‘Hangover’ slots reel-y fun play at Horseshoe

July 3, 2011

BY JOHN GROCHOWSKI casinoanswerman @casinoanswerman.com June 30, 2011 3:52PM

? On Wednesdays through July 20, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin will be giving away 2011 Chevrolet Camaros in the Dream Car Giveway drawings. Winners will pick up not one, but a pair of Camaros. Visit grandvictoriacasino.com.

? Comedian Joan Rivers takes the stage at the Stardust Events Center at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Ind., at 8 p.m. Aug. 20. Tickets, $30-$55, go on sale at 10 a.m. July 16 at the Blue Chip Gift Box in the casino pavilion and at ticketmaster.com.

Updated: July 1, 2011 2:14AM

In his first column of each month, John Grochowski reports on a casino visit.

I’ve never seen “The Hangover.” You might think anything with an iconic “Vegas, baby!” trek would be automatic for me, but life fills up, and this is one movie I missed.

“The Hangover” slot machine is another matter. I make it my business to check out as many new casino games as I can, and I was alerted via email that this one had arrived at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. For the time being, Caesars Entertainment has exclusive rights to the game manufactured by International Game Technology. That means the first casinos to have it will be those in the Caesars family, which includes the Caesars, Horseshoe, Harrah’s, Bally, Imperial Palace and Rio brands.

Fans of the movie will have a great time at the game, with scenes from the film on the video screen, and movie-related images such as a chicken, tiger, bloody tooth and “Welcome to Vegas” sign used as reel symbols and in game play.

The big test was whether I’d have fun playing the game despite not having seen the film.

I wasn’t at all sure I’d get a chance to try. When I walked into Horseshoe, the machines were jam-packed. Not only was every machine in use, but others were standing, watching, and waiting for a seat.

A couple of hours later, I walked toward “The Hangover” just as a woman got up to leave. I slid $40 into the bill validator and set the reels spinning. There are four sets of video reels on the screen, almost like playing four video slots at once. I wanted all four games active, so I wagered 200 pennies per spin.

There’s a four-way progressive jackpot, with the levels named after the film’s main characters — Doug, Stu, Phil and Alan — who also have bonus events named after them. I went to bonus events four times within 15 minutes, a nice hit frequency that did its bit to hold my interest.

My best results came in the Stu’s Game bonus, where an initial photo-matching game took me to the Villa Bonus. In the first room, I touched a sword, to reveal a 160-credit award and advance to the next room. There, a touch of a TV revealed a baby, which doubled my bonus credits. Three more rooms brought more credits and one more baby, taking it up to a three-times multiplier.

Finally, in Room No. 6, I found a tiger. That ended my round. And when I looked up, there were $83 on my screen.

No doubt someone who had seen the movie would have gotten some extra laughs. But was it fun for this “Hangover” novice? Heck, yeah.

John Grochowski is a local free-lance writer. His “Casino Answer Man” tips air at 5:18 p.m. Tuesday-Friday on WLS-AM (890).

‘Hangover’ slots reel-y fun play at Horseshoe

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