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Santa, a very popular character for slot games with a festive theme

What a wonderful time of the year Christmas is! The excitement in the eyes of children, the scramble of parents to buy that last “must-have” action figure in the toy store, and the non-stop loop of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” playing in the local supermarket.

Love it or hate it, Christmas is here once again bringing with it a sense of enthusiasm and stress in equal measure. It doesn’t all have to be last minute housework and present buying. Gamingslots is here to offer you a choice of slots that can help you kick back, relax, and allow that Christmas sherry to taste that little bit sweeter.

1. Scrooge (Microgaming)

Scrooge slot

First up is that popular Microgaming slot Scrooge that is based on the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”. We all know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge is an elderly miser who cares more for his own bank balance than his friends and family. However, on a cold winter’s Christmas Eve night he is visited by three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future who opens his eyes and help him to mend his ways.

This 5 reel, 50 payline slot is anything but miserly with big payouts available to trigger and Scrooge playing a role more similar to Santa Claus than the Grinch. All of the big characters are represented on the reels including the adorable Tiny Tim, Scrooge’s former partner Jacob Marley (I did see somewhere that one review labelled him as Bob Marley!), his employee Bob Cratchit, and the three ghosts.

What sets Scrooge apart from the competition is the fact that with every winning combination you can either earn a free spin or a date on Scrooge’s calendar. Once the calendar reaches Christmas Day then the free spins are accumulated and your free spins bonus round begins. There is a second bonus feature that is triggered when you hit three or more door knocker symbols across the reels. This will take you to a second screen where you must choose a Christmas meal for each character to eat and once they have finished that meal they will reveal a cash prize.

Scrooge set the benchmark for Christmas slots and every release since has been struggling to follow in this trail blazer’s footsteps. Microgaming have certainly set the bar high with this one.

2. Ghosts of Christmas (Playtech)

Ghosts of Christmas slot

Now, I promise that not every slot on this list will have a theme based on the Charles Dickens novel telling the story of Scrooge. It just so happens that two of the best Christmas-themed slots out there have this theme. It’s a great story so it’s no surprise it has spawned two fantastic slots.

This 5 reel, 20 payline release from developer Playtech is a much more comical slant on the tale. The graphics take on a more humorous approach with the Scrooge character portrayed in a similar light to the old man from the Pixar movie Up! Once again, the characters from the classic tale are all present with Jacob Marley taking on the role as the free spins bonus round-triggering Scatter symbols. You can earn up to 15 free spins with a 3x multiplier so you might well think Christmas has come early. In a creatively designed second bonus, this slot offers a feature based on the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Unsurprisingly, and perhaps not-so-creatively-named, it is called the Ghosts of Christmas Bonus. This is triggered when you hit three or more clock symbols across the reels and you will then be asked to select one of the three bonuses based on the three ghosts.

Ghosts of Christmas comes close to reaching the heights that Scrooge did. The bonus feature based on the three ghosts is a great idea but outside of that it’s a basic slot with a free spins bonus round. Scrooge gains an edge with the potential to gain a free spin on each winning combination. That’s not to say this isn’t a really impressive slot though.

3. Secret Santa (Microgaming)

Secret Santa slot

Secret Santa is an office-based game that pops up around the festive season and is either the source of jubilant scenes of banter or really awkward moments between work colleagues. From personal experience, one year a colleague bought another colleague (both males) a Mrs Claus bikini costume. The recipient had the good will nature to don that bikini costume, over his work clothes – thankfully, for the rest of the day. However, another year a work colleague bought another work colleague an Oakland Raiders NFL cap… the colleague was a San Francisco 49ers fan. Right sport, wrong team! Awkward.

Anyway, Secret Santa by Microgaming is a 5 reel, 1,024 ways to win slot has all the ingredients to satisfy your festive thirst this holiday period. It taps into the mystery and intrigue surrounding Secret Santa that is played every year in work places across the globe. This comes in the form of the wide choice of bonus features available.

The Secret Santa Bonus is randomly triggered (adding to the mystery!) and it consists of one of seven features. These include Wild Reels, Wild Boost, Dashing Wilds, Rolling Reels, Mystery Multiplier, Scatter Spree, and Free Spins. This is fantastic because it will keep you on your toes on every spin. This slot also comes with the 5 of a Kind Win Again feature which means you can win 5 of a Kind payouts more than once in a row.

The real joy of this slot is the inclusion on the reels of some really traditional Christmas imagery. Santa Claus looks like the friendly, jolly, and rotund legend that we are all familiar with and the reels are packed with Christmas pudding, turkey, crackers, a log fire, and some presents. At the very least, this slot will certainly get you in the mood for Christmas.

4. Merry Xmas (Play’n Go)

Merry Xmas slot

As Microgaming and Playtech have been battling for the slots Christmas number one every year in a similar fashion to the latest X Factor winner’s single and the latest rendition of Bob Geldof’s charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, Play’n Go are the new kids on the block this Christmas with their release of Merry Xmas.

Merry Xmas is a 5 reel, 15 payline slot with the emphasis seemingly more on the old-fashioned and classical side of Christmas. I’m talking about golden bells, candy canes, candles, presents, and mulled wine. The bonus feature on this slot is triggered when the yellow, green, and gold presents are hit on reels one, two, and three respectively. The presents then move into the foreground of the reels and you must pick one of the three presents to reveal a prize.

This slot also comes with Wild Multipliers but these only appear on reel three which is a big trick missed in my opinion. Overall though, it’s a fun slot. Play’n Go are unlikely to ever create the best slot of all time but they rarely release a bad one. Does this slot fulfil its potential? No. Is it still worth playing? Certainly.

5. Santa Paws (Microgaming)

Santa Paws slot
What do you think of when you think of Christmas? Sleigh bells, Christmas trees, presents, mistletoe, Santa, polar bears… eh? Well, somebody at Microgaming felt that this was a fail safe combination and created the 5 reel, 20 payline Santa Paws slot where polar bears and other animals wearing Santa hats surround the reels. We’ve got penguins, Arctic owls, killer whales, and rabbits all joining the party.

The stand out aspect of this slot, apart from the animals working together to get the North Pole ready in time for Christmas, is the presence of two Wilds on the reels during the free spins bonus round. The free spins are triggered when you hit three or more of the penguins symbols across the reels with 12 free spins awarded and that is the best feature. The two Wilds, in the form of Santa Paws and the killer whales, really adds more action to the reels and a larger chance of a big payout.

It is a random combination but it works. It has the light hearted nature that goes down well at Christmas and Microgaming has worked the cute angle to a fine degree. A Pick’em Bonus would have added a lot more but the two Wilds during the free spins is a real game changer.

6. Santa’s Wild Ride (Microgaming)

Santa's Wild Ride

As much a staple of Christmas as the Cliff Richard calendar, Microgaming releasing a Christmas-themed slot at the end of a year has become an institution in itself. In this list, we’ve already seen some awesome slots they’ve released such as Scrooge and Secret Santa so all eyes were on the developer this year ahead of its release of this new slot.

Santa’s Wild Ride is a 5 reel, 243 ways to win slot that, at first glance, looks like a cross between Santa Claus: The Movie and Sons of Anarchy. You are presented with Santa riding his Harley Davidson and the guy looks like he means business. The reels are full of colour with mince pies, Christmas puddings, Christmas cookies, and beer acting as the symbols. This is traditional Christmas with a tinge of rock ‘n’ roll.

The free spins bonus round is triggered when you hit three or more of the Harley Davidson Scatters. You will be awarded with 25 free spins but must then pick one of three special features to be included in the free spins. These consist of either Stacked Wilds, Expanding Wilds, or Trailing Wilds. There is a second bonus called the Free Gift Bonus. If you hit the Santa’s Special Gifts icon on reels 2 and 4 then you will be rewarded with an instant gift prize.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, the general feedback on this new slot has been positive and it is one that I have been going back to personally since its release. The mix of free spins, special Wilds, and an instant prize bonus shows this slot has all the ingredients to make it a firm festive favourite for years to come.

7. Santa Surprise (Playtech)

Santa Surprise slot

This slot is fun from the very get go! It is a 5 reel, 20 payline title full of colour, action, and festive frolics. This slot will stir the inner child in you with images you’ll remember from your youth including Santa, stockings, holly wreaths, and presents. There is even Christmas imagery decorating the regular symbols such as Santa’s hats, candy canes, and festive scarves. No area of this slot is untouched by the joy.

Santa plays a key role in the gift giving on this slot. If you manage to hit five of him, he acts as the Wild, then you will earn yourself a very jolly payout of 10,000x your bet. I knew he was smiling on the reels for a reason.

If you hit three or more of the elf symbols across the reels you will trigger the free spins bonus round with a reward of 10 free spins and a 3x multiplier. If you hit three Christmas tree symbols you will trigger a Pick’em Bonus where you will be presented with unwrapped presents. You must then pick three to reveal prizes.

Santa Surprise is my personal favourite festive slot. It harks back to the nostalgic side of my Christmas experiences growing up. It has lucrative Wilds, free spins, and a Pick’em Bonus. It was the first Christmas slot I ever played and it will probably be a slot I continue to play. Festive perfection.

8. Deck the Halls (Microgaming)

Deck the Halls slot

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la!” goes the famous Christmas carol. This 5 reel, 30 payline slot from Microgaming takes a classic Christmas song but unfortunately does not fully deliver on the gameplay front.

The visual side of things does a satisfactory job. Christmas imagery and atmosphere is in abundance. The symbols on the reels include Santa, Rudolph, presents, turkey, and all things you would deem festive. However, this slot, as a whole, just feels weak. It felt like a rushed job that never became the slot it should have been.

There is a free spins bonus round, triggered by hitting three or more bell symbols across the reels, where 10 free spins with a 2x multiplier are handed out. There is a Wild, represented by the Deck the Halls logo, that substitutes for all other symbols, except for the Scatters, to trigger winning combinations. This slot does come with Stacked Wilds but only in the free spins bonus round making the main game a bit dull.

9. Santa’s Slotto Grotto (OpenBet)

Santa's Slotto Grotto slot

A surprise inclusion in this list is Santa’s Slotto Grotto by OpenBet. A 5 reel, 20 payline slot that is arguably the weakest on the visual front. It looks like it has been transported directly from a Sega Mega Drive and released because they didn’t have anything else to release.

The symbols consist of a variety of scary-looking characters. There are the sinister elves, the creepy snowmen, the shining star that looks like it has smoked too much marijuana and boring looking regular symbols that are represented by presents with the symbol written on the gift tag.

The Christmas tree acts as the Wild and the drug-abusing (allegedly) star can trigger up to 25 free spins with a 10x multiplier. It is also possible to trigger big wins by hitting five Santa symbols across the reels. There is no bonus feature and that is where this slot falls flat. Better luck next time OpenBet!

10. Gift Rap (Microgaming)

Gift Rap slot

The puntastic Gift Rap is always whipped out by Microgaming casinos at this time of year because for some reason they think it is one of the best slots around. Maybe it is just me but I have to say that it isn’t. The graphics are quite simply awful compared to Microgaming’s other festive releases. The symbols on the reels of this 5 reel, 25 payline slot include toys that were going out of fashion in the 1980s and might well be considered relics in this day and age. I’m talking about grotty looking toy bears, spinning tops, toy hammer, and some kind of tap recorder and microphone toy set.

There is a Wild in the form of the Christmas bauble. It isn’t any kind of special Wild and simply substitutes for all other symbols, except for the Scatters, to complete any winning combinations you might hit.

However, the Jack Frost-in-the-box is a kind of saving grace for this slot as the Scatter. Not only does he rap (about bloody time something rapped in this slot) but he also triggers the Gift Rap Bonus if you hit three or more of him across the reels. In this bonus, you are presented with 30 presents and you must pick them one-by-one to reveal prizes until Jack Frost reveals himself. Up to 32,250 coins can be won in this bonus feature that is a shining light in a very below par slot release.

So that is the Gamingslots 10 Slots of Christmas. We have covered the good, the festive, and the jolly in this list. Did we miss any out? Do you agree with this list? Or have we been too generous or harsh on your favourite slot? Let us know on our Facebook page! Have a merry Christmas and happy slots playing to one and all!

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