Sports have been enjoyed by people for thousands of years, making them an ancient kind of entertainment. Despite the fact that we’ve come a long way from chariot races and gladiator fights, we still like watching teams and athletes go head-to-head in sports like football, hockey, basketball, and others.
Given this, it’s not surprising that slot machine creators have mined sports for a wide variety of themes. Unfortunately, the scope of this article prevents us from delving deeply into this widely read genre, but we can at least put you in the direction of four of our favorites to get you started…
Since ice hockey is one of Canada’s most popular pastimes, we’ll kick things off with Hockey League. This was launched by Pragmatic Play at the close of 2015, and it captures the excitement of attending a live game perfectly. You’ll hear everything from cheers and chants from the crowd to the clatter of sticks and booming fanfares while you perform.
The 10 through A ranks of playing cards, as well as two hockey players, a goalie, and a referee, are represented on the game’s five reels. A puck serves as a scatter and a League Cup functions as a wild in this game.
When you get three or more scatters, you’ll enter the Most Valuable Player bonus round and receive ten free games. In this bonus round, a character icon is chosen at random to act as a scatter, paying out when three or more appear anywhere on the reels.
In 2015, Microgaming unveiled a slot machine called Basketball Star, which features five reels and takes you to the center of the action. A tabletop game, beverages bottles, a pair of basketball shoes, a medal, and five various scenes of players in action all appear on the reels, and there are 243 possibilities to win with each spin.
The Basketball Star logo serves as a wild, and it can appear stacked on reels three, four, and five up to a maximum of 40 times. As an added bonus, the middle three reels can all become wild at once thanks to the Wild Shot feature, which can be randomly activated. Three, four, or five of the basketball scatter symbols anywhere on the reels trigger 15, 20, or 25 free games, respectively.
This game has a feature called Rolling Reels, which gets rid of winning symbols to create room for new ones. That not only increases your odds of winning many times in a single spin, but it can also help you rack up a multiplier in the Free Spins bonus round that can go as high as 10x.
Although we no longer go to the Roman arenas to see gladiators battle to the death, we still like watching combatants square off in the boxing ring. Knockout Diamonds, developed by ELK Studios and released at the end of 2020, positions a traditional three-reel slot machine in close proximity to the boxing ring.
We weren’t kidding when we said this was a throwback — there’s only one pay line and no boxers to be seen on these reels. The Knockout Diamonds logo, cherries, single, double, and triple BARs, bells, red 7, and a WILD are the substitute icons. When Multiplier Wilds show up, they increase your win by a factor of 2 or 3, respectively.
If you get matching sets on reels one and two, you’ll get to participate in a Ringside Rumble. This will trigger a three-reel respin bonus on the third reel and lock the first two.
If you land three of the Knockout Diamonds bonus symbols anywhere on the pay lines, you’ll be taken to the Knockout Spins bonus game. You’ll get three free spins at first, and those spins will be reset to three if you get a winning combination or extra bonus symbols on the active pay line during your free games. For the maximum payout of 2,500 times your wager, you need to land ten bonus symbols.
This game has all the excitement of a boxing match without the actual fighters. Excellent crowd noises, rock music, commentary, and the sound of landed blows complement the more mechanical slot effects brilliantly.