Microgaming’s Hound Hotel is one half of a famous pair of games devoted to everyone’s two favorite housepets, cats and dogs. Kitty Cabana catered to felines, whereas Hound Hotel is dog-centric. You’ll adore what Microgaming has done here if you’re a fan of the classic Coolidge paintings depicting dogs playing poker. The canine protagonists of this story live in a five-star hotel where they dish out Dashing Wilds and a cool round of free spins with multipliers and one of five different wild bonuses.
Hound Hotel, as the name suggests, takes place in a fancy hotel, complete with maids, butlers, and the like. The gimmick is that the personnel and patrons are all canines of different breeds, brought to life as if they were people. The action unfolds across five reels and twenty-five paylines, framed by elegant columns as the hotel glitters in the background. The music is relatively quiet, with a background hum not unlike that of a café present throughout the main game. However, after you unlock the supplementary content, the plot thickens and the jazz begins.
Players can place wagers between 25 cents and $/€37.50 every spin, and a palatable mathematical algorithm guarantees a consistent flow of hits at modest volatility. Successes occur at a rate of about one in two, or between 48% and 49%. Whether it’s a big payoff or a tiny one, it’s nearly always on the horizon. The return to player rate, at a reasonable 96.25 percent, is another shining example.
The base set of symbols, J through A royals, are extremely basic, while the premium sets have a lot more character. Five dogs in various guises are staying at this hotel. Payouts for five of a kind premiums range from 6x to 18x the wager, and can be doubled in one of the special features explained below.
Hound Hotel’s Wilds are a major feature, at least when you’re playing for free. Although they can be exciting when stacked, they aren’t all that interesting in the base game. In addition to being worth up to 20 times the wager for a full payline of five, wilds can also appear on their own.
Features of the Hound Hotel
During the main game, players will receive Dashing Wilds but not much else. This bonus can trigger on any losing spin in the base game, giving the player an additional chance to win by adding three Dashing Wilds to the reels in random positions.
During the bonus round, Hound Hotel really ramps things up. When the Hound Hotel Bonus is triggered by getting three or more butler scatter symbols, the music begins. Scatters also payout from any position to the tune of 1x, 2x, 20x, to 100x the stake for 2, 3, 4, or 5 in view.
A three-story panorama of the hotel’s interior greets players before they get the bonus spins. A level 1 door click reveals one of five unique wild features, a level 2 door click grants a multiplier between 2 and 6, and a level 3 door click grants between 3 and 30 free games. Since free spins cannot be won again, you better hope your canine companions shine during their allotted time.
You might get a bonus turn if you open a door on the second or third level. Since free spins and multipliers are obvious, I’ll just run down the five wild modifiers:
Super stacked wilds occur on reels 2 and 4, where wild symbols stack up to 20 high.
When a wild symbol appears, it might expand to fill an entire reel.
The first and fifth reels always include wild symbols.
Wild cards that split in half award twice as much for 6 of a kind than for 5 of a kind.
Reels 2, 3, or 4 become super wilds on every spin. Wilds are created whenever a scatter appears on Reel 1 or Reel 5.
Judgment at the Hound Hotel
Microgaming nailed it with its Hound Hotel formula. It’s hardly a coincidence that canines make for such charming companions. While the humanoid aspects make it look a bit old, they also add to the lovely theme and provide for a delightful environment in which to play.
However, there are also serious parts to consider. While the original game is nothing exceptionally special, things get rather intense in the Hound Hotel bonus. The bonus game is heavily dependent on the results of the first three selections, which are extremely tense. Players who enjoy a steady stream of wins while they wait for the bonus to activate will find that the underlying mathematical model is well-balanced. While the stream of hits and Dashing Wilds might not cough up large payouts most of the time, they do help keep moods high.
The Hound Hotel Bonus is where players may earn the highest payouts by getting the friendly little butler to unlock maximum multipliers and free games. All of the finest wild features work similarly, with the goal being to fill an entire reel with wild symbols. If you scratch the right location on this puppy, you might win 2,933 times your initial wager.
Hound Hotel is Microgaming’s furry brown nugget. Although it’s not the meanest Pitbull in the kennel, players still love Hound Hotel because of its amazing bonus game and charming aesthetic.