Free Black Hole slot
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Black Hole slot by Merkur has a mechanic you may not have seen before and yes, your money could well disappear into that astronomical place of no return too! You get a spectacular cosmic background although the sounds are the basic trademark Merkur taps and the reel set is offset on the left of the screen due to the meters we'll hear about shortly. It features old style fruit symbols and suns like Netent's Big Bang and Play'n Go's Inferno Star with stacked symbols as you'd see in Nextgen's Staramania, but none of those have a mechanic anywhere near to this Black Hole slot. So how do we avoid our bankroll disappearing past the cosmic Event Horizon?
The reels part of the Black Hole slot have only 5 fixed paying lines with stacked and single symbols. You get paid for 2-of-a-kinds here but not in the conventional way as any wins are counted on meters which have a fixed jackpot for each icon. The symbols are paired on meters according to their values. You can get Wild Suns stacked on all reels and the pairings for each meter are highest for Sevens and Strawberries which pay 1000x bet for 50 steps. Stars and Plums 250x for 50 steps, Bells and Oranges 200x, Lemons and Grapes 90x and finally Melons or Cherries 75x.
You can collect any values accumulated on these 4 sets of steps at any time, or can risk the totals by continuing to spin. If you do, beware of the giant 5x3 Black Hole symbol spinning in on the reels, as this sinister scene will do what it says - swallow up all the accumulated totals in your 4 meters and reset them to zero. If you are brave and get any of the meters to the top, the game won't auto-collect those fixed jackpots, but you'll receive a fixed enhanced fee per step thereafter. To clarify, every winning symbol on the reels raises you one step on its respective ladder, so a 4-of-a-kind win gets you up 4 steps.
Black Hole slot is quite volatile and it's hard to know when to collect the ladder totals or play on, especially on the higher value symbol ladders as the Black Hole can take quite large amounts then. You can play for as little as 10 coins here and set up the autoplay to stop when any ladder does actually reach its jackpot amount for 50 steps. The best strategy can raise your RTP from a basic 95.25% to 96.55%, presumably these are the extremes for collecting every single win and not collecting until a jackpot is reached. Wins are frequent on the reels so there's always something on the ladders to test your nerve. Just don't push your luck as the slot name here could be very prophetic regarding your balance...