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Grand Bazaar Pokie Machine

Set in a big Arabian marketplace, Grand Bazaar is a colourful pokie from Ainsworth and comes in a 5 reel, 3 row format with 100 lines running across it.

Surprisingly few pokies have a Middle Eastern theme and this one does it in style, with well-designed images of the sort of goods traditionally associated with bazaars, like pointy shoes, musical instruments, jewellery and even a lantern that could grant the wishes of players hoping for a big win.

While the normal run of play sees these symbols and the high card icons lining up, there are a couple of extra features, such as wild substitutions and scatter wins, along with a free spins game where wilds hang around on the reels for more and more potential payouts as the game progress.

So, let’s board a magic carpet and head East to see what mysteries await in the Grand Bazaar.

Entering The Grand Bazaar

A simple image of the indoor marketplace sits behind the reels, setting the theme up, but not being too distracting. What’s more important are the symbols and how much they are worth, as well as the control buttons that give players their betting options.

The minimum stake needed to get the reels spinning is just 0.01, although only a single line out of 100 will be active, so a 1.00 is usually seen as the practical minimum, while bets can go all the way up to 75.00 per spin for those with bigger bankrolls.

Landing 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols across an active line running left to right will return wins of 5x, 10x or 50x the line bet for the 9 and 10 playing card symbols. The J, Q, K and A are worth 5x, 20x or 75x, with picture symbols paying out the higher value prizes.

Those prizes are topped by the hanging lights which are valued at 20x, 100x or 200x for lines of 3, 4 or 5, and then there’s wild and scatter symbols to trigger the extra features.

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Grand Bazaar

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Grand Bazaar
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Bazaar Bonuses

The game title acts as the wild symbol, so it will substitute for any other, apart from the scatter, to help complete winning lines, appearing stacked on each reel when it turns up to improve the chance of completing a line or two. It will only land on reels 3, 4 and 5 however, so can’t make up a line on its own.

A pair of hands holding precious jewels is the scatter symbol in this pokie, and it can turn up in any 3, 4 or 5 positions, without needing to be on a line to pay out 2x, 10x or even 100x the total stake per spin respectively.

This symbol will also unlock the main bonus feature of the Grand Bazaar, with 8 free spins triggered. During these games, there’s a couple of differences that can lead to more frequent wins, although the value of each symbol combination is slightly reduced, so overall, players won’t be seeing a significant improvement on their winnings.

The scatter symbol becomes an extra wild in the bonus game and while it only appears on the middle reel, it will be replaced by normal wilds for any remaining spins. If 2 or more scatters appear, there’s an extra free spin added to any remaining ones, and if the Grand Bazaar wild stops on the middle reel and completes a combination at any point in the free games, the value of the win will be randomly multiplied by either 2x or 3x.

This multiplier will stay in effect for any spins left to play out, so the earlier it occurs, the better it is for players. Having said that, it’s not guaranteed to turn up at all, so it’s best to just see it as a potential bonus, not a certain one.

The Verdict

Assuming players like the overall theme, then Grand Bazaar looks quite nice and has some souk-related images to fill much of the reels. There’s a decent bet range, (although having to stake 1.00 to activate all the lines may put off some people), and with so many paylines, there’s lots of opportunities to land wins across the reels.

It’s a shame that Ainsworth have taken to haggling over the value of symbols in the bonus game however, as it initially appears to be a rewarding round with some nice extra features. But once players realise that they won’t actually be earning much more in the free spins, it takes a bit of the shine off.

At least those wins could come even more frequently, as the stacked and sticky wilds on the middle reels can help to complete lots of lines, making this a decent game overall.

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