The recent thawing of relations between the US and Cuba have seen this Caribbean island hit the headlines. In casinos throughout the country, a Bally slot has been offering that Cuban experience for many years. Havana Cubana is a 5 reel video slot with a distinctive look and some entertaining additions to regular slot gameplay. You’ll get a free spins game, which is pretty much standard these days – adding in a ‘directional wild’ symbol (which can fill up the screen with wilds which stay in place while the spins are ongoing) is a great addition.
Bally slots are known for their solid game-play, which is based on decades of experience as one of the top live slot makers. You can now also enjoy Havana Cubana online – though you will need to be in a country or jurisdiction where online gaming is approved to reach this.
What you will be counting on with all Bally slots for the bigger wins is to hit several lines at a time. Individually, the payouts are smaller, and with 40 lines in play and wild symbols on the reels – you will often bet 4, 5 or even more prizes from a single spin.
This is helped on Havana Cubana by the compass symbol. This will spin when it hits, and whichever direction it points in will be filled with wild symbols. If you are lucky you can get a lot of extra wilds this way (for example going corner to corner through the 4 rows of the slot). These combine with any regular wilds which hit during that spin too – creating even more wins.
The biggest prizes come during the free spins bonus game. You will need to hit 3 free games symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 in order to trigger this. You get 5 free spins only, though you can still win big with the help of the directional wilds becoming sticky. The compass only lands on the 3rd reel during this feature. If it gives wilds in a diagonal direction, these stay wild for the remaining spins. If the direction is horizontal or vertical then you still get wilds – though these are for the current spin only.
By the time you get to the 5th spin you will sometimes have a lot of coverage of sticky wilds – this is where the extra big wins will come from.
This game has 4 rows of symbol and 5 lines, and uses a (fixed) 40 win-line system. You can spin from just 40c, with a huge maximum bet amount of $400 per spin. You’ll find auto-play available; this can be set for up to 25 spins and will stop if you trigger the bonus feature.
Symbols on the reels are very much the Cuban clichés. You’ll find the obligatory cigars (two types in fact), rum and mojito cocktails. There are also maracas, bringing the Latin music to mind, along with a set of dominoes. The biggest wins come from lining up the symbols of the Latino lady, these will bring you 7.5x your total bet each time – with extra wilds in play you have the possibility to hit several of these at once.
There is not too much in the way of Cuban sound effects for this game, with the backing sounds for wins coming from the standard Bally audio library instead. There are some animations within the symbols; these are fairly basic, for example moving maracas or glowing lines around the lady. Keeping things simple seems to work for this slot, which maintains an uncluttered feeling.
Whether Cuban-themed games will maintain their allure once people are able to travel there freely remains to be seen. It may be that we will see a surge in slots themed like this one. I like the graphics on Havana Cubana (the header logo is the highlight). The only feature of note is the compass which gives you extra wilds in whichever direction it ends up pointing. This is welcome during regular play, though really comes into its own during the free spins bonus round. With the wilds it produces ‘sticky’, you can accumulate some big wins – especially in the last couple of spins.
This slot is bound to have its fans – especially among those Vegas casino gamblers who enjoy a little Latin spice in their lives.