OK. Hands up who has never seen IGT's Cleopatra Slots in your local land-based casino? It's pretty much impossible to miss them to be honest. Despite being around for some years now, the Cleopatra slots along with other Egyptian themed game from IGT such as "Pharaohs Fortune" and Novomatic's Gaminator machines featuring games like Columbus, Rich Witch and Book Of Ra remain perennially popular. The theme is still used in modern games too, most famously in The Mummy slot! This is the original version of the Cleopatra slot machine that was the precursor to the excellent Cleopatra 2 game. The main difference between the two versions of Cleopatra is the bonus feature. Although they both have a free spins bonus, the Cleopatra slot provides a fixed 15 free spins at 3x when you get 3 or more scatters anywhere across the 5 reels. As a result, this version of Cleo is lower variance which means there is less risk, your money will last longer more often but the potential for bigger wins is present on Cleopatra 2 as you get a multiplier that goes up by 1x with each free spin up to a maximum of 50x. It's high variance (or streakier) than the original Cleopatra slot but the potential rewards are higher.
Quite simply, the two Cleopatra slots from IGT (the original and the Cleopatra 2 slot) are the most prolific of all slot machines in the UK and mostly seen propping up a Fort Knox progressive or in the table-top style Game King machines (be warned, Game King Cleopatra slots have the worst pay-outs of all versions of Cleopatra, online or offline). Now that IGT has released an online version (quite some time ago actually) they're cropping up in more and more respectable online casinos too!
The online version of the Cleopatra slot machine has a higher expected return at 95.01% than its land-based counterpart(s) because it pays on more winning combinations. The more upright kiosk style game - like the Cleopatra Fort Knox progressive - which is more common both in the UK and particularly in Las Vegas, pays on two scatters but rarely on 2 9's. The online version of the Cleopatra slot pays on both these combinations which makes quite a difference. Especially on the 2 scatter symbols when they land in the free spins at 3x pay.
Although you probably haven't seen this version in the UK, there is also a MegaJackpots Cleopatra slot game online where you. can win a progressive jackpot if you're lucky. It's akin to the Cleopatra Fort Knox land-based slot machines I suppose, except you don't go through a separate feature the jackpot is just awarded straight off.Aside from this, the online version of IGT's Cleopatra slot machine is identical to the land-based version. The sounds, graphics and gameplay are exactly as you would expect to find them but with a better pay-out percentage. the Cleopatra slot machine is what IGT is best known for. It's their flagship slot game and I defy you to walk into any land-based casino and NOT see at least one Cleopatra game! It will also often be occupied.
It's hard to say exactly why Cleopatra is so popular given modern games such as the Kong Slot have such a draw but an educated guess suggests that IGT have got the balance of gameplay and winning spot on. It plays fast, the free spins occur with relative frequency and there is good potential for some big wins.