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Secret Santa Pokies

This online pokie from Microgaming takes its name from the practice where a group of people each buy a present for each other, but no-one knows who bought what. While this is usually a good way to get rid of the socks that Auntie Jess bought you last year, the pokie is a far more rewarding experience as it offers 7 randomly-triggered bonus features and you never know when the next is about to be launched.

With 5 reels, a 1024 payline system and lots of festive symbols, it’s a pretty good quality game even when not in bonus mode, althoughthe Christmassy soundtrack may need switching off before it gets too annoying.

Playing At Secret Santa

A Christmas-themed pokie wouldn’t be complete without a generic image of snow-filled streets in some kind of Victorian setting, and Secret Santa sticks with tradition by having just such a scene as a backdrop to the reels.

To each side it highlights the 1024 Ways, which means there are no regular paylines and players get a win by having matching symbols stopping on adjacent reels running from the left side. To fit so many lines in, there are 4 rows across the reels, rather than the usual 3. This format also means that all positions are active at all times and there’s no option to activate just 1 or 2 lines.

It makes the minimum wager0.50, while the maximum that can be staked on a spin is 25.00 and once an amount is decided upon, players are good to go. They may want to check out the paytable however, just to see what they stand to win with each combination of the symbols.

The least valuable ones are the playing card suit symbols, club, diamond, hearts and spade, all of which have been given a bit of a 3D effect, while higher up we see Xmas puddings, a nicely decorated tree, the presents underneath it, a roast turkey, stockings and finally Santa himself.

The Secret Santa game logo acts as a wild symbol, substituting for all except the scatter to help complete winning lines, while the scatter symbol is a cracker and it will pay multiplies of the total bet rather than the line bet that the others are worth. It can also land in any positions to pay out a prize, but unusually, it’s not the trigger for any bonus rounds as in the true spirit of Secret Santa, these are mysteries that are awarded at random.

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Secret Santa

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Secret Santa
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Bonus Features

Secret Santa can deliver a total of 7 bonus features at any time, so in no particular order players can expect to receive the following.

Free spins, with all wins tripled in value, although the number that play outis pretty low, with only 5 spins awarded.

Wild Reels, where up to 3 reels are turned completely wild for some guaranteed payouts.

Wild Boost, which sees all examples of a randomly chosen symbol on the reels turned wild after a spin.

There’s a Mystery Multiplier that can boost the value of any win by 5x or even 10x.

Dashing Wilds sees up to 4 wild symbols pop up in positions that will ensure a payout.

In the Scatter Spree, any symbol that has at least 3 examples on the reels will act as a scatter and pay out multiples of the total bet, and this can go on for several spins.

Rolling Reels are featured in a number ofMicrogaming pokies and whenever a win is created, the symbols that are part of it will disappear, leaving spaces for new symbol to drop down into. If that makes up a second winning combination the value is doubled, and so on until potentially the maximum multiplier of 12x is hit.

5 Of A Kind isn’t a random bonus but is triggered when players get 5 of the same symbol right across the reels. Once the payout for that combination is awarded, the symbols will transform into a different type for a second prize.

The Verdict

Santa’s sack must have been exceptionally full when this pokie was created. Lucky old Santa, and lucky players, who get treated to a series of bonus rounds that will keep popping up and rewarding them with extra pressies.

It’s a good-looking game that’s sure to put players in a festive mood, in fact just about the only downside to Secret Santa is the very fact that it’s a seasonal game. Although it is available all year, most people will just stick to playing it in December, although some will surely try it and make it one of their favourites year round.

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