Gladiator Pokie Review


Gladiator, the movie from acclaimed director Ridley Scott, debuted in 2000. Starring Australia’s own Russell Crowe, it tells the story of a betrayed Roman general who becomes a gladiator while seeking revenge for the murder of his family.

The film was a critical and financial success, winning five Oscars and vaulting Crowe to stardom. It wasn’t long before a number of licensed products hit the market, including this progressive online pokie from Playtech.

While the Gladiator poker machine has been out for years, it remains an enduring favourite. In the following review, it’s my intention to discuss the elements that make it a classic.

Return to Player Percentage

A pokie’s RTP, also known as “return to player,” provides a look at the game’s long-term payback potential. For example, a pokie with a 95% RTP will return an average of $95 for every $100 wagered.

In order to achieve this percentage, you’ll need to play hundreds or even thousands of spins. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the unpredictable effects of short-term variance.

Unfortunately, Gladiator has a rather poor average payback. While most online poker machines fall into the 96% range, this one offers just 91.46%.

Range of Wagers

Like most virtual pokies, Gladiator offers numerous wagers to choose from. The smallest possibility is just $0.01 per spin, while the largest bet is $25.

Due to the possible wagers, I consider this game ideal for players with a low to medium-sized bankroll. Of course, considering the presence of the progressive jackpot, high rollers may want to make an exception.

Gladiator Bonus

Gladiator sits atop the list of Playtech online pokies due to the presence of its progressive jackpot. This payout could alter your life, and over the years the game has paid out millions upon millions to punters.

To have a chance at the progressive, you’ll first need to trigger the Gladiator Bonus. This occurs when wild helmet symbols land on reels two through four. This bonus is available during both the base game and free spins round.

Once the bonus has been triggered, nine helmets (gold, silver and bronze) will fall onto the screen. Different prizes are offered for each colour, and their value is added together to determine the payout.

If all nine helmets are gold, then you’ll win the progressive jackpot. It’s hard to determine an exact payout, but the current record for the game stands at over $3 million.

Virtual reels on the Gladiator pokie from Playtech

Coliseum Bonus

The Coliseum symbol serves as the game’s scatter, and it can show up on any reel. While a pair of scatters offers a payout, three or more trigger the bonus game.

For starters, you’ll be taken to a screen with four rows of five stones. You’ll need to select a stone on each row to determine the following:

  • First Row – The number of free spins you receive.
  • Second Row – Determines the size of your multiplier (if any).
  • Third Row – Causes extra scatter symbols to appear during free spins.
  • Fourth Row – Causes extra wild symbols to appear during free spins.

While the above options are exciting enough, this feature also includes several other surprises. By clicking on a stone, you could win any of the following:

  • A player may choose another stone from the row above.
  • The player may choose another stone from the same row.
  • A player wins all prizes in the same column.

The player may continue to click on stones until they uncover the one that collects all prizes and starts the free spins round. While the bonus can’t be re-triggered, you can earn an additional three spins when the villainous Emperor Commodus appears on the third reel.

Gamble Feature

After a winning spin, you’ll have the option to increase your payout by risking your latest prize. If you decide to give it a try, then you’ll have to predict whether a face-down card is red or black.

If you win, you’ll double your money. Guess incorrectly, though, and your wager will be reduced to zero.

Most casinos allow the player to wager multiple times in a row on this feature. Of course, since each draw of the cards provides a 50/50 opportunity, it’s only a matter of time before you lose.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to see why the Gladiator pokie is still a strong performer for Playtech. The progressive jackpot remains the game’s main attraction, and it still produces millionaires on a regular basis.

The look of the game should appeal to fans of the film, especially since it contains images of cast members such as Oliver Reed and Joaquin Phoenix. Unfortunately, Russell Crowe doesn’t appear on the reels, but that can be overlooked.

I’m not thrilled about the game’s low RTP, but this is likely to compensate for the huge payouts it offers. The latter remains a timeless draw, no matter how many years pass since the release of the source material.