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The Lone Star State is famous for its celebration of all things BIG, so it is not surprising that IGT’s design team went BIG on Texas imagery for their 2000 release of Texas Tea slots machine. Big hair, enormous cowboy hats, long horned steers, and even longer Cadillac symbols all play prominent roles in the game’s iconography.
Admittedly, the 2015 mobile platform release wasted little effort on updating the stereotypical Texan themes, they did nothing, and so the game has a decidedly dated appearance to the modern mobile game player.
That said, Texas is a big state and this free to play slot game has a lot of features to explore before putting the cattle to bed, or whatever cowboys do with their cows at night.
Cow sleeping habits aside, let’s find out about the basics of the game before diving into the bonus rounds of IGT’s Texas Tea.
Texas in a Cartoon Format and Playing the Game
When first pulling elements out of their creative haversacks back in 2000, IGT’s design team settled on a cartoon format that pushes the envelope on buffoonery and Texas stereotypes. The theme is simple; the goal is to work your way up the proverbial oil derrick to become a Texas tycoon. Oil’s the game my friend, oil is the game.
This five reel and nine pay lines presents a big spread to cover when playing the game’s highest betting combination. While the minimum bet of $1 is still far from a casual penny ante, betting the $100 maximum, along nine active pay lines, quickly manifests itself into a $900 bet if you are not careful. You will want to always check the wager amount before hitting that play button.
As might be expected, there is a plethora of icons available that harkens to even the most tenuous thread to the Lone Saar State in the basic game including:
- Armadillo—Five of a Kind=500X Line Bet
- Ted’s Private Plane—Five of a Kind=250 X Line Bet
- Ted’s Prized Bull—Five of a Kind=250 X Line Bet
- Ted’s Convertible— Five of a Kind=250 X Line Bet
- Texas Yellow Rose—Five of a Kind=100 X Line Bet
- Texas Bluebonnet—Five of a Kind=100 X Line Bet
- Texas Purple Cactus—Five of a Kind=100 X Line Bet
The game’s highest payout, 10,000 coins is awarded when you land four or more Texas Tea Logo.
Needless to say, nailing five of a kind is typically a hard sell and a solid reason to keep your eyes open for specialty icons to boost your shot at winning in the bonus rounds of which there are two. Probably the most pressing question at this moment is undoubtedly, “Who the hell is Ted?”
Ted, sporting an impressive handlebar moustache, 10-gallon hat, and all the trappings of a Texan tycoon is in fact, the game’s Texas tycoon. Also, if I am reading the room correctly, I believe that the armadillo is Ted’s pet armadillo.
The fact you should know is that Ted’s portrait serves as one of two scatter options that open up the first of two bonus games. The second is represented by a Texas “Big” oil derrick.
Playing Texas Tea Bonus Rounds
The bonus options consist of two separate games, The Oil Dividend and Big Oil Derrick. These are activated when the same scatter icon emerges a particular number of times on your reels. In case you gather four or more Oil Derrick icons on one of your active pay lines, the bonus feature called Big Oil Derrick is triggered.
Big Oil Derrick Game
The screen displays a set of animations revealing the map of Texas and all the different regions into which it has been separated. The screen then opens and, and regions can be chosen based on how many scatter icons are used to activate the feature.
Once you have selected your regions, the bonus credits rise as oil spurts out from the map. The intervals between oil spurting from the various regions you choose will vary. The additional credits will accumulate and be added to the overall win until the bonus round ends.
Oil Dividend Check
The Oil Dividend Check is activated when four or more Texas Ted icons emerge on your reels. During this bonus game, a check is written by Texas Ted and then multiplied into the bet you placed when the feature was triggered. As a result, this bonus feature will award your winnings based on the size of your bet.
How to Play in the US
As popular as the Texas Tea slot machine is, very few casinos still carry the 5 reel video slot. If you do find it, it’ll likely be in the section with Wicked Winnings and some of the older model games. You’re far more likely to find spinoffs including Texas Tea Pinball across the Borgata Casinos as well as the MGM Grand Casino in Michigan.
Thoughts on IGT’s Texas Tea
Playing in the United States, I am barred from playing for real money owing to the steep betting curve in a game that is obviously geared towards the high rollers in the room. If faced with wagering “real” money on these expensive “reels,” I would probably scamper to the nearest game that was kinder to my wallet.