Game: Diamond Mania
Advantage Play Potential: High
What Makes it Special: Limited spin cycle, multiple bet levels, multiple denominations
With Scarab doing well on floors, it’s not surprising IGT has rolled out a clone, Diamond Mania. At my home casino, the biggest change is simply a higher max bet, but otherwise the gameplay is identical to its predecessor.
Since the Scarab review was a bit shorter compared to the current format used on the site, let’s review and discuss the Advantage Play potential.
Understanding the Game
The game is a 5×4 reel layout with 75 lines at 75 cents, so a generous reel layout. The game plays in 10 spin cycles, and during each 10 spin cycle landing a diamond symbol will add a border to that space on the reel.
Once the 10th spin is completed, and before the pays evaluated, all the spaces with borders will turn wild, and then the pays will be evaluated. As you would expect, the 10th spin is where the magic most often happens, thanks to the number of wilds. And since the wilds only evaluate on the 10th spin, the line pays aren’t watered down.
There is the opportunity for random solid line hits as well, with the top symbol paying even two reels in, but the wilds are definitely where most of the magic happens. If you can get 10x or more, obviously that works out just fine given it’s a 10-spin cycle.
Free Spins Bonus
Landing three bonus symbols will yield a bonus with a volatility choice, giving you the chance to favor more wilds, more spins, or a middle ground option:
- 15 games with 5 random wilds per spin
- 10 games with 7 random wilds per spin
- 5 games with 10 random wilds per spin
The bonus is hard to land, but generally pays quite well (50x and up is not unusual), so it’s a great outcome when you get it.
Understanding the Advantage
The Advantage Play process I outlined on Scarab is the same on Diamond Mania (which is copied below but also fleshed out a bit more):
- First, you look at the spin count. If it says 10 of 10, you know the last cycle has been completed. If you begin to bet at that bet level, you will be starting a new cycle. There is no advantage in this situation.
- If it’s anything other than 10 of 10, you can then look at how many gold borders are on the reels.
- Generally speaking, the closer to 10 of 10 spins, and the more gold borders, especially on the first three reel columns, the higher the advantage.
- You spend less money to complete a spin set, even if the gold border count is low; if you pick up a cycle with few to no gold borders, it’s less of an advantage to start, but also less to invest to complete the cycle. Occasionally it works out and the game will send a lot of diamonds down towards the end of the cycle.
- This evaluation can be completed at every bet level, and if multi-denomination, through each denomination as well, which could lead to 5, 10, even 15 possible advantage scenarios of different strengths.
Both Scarab and Diamond Mania aren’t easily understood by some percentage of slot players, who will often leave in the middle of a cycle. Advantage Players working heavily in casinos know this and will check them often, but I routinely find solid opportunities. In just a bit of casual play, the hits you see in this article are examples of spins I completed that someone else started.
Watch and Learn
Here’s IGT’s gameplay video example:
TheBigPayback managed to capture the bonus, which is just as hard as on Scarab to achieve: