Goldbeard is a part of Realtime Gaming’s Real Series of online slot games. This title uses the typical Real Series setup, with five reels and twenty paylines. The main features of the game are a Free Spins feature and the use of stacked wild symbols on three of the reels.
The theme of the game is pretty weak. There is no story, per se, since there are no video scenes or bonus rounds with which to tell a story. The theme is pretty much “Pirates,” and not even pirates from one specific era or mythos. The symbols are the typical Real Series symbols, with some featuring the trappings of the pirate lifestyle (gold, skulls, etc.), and the Goldbeard symbol, which acts as the game’s free spins trigger symbol and stacked wild symbol.
Coins Range:$0.01 to $100
Free Spins/Multiplier Better:Yes / 5x
I don’t want to overlook the existence of the game’s Random Jackpot, which at the time I tested Goldbeard was around $4,500. Players are eligible to win the random prize on every spin in which all twenty lines are activated, which is a nice incentive to bet maximum for players who normally don’t.
But I do think it’s odd that RTG doesn’t refer to this as a progressive jackpot. I couldn’t find any information on the subject, but I imagine it’s because the jackpot isn’t technically progressive in the sense that it isn’t drawn equally from a larger pool of player wagers. But that’s just one man’s opinion.
My main complaints about Goldbeard are the same as my problems with all the Real Series titles. They have such similar gameplay, it can be boring to play a series of them. But as a one-off game with a really wide selection of available stakes (not to mention a free spins feature and stacked wild system), it offers a decent amount of entertainment. In the hour I spent playing (on a free-play account), I saw some decent jackpots and triggered the free spins feature twice, but I just didn’t enjoy the game all that much.
Let’s take a closer look at the game’s features.
Typical Real Series denominations are available: $0.01 through $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, $1, $2.50, and $5 per line. Since the game makes as many as twenty paylines available, total bet size varies from a penny up to $100 per spin. That amount of bet variety is one of the best features of RTG’s Goldbeard slot and many of the games in the Real Series.
For example, I don’t have a huge bankroll, but I don’t like playing for micro-stakes, either. I’m comfortable at around ten cents per line, which because I bet maximum lines on every spin means a total outlay of $2 per outcome on Goldbeard. Though I wasn’t playing with real money, I wondered what my expected losses would be.
Unfortunately, RTG (like many casino game designers) is not exactly forthcoming about the actual theoretical payout percentages of their slot games. Even if they were, a player could never be sure what that percentage was at a given casino, because RTG allows casinos to tailor games to their needs, adjusting percentages and pay tables and the like to alter the game’s odds.
I was able to find a few reviews of the title that included theoretical payout percentages, but nothing authoritative and no consistent number. Because we don’t know anything about how much the game is set to theoretically pay back to the customer, I can’t really come up with a figure for how much it costs me to play an hour of this somewhat mediocre title. I averaged 180 spins every twenty minutes, so you have to figure at $2 a spin I’d be wagering $1,080 per hour of play. Let’s say the payout percentage is 97% (about average for Real Series games), I’d expect to lose around $33 an hour. That’s not awful, but it’s not great. Please remember, it’s based on a guesstimated percentage as well.
Not counting the already-discussed Random Jackpot situation, the top fixed prize for Goldbeard is worth 5,000 coins, or as much as $25,000 depending on the player’s chosen denomination. This prize comes from lining up five Ship symbols on any active line from left to right while at least one Goldbeard scatter symbol appears on any other position.
There are no bonus games, but there are some features worth describing.
The game’s wild symbol (which acts as a stacked wild) appears on just three reels out of a possible five, and one of those is only active some of the time. The pirate Goldbeard appears only on the first and fifth reels, with a chance for him to appear on the third reel during the free spins feature described bellowed. He substitutes for any symbol (except the coin symbol – more on that later). All winnings in which Goldbeard appears are automatically multiplied by two.
About that coin symbol – it is a type of scatter symbol but instead of triggering a bonus round or free game feature, it creates winning combinations that are multiplied by the size of the wager. It sounds way more complicated than it really is.
The free spin feature is the closest thing to a traditional bonus game found on RTG’s Goldbeard slot. Triggering free spins requires the appearance of a Goldbeard symbol on both the first and fifth reels on an active line. What’s neat about this feature is that the pirate Goldbeard symbol can appear on the third reel only during the free spins, which means your chances of re-triggering the prize increase. All winnings on free spins are tripled.
RTG is good at creating easy-to-access and simple games, just like Goldbeard and the others in the Real Series. These games translate well to mobile displays because of their simplicity. They are not all that attractive, but at the mobile casinos and apps that incorporate them, they’re simple time-wasters that some people go absolutely nuts for.
I personally won’t play Goldbeard ever again – the hour I spent testing and reviewing the game was enough for me. If you’re a fan of Real Series titles, you’ll like this one. I will say that it’s nice to find a Real Series game with things like stacked wilds and scatter symbols, and not just a free spin feature.