When considering the range of Aristocrat pokies that have populated pubs and clubs across Australia over the years, none hold such classic status as Choy Sun Doa that infiltrated the public consciousness through a combination of great pokie gameplay and the kind of bold graphics that the manufacturer has become world renowned for.
The standout aspect of the pokie aside from the graphics is the 243 Ways to Win system, a means of applying an alternative to win lines to a pokie that was pioneered by Aristocrat and has been imitated since by all manner of manufacturers. With offline players in Australia having never seen such a system before, they were intrigued to give it a go. While that provided the initial attraction, the great underlying gameplay and immersive theme served to be perfect for keeping them entertained and coming back for more.
Before proceeding with the review, we are pleased to note that Choy Sun Doa is available to Australian online players at MyBet Casino alongside an excellent range of other Aristocrat titles.
Theme and Graphics
With such a truly Oriental inspired name, it will come as no surprise to players that have never before encountered Choy Sun Doa that the theme truly encapsulates the Orient and relevant imagery and symbols. The reel layout itself is adorned with dragon statues that truly serve to set the scene, while the reels themselves comprise traditional playing card icons alongside the likes of Golden Dragons, plus the Ancient Oriental Emperor and his Crown.
Getting Started on the Pokie
While many Aristocrat pokies are relatively simple to pick up and play as they all share a common betting pattern, that is not necessarily the case with Choy Sun Doa and some players may genuinely have never seen the 243 Ways to Win System in action before. Fortunately, it is certainly not difficult to pick up and get used to as it is similar to the standard win lines system, but with an added twist. The reels themselves take on a common appearance, with symbols laid out across five reels and three rows, but betting patterns are changed to give players more opportunities for a winning spin.
Rather than relying on predefined patterns, players win on a spin when their matching symbols are touching, regardless of how they appear. In practice, the chances are that if a certain symbol appears on all five reels then players will be paid out at the correct rate, regardless of the actual pattern. So as to still offer players a choice in their betting options, Aristocrat made it possible to deactivate entire reels down to a minimum of three, although we would honestly not recommend taking advantage of this feature as it restricts players to a maximum payout of the value of four symbols.
In line with offering adjustable reels rather than win lines, players bet five coins on each. In practice, this means that four active reels cost twenty coins per spin, while all five costs 25 coins, just as with a 25 win line pokie. The maximum bet per spin is $100, and the top prize for five matching symbols is 1,000 coins.
Features and Extras
Aristocrat loves adding extra innovative features to each of their original pokies. In Choy Sun Doa, the extra action begins in earnest with the Smiling Chinese Man symbol who acts as a wild card, filling in winning combinations wherever they occur and proving particularly valuable due to the nature of the 243 Ways to Win system. He does not appear as often as some other wild symbols that players may be used to, as the symbol can only be spun in on the middle reel. However, he is still extremely lucrative and well worth looking out for.
The Emperor’s Crown is the scatter symbol and gives players the chance to tackle the dedicated free spins round. The twist – with Aristocrat pokies there is almost always a twist – is that the player can choose how many free spins they receive. Naturally the obvious choice is that more is better, but the skill comes from the fact that choosing fewer spins means that a better multiplier is applied to all prizes. For example, players may choose eight free spins with a fifteen times multiplier, or go all out with twenty free spins and a five times multiplier. In practice, winning amount vary regardless of the selection, but the option means that players can at least divert gameplay in their favour.
Finally, players will also find the Red Envelope symbol which appears on the first and last reels during free spins. If it appears then the player is most certainly in luck as they receive fifty times their original stake, no questions asked!
Playing Online in Australia
Some Australian players have found that they can have something of a hard time when it comes to transferring their love of Aristocrat pokies to online casinos. As touched on earlier in the review, Choy Sun Doa is one of the few true classics to be available online in the country. Both MyBet Casino and the Spinroom at BetVictor Casino offer the game in full, and Australian players are more than welcome to sign up and get in on the action. You can check out our reviews of each casino in the recommended online casinos section here on the site.