first album, produced his first single, acted in his first movie and made his first TV appearance. Today, more than 4 million fans follow the Presley brand on Facebook. As Aug. 16 — the 35th anniversary of Presley’s death — approaches, Atlantic City casino patrons are getting their first look at a new Elvis Presley slot machine.
Bonus games are filled with film clips and recordings, and there are lots of touch-screen interactive features to maintain your interest. Even the design pays homage to one of those old-fashioned Wurlitzer jukeboxes that played his music back in the day.
The Setup: The base game is a traditional 25-line video slot with five reels and three rows. Symbols include photos of Elvis from various stages in his life, as well a guitar, sunglasses, a microphone and, yes, those iconic blue suede shoes. Minimum bet is 40 cents and maximum bet is $2, with interim bets of 80 cents, $1.20 and $1.60.
How It Plays: Wins are based on predetermined patterns — left to right — of three or more like symbols. In addition to the base game, there is the greatest hits bonus — actually a series of bonuses, with bonuses within bonuses. Presley’s TCB ring — appearing in each of the three middle reels — starts the bonus. TCB stands for Taking Care of Business, Presley’s band. He incorporated the letters into an emblem flanked by lightning bolts. Pick a gold record to be awarded one of five features:
Hound Dog Bonus — Pick bushes in each of four gardens to find a rabbit and win a rabbit prize. Each bush awards a credit value times the credits bet per line from the triggering spin, and may also contain a rabbit hole or a rabbit. If you find a rabbit hole, you continue on to the next garden. Gardens are played consecutively. Make it to the fourth garden and you might win the hound dog progressive. Credit values in the first garden range from 25 to 100; in the second, from 35 to 125; in the third, from 50 to 175; and, in the fourth, from 100 to 225. Finding a rabbit in the first garden can win anywhere between 200 and 1,000 credits; in the second garden, anywhere from 300 to 1,250 credits; in the third garden, anywhere from 500 to 1,500 credits; and, in the fourth garden, the hound dog bonus progressive. The bonus ends when you find the rabbit or a rabbit hole in the fourth garden.
Jailhouse Rock Bonus — Starting at cell block A, pick two jail cells. Each cell awards a value of 25 to 100 credits. You’ll advance to the next cell block if the total bonus win meter value is equal to or greater than the threshold value needed to reach the next cell block. If you don’t, the bonus ends. In subsequent cell blocks, if the total bonus win meter value after two picked jail cells is less than the threshold value, or after two jail cells have been picked in cell block E, you’ll advance to the gold bonus, where you get to pick additional cells based on the number of cell blocks you just picked. These cells award credit values as low as 100 and as high as 1,500. One cell awards the jailhouse rock progressive bonus.
Viva Las Vegas Bonus — During each of six free spins — with a different set of symbols from the base game — Elvis poker chip symbols fill in one position on a virtual poker table. Once you get the required number of poker chips at each level, ranging from two to eight, the chips are cleared from the table and you’ll receive anywhere from two to seven extra free spins. If you get more chips than are required in one round, they transfer to the next. Make it to the seventh level with eight chips and you win the Viva Las Vegas Progressive. In addition, during this bonus, a special reel-filling Elvis wild travels across the screen, making the entire reel wild. Note that no wild substitutes for the poker chip symbol.
Heartbreak Hotel Bonus — To start things off, you’ll get a number of “heart” symbols equal to the credits bet per line from the triggering spin. Select at least one door in each of up to seven levels. Behind each door is another heart symbol or a silhouette. If your door has a silhouette, additional credits — from 50 to 500 — will be added to your score and you’ll advance to the next level. Choosing a broken heart symbol reduces the number of heart symbols on your heart meter. When there are no hearts left, the bonus ends.
Jukebox Bonus — Pick one song from the jukebox. After the song has finished playing, if the spinning record stops on free song, you get to pick up to two additional songs. The bonus ends if the spinning record stops on “Collect” but you receive anywhere between 90 and 520 credits.
Watch a video about Elvis, uploaded by the game’s manufacturer, IGT.
Where You Can Play It: At Bally’s, from the hotel lobby walk toward the Boardwalk past the last table game pit; Elvis is on the left. At Caesars, from the first floor entrance on Pacific Avenue walk to the Sex and The City games and make a left; Elvis is located next to the smoking room. At Harrah’s, Elvis is located to your left as you descend the escalator from the self-parking garage; it’s almost parallel to the escalators leading up to the restaurant level across the casino. At Trump Taj Mahal, Elvis is located near the Credit Office on the way to the Boardwalk. At Tropicana, Elvis is scheduled to be installed Augu.20 and will be located in the V-zone where Red Hot Fusion currently sits.
“Recreational gambler” Darryl McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. He is based in Wilmington, Del. His column appears every other week.