In recent months, as a gaming specialist who chats with lots of industry managers, I have had many queries about where Aristocrat’s new Dollar Storm fits best on a gaming floor. As with all gaming products, there are many answers to that question depending on the size of the venue, the type of players you have, the competing products already on the gaming floor and the level of turnover each venue generates. To answer the question, I thought I’d take a look at what differentiates Dollar Storm from existing games and the advantages that may resonate with your venue.

 What’s different about Dollar Storm?

Even though Dollar Storm is a combination of the best aspects of both Lightning Link and Dragon Link, from a purely operational perspective Dollar Storm provides a number of differences that are important.

  • Dollar Storm offers 3 levels of jackpots (Major Jackpot, Rapid Grand Jackpot and the Super Grand Jackpot) and 2 bonuses (Minor and Mini Bonus) – 5 top box featured amounts in total.
  • Dollar Storm is a multidenom game covering from 1c to $2 in NSW and 1c to $1 for QLD, including a new 20c option on a 25-line game.
  • There are four new games available for Dollar Storm: Dollar Storm-Caribbean Gold, Dollar Storm-Egyptian Jewel, Dollar Storm-Emperors Treasure, and Dollar Storm-Ninja Moon.
  • Players can win the Super Grand Jackpot from a single symbol.

The unique advantages to Dollar Storm

1. Why is the 20c denomination so important?

The advantage to the 20c denomination is that it is on a 25-line game. This means on Dollar Storm, the $5 player can go for the larger Minor Bonus of $1000 without sacrificing any lines.  On a 10c bet at 25 lines ($2.50) the minor bonus isn’t as large as it increases based on denomination. On a $1 or $2 bet the number of lines drop. By playing at 20c the player can play for the Minor Bonus at its highest level on all the lines.

2. What jackpots do I choose– link/link or link/cash or cash/cash?

The flexibility of the jackpots is a great advantage for Dollar Storm because it allows every venue to choose the version that suits their players and their turnover most effectively. Both the top level Super Grand Jackpot and the Rapid Grand Jackpot can be either a link or a standalone progressive level with a choice of start-ups and RTP%. The Rapid Grand Jackpot level is the equivalent of the top Grand Jackpot on Dragon Link and Lightning Link with a lower start-up value, but twice the number of hits. Clubs can choose any combination of these jackpot types.

In general, a small or low turnover venue could choose to have the cash/cash version with no link and standalone jackpots on the individual machines that allow their players to access the new games, but don’t increase the financial risk for the venue. By doing this you could just add one or two machines to your floor without overcommitting on your budget.

A club or pub with solid turnover levels can opt for the Super Grand Jackpot as a link across a number of machines on a Dollar Storm bank but have the Rapid Grand Jackpot as a standalone progressive on each machine. The players can ‘jackpot shop’ this second level looking for the one with the highest current jackpot to play.

In a large club or a venue with higher turnover, a super Grand jackpot can be offered as a link across the Dollar Storm bank of machines, with the Rapid Grand Jackpot also offered as a link across all machines. Some venues are choosing to offer the link/link version in their higher turnover areas, such as outdoors, and then offering the link/cash version inside, taking advantage of the flexibility to choose the version that suits each player preference.

3. Super Grand Jackpot

The Super Grand Jackpot adds an extra jackpot level above the Dragon Link and Lightning Link games. Whether you choose to install the Super Grand Jackpot as a link level across all machines on the Dollar Storm bank, or as a standalone progressive jackpot on a single machine, the jackpot is won when a single Super Grand chance symbol lands during the hold and spin feature. When a player touches the symbol, it spins to award the player $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, $2,500 or the Super Grand Jackpot. The advantage to this unique feature is that the players can win the largest prize with a single symbol and any player who achieves the Super Grand chance symbol knows they have won at least a minimum of $1000.

Do I need to reduce my Lightning Link games when I install Dollar Storm?

This really is a question that each venue needs to investigate for themselves based on their gaming data. There is enough differentiation and flexibility with Dollar Storm to allow for most clubs to offer Lightning Link, Dragon Link and Dollar Storm. However, if the older Helix and Viridian WS Lightning Link games have dropped below average, reducing their numbers when installing Dollar Storm should avoid direct competition between the different links. If the Lightning Links are still above average, then don’t fix what isn’t broken and leave them there.

Importantly the Lightning Link and Dollar Storm Links appeal to different player expectations. The volatility of Dollar Storm is a little higher than Lightning Link so your lower tier players may still find Lightning Link suits them best.  Dollar Storm is around the same volatility as the Dragon Link for the more serious players, particularly for those players betting at the higher end of the denomination and bet range, but the Rapid Grand Jackpot value at twice the hit rate, and the dynamic Minor Bonus level will be a plus for them.

Your average bet on the Dragon Link should give you a good idea of where the Dollar Storm Link will sit on your floor.


Dollar Storm has been moving into NSW venues over the 3 last weeks with exceptionally strong performance results. Even with Sydney currently shut down, according to MAX data, Dollar Storm games are averaging 80% above floor across NSW.

In QLD where the games have been installed since May MAX data show’s equally solid performance results with an average of 90% above floor for clubs and 50% above floor for hotels. The games are currently leading the Top 50 rankings in the state.

The four fresh games in the new Mars X cabinet make Dollar Storm an attractive proposition for any venue, but the flexibility to choose jackpot levels, a mix of link or SAP levels, and its new faster hitting Rapid Grand Jackpot feature won from a single symbol, add to the uniqueness of the Dollar Storm range. How you configure it to suit your players doesn’t change the fact that this is a high priority purchase for venues in Australia.


Justine Channing

Gaming Specialist – The Drop