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Now that folks in Pennsylvania can finally play online slots legally, you can indulge in all the fast-paced excitement and adventure.
If you’re tired of playing the same old slots over and over again and you’re looking for a game that’s different, mesmerizing and thrilling, the slot game Siberian Storm may be calling your name.
Siberian Storm basics
Siberian Storm is a video slot by IGT with five reels and a whopping 720 ways to win. You can play the game at land-based and online casinos all over the world. In fact, it was initially developed in 2010 for land-based casinos, but because it was so popular, IGT released an online version in 2017.
One of the distinctive aspects of Siberian Storm that makes it different from other online slots is its unusual hexagonal shape.
Instead of the three rows on each reel that you are accustomed to seeing, reels one and five display three rows of symbols, reels two and four display four rows of symbols, and reel three, the middle reel, displays five rows of symbols.
Another unique, innovative feature of this game that contributes to its enormous popularity is the “Multiway Xtra” feature.
The vertical position doesn’t matter in determining winning combinations. Similar symbols only need to appear in adjacent reels, either from left to right, starting with reel one, or from right to left starting with reel five.
Three similar symbols will suffice. But, of course, you can have more than three, as well as multiple winning combinations simultaneously —the greater the number of symbols contributing to the win, the bigger the payout.
So, forget about traditional paylines and winning combinations that can only be formed when like symbols line up adjacently on consecutive reels, from left to right, starting with the reel furthest to the left.
The extra rows and the Multiway Xtra feature combined are what give Siberian Storm slot machine 720 ways to win on every spin, including occasional big payouts even in the base game. With so many possible winning combinations, the excitement never stops.
Step into a winter wonderland of white
White is the predominant color in Siberian Storm slots, both for the snow-filled setting in which the game takes place and the star of the show, the game’s wild symbol: the white Siberian tiger.
The reels, which are covered with ice, are set against a moonlit snowy woodland backdrop. It creates an eerie feeling even before you start spinning the reels and come face to face with treacherous tigers but a creepy looking tiger’s eye while a cinematic style soundtrack plays in the background.
Then, continue if you dare, but be forewarned. With every spin, you’re hoping that your bankroll will start moving in an upward direction rather than downward. But there is no guarantee.
This is not a game for the faint of heart or easily discouraged player. Huge rewards are possible, and they could be right around the corner. But probably not.
Siberian Storm bet size
When playing Siberian Storm slots for real money, the minimum coin size you can select is .01 while the maximum coin size varies depending on where you play (often $3 and, on some machines, as much as $10). However, the number of coins you must bet per spin is always preset at 50.
Therefore, your minimum bet per spin is 50 cents, and the maximum is 50x whatever the maximum coin size is.
On the other hand, if you decide to play the online game in demo mode, the minimum coin size $1, which makes the minimum bet per spin $50.
However, you only receive a bankroll of $1,000. So, if you try to play with a larger coin size, the highest you can go without exceeding your bankroll is $20.
During my experience playing in demo mode betting $50 per spin, I managed to avoid losing my entire bankroll, but I did come close before my luck turned around and I recouped.
Obviously, if you are playing this game for real money, you don’t want ever to come close to losing your entire stake. So, select your coin size with care.
Siberian Storm is primarily intended for high rollers and mid-range players rather than very small bettors (penny machine players) with limited bankrolls.
RTP and volatility
The published return to player (RTP) for the online slot Siberian Storm is 95%. This is a higher return than you will find on many other slots but, by no means, all Pennsylvania online slots.
The slot is also described as having medium volatility, although I am more inclined to rate the variance as at least medium-high.
Yes, you will hit winning combinations frequently, but in many instances, the wins don’t even come close to covering the bet size.
While you think you are winning, you are losing. There can be long runs of successive spins with small payouts or no payouts before that big hit finally comes that puts you back in the plus column.
Siberian Storm is the type of game where you can win big, but an adequate bankroll for the stakes you are playing and patience is a must. Also, once you’re ahead, try to quit. Your good luck won’t continue indefinitely.
Siberian Storm symbols
The highest paying of the regular symbols is the Siberian Storm logo. Five of them across the reels will pay 1,000 coins. The other regular symbols include an orange tiger, a white tiger, an emerald ring and other assorted jewels and relics, including a blue, purple and green tiger’s claw.
Siberian Storm features three special symbols, namely wild symbols, scatter symbols and bonus symbols.
Here’s what you need to know about each particular symbol.
The wild symbol is a white Siberian tiger with the word “wild” printed on it. This symbol can only appear on reels two, three and four.
However, it will substitute for any other symbol except the scatter symbol or bonus symbol to help form or add to winning combinations. The wild symbol can appear either singly or as a stacked wild, with increased win potential.
Don’t confuse this symbol with the unmarked white tiger, a regular symbol that can appear on any reel.
Unfortunately, in this game, the wild symbol doesn’t act as a win multiplier as it does in some slots. But it can still create some big wins, especially when it shows up as a stack of wilds.
The scatter symbol in the Siberian Storm slot is easy to recognize. It has the word “scatter” on it.
If three or more scatter symbols land anywhere on the reels, you’re an immediate winner:
- Three scatter symbols pay 2x your total bet.
- Four scatter symbols pay 10x your total bet.
- Five scatter symbols pay 50x your total bet.
The bonus symbol in the Siberian Storm slot machine is the tiger’s eye.
If five or more tiger’s eye symbols land across all five reels simultaneously, you win 50x your bet instantly. You also trigger the free spins bonus round described below.
Free spins bonus feature
Whereas some online slots offer multiple types of bonuses, Siberian Storm only provides one. That is the free spins bonus feature that is awarded to you when all five reels display the tiger’s eye scatter symbol simultaneously.
The number of free spins you receive depends on the total number of tiger’s eye symbols that show up on the triggering spin. At the very least, you will receive eight free spins. That’s if the minimum of five tiger’s eye symbols appear.
However, you could receive many more than that — up to 96 free spins initially.
The free spins can also be retriggered multiple times if the tiger’s eye symbols land on all of the reels during any of the free spins.
Altogether, up to 240 consecutive free spins are possible.
The free spins take place on a new set of reels but with the same symbols found in the base game. However, on the free spins, the wild symbol tiger is amber rather than white and the tiger’s eye bonus symbol is gold rather than blue.
Payouts are calculated based on the same coin size and bet size as in the spin that triggered the free spins.
Retriggering the free spins, especially more than once, might be a huge longshot, but I would have to disagree with those reviewers who think that the initial round of free spins is also hard to trigger.
In all three sessions playing Siberian Storm for free, I triggered the free spins bonus round fairly quickly. In the third session, I was awarded 16 free spins rather than a minimum of eight.
How much can you win playing Siberian Storm?
The manufacturer has dubbed Siberian Storm as a “payout beast.” It could be, but Siberian Storm is a game where you probably have to bet big to win big.
In real life, the white tiger is a creature you would never want to encounter, and the tiger’s eye is also a scary sight. But in this game, as the wild and bonus symbols, respectively, with a big enough bet and Lady Luck on your side, they could pay off handsomely.
IGT has released a sequel to Siberian Storm that has a progressive jackpot, but the original version covered in this review offers neither a progressive jackpot nor a fixed jackpot. Mind-boggling wins are still possible, though.
The highest paying symbol is the Siberian Storm logo, returning 1,000 coins if five of them land simultaneously across the reels. If that should happen on a maximum size bet of $150, it’s a payout of $150,000.
But, of course, you might have other winning combinations at the same time, in which case the total payout would be even higher.
Stacked wilds and free spins can also augment your wins in a big way. If you’re only awarded eight free spins, you are likely to win 10x-20x your bet size per spin.
However, if you’re fortunate and retrigger the free spins multiple times, you could win as much as 500x your bet size per spin.
How I fared paying Siberian Storm in demo mode
I don’t have the kind of bankroll to bet $50 per spin with real money and ordinarily wouldn’t bet that much with play money either with a starting bankroll of only $1,000. But in this game, I had no choice. Here are my results for my three playing sessions.
Session 1: +$130
My $1,000 stake was down to a disappointing $535 when I triggered the bonus round and was awarded eight free spins. After winning $495 on the free spins, I was still down $30. The next dozen or so spins were inconsequential but more down than up. Finally, a single spin payout of $375 put me ahead by $130.
Session 2: Even
This time my starting stake was down to a measly $365 (seven bets away from being tapped out) when the free spins bonus round saved the day. During my eight free spins, I won $635, so I ended the session exactly even.
Session 3: +$950
My third session wound up being, by far, the most profitable but also the most volatile. After a very rocky start, by the time I triggered the free spins, my starting stake of $1,000 had dwindled to $150. But instead of only being awarded eight spins, I was awarded 16 and that made all the difference. During the free spins, I won $1,800. So, instead of being $850 down, I ended the session $950 ahead.
Is Siberian Storm the right slot game for you?
Based on these experiences, you can see why I believe that Siberian Storm should be considered a high-variance game rather than a medium-variance game. As for whether or not you can weather the storm, or even try, that depends on your bankroll, playing style and what you are looking for in an online slot game. To help you decide, I am summarizing this game’s pros and cons below.
- Innovative, action-packed slot game by one of the top makers of online slots.
- It provides 720 ways to win.
- The slot looks different and pays out differently from most other slots.
- It offers stacked wilds and free spins, with the potential for big payouts.
- Great game for high rollers.
- It may be too risky for players with small bankrolls.
- Small base game payouts, making you think you’re winning when you’re not.
- Muddled theme
- Soundtrack a bit overdramatic when you only win small amounts.
- There is only one type of bonus feature.
- No jackpot
In short, Siberian Storm isn’t for everyone. But if you have the bankroll and temperament to withstand what could be rough going at times, why not give it a try? At the very least, the wild and exciting rollercoaster ride will provide you with thrills and chills. More importantly, you could wind up a big winner.
By the way, experienced slot players who so desire can take their Siberian Storm adventures to the next level with Siberian Slot Dual Play with either 1,440 or 2,880 ways to win, or MegaJackpots Siberian Storm!