The holidays are right around the corner, so you can expect a number of Christmas-themed pokies to be released in the coming weeks. The folks at Relax Gaming are ahead of the curve, already putting out Christmas Santa. Decorated in a cartoonish style, this five-reel pokie offers wins worth up to 30,000x the player’s wager.

Where to Play

In order to try Christmas Santa, you’ll need to locate an online casino that carries titles from Relax Gaming. For Aussie players, I suggest King Johnnie, as they provide a solid selection of games and top-tier customer service.

Return to Player

When checking out new pokies, the return-to-player percentage (also known as “RTP”) is always worth noting. That’s because it shows the long-term average of the game in terms of payouts.

For example, let’s say a pokie has an RTP of 95%. That means, on average, that the game will return $95 for every $100 wagered. This varies in the short term, of course, but it always holds true over thousands of spins.

Unfortunately, Relax Gaming hasn’t listed the RTP for Christmas Santa. Most online slots fall into the 95.5% to 96.5% range, but I prefer to know for sure.

Christmas Santa Pay Table

In this section, we’ll take a look at the various reel symbols and their respective values. Please note that payouts vary based on the player’s wager, which is meant to encourage larger risks. In the entries below, I’m assuming a maximum bet of $50 per spin.

  • Nine – The first of six poker symbols. Pays $5 for three matches, $10 for four, and $15 for five.
  • Ten – Valued at $5 for three matches, $10 for four, and $20 for five.
  • Jack – Pays $5 for three matches, $10 for four, and $25 for five.
  • Queen – This symbol is worth $10 for three matches, $15 for four, and $30 for five.
  • King – Pays $10 for three matches, $15 for four, and $40 for five.
  • Ace – The final poker symbol, it pays $10 for three matches, $20 for four, and $50 for five.
  • Christmas Stocking – Ideal for holding small gifts and candy. Pays $20 for three matches, $30 for four, and $100 for five.
  • Reindeer – Given his red nose, this is sure to be Rudolph. On a winning line, he’s worth $25 for three matches, $40 for four, and $150 for five.
  • Snowman – A smiling winter companion. Valued at $30 for three matches, $50 for four, and $250 for five.
  • Elf – One of Santa’s many pointy-eared helpers. Pays $50 for three matches, $200 for four, and $750 for five.
  • Santa Claus – As far as I can tell, there are no payouts attached to this jolly fat man. However, getting three or more on the reels at the same time triggers the Collector Bonus.

Santa Claus relaxes at the beach with a Christmas tree.

Collector Bonus

This bonus triggers when three or more Santa symbols land on the reels. When this occurs, you’ll be taken to another screen and awarded five free spins. The triggering Santa symbols lock into place for the remainder of the bonus (this also applies to other Santa icons that turn up during this phase).

During your free spins, the following symbols may land on the screen:

  • Snowflake – Nothing happens when this symbol turns up.
  • Santa – When the bonus round begins, the player starts at the bottom of the rung. However, they can move upwards, earning extra cash and multipliers along the way. The way to advance is to get a Santa symbol on the screen, and these remain in place for the duration of the round. Each Santa also adds another spin to your total.
  • Gift – This icon results in a bonus multiplier for collector pays and all instant wins.
  • Bonus Wheel – The player gets a spin on the bonus wheel.

Bonus Wheel

This wheel activates during the Collector Bonus round. When it spins, the following options are available:

  • Extra Spins – The player gets extra spins on the wheel.
  • Santa – Allows the player to advance higher in the bonus round.
  • Gold Segment – This symbol re-triggers the Collector Bonus.

Final Thoughts

I’d like Christmas Santa a lot better if I knew its RTP. In this day and age, I’m amazed that every poker machine designer doesn’t provide such listings.

On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with this game. The bonus round allows for a lot of payouts, and the basic reels also offer a decent return.

That being said, the RTP could be 97%, or it could be 92%. These are exaggerations, of course, but they should illustrate how wide the possible variation is.

Additional Reading

For more pokie reviews, please see the following:

  • Ghost Glyph
  • Crown of Avalon
  • Story of Egypt