When it comes to game show tie-ins with slot games – International Game Technology (IGT) are leading the way. Not only do they have the 2 versions of Jeopardy! reviewed here, you will find Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right in the IGT portfolio too. Game shows make ideal subjects for slots. You have an overall theme, music and visuals to tie-in with the TV shows – and also bonus games which can be added to the slots too.
Jeopardy! Has the topics for the questions and the bonus game where you pick tiles from a big grid. The original version of this game first appeared in brick and mortar casino. This (along with the updated version) are also now available to play online outside of the US.
Below you’ll find an overview of the original Jeopardy slot – with the updated new version described after that.
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The Original Jeopardy! Slot from IGT
With 5 reels, 3 rows of symbols on each reel and 9 winning lines – the original Jeopardy! slot from IGT aimed to capture the essence of the 1970’s / 80’s gameshow in slot form. The familiar logo sits above the reels, and wins bring you brass instruments playing the familiar theme tune.
Most of the symbols on the reels are the categories of question, with movies, animals, music, sport and science all included. You’ll get small animations when the 3+ symbols needed for a win come in, along with sound effects. Since the sound effects (including the winning tunes) continue into the next spin – you can find odd situations with an out of context ‘moo’ sounds (from the animals category). This certainly confused me for a while!
One of the main attractions of the original Jeopardy! slot is he wild symbol. This doubles any win which is becomes a part of. You will also find 7’s on the reels. There are 3 colors which pay out for both 3+ of a color and for a combination of any color 7’s. Jeopardy! Symbols take several formats too.
When you hit a Jeopardy! bonus symbol on the first reels you will hear a ‘thud’. What you are looking for is 3 of these on reels 1, 2 and 3 – which will trigger the break out bonus game which involves picking tiles.
In the base game it is possible to win up to 25,000 coins from a single spin. To do this you need to be playing max coins and to land the 3 bonus symbols + 2 blue Jeopardy! logos on reels 4 and 5 – these need to be on a win-line.
Jeopardy! Bonus Game
Here you will see a grid of 30 tiles, with the categories of topics above. What you’ll do is keep picking these tiles, each one revealing a number of coins which add up to your total win. Underneath some of the tiles are ‘Daily Double’ logos, which double your total amount won.
This game is very simple – you keep picking and accumulating wins until you hit a ‘Final Jeopardy!’ logo, at which time you win whatever you have in the pot.
Updated IGT Jeopardy! Game
The original slot has been a huge success, though it does now show its age. IGT have come up with an advanced version, with much smoother graphics. This can be played live (on a dual screen cabinet) or online in certain jurisdictions.
There are several differences. First of all, this game is ‘hosted’ by a virtual version of Alex Trebek, who will introduce the game and also the bonus round. There are also 4 rows of symbols instead of the 3 from the original; this increases the number of win-lines to 50 from the original 9.
While the symbols representing the categories are still in use, these are now icons rather than the pictures with the names underneath. For example science is represented as an atom and music as a single note sign. There are also smiling contestants with dazzling white teeth on the reels – and the music is constantly playing too, not just kicking in when you hit a win.
Wilds are handled differently in this updated Jeopardy! game. One will appear with the thud of a drum, and can be followed by many more – both covering the same reel or other reels. This can create a sudden burst of winning combinations seemingly from nowhere.
The bonus game is very similar, with the host introducing this. Instead of picking the individual tiles you will choose 4 of the question categories offered (from a total of 4). The tiles on these then all show in order, with some daily double symbols appearing too. When all the symbols are revealed, the doubles kick in and your total win is recalculated.
Of the two versions I do prefer the updated one – though the original 9 line game does still have some retro charm.
How does Jeopardy! Compare?
This slot has some stiff competition from the Wheel of Fortune games – which have the advantage of the wheel being a popular addition to slot games. I still thing Jeopardy! is worth a spin, especially for those who remember the heyday of the game show itself. While the features and on-reel extras are not exactly cutting edge, that famous IGT focus on playability and chance of big wins does make up for this.