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Scarab by IGT: the Model of Advantage Play

100x win on Scarab
Written by Joshua

Game: Scarab
Manufacturer: IGT
Advantage Play Potential: High
What Makes it Special: Limited spin cycle, multiple bet levels, multiple denominations

Scarab is a perfect modern example of an easy-to-understand Advantage Play slot machine. The game is relatively straightforward. It’s designed to be played in 10 spin cycles. During each of the 10 spins, anytime a scarab lands in a position, a gold border is added around the position. On the 10th spin, after resolution of any new scarabs that land, all of the gold-bordered positions are turned wild and the pays evaluated.

Aside from the wilds, there is a free spin bonus with three options, effectively offering a volatility option based on a player’s comfort. The free spin bonus is hard to land but is generally rewarding; my normal experience is a 50x bonus is not unusual.

The game has five bet levels at a denomination; some are configured to be multi-denomination games.

Understanding the Advantage

It’s the scarab/spin cycle aspect of the game that makes it so attractive to advantage players. Simply by looking at the machine you can see if there’s an advantage based on the bet level selected.

  • 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, the higher the advantage.
  • 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.

The advantage is particularly high specifically because of the structure of the game. Knowing exactly how many spins you must complete to reach 10 of 10 and get the wilds, you know exactly what you must bet. And although you can’t be sure what symbols will line up between the wilds, you can tell on relative terms what the opportunity is.

The 10 spin game cycle is also an unusual one to many slot players who bet until they get a bonus, run out of money, get bored with a game, etc. So it’s not particularly unusual to see games abandoned for a variety of reasons.

Even having a game with only a few wilds, but on 4 of 10 or 5 of 10, may be worth a try, since you don’t have to take as many spins to reach the conclusion and you have a partial understanding of what the outcome could be. I’ve picked up games that only had a couple of wilds, and landed a bunch in the remaining spins, so it still paid out well. That knowledge that spin 10 will yield the bulk of the payout makes it an easier risk to justify.

As such, if you’re new to understanding Advantage Play, it’s hard to find a game that’s easier to understand, and master the advantage play options, more than Scarab.

Other Features

Scarab also has a pretty exciting bonus round, which takes the gold border concept into a bonus round. You get three choices in the bonus round, a volatility choice in concept:

  • 15 games with 5 random wilds per spin
  • 10 games with 7 random wilds per spin
  • 5 games with 10 random wilds per spin

As such, the bonus round can get pretty exciting, especially when you have the additional wilds. 15 games is a safer choice and has more chances at a win,but the 5 games with 10 wilds can lead to some pretty hefty pays if they line up just right. Or split the difference and get a bit of each with the middle choice. The bonus can be difficult to catch, but it adds another level of excitement to what is already a pretty exciting game.

See the Game in Action

Included below is a video from the YouTube channel for Slot Queen, where she shows Scarab in action, both the 10th game Wilds and a couple of bonus rounds.

Have you played Scarab? Share your experiences in the comments below!

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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