Lightning Link Pokies Review

Lightning Link pokies from Aristocrat made their in-person casino debut in 2015. They introduced a fresh gaming feature with the ‘Hold and Spin’ bonus. Since then, every slot studio has scrambled to create a variation of this popular feature.

There are multiple Lightning Link pokie titles. They include Magic Pearl, Happy Lantern, Moon Race, Tiki Fire and High Stakes. Each has a unique design and a free spins feature. You can win progressive jackpots in the Hold and Spin bonus. Fill the entire screen with prizes, and you’ll win the giant grand jackpot.

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Rating:

Rated 4.3/5 stars.

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Features

Reels/Rows
5/3
Payline
5 to 50
Payout Ratio (RYP)
95.1%
Stake (Min/Max)
50c / $20
Game Developer
Aristocrat
Bonus Feature
Yes

Betting Options for Lightning Link Pokies

You get to choose the number of paylines and denomination before you spin. The first step is to pick 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 50c, $1 or $2 per line as your denomination. Depending on your choice, you will then play between 5 and 50 flexible paylines. For example, you can spin 2c per line at 50 lines for a $1 bet – or pick $1 per line and have 5 lines for a $5 bet. Minimum bets are 50c per spin. High roller rooms at major casinos feature higher denomination options.

All Lightning Link titles have five reels and three rows. Symbols vary, depending on the theme. Each game includes a wild symbol and scatter symbols which trigger the bonus games.

You will also see special symbols showing cash amounts or the names of jackpots. These trigger the Hold and Spin bonus.

Return to Player for Lightning Link Slots

The Return to Player (RTP) percentage for Lightning Link pokies increases alongside your bet level. If you are playing for 1c per line in a land-based casino, the RTP is a relatively low 90%. You can increase this to 96% by playing at the $2 per line bet level. These returns are in line with other live casino pokies. Online versions of Lightning Link pokies have an RTP of 95.1%.

With any jackpot slot, you should keep in mind that occasional giant prizes are part of the overall return percentage. You can decrease the volatility of your returns by choosing more paylines. With smaller numbers of paylines, your reliance on hitting the Hold and Spin bonus increases.

Free Spins and Hold and Spin Bonus Features

Lightning Link pokies are famous for the Hold and Spin bonus. In addition, each title has its own free spins bonus, with diverse ways to boost your wins while this feature is in play.

Hold and Spin

Six or more special symbols showing cash amounts or jackpot names are needed to trigger this feature. The regular symbols now disappear. You have three spins to hit one or more additional prizes. Each time you hit one, your spins reset to three. When you miss three times, the balls are totalled, and you are awarded that prize. You can win the mini, minor, and major jackpots by hitting balls with these names on. The grand jackpot is awarded when you fill the entire grid with balls.

Free Spins

Three or more scatter symbols will trigger a free spins bonus that depends on the Lightning Link title you are playing. Features include multiplier wilds, expanding wilds, giant symbols, reveal symbols (which all show the same symbol, including the Hold and Spin symbols) and removing the lower paying symbols. Free spins can be retriggered.

Lightning Link Slots: Themes and Symbols

Each Lightning Link pokie has unique symbols. The format they all follow is four higher paying symbols, a single wild symbol and scatter – with playing card symbols aces down to nines as the fillers.

Prizes for the best symbols are impressive. For example, in Tiki Fire, the island native pays 150x for five of a kind. With wild symbols available to connect wins it is easy to trigger multiple paylines on the same spin.

Other top paying symbols include the Lunar Lander (on Moon Race), Pyramids (on Sahara Gold), golden cat (on Happy Lantern), Indian Prince (on Bengal Treasures) and Turtle (on Magic Pearl).

Scatter symbols pay a prize based on the total number in view and are not tied to paylines. Five scatters will pay 100x your total bet. They also trigger the free spins bonus. Unless you get six special Hold and Spin symbols at once, they do not pay any prizes.

Mobile Play on Lightning Link

Lightning Link pokies are primarily found in in-person casinos. You can play them online only via special smartphone apps. These bring Lightning Link to your mobile device seamlessly. You can enjoy the base game, Hold and Spin bonus and the different free spins features just as you would in a casino or bar.

Can You Play for Free?

You can enjoy Lightning Link pokies for free via the dedicated smartphone apps. In a land-based casino the minimum bet is 50c per spin. With new Aristocrat pokies making their way online, it is only a matter of time before you can enjoy Lightning Link in demo mode at multiple online casinos. For now, your best bet is to enjoy them for small stakes in the live setting.

Lightning Link from Aristocrat: Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • First pokies to feature the Hold and Spin bonus
  • Win cash amounts and jackpots by filling the reels with special symbols
  • Win the grand jackpot when you fill all 15 spots
  • Lightning Link pokies have a range of entertaining themes
  • Each game has a unique free spins bonus feature with varied game play.

Cons:

  • The only current online option is via a dedicated app
  • RTP% is low for smaller denominations

Wrapping Up: What Makes Lightning Link Pokies Hugely Popular?

Lightning Link pokies have changed gambling machine design around the world. They were the first games to have a Hold and Spin bonus. These features are now part of new pokie games from all the leading studios. With jackpots to be won, Hold and Spin makes for an entertaining diversion from the base game action.

Aristocrat have expanded the range of games with Hold and Spin bonuses. You can play Dragon Link pokies (which have Asian themes) and the new Dollar Storm games. Dollar Storm introduces a ‘Super Grand’ jackpot for even bigger prizes.

Maddison Dwyer

Senior Writer & Queen of Cards

Maddison, a graduate from the University of Queensland with a degree in journalism, has turned her sharp analytical skills towards the casino world. Specializing in blackjack and roulette and more, she guides enthusiasts through the complexities of gambling strategies.

Her background in ethical storytelling enriches her approach, making her insights into casino gaming both trustworthy and engaging.

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