The Gladiator Jackpot is one of the largest jackpot generators in the Playtech’s game portfolio. Unlike other jackpots that feed on multiple games, this a single jackpot title built around a famous movie – Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a war general turned gladiator seeking vengeance for the murder of his family. The branded slot became nearly as big of a blockbuster as the movie itself, but we need to point out that Gladiator Jackpot is the second rendition of the jackpotless Gladiator slot released by the same provider.
Apart from the delicious jackpot prize, Gladiator Jackpot comes complete with a free spins round and multipliers for desert. It has Scatters and Wild symbols, landing on the 5-reel board with 25 paylines. The 2014 release has an RTP of 91.46% and pays the jackpot once in every 14 weeks, on average.
This is not one of those slots that award an accumulated prize randomly in the base game. Winning the jackpot is an event and it is celebrated by entering a bonus feature. You need to activate the Gladiator Jackpot Bonus round to get close to the payout and the only way to do so is to play with real money, preferably at max bet and maximum number of lines enabled.
The helmet Wild symbol is the protagonist of this special feature. You must collect three of them on the same spin, on reels 2, 3 and 4. So if you line up Wilds on the middle reels, you will activate the Gladiator Jackpot Bonus. A short feature film will introduce the bonus and a total of 9 helmets in gold, silver or bronze will appear on a new screen and you will need to click on them to reveal cash prizes. If 9 gold helmets grace the screen, you are the progressive jackpot winner.
Keep in mind that the feature can be triggered during free spins, but in that case you will only be able to reveal instant cash prizes. Any cash prizes you unveil will be added and credited to your balance. To win the jackpot, the Gladiator Jackpot Bonus round must be triggered in the base game. One detail that we’ve noticed about the Gladiator Jackpot Bonus feature is that the helmets will appear one by one, which we find builds the tension quite well. Imagine how the suspense grows if 5 or 6 helmets appear and you are burning in anticipation to see what follows! The jackpot seeds at €50,000 and 1% of each bet contributes to the pot.
Gladiator Gameplay & Features
Gladiator Jackpot has kept the structure used in the original Playtech Gladiator video slot. The engine runs on 3 rows and 5 reels, with 25 adjustable paying lines. The lines pay left to right, starting from the leftmost reel and you must match at least three paytable symbols to receive a corresponding payout. There are two exceptions to this rule – if you land 2 symbols of Commodus or Lucilla this will be enough for a small but not insignificant payout. These two are the highest paying icons in the game; after all, they were the main characters in the 2000 blockbuster film, apart from Maximus who is an “absent hero” in our slot game. Russell Crowe does not appear on the reels, but Senator Gracchus, Juba and Proximo do.
Maximus’ helmet makes an appearance, though, and takes on the role of the Wild icon. It replaces other symbols if need be, except for the Scatter. The Roman Coliseum is the Scatter and the rest of the paytable comes down to playing card values from 9 to Ace which pay modest amounts but fit in nicely in the lower spectrum of prizes the game offers.
The control panel below the reel board contains the usual settings and buttons; the player can adjust the number of activated lines and the size of the bet before spinning the reels. Max Bet, Auto Play and Turbo Mode are available to make all the actions faster and more convenient.
Enter the arena in the Coliseum Bonus
The Coliseum Bonus is a layered special feature with main prizes in the form of free spins and multipliers. In order to trigger this bonus, you must land three Scatters – Coliseum symbols – anywhere on the reels. This will initiate the bonus and you will be presented with a grid of 4 rows and 5 columns. Each row will determine the bonus enhancers and other factors. You will pick out stones from each row and unveil:
- The number of free spins in the first row
- The multiplier value in the second row
- The Extra Scatter Symbol during the free spins in the third row
- The Extra Wild symbol during the free spins in the fourth row
You will also win prizes in the picking process. When all the elements are revealed the free spins round can begin. Watch out for the icon of Emperor Commodus. If he lands on the middle reel during the round, this will add 3 more free spins. In total, you may win 24 freebies with a x3 multiplier. The feature cannot be activated again within free spins.
Other Gladiator Games
The original slot was very well received in 2008, which is why Playtech decided to upgrade it and add a jackpot pool. The game endured very little changes and benefited a lot from the addition of the jackpot. Nowadays, the version without the jackpot is almost impossible to find, since all the online Playtech casinos run the Gladiator Jackpot game.
Gladiator Road to Rome
Gladiator Road to Rome is the newest slot in the Gladiator series, if we can call it a series. Some refer to it as the direct follow-up to the first release, but it can also be seen as the combination of the two. Unlike the first game which came without the jackpot prize, Road to Rome features the same progressive reward as the Gladiator Jackpot. The game’s visuals are still true to the movie; the characters include Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), Proximo (Oliver Reed) and Tigris of Gaul (Sven-Ole Thorsen). The graphics look much better, though, polished and clean, and the RTP stands at 94.05%.
The Gladiator Wild symbol appears stacked and the players can also benefit from Coliseum Free Games and a picking game with shields that reveal various types of modifiers, from extra free games and multipliers to pay boosts, extra Wilds and Wild Nudge options. When 3, 4 or 5 Scatter symbols land on the reels you will win 5, 8 or 12 free spins, respectively. The Gladiator Bonus is the road to the jackpot – just collect three Gladiator Bonus symbols and hope to see 9 golden helmets on your screen.
Biggest Jackpot Wins
UK Player Wins £1.36 Million from a Mobile Bet
A 47-year-old mother of two, known as Angela from Buckinghamshire made an initial deposit of £30, wagered only 25p on the mobile version of Gladiator Jackpot and won a grand total of £1,365,870! The win happened on March 31st, 2017 and it was life-changing for Angela and her family. After the big win, she said that it all felt like a dream. Once she realised she had hit the jackpot, she woke her husband up and told him they were now able to quit their jobs and live a new life. Ironically, Angela was employed at a job centre.
Spain’s Biggest Casino Jackpot Won on Gladiator Road to Rome – €1,5m
A lucky Codere player achieved a new jackpot record for Spain. The anonymous lucky winner scored a €1,510,172.82 payout on Playtech’s Gladiator Road to Rome in August 2019. The seven-figure jackpot is more than ten times the size of Spain’s previous biggest jackpot win, which was, coincidentally, also achieved on a Playtech progressive jackpot slot from the DC Superheroes Jackpot series.
Gladiator Progressive Jackpot Win of €2.37m also Goes to a UK Player
Back in 2013, the prize of €2,374,847.22 was the biggest payout in Gladiator Jackpot history. It went to a lucky winner from the United Kingdom. Not much is known about this fortunate player and the event that made him or her a millionaire, other than the fact that prize was won at Winner.com.
William Hill Casino Punter Wins £2.7m
Gladiator Jackpot paid out its biggest win ever over Easter 2020. A lucky William Hill Casino player has won £2.7 million playing the Playtech progressive jackpot slot machine and broke the record previously established by the player who won €2.37m at the now-closed Winner Casino. It looks like the un-named winner hasn’t given any statements regarding the win, but we assume he or she would say that it pays off being a blockbuster movie fan and a progressive jackpot slot player!