Buffalo, a popular slot game you can find on casino floors worldwide, is one of the flagship, classic games from Australian developer Aristocrat. After Buffalo was released in 2008, a variety of Buffalo spin-off games have graced casino floors, including Buffalo Deluxe, Buffalo Gold, Buffalo Grand, and Buffalo Diamond.
Aristocrat has also transformed the original game into this online slot that is an exact replica of the land-based version.
|Number of paylines:||1,024 ways to win|
|Game theme:||Buffalo, Wild West|
|Min/Max bet:||$0.01/$40 in free
|Coin denominations:||$0.01 - $0.10|
|Maximum standard win:||$300|
Theme and visuals
When stacked buffalo symbols “stampede” across the reels in the online game, they elicit a “Buffalo!” call like the one you may have heard echoing across casino floors.
Buffalos are the only stacked symbol on these reels, and chances are when you see one, you will see more. Hope for a herd, as buffalo are the most valuable symbols on the reels. Spins where stacked buffalo symbols land on multiple reels can pay out big.
Despite these perks, individual winning combinations don’t pay as high as in other Aristocrat slots. For example, the highest paying combination in Buffalo is 300 coins for five buffalo symbols. Compare this to 50 Dragons, which pays 1,000 coins for five golden dragon symbols (both on a one-credit bet).
Other powerful Great Plains animals like bald eagles, mountain lions, wolves, and elk accompany the mighty buffalo on the reels. Five bald eagle or mountain lion symbols pay 150 coins on a one-credit bet, and five wolf or elk symbols pay 120 coins.
Playing card symbols ranging from nines up to aces pay out 100 coins for five-of-a-kind combinations with a one-coin bet. As the lowest value symbol on the reels, three nines only pay out two credits.
Western sunset symbols are wild and also award multipliers during the free spins bonus game. Free spins are triggered by gold coin scatter symbols. These features depicting the American West are set against the backdrop of a quintessential sunset, much like the image on the wild symbols.
The five-reel, four-row (5×4) game configuration and the game interface remain the same throughout the game, and the free spins bonus rounds are played on essentially the same reels as the base game.
The sounds in the game are retro, lifted directly from the casino slot, which you may find to be either endearing or irritating. If you’re in the irritated camp, you thankfully always have the option of using the mute button.
Betting options and paying combinations
The Buffalo reels are driven by Aristocrat’s “XTRA Reel Power” concept, which operates on “ways to win” instead of individual paylines. This provides a unique twist compared to other retro slot games.
The paytable in the online free play version of Buffalo doesn’t specify what the different “ways to win” options are for different reel selections, but it is widely publicized that there are 1,024 ways to win when playing five reels in this game.
With XTRA Reel Power, matching symbols can create winning combinations by landing anywhere on the reels instead of on linear paylines. This reel concept can give you more chances of hitting winning combinations compared to standard paylines.
The XTRA Reel Power feature compared to the “Reel Power” feature in other Aristocrat games offers considerably more ways to win. For example, Aristocrat’s Choy Sun Doa slot with “Reel Power” offers 243 ways to win on five reels, compared to the 1,024 ways to win on five reels with Buffalo’s XTRA Reel Power.
Choose how many reels you want to play with the following costs:
- 1 reel – reel cost x 1
- 2 reels – reel cost x 5
- 3 reels – reel cost x 10
- 4 reels – reel cost x 20
- 5 reels – reel cost x 40
You can also choose how many credits to play per reel, with three betting options of one, five, and 10 credits. Possible coin values are $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, and $0.10 in free play mode.
The paytable is static, representing payout values for bets made with one credit only. The paytable will not update as you change your stake, so you must multiply the paytable values by the number of credits you’re playing to calculate potential payouts at higher bet levels.
The payouts for regular symbols range from two credits for three nine-card symbols, up to 300 credits for five buffalo symbols. If you are playing with a minimum coin value of $0.01 in free play mode, the payout range is equal to a minimum of $0.02 to $3.00 (with a one-credit bet) up to a maximum of $0.20 to $30.00 (with a ten-credit bet).
Don’t look for a standard auto spin feature with preset spin options. The autostart button in Buffalo starts the reels, and they won’t stop spinning until you press the button again. Spins go fast in terms of your balance status and the pace in between spins, so this feature may require some extra attention.
The return-to-player (RTP) percentage for this game is a solid 94.85%, which is slightly below average compared to other Aristocrat games.
What jackpots are available?
Some of the titles in Aristocrat’s line of Buffalo-themed, land-based casino slot games (like Buffalo Grand) boast progressive jackpots. However, the original Buffalo casino slot game and this online version of Buffalo do not offer any jackpot options.
Additional features and bonuses
Buffalo’s bonus offerings are focused on the free games bonus feature, which awards free spins and multipliers on the free spins reels.
Sunset symbols are wild symbols in the base game and free spins games. In the free spins games, wild symbols become wild 2x and 3x multipliers, which can be added together up to a total multiplier of 27x on a spin.
Three or more gold coin scatter symbols anywhere on the reels can trigger the free games feature, which awards free spins with wild multipliers on the reels. At least three scatter symbols retrigger the free games feature, and two scatter symbols award five extra free spins.
Free games feature (free spins bonus game)
The free games feature is triggered when you land at least three gold coin scatter symbols on the reels. Three scatter symbols anywhere on the reels award you eight free spins, four scatter symbols award you 15 free spins, and five scatter symbols award you 20 free spins.
During the free spins, wild symbols (sunset symbols) award multipliers of either 2x or 3x and can be added together (up to a total multiplier of 27x). You can retrigger the free games feature.
After any winning spin, continue playing or gamble your win on a facedown card. Correctly predict the card color and double your bet, or correctly predict the card suit and quadruple your bet. Cash out, or continue the gamble up to five times. If you guess wrong though, you’ll lose the full amount you bet on this gamble.
Who is this game ideal for?
Buffalo is such a popular casino slot game worldwide that fans of the casino game are sure to love this authentic online version. This slot is also a good match for retro-slots fans, beginner players, and penny-slots players.
Similar games from Aristocrat
The original Buffalo casino slot is the only game in the Buffalo series that Aristocrat has released in an online version to date.
Examples of other Aristocrat slots featuring animal themes include 50 Lions, a game set in the African savannah, and Big Red, a game set in the Australian Outback. The reels in both of these games are filled with animal symbols and free spins like Buffalo, but both games pay via individual paylines instead of Aristocrat’s Xtra Reel Power.
We haven’t found a free play version of other Aristocrat slots with Xtra Reel Power, but games like Choy Sun Dua feature “Reel Power” with 243 ways to win on five reels, instead of the 1,024 ways to win on Buffalo’s reels. Choy Sun Dua also offers a choice of different free spins game options, whereas Buffalo awards a specific number of free spins.
Free spins bonus game: This is where the action is at, and the free spins can be lucrative thanks to the generous free spins awards, wild multipliers on the reels, and retrigger options.
Xtra Reel Power: Instead of traditional paylines, matching symbols can land anywhere on active reels to create winning combinations. Play five reels for an impressive 1,024 ways to win.
Authentic casino slot: You can experience the exact same game online as in the casinos.
Low stakes options: This game is perfect for penny-slots players.
Easy to play: The game interface and features are simple enough for beginner players.
No jackpots: A lack of a jackpot is authentic to the original game, but limiting for jackpot players.
Limited bonuses: Gameplay in the base game can be monotonous due to sparse bonus features.
Basic graphics: The retro design and animations are not as advanced as more current slots.
Autoplay: You can’t select a maximum number of auto spins. The auto spins also run fast, with the win counter often getting interrupted by the next spin.
- Graphics and design- 2.5/5: If you like the graphics and design of the original Buffalo casino floor game, you’ll appreciate this identical online version, too. On the other hand, if you aren’t familiar with the casino slot, you may find the graphics to be outdated and flat. The graphics are average compared to other Aristocrat slots, so we’re giving this game’s visuals a solid average rating.
- Sound effects- 2.5/5: “Buffalo!” Chances are you’ve heard that call echoing on the casino floor at some point. The online version of the game also trumpets “Buffalo!” when you hit a winning buffalo symbol combination. The rest of the sound effects in the game are the same as in the original casino slot as well, complete with retro buzzers, generic reel sound effects, and Western-style background music during free spins. The sounds are dated but authentic to the game, so we’re giving the audio an average rating.
- Jackpot value- 0/5: There are no jackpot options in this game.
- Replay value- 3/5: We’re giving the online version of Buffalo a slightly higher-than-average replay rating due to its huge following in the land-based casino world, as well as the Xtra Reel Power feature that boasts 1,024 ways to win on the reels. If you are a fan of the Buffalo casino slot, you are sure to be a repeat player. The more advanced features are enough to keep things interesting if you’re a new player, too. The free spin wins can add up as well thanks to the stacked buffalo symbols and wild multipliers on the reels.