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TDKR Case Study

 PLAYER’S SESSION ON "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES"

GAME AND FREESPIN PAYOUT ANALYSIS 

GAME OVERVIEW:

The Dark Knight Rises is the new headlining game that functions on “243 ways to win” parameters. In line with other games of its type, the total bet calculated for such game is to multiply the coins count wagered by 30 and multiply the resulting coins by coin value.

 As such the game bet at 5 coins, at coin value of 0.02 would be considered as follows:

  • 5 Coins x 30 = 150 Coins staked.
  • 150 coins x 0.02 Coin value = £3.00 Bet Value.

"Bet Value" can be changed by either changing the number of coins staked, or changing the  Coin Value within the game window.

The game, as other "243" games has a vast array of options that a player can choose when starting their bonus round. Unlike other "243" games, this particular release allows the player to accumulate their free spins and their multipliers during base gameplay, through a series of “Bane vs. Batman” fight scenes. Each fight scene is randomly triggered with a base game spin and likewise, each scene randomly awards free spins and multipliers to be utilised in the "free spin" round.

Free Spin rounds are triggered when the player receives 3 scatters in the base game. At this point, the player will be able to choose one of four (2 Bane and 2 Batman) bonus rounds:

1. EXTRA WILD BLAST: Players can choose to replace a high symbol with a wild. During free spins, every time a high symbol is received it will act as a Wild symbol instead.

2. ROLLING REELS: When a winning combination occurs during a free spin, the symbols in the winning combination explode and disappear after you are paid out. The symbols above the exploding symbols shift position to fill the empty spaces created by the exploding symbols.

3. HEAT SEEKING WILDS: The transformed wild symbols can split into two symbols creating more winning combinations. The split wild symbols can create a six of a kind winning symbol combination. A six of a kind winning symbol combination pays out double the win for a five of kind winning symbol combination.

4. SUPER STACKED WILDS: The wild symbol transforms to create a wild symbol stack.

CASE OVERVIEW:

We were asked by one of our players to analyse their game session on another casino, in order to understand their game pay-out on a particular game. The customer could not understand the pay-out of the game; more specifically when triggering the free spins within the game round and was confused due to the pay-out of free spin credits on respective win lines which were not matching the pay-out value as described within the pay table of the game, in relation to the bet that triggered them.

The player supplied us with all necessary screenshots of the Playcheck sessions as well as their game trail data in form of an Excel file. We confirmed the validity of the material before starting the case and moved forward with our calculations.

SUMMARY OF OUR FINDINGS:

Deriving from the internal investigation of random cases on our casino, as well as specific investigation into this players case we found no discrepancies with the game pay-out calculations during our investigation. General understanding of the game functions however does raise player concerns which need to be answered.

We did raise two key questions with the game providers as a result of the investigation, inclusive of our internal comparative research, and are pending response for better understanding of the game performance. The questions relate to WILD symbol graphical representations vs. their value within Play check windows; and specific information relating to the average bet size calculations.

CASE FACT SUMMARY:

We took a look at the case “as is” and primarily collated the facts that helped us understand the clients concern, namely: Free spin pay-out value does not correspond to pay-table within the game.

PART A - Conditions & Game Free-Spin Performance

  • What was the triggering bet value?
  • What was the Coin Count at triggering bet?
  • What was the Coin Value of the triggering bet
  • What was the bet average prior to the triggering bet?

Desired Conclusion:

  • Derive the value correlation between the trigger bet and bet average.
  • Confirm that all free spin wins correspond to that correlation.

PART B – Win-line WILD Symbol Representation vs. Win-line Payout Analysis

During preliminary case review, we found a discrepancy between the graphical representation of the WILD symbol on the Playcheck screen and it’s reflection on the win-line paying value. The game Playcheck has shown “Stacked Wild” bonus symbol which substantially “skewed” the pay-out value in Player’s favour. 

During investigation we have concluded that any win that was showing “Stacked Wild” symbol was paying the value of the win-line in accordance to a “Split Wild” symbol, namely:

  • Five of a Kind wins were being paid double (as 6 of a kind wins described in the paytable)
  • Four of a Kind wins were paying as Five of a Kind
  • Three of a Kind wins were paying as Four of a Kind

During Playcheck screens analysis it was noted that the player had chosen Bonus Item3: 

We queried with the provider which Bonus Item selected corresponds to which type of Bonus. Through research, we assume that: Bonus Item 1 corresponds to Rolling Reels, Item 2 corresponds to Extra Wild Blast, Item 3 to Heat Seeking Wilds and Item 4 to Stacked Wilds.

INVESTIGATION RESULTS:

We have taken player lifetime on this Casino, for this game, and retrieved their gameplay trail. From the figures we have derived the answers to the above conditions.

Triggering Bet was valued at £3.00 which was derived from:

  • 5 Coin stake
  • £0.02 value per coin

Assuming player lifetime on this game is considered as attributing factor to the average bet, the AB (Average Bet) for this case, for this free-spin trigger  was £1.5191

We derived a 50.06% correlation between average bet and triggering bet, by diving the two. The lifetime average bet is worth 50.06% of the trigger bet (1.5191/3.00=0.5063)

We then analysed the pay-out of each of the free spin round and compared the payable pay-out (at trigger bet value) versus the actual pay-out of the win line.

Action Conclusion:

Negative. Free spins do not pay out at average bet calculated across the player’s lifetime.

In this player’s case, the game paid in 58% bet correlation, aka. for every win-line the amount of coins awarded was 58.22% of coins that should be awarded at 100% value in the paytable.

This means that the slot has paid HIGHER amount of coins than the player’s lifetime average (which was at 50.06% of trigger bet, not 58.22% as the free spins had paid).

Further Investigation:

This conclusion led us to investigate internal player cases in order to derive more statistical information.

We have tested the average bet function across several internal cases as well as repeated the tests across existing and new test accounts playing real money bets. We have found that the free-spins pay out adjusted coin awards according to changes in bet size, by either having:

A) INCREASED coin award in comparison to pay table – in cases where test accounts would play long duration of maximum bets that would trigger fight scenes,  and decrease to minimum bets before the scatter trigger, the coin pay-out values would pay much HIGHER amounts of coins than they should at minimum bet; or

B) DECREASED coin award in comparison to pay table – in cases where test accounts would play long duration of minimum bets that would trigger the fight scenes, and increase to maximum bets before the scatter trigger, the coin pay-out values would pay much LOWER amount of coins than they should at maximum bet. Genuinely

From the analysis we have derived 3 conclusions:

  • The Free Spins adjust the bet value according to the averages of previous spins and they do not pay at triggering bet.
  • Averages are not derived from lifetime bets. We have posed the question to the providers, how are averages actually derived. The reply was that average bet is calculated by the average value of individual spins that trigger the fight scene, inclusive of the spin that triggers the free spins.

“It is calculated as a weighted average of only spins that trigger fights leading up to the free spins and the spin that triggers free spins itself. As such it is quite possible that a player will be changing his bet, but will still enter free spins with an average bet equal to his triggering bet.

For example, this could happen if a player triggers free spins without triggering any fights beforehand. Another example would be when a player is betting either 7.50 or 0.30 on any spin, but he happens to trigger all of his fights and his free spins while playing 7.50.”

  • The free spins will adjust the awarded coin count according to the adjustment calculations, however it will maintain the coin value (0.01; 0.02; 0.05) at trigger bet value.

Part B – Winline Vs Win value in case of Wilds

During our investigation we have noted erroneous graphic representations of the WILD win on the Players account. As noted previously, the WILD win was paying in accordance to “Heat Seeking Wild” bonus selected, while the Playcheck graphics were showing “Stacked Wild” selected.

We have looked into several other cases and deduced the same behaviour pattern, whereas the Playcheck graphics on Wild wins did not correspond to the type of wild payout.

We traced each bonus item selected to Wild pay-out parameters and concluded the following:

During Event 2 of the free spin, Bonus Item will be selected. These are the corresponding features based on our conclusions:

1. Bonus Item 1 corresponds to Rolling Reels, 

2. Bonus Item 2 corresponds to Extra Wild Blast

  • During the selected Bonus Item2, you will notice event 3 in the free spins which will correspond to secondary Bonus Item selection (5,6,7,8,…) which correspond to the High Symbol selected when selection such bonus option.

3. Bonus Item 3 to Heat Seeking Wilds; and

4. Bonus Item 4 to Stacked Wilds.

CONCLUSION:

While we have seen claims of players managing to “cash-in” in the early days of the game launch due to different performance parameters of the free-spin pay-out, we could not see the different pattern on our installation of the game from the one present at launch.

The game adjusts the free spin pay-out according to the average bet of the spins that attributed to the free spins accumulation. It functions by adjusting the coin pay-out amount scaling it up or down form the intended default as needed.

As such, it is entirely possible to have the free spin pay out the bet at average bet value that equals the trigger bet value, as the averages are derived from bets that trigger individual fight scenes leading up to the free spin rounds. 

The game does show some minor design flaws in terms of play check audit graphics, but those are very easily accounted for.

We found no difference in game performance across all the cases we researched and as such have no reason to believe that game has faulted or its faulty in its performance.


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