It’s once again the most wonderful time of the year – presents, warm wine, cheesy Christmas films that warm your heart and dinner tables big enough to add a few zeroes to your scales, what more could we ask for? But putting aside the cozy atmosphere and overly delicious food, Christmas is also an extremely important time for the online casino industry. Most casinos have their best deals around December, as you can plainly see in our overly extensive list of Christmas promos, and historically, mid-December is when most casino gamers log in to make a few spins on their favourite slots, or play a couple of hands at a Christmas-themed live blackjack table.
Given the importance of the season, it would’ve been absolutely ridiculous if slot providers didn’t take advantage of it with slots themed after beloved Christmas classics. Whether you’re interested in Santa Claus, A Christmas Carol or just the overall atmosphere of snow, presents and evergreen trees with presents underneath, chances are you’re going to find the perfect slot machine for you! Today, we’ve decided to celebrate the best season ever by listing ten of the top Christmas-themed slots we could get our hands on! It’s important to note that, just like our list of the spookiest Halloween slots, this isn’t really a top 10, as the slots are presented in no particular order. Which slot is the best depends entirely on your tastes, we just believe that they, collectively, make up the top 10 Christmas slots!
Without further ado, let’s get right into the list!
Secrets of Christmas (NetEnt)
We’ve made it no secret that we believe NetEnt to be the modern masters of online slots – their presentation, animations and bonus games are honestly second to none in the industry, and there’s a good reason why so many of their slots top online casinos’ charts for most played games. Today, we can also call them the masters of Christmas slots, because a third of this list is made up entirely of their offerings! And if you’ve ever wondered why their slots are so popular, look no further than “Secrets of Christmas”, which pulls you in straight from its opening animation!
As soon as you click Start, you see a delightful animation which zooms in on Santa Claus’ workshop, letting you see the toys and gifts through the window before that window itself turns into the reels of a slot.
It caught us really off-guard to start our slot experience in such a delightful way, and we’re happy to say that the surprises didn’t end there! Christmas just wouldn’t feel right without some gifts, however small or big, and “Secrets of Christmas” doesn’t disappoint in that regard either! The gift symbol acts as a scatter symbol, allowing you to gain some free spins and some wonderful prizes. If you manage to get at least three gifts, you’ll be able to unpack them and collect the cash prizes within – four or five scatters means that many more gifts. And after you’re done unpacking, you’ll get an even bigger reward with 10 free spins, with a multiplier and expanding wilds. We knew Santa Claus was generous, but with this slot he’s surprising even us!
Secret Santa (Microgaming)
Microgaming are worthy rivals to NetEnt in terms of the quality of their slots, and there was no way we were going to miss honoring them in this list – especially when they’ve created such a wonderful slot! Moving away from Santa’s workshop, we’re moving into the perspective of a kid anxiously waiting for St Nick to drop down the chimney, eat some cookies and milk and drop off a present in return. In terms of bonus features, “Secret Santa” is a bit more bland in terms of bonus features compared to “Secrets of Christmas”, with a randomly triggered bonus win and no real bonus games.
However, where this slot absolutely, undeniably excels at is its beautiful presentation.
This may be some of the most high-quality artwork we’ve seen in any slot – it’s like Santa stepped straight out of a Coca-Cola commercial! The symbols, representing traditional Christmas staples like a well-roasted turkey, a Christmas pudding and a stocking full of toys, are so beautiful we just wish we could print them out and hang them all over the office every Christmas season! As a matter of fact, this sounds like a great idea, maybe we’ll do that next year! If you’re the kind of player who loves the aesthetics of the slot over anything else, then absolutely give “Secret Santa” a shot!
Christmas Carol Megaways (Pragmatic Play)
We’ve reached our very first slot based on “A Christmas Carol”, but rest assured, it’s not the last one. Charles Dickens’ classic story about a miser learning to appreciate the people around him through the magic of Christmas is one of the most widely adapted books in all of literature, with everyone from George C Scott to Scrooge McDuck playing the miser in question on screen. With so many versions, it’s only natural that a lot of slot developers would try their hand at adapting this classic tale into a playable slot. Pragmatic Play in particular have always had their own particular style (which has shined through in games like “Curse of the Werewolf”, which we already reviewed in our list of spookiest slots), so it was exciting to see them give it a shot.
Luckily, their adaptation was a success, and the signature Pragmatic Play artstyle has worked wonders with these beloved characters.
We were both pleasantly surprised and quite relieved to see that even when presented in this cartoony artstyle, the characters were still very recognizable – at a glance, you can tell apart the three ghosts, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim without needing to refer to the info page at all, which was pretty cool! Ebenezer Scrooge himself is a Wild, which, while unintentional, was a very neat allegory to the message of the original. By himself, Scrooge won’t give you a penny, but when surrounded by the ghosts and the people who care about him, he’ll become the most generous person around. Given that the slot has a tumble feature similar to “Gonzo’s Quest”, where symbols will disappear once they’ve been won and the remainder will fall down to potentially give you even more wins, Wilds become more valuable than ever. How rare is it for a slot to adapt a story not only through its themes, but also its mechanics?
Xmas Magic (Play’N GO)
You may have heard about Play’N GO from a little slot called “Book of Dead”, which is currently one of the most popular slots in the UK. While originally starting as merely another “version” of Novomatic’s “Book of Ra”, Play’N GO’s “Book of Dead” has taken on a life of its own, enjoying millions of spins this past year alone. With such a popular game, Play’N GO could have easily gotten away with never releasing another slot again, so it was actually pretty cool to see them still making new titles, especially on topics that we enjoy so much!
“Xmas Magic” in particular should appeal greatly to “Book of Dead” fans, as it shares a similar artstyle and several features.
While the theme isn’t anything we haven’t seen before (mostly just traditional Santa/Christmas symbols), the presentation is very appealing, with smooth animations and gentle, festive music which will easily put you into the right mood for Christmas! Santa himself serves the role of the titular Book from “Book of Dead”, acting as a scatter symbol that will grant you some free spins should you manage to get at least four of him on your reels. Unfortunately, that’s the game’s only bonus feature, but since it gives you the chance to win a fantastic 1,000,000 coin jackpot, we believe it’s more than enough! If you’re a fan of “Book of Dead” and want to spice it up a little for the holidays, consider giving “Xmas Magic” a few good spins!
Santa vs Rudolph (NetEnt)
We told you that NetEnt will be back on the list, and here we are! We wish we didn’t have to sing their praises all the time, but how can we resist when they make such a fun and innovative slots? Case in point: “Santa vs Rudolph”, a premise that certainly turns the season to be jolly on its head! There’s just something about the idea of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa, two absolute icons of wholesome Christmas spirit, engaging in an all-out war against each other that’s just so undeniably funny.
And the good news is that the struggle of Santa and Rudolph isn’t just for theme – it serves a mechanical purpose within the slot as well.
“Santa vs Rudolph” actually has two different Wilds – a Santa Wild and a Rudolph Wild. Leaving aside the fact that two times the Wilds should spell some very good news for you, these Wilds also behave differently from each other. Rudolph Wilds appear on reel 1 and move right with each respin, Santa Wilds appear on reel 5 and move left. As you might have guessed, their meeting on reel 3 spells the beginning of their war, activating some free spins for you. Depending on who wins that battle, you may get some additional Rudolph Spins with a ton of permanent Wilds to help you rack up the wins, or Santa’s Gifts which will let you select gifts containing cash prizes and multipliers. As the old saying goes, whoevers wins, we win more! … That was it, right?
Carol of the Elves (Yggdrasil)
Slot machines are known for their loud music, over the top sound effects and bright, flashing lights, as if to scream “Hey, you, come play me, and also make sure your neighbors down the street can see you playing too!” Which we don’t mind, but have you ever wanted to try a slot which is… Not that? Well, Yggdrasil’s “Carol of the Elves” may be just what you want. It’s the perfect slot to play late on a dark December night, with only your computer monitor or phone screen illuminating the room. Its music is soft, its sound effects quiet, and its colors deliberately muted to avoid blinding you.
But on top of its chill, quiet atmosphere, “Carol of the Elves” also offers a ton of bonus features and extras that make it all the more alluring.
The most obvious thing you’ll notice once you start up the slot is the odd position of the reels – instead of five columns and three rows, the symbols are placed in the form of a star, with 3125 paylines on it despite the odd shape. On top of that, every time you win, every winning symbol will “unfog” even more boxes surrounding the star, immediately giving you a free spin with a higher chance of winning – which is a genuinely fun and unique idea that we’ve never encountered before. Certain symbols, when used in a winning combination, will also light up one of the two lanterns that the titular elves are holding, and once both are lit up, you’ll be able to enjoy additional free spins and even multipliers to your score. To think that such a quiet, chill slot would hold so much depth under the surface!
Christmas Big Bass Bonanza (Pragmatic Play)
Pragmatic Play are back, and they’re bringing us… Let’s be honest, the absolute strangest, most random idea for a Christmas slot ever. How could we not review it? We like to imagine that, during some boring meeting at the Pragmatic Play offices where a bunch of developers were desperately looking for idea, one of them glanced around the room, noticed a “Big Mouth Billy Bass” toy on the wall and went “Why don’t we make a slot about bass? But not the cool guitar, but the fish!” And that’s how “Big Bass Bonanza” and its spinoffs, like “Big Bass Bonanza Megaways”, were born.
What we have here is the natural endpoint to this trend – a special Christmas edition of “Big Bass Bonanza” made to coincide with the most wonderful time of the year.
What does a bass have to do with Christmas? We’ve got no idea, and we’re willing to bet that Pragmatic Play don’t either, but isn’t this what makes this slot so much fun? Seeing our titular Big Bass with a Christmas hat on cheer us from the reels while an upbeat mall Christmas tune is playing in the background is such a surreal experience that we can’t help but find ourselves entranced by it. In terms of bonus features, as usual, 3 or more Scatter symbols will bring you some free spins (the more Scatters you get, the more spins you receive), and during those spins Wilds will turn into money and additional free spins. Which is pretty cool! But it’s not what you’re here for. You’re here for the surreal comedy of a Christmas slot about a big bass. And so are we!
A Christmas Carol (Betsoft)
You might be thinking to yourself “Oh man, another Christmas Carol slot?” But trust us, it was difficult to narrow this list down to only two slots based on the beloved Dickensian classic, and if we make a new version of this list next year, you can bet that we’re going to feature two more! It’s just so cool to see all those different interpretations of the same story, the same characters imagined in so many different artstyles, the same narrative inspiring so many different bonuses and features!
Betsoft don’t disappoint, and their version of “A Christmas Carol” is thoroughly unique and very different from its “Pragmatic Play” counterpart.
To start off, what we really loved about the slot was that it has not one, but three different bonus features, one per each of the ghosts visiting Scrooge on that fateful night (well, except for Jacob Marley, but apparently he doesn’t count). 3 or more Christmas Past symbols will activate Past Spins, which will give you between 3 and 12 free spins, during which you can also benefit from the other bonus features. The Christmas Future symbols will give you Future Spins, which work very similarly, but getting 3 or more Christmas Present symbols will turn all Ghost symbols on the reels into Wilds, sending your wins out of this world. Finally, after each win you’ll be able to engage in a gamble feature where you can get double or nothing based on a coin flip. While not as thematically rich as the version by Pragmatic Play, Betsoft’s interpretation still offers quite a lot of Christmas fun to be had!
Ghosts of Christmas (Playtech)
Oh, did we say that there would be only two versions of “Christmas Carol” on this list? Well, dear reader, you should’ve known us better than that – how could we possibly resist narrowing it down to only two? It’s straight up not feasible, especially when there’s one developed by Playtech, one of the most famous slot developers in the UK! Right off the bat, you can see the differences with the other two versions personified by Playtech’s unique artstyle. This Ebenezer Scrooge looks absolutely amazing, with his crescent-shaped head and grumpy expression – he’s hilarious!
And, unlike the other versions, good old Jacob Marley finally gets his own bonus feature!
If you manage to get 3 or more Marley symbols anywhere on the reels, you’ll be able to trigger the Marley Spins, where you can choose one of the symbols to receive the number of free spins hidden underneath, and if you happen to get another 3 Marley symbols while in the middle of your free spins, you’ll receive and extra 10 spins just like that! Meanwhile, the remaining ghosts all share the same bonus, creatively titled the Ghosts of Christmas Bonus, which is activated by lining up 3 or more scatter symbols. Once you do, one of the three features (Past, Present and Future) will activate at random, showing you a scene from the novel and letting you pick out a prize from within. While the differences are mostly cosmetic, it’s really cool of Playtech to allow us to interact with the novella in such a cool way!
Jingle Spin (NetEnt)
Okay, okay, we promise, no more “Christmas Carol” slots, for now! Instead, let us conclude this list with another appearance from our good friends at NetEnt, who once again have proven their love not only for slots, but for Christmas, with a really cool variant of a classic mechanic! Though before we get into it, it’s important to just mention the absolutely amazing and very unique artstyle of “Jingle Spin”, with simple colors and heavy shading which gives the entire slot a very memorable appearance – kudos to the artists at NetEnt, who never cease to amaze with their creativity! With that said, let’s talk about the main mechanic of the slot, and the one that gives it its title.
Every time you spin the reels, Santa himself will spin his own wheel, with the chance of earning you an additional bonus for free alongside whatever you win from the spin.
Above each reel stands an elf, and when you win something from the wheel, the reward is given to the rightmost elf to hold. With each spin, that reward switches to the elf on the left (until the leftmost elf throws it away), but if a Wild symbol appears on a reel below an elf holding a reward, you’ll be able to keep that reward! While this is a kind of complicated system which we wish was a step simpler or a bit more player-friendly, it’s undeniably creative and was enough to keep us at the edge of our seat. That goes double when you consider just how cool the prizes are – cash, multipliers, even as many as 100 free spins can be won if you’re lucky enough to grab the right reward from the wheel! Whatever the case, we have to admit that NetEnt have once again impressed us, and created yet another Christmas slot well worth playing!
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