Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action Slot Review

Slot Provider: Pragmatic Play

RTP: 96.5% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 2,100x

Our Score: 7.0

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About Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 30th April 2024

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action is part of the hugely popular Big Bass series of fishing slots from Pragmatic Play. It is a clone of the first game with one addition at UK slot sites – an Ante Bet feature allowing you to bet 1.5x your stake for better odds of hitting the free spins round. Once there every wild that lands activates fish money symbols and is collected in a meter. Every 4 wilds extends the round further and increases a win multiplier up to 10x. Max win is 2,100x and spins start at 10p.

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action Game Information

  • RTP: 96.5% | 94.5% | 95.5%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 2,100x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: 10
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Theme: Fishing
  • Features: Ante Bet, Wilds, Cash Collects, Free Spins, Multiplier

What We Liked

  • Chance to fast-track to free spins with Ante Bet feature
  • Fun and cheerful game design
  • Up to 10x multipliers in free spins
  • Fill the wild meter to extend the free spins round
  • Stake from just 10p

What We Didn't like

  • Low max win at just 2,100x
  • Base game is very uneventful

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 8
  • RTP and Variance 7
  • Maximum Win 6
  • Symbols and Paytable 7
  • Features and Gameplay 7

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"For better odds of hitting Big Bass Bonanza's all-important free spins round play this version and hit that Ante-Bet button!"

Overall Score: 7.0

Theme & Design

Our Score 8

Simple, Colorful and Cheery Visuals and Sounds

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action is identical in looks to Big Bass Bonanza. Put them side by side and maybe this version has slightly sharper graphics, but that’s about it. It’s a nice design with an underwater cross section with bubbles floating upwards and seaweed waving in the current. The lasting appeal of this game is partly down to its cheery nature and that is here in abundance with the upbeat twangy guitar, brightly colored fishing gear and smiling fisherman. All present and correct.

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action by Pragmatic Play
Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action – a bright and colorful game

RTP and Variance

Our Score 7

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action has three RTP rates – 96.5%, 94.5% and 95.5%. Which you play at will be at the discretion of your casino operator. Most pick one of the lower 2 rates, but MrQ from Lindar Media consistently runs Pragmatic slots at the optimum RTP which is why I recommend playing this game there. For comparison, 96.5% is very marginally less than the RTP found in the first Big Bass Bonanza slot (96.71%).

But wherever you play you can check the RTP for yourself by hitting the ‘I’ button under the grid then scrolling through the game info screens. When you see Game Rules, scroll down until you see Return to Player.

Of course, Reel Action is also a high variance slot, rated 4/5 on Pragmatic Play’s own scale, which is the same as the original Big Bass slot. In fact all the games in the series are rated either 4/5 or 5/5.

Maximum Win

Our Score 6

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

The max payout from a single spin here is 2,100x. Not a huge sum by any stretch, but in line with the first Big Bass slots so not surprising. If you want to stick with this series but cast your line for bigger catches then the best to go for are Big Bass Hold and Spinner Megaways (20,000x) or Big Bass Day At The Races and Big Bass Amazon Extreme (both 10,000x).

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 7

The game format is a familiar one too with 5 reels, 3 rows and 10 paylines to win on. You’ll need to hit 3 or more identical symbols across a line from left to right, starting at the left most reel, to trigger a win.

Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action Paytable
The paytable with 200x for 5 float symbols

There are 10 pay symbols to trigger wins. They are the 5 cards – 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, valued at from 0.5x for 3 10s up to 10x for 5 Aces – and the 5 premiums – shoal of bass, tackle box, may fly, rod and reel and float, valued at from 1x for 3 shoal of bass up to 200x for 5 floats.

The fisherman with his catch is the wild, but he only shows up in the free spins round. As ever, his job is to substitute for any pay symbol to complete a line AND most importantly, to activate fish money symbols that appear on the reels at the same time.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 7

Big Bass games are (in most cases) ALL about that free spins round. Not much happens in the base game so keep your eyes peeled for scatter symbols – represented by the leaping bass – to trigger the feature.

It works as follows:

  • 3 scatters gets you 10 free spins
  • 4 scatters gets you 15 free spins
  • 5 scatters gets you 20 free spins

Now, during free spins, every one of the shoal of bass symbols to land will carry a cash value of 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x or 2,000x. These values are unlocked and paid out when a fisherman wild lands on the same spin.

In addition, there is a wild meter above the reels. Every 4th wild collected unlocks the next level in the free spins round. That gets you 10 more spins, and a global win multiplier increases to 2x after 4 wilds, 3x after 8 wilds and 10x after 12 wilds. Once the meter hits 12, the round cannot be extended any further.

And finally, Reel Action also has a near miss feature. If a wild lands during free spins but there are no fish money symbols to collect then random fish symbols may be added anyway to give you a payout.

Ante Bet

The one stand out difference (aside from the very, very small difference in RTP) between this version of Big Bass and the original Bonanza game, is the Ante Bet option. Here you can increase your bet value by 1.5x to increase the number of scatters in play thereby increasing your chances of triggering the free spins round.

NOTE: Outside the UK Reel Action also has a Bonus Buy feature which allows you to buy direct into the free spins round by-passing the base game entirely. But Bonus Buy is banned here.

The Final Verdict

The original Big Bass Bonanza game is all about the free spins so it makes sense to create this version with an ante bet feature to increase your odds of getting there. It is the sole reason that Pragmatic Play have made this game, and whether you want to play it depends on your attitude to ante bet. It will give you more chance of landing the bonus, but remember it will burn your balance quicker too! As an alternative, if you want a Big Bass slot with more going on in the base game, try Amazon Xtreme where cash collects happen randomly there too.

Useful Tips When Playing Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Use The Ante Bet Feature 

The only reason to play this version of Big Bass Bonanza is to use the ante bet feature to increase your odds of triggering free spins. Remember, free spins are the main event in this game and you want to unlock them to be in with a chance of the biggest wins.

2. Look Out For Scatters

Once the ante bet is on, just keep your eyes on the reels for those scatter symbols that you need to unlock the free spins round. At least 3 are required.

3. In The Free Spins Round Look For Fisherman Wilds

Once there, you need as many fisherman wilds as possible to keep collecting fish cash values and progressing up the meter to unlock more spins and higher multipliers. It’s that simple!

4. Make Sure You Play At One Of Our Recommended Sites

We have chosen the slot sites on this page because they scored high in our reviews and they are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. This is important because it means they are safe and fair. Never play at unlicensed sites.

Who Made Big Bass Bonanza Reel Action?

  • Name: Pragmatic Play
  • Established: 2015
  • UK License: Remote 046683-R-325951-014
  • Total Games: 500 +
  • Known For: Wide range of themes and styles, live casino including gameshow formats, and bingo
  • Popular Slots: Fruit Party, Dog House Megaways, Big Bass Bonanza, Release the Kraken
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