Dolphin Reef

The “Dolphin Reef” slot by Playtech was released in March 2009. It is a 5-reel, 20-payline video slot with a medium volatility and an underwater/marine theme. The game features a 95% RTP, free spins, a gamble feature, a wild symbol (Dolphin), and a scatter symbol (Treasure Chest).

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Dolphin Reef Slot Review

Dolphin Reef is a video slot created by Playtech. It features 5 reels, 3 rows, and 20 paylines. The game has an underwater theme focused on dolphins and other marine life. Dolphin Reef incorporates standard features like wilds, scatters, and free spins as well as an interactive bonus round.

The setting of Dolphin Reef is an underwater paradise. The background depicts the seafloor with schools of fish swimming by occasionally. The reels are bordered by strands of aquatic plants and sunlight beams down through the water. The overall visual design provides an immersive underwater experience. The higher value symbols consist of different sea creatures including a clownfish, sea turtle, seahorse, and starfish. The lower value symbols are represented by the standard playing card suits. The graphics are vibrant with each symbol animated when part of a winning combination.

The overall art style is cartoonish rather than realistic. The soundtrack consists of bubbly water effects and high-pitched chimes, complementing the cheery look of the game.

Dolphin Reef by Playtech
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Dolphin Reef Casinos

Quick informations

Volatility & RTP, Maximum Win

Dolphin Reef has a medium level of volatility. This means that payouts occur relatively frequently at a moderate size rather than rarely with very high payouts or very frequently with low payouts. The return to player (RTP) percentage of Dolphin Reef is 94.74%. This is slightly below the industry average of 96% for video slots. The maximum possible win is 5,000x the stake. When playing at the maximum bet amount of $250 per spin, the maximum payout would be $1,250,000. This is a fairly high ceiling compared to similar video slots.

Dolphin Reef by Playtech
The main bonus feature in Dolphin Reef is the free spins round.

Symbol Values

The clownfish is the highest value symbol, awarding payouts for landing 2 to 5 matching symbols on an active payline.

The payout values for 5 matching clownfish symbols are as follows:

  • At minimum bet ($0.25): 200x stake – $50
  • At maximum bet ($250): 200x stake – $50,000

The sea turtle is the second highest symbol, followed by the starfish and seahorse which both payout the same amounts. 5 turtles pays 100x the stake while 5 seahorses or starfish pay 20x the stake.

The card suit symbols of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades make up the lower value symbols. 5 matching card suit symbols award payouts ranging from 4x to 10x the stake depending on the symbol.

Overall the hit frequency in the base game is medium, providing a balance of small wins and increasing anticipation for bonus features.

Special Features

Dolphin Reef incorporates two special symbols – a wild and a scatter. The wild symbol is represented by a jumping dolphin. It substitutes for all other symbols except the scatter to help create winning symbol combinations. The wild appears stacked on reels 2 and 4 and also triggers the free spins feature.

The scatter symbol is a sunken treasure chest. If 3 or more scatters land anywhere on the reels it awards a payout up to 25x the stake and also activates the bonus pick game.

Free Spins Details

The main bonus feature in Dolphin Reef is the free spins round. It is triggered when the stacked dolphin wild lands fully on reels 2 and 4 simultaneously. This awards 5 free spins.

During the free spins, reels 2 and 4 become expanded with stacked wilds covering the reel. This massively increases the chance of forming winning combinations as the middle 3 reels spin.

With the expanded wild reels, the maximum potential payout during free spins is 5,000x the stake. If triggered at max bet, this would award the slot’s maximum payout of £1,250,000.

The free spins can also be retriggered by getting additional dolphin wilds on reels 2 and 4, adding 5 more spins. There is no limit to how many times free spins can be retriggered.

Analysis & Comparisons

The basic gameplay in Dolphin Reef is similar to many other video slots. The 5×3 reel format with 20 paylines is an industry standard. The medium volatility provides a middle ground between slots focused solely on big jackpots or frequency of small wins.

The marine life theme and visual aesthetic have some commonalities with slots like Fishin’ Frenzy and Lucky Angler developed by other providers. However, the specific focus on dolphins and the cheery, lighthearted art style gives Dolphin Reef its own unique personality.

The free spins feature with expanding wild reels on 2 and 4 is somewhat distinctive. While locked wild reels are a common mechanic in slots, having them expand to cover the entire reel is less often seen. This provides great potential during the bonus round.

Compared to slots with more complex bonus features like cascading wins or prize pick bonuses, Dolphin Reef is relatively straightforward in its core gameplay. But for players looking for a classic, well-executed underwater slot theme, it fills that niche very well.


In summary, Dolphin Reef incorporates a vibrant underwater aesthetic with smooth gameplay. The combinations of stacked wilds, scatter pays, and locked expanding wild reels during free spins provide multiple avenues for big wins. While not the most feature-rich slot, the thoughtful integration of audiovisual elements with conventional mechanics results in an entertaining, potentially lucrative player experience. For slot enthusiasts looking for an immersive marine wildlife theme, Dolphin Reef is a strong option to consider.

Written by: Vlad Hvalov