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One of the most interesting things about NJ online slot games is that there are some games that are better suited to smaller stakes players, offering low risk, high reward games.
And there are a smaller number of games that are better suited to players who like to bet more per spin and perhaps win larger amounts more often. These games are rare, so when you come across one like the Western Belles slot, you do tend to take notice.
The game is based, as the name suggests, on a number of leggy pin-up ladies that are all dressed on a western theme.
It all sounds rather simple, but the beauty of the Western Belles slot is that you can play it as a one, 10, 20 or 40 payline slot, or you can pay a hefty premium (of 160 coins!) and play 40 lines plus a special feature called a Wild Reel.
Let’s take a closer look at how this slot plays out in more detail.
Overview: Western Belles
Western Belles is a 5×4 reel slot by IGT that allows players to select from a predetermined number of paylines: one, 10, 20 or 40.
Additionally, you can elect to play 40 paylines with a Wild Reel feature. This latter feature is the most lucrative option, but also the most expensive costing a total of 200 coins per spin.
Five times the cost of playing 40 paylines alone is a hefty price to pay for a feature. The question is, is it worth it?
Well, having tried this slot with a different number of paylines in play, my unequivocal answer to that is yes it most certainly is, provided you prefer more volatile slot games that offer bigger payouts for a greater risk per spin.
If that isn’t your thing, then playing 40 paylines is a better choice for you. But there’s no doubting that the slot is so much more exciting when played with the Wild Reel function in operation.
Who will the Western Belles slot appeal to?
The stylized Western Belles of the slot are not modern pin-up ladies but instead hark back to the 1940s and 1950s and as such, it is a somewhat retro-feeling slot.
This is enhanced by the way the symbols are designed on the reels. While the setup of the slot isn’t retro at all, the look of it is and this means that retro lovers, as well as hot-blooded slots fans will certainly flock to the game.
While this is a game that both lower stakes and higher stakes players can enjoy, there’s no doubt that the real value and thrill comes from wagering 200 coins per spin and having the Wild Reel in operation.
That does mean big risks and big rewards are available on each spin and as such, only players that enjoy and are comfortable with this form of wagering should really give this feature of the slot a try.
Where to play the Western Belles slot online in NJ
Otherwise, this game is also carried at the following sites:
Gameplay: Western Belles
The first thing to note before you start the Western Belles slot is the decision on whether or not you should pay the lofty premium to have the Wild Reel feature in play.
That does push the cost of a spin up from 40 coins to 200 coins, but in my view, having trialled each different type of payline game, the Wild Reel makes the game far more captivating and potentially, far more rewarding.
If you select the Wild Reel feature, then what happens is that on every spin you are guaranteed that one of the 5×4 reels on the slot will turn entirely wild.
This of course helps create winning paylines and means that you will hit far more winning spins than you would otherwise, but the value of these wins can be hugely variable from wins that do not cover your bet, to wins amounting to vastly more.
The other thing to consider when you make this decision is the standard wild symbols, which are the lipstick kiss symbol.
These can and do frequently appear stacked on the reels. When you have the Wild Reel feature landing in conjunction with stacked Wilds, you can land some truly massive wins in the base game.
That means that although you can play Western Belles more cheaply, the optimal way to play is using the Wild Reel feature.
When you do, you find you have the usual playing card low symbols (nine through to ace) and a cowboy boot and hat plus a number of sexy Western Belle pin up girls as the higher value symbols. The lipstick kiss wild is the highest paying symbol in the base game offering 1000 coins for a five of a kind payout on a payline.
Both Reel Wild and lipstick wild substitute for all high and low value symbols in the base game and during free spins. It is by using these two features in conjunction, especially when stacked on the reels, that some of the biggest wins on the Western Belles slot become possible.
The other feature of note on the reel is the bonus symbol which can appear anywhere across the reels, including in front of wild symbols. Land three of these on reels 2, 3, and 4 and you trigger the free spins bonus round.
During free spins you receive five free spins. But if you are playing with the Wild Reel, the great news is that for every free spin you receive two Wild Reels instead of one.
This greatly increases your chances of a bigger win and means that wins in the free spins round, even though it is short, can prove to be extremely valuable.
A word of warning, however: While Western Belles can be extremely rewarding if you get it running hot, it can also be very expensive to play at 200 coins when the spins run cold.
This is a higher volatility slot when played at 200 coins, so good bankroll management is essential to get the best from this hugely enjoyable slot.
Special features: Western Belles
Free spins bonus
Land three of the bonus symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4 and you win five free spins, which can be re-triggered during the free spins bonus round.
Furthermore, if you are playing with the Wild Reel activated, then you receive two Wild Reels for every free spin, radically increasing your chances of a bigger win.
During the base game and during free spins, the standard wild symbol, the lipstick kiss, is stacked across the reels.
This allows you to create multiple winning paylines when you can land them on the first two or three reels in particular.
Play for 200 coins per spin and you can have the Wild Reel activated on every spin. This randomly turns one entire reel wild per spin and during free spins, means you have two reels entirely wild.
Choice of paylines
One nice touch of the Western Belles slot is that if you want to wager less per spin and not have the Wild Reel active, you can do so. The cost per spin is radically reduced if you play one, 10, 20, or 40 free spins.
The stacked lipstick kiss wilds are hugely important in both the base game and free spins round as they often combine to create the largest wins possible in both rounds, especially when the Wild Reel option is being used.
Wild Reel feature
The Wild Reel feature really does turn a rather standard slot into something special with the chance to win vast amounts of money. It does come at a cost though, increasing the size of your wager by 5x, but get lucky and it can be well worth it.
If there’s one disappointment with Western Belles is that there aren’t any multiplier options in the game. This does mean that to win big, you need to trigger multiple paylines using Wild Reel and stacked wilds.
Only five free spins
The free spins round takes a bit of patience to trigger and when you do, you only receive five free spins initially.
However, if you have Wild Reels in operation this is offset somewhat by having two instead of one Wild Reel in play on the reels during the bonus feature.
Very expensive to play optimally
To get the best out of Western Belles, you really must have the Wild Reel feature in play. That means even playing for $0.01 per payline, it is $2.00 per spin.
That can be a lot of money for smaller stakes players but the rewards on offer make this risk worth it in my view.
Graphics and soundtrack: 3/5
The vintage styling of the pin-up ladies in Western Belles makes this a more tasteful appreciation of the female form than it could have been. The soundtrack is also well-executed and accompanies the on screen action quite nicely.
Originality and creativity: 4/5
The Wild Reel feature is a massive innovation. It is expensive to have in play, but without, this slot is nowhere near as appealing or exciting and the chance of bigger wins is far more remote.
Play value: 2/5
The high cost to play with the Wild Reel slot makes this a spendy slot to play, especially at higher coin values.
Add to that some volatility and you can quickly run out of cash if you don’t budget effectively.
Jackpot potential: 4/5
Although the individual payline wins are not huge on Western Belles, the fact that through the Wild Reel and stacked wild features you can trigger multiple paylines in a single spin really does increase the potential win value and jackpot potential of the game considerably.
Repeat play: 4/5
If you play Western Belles without the Wild Reel feature activated then this would only be a 2/5 scoreline. With it, it makes the slot so much more exhilarating and volatile.
You will certainly be coming back for more if you try the Wild Reel feature.
Total score: 17/25
Western Belles is a real gem of a slot. To enjoy it fully, you do need to wager the full 200 coins.
Despite the expense, it really is worth it for the Wild Reel feature which lifts the slot well above the average.