Aristocrat, one of the largest slots developers in the world, has successfully translated their popular 5 Dragons land-based slot into an online version with the same look, feel, and sound as the Vegas-style original. Fans are sure to appreciate the Chinese dragon theme, game design, and bonus features.
|Number of paylines:||243|
|Game theme:||Dragons, Chinese symbols|
|Min/Max bet:||$0.25 / $30.00 in free mode|
|Maximum standard win:||$800 in free play mode|
Theme and visuals
The Chinese dragon symbols claim the highest payout values on the reels. Green dragon symbols are wild and breathe fire when part of a winning combination, and different-colored dragons guide the free spins bonus games, awarding wild multipliers.
Dragons are accompanied by other traditional Chinese symbols representing strength, good luck, and prosperity, including gold koi, gold turtles, lucky coins, and red envelopes. Playing card symbols (nines, tens, jacks, queens, kings, and aces) are the lowest value symbols on the reels.
The bold, red reels are very colorful, and the graphics are crisp and complemented by some basic animations. The background is a bit abstract, but it could be interpreted as stylized blue ocean waves and a swirling purple sky.
The background and reel structure remain static throughout the game. The free spins bonus games are played on the same reels as the base game.
Betting options and paying combinations
The game is played on five reels with “243 ways to win,” which cannot be changed. Aristocrat’s “reel power” feature uses “ways to win” instead of standard win lines, where matching symbols can sit anywhere on adjacent reels to create winning combinations.
Variables include four different bet levels to choose from, with one, two, five, or ten credits per spin. Coin value options in free play mode include $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, and $0.10.
You can also choose to bet 25 coins (the “5 Reels” bet) or 30 coins (the “5 Reels +Extra” bet) per spin. Minimum and maximum bets range from $0.25 to $2.50 for the “5 Reels” bet, and $3.00 to $30.00 for the “5 Reels + Extra” bet, which can award free spins.
The in-game paytable represents payout values for one-credit bets only. The paytable is not dynamic, so you must multiply the values on the paytable by two, five, or ten (credits) to get the payout values for higher bet levels.
The payouts for regular symbol combinations range from $0.05 to $8.00 with a one-credit bet at a one-cent coin value and $5 to $800 with a ten-credit bet at a ten-cent coin value.
As with other Aristocrat slots, instead of an autoplay function that runs a set number of spins, there is an autostart button that triggers auto spins that run indefinitely until the auto start button is clicked again. This can be inconvenient, and the auto-spins in this game can go fast, making it difficult to see how many credits you actually won on a spin.
The return-to-player (RTP) percentage for this game is 95.17%, which is slightly above average compared to other Aristocrat slot games.
What jackpots are available?
There are no random jackpots, minimum/maximum payout jackpots, or progressive jackpots. The free spins feature can pay out big, but you may find 5 Dragons disappointing if you are a jackpot enthusiast.
Additional features and bonuses
Although not as feature-rich as more cutting-edge slots, 5 Dragons offers a variety of special features, including free spins and multipliers in your choice of five different games.
1. Wild dragon symbols
Dragon symbols are wild in the base game and in the free spins bonus feature. In the bonus game, wild dragon symbols also award multipliers when they are part of a winning combination.
2. Scatter symbols
Scatter symbols (lucky coins) can trigger the 5 Dragons feature, which awards free spins and multipliers. At least three scatter symbols must land on adjacent reels (reels one, two, and three), starting on the leftmost reel (reel one), to trigger the bonus game. This can potentially make it harder to hit compared to slots where scatter symbols anywhere on the reels trigger the bonus features.
3. 5 Dragons feature (free spins bonus game)
This eponymous bonus feature offers you a choice of five different dragon bonus games. Each game is represented by a different colored dragon and awards a different number of free spins and multipliers. Choose more free spins with smaller multipliers, or fewer free spins with bigger multipliers:
- White dragon game: 20 free spins (25 w/ +Extra bet) and 2x, 3x, or 5x multipliers applied to all (white dragon) wild symbol wins
- Red dragon game: 15 free spins (20 w/ +Extra bet) and 3x, 5x, or 8x multipliers applied to all (red dragon) wild symbol wins
- Black dragon game: ten free spins (15 w/ +Extra bet) and 5x, 8x, or 10x multipliers applied to all (black dragon) wild symbol wins
- Blue dragon game: eight free spins (13 w/ +Extra bet) and 8x, 10x, or 15x multipliers applied to all (blue dragon) wild symbol wins
- Yellow dragon game: five free spins (ten w/ +Extra bet) and 10x, 15x, or 30x multipliers applied to all (yellow dragon) wild symbol wins
The bonus game can be retriggered, and the new bonus game will start after the triggering game ends. You will get to again choose which of the five different bonus games you want to play before the new game starts.
4. +Extra bet
Click the “5 Reels +Extra” option to play with an extra bet of five coins per spin. If the 5 Dragons bonus feature is triggered while you are playing with the “5 Reels +Extra” stake, you’ll get five extra free spins.
5. Bonus prize
During the 5 Dragons bonus feature game, the red envelope symbol can award bonus prizes of two, five, ten, 15, 20, or 50 credits that will be multiplied by the number of credits you were playing with on the triggering spin.
6. Gamble feature
After a winning spin, you can choose to keep or gamble your winnings, including your total wins from the 5 Dragons feature. Bet on the color of a facedown card to double your winnings, or bet on the suit of the card to quadruple your winnings. Collect your winnings or continue to gamble your new total balance up to a maximum of five times. If you guess wrong, you lose the total gamble amount.
Who is this game ideal for?
Low limits, simple bonus features, and straightforward gameplay make this slot a good match for low-budget, penny-slots players and beginning or intermediate players. It can also appeal to those who appreciate faithful online versions of land-based casino slots.
If you’re looking for cutting-edge slots that are packed with interactive bonus features and rich animations, this is not the game for you.
Similar games from Aristocrat
Aristocrat offers a variety of similar Chinese-dragon-themed games in their slots portfolio, including Choy Sun Doa and 50 Dragons.
Choy Sun Doa (God of Wealth) features a similar Chinese dragon theme, lucky Chinese symbols, and bonus features that include five different bonus games from which to choose. Unlike 5 Dragons, you can also choose how many reels (and ways to win) you want to play, and the +Extra bet is not available.
In 50 Dragons, there is also a similar Chinese theme and good fortune symbols. Instead of choosing from five different bonus games, the 50 Dragons bonus game automatically awards ten free spins with extra wilds added to the reels. Plus, payouts are based on standard win lines instead of Aristocrat’s “reel power” ways to win.
Bonus game options: Five different bonus games offer a variety of free spin and multiplier game options to choose from that appeal to different playing styles. Wins can add up fast during the free spins, thanks to wild multipliers, retriggers, and bonus prizes.
+Extra feature: A small, extra wager gives you the potential for big returns when five extra free spins are added to the free spins bonus game.
Low betting options: The game is great for penny-slots and low-budget players.
Easy to play: Features and betting options are simple and straightforward.
No jackpots: This is disappointing if you are looking for jackpot-sized wins.
Glitchy gameplay: The reels can be glitchy, even when you play on a fast Wi-Fi connection.
Limited bonus features: An offering of only one bonus game type and no interactive bonus features may not satisfy you if you are looking for feature-rich games.
Limited customization: The credit value, number of active reels, and number of “win lines” can’t be changed.
Basic animations: Animations are not as advanced as in more cutting-edge slots.
In-game instructions: The +Extra feature is not included in the in-game paytable or explained elsewhere in the game, so you can’t easily learn about this useful feature that awards extra free spins.
Fast autoplay: The spins run too fast for our taste, and the win totals and win announcements are hard to see. For bigger wins, the win counter is often still running when the next spin starts, and the win numbers are wiped from the screen before the total win is displayed.
Gamble feature: The on-screen notifications and wins for the gamble feature are subtle and easy to miss compared to those found in other online slots games.
- Graphics and design – 2.5/5: This online adaptation of the popular 5 Dragons console game is true to its roots. Compared to other online slots, however, we give it a solid average rating. The graphics and design are not memorable, but it is more advanced than some of Aristocrat’s other casino slots.
- Sound effects – 2.5/5: The sound effects are authentic casino slot console sounds, with some traditional Chinese music occasionally thrown in for atmosphere. Sound effects are minimal, but some sounds can be jarring, particularly the loud buzzer that rings when the bonus feature is triggered.
- Jackpot value – N/A: There are no jackpot options in this game.
- Replay value – 2.5/5: We’re giving this average game an average replay rating. We don’t see any compelling reasons to stay away but also no “wow” factors enticing us to come back for more.