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Buffalo Ascension


Buffalo Ascension is one of many games with a Buffalo theme. What sets this one apart is that the number of positions shown on reels 2 to 4 can vary from 4 to 7. The higher the stacks of symbols, the more ways there are to win and the closer you are to a bonus.

Slot vultures know that if the stacks are high enough, the odds swing to the player's favor. Knowing when to play should be something in the machine advantage player's bag of tricks (shut up Wiz!).


  1. There are no paylines, but rather "ways to win."
  2. One bet buys all possible ways to win.
  3. The player may bet 100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 credits. I imagine one credit equals one cent on most games.
  4. All wins are in proportion to the value of a credit, except the progressive jackpot.
  5. Line pay symbols are the buffalo, eagle, cougar, wolf, raindeer, A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9.
  6. The sunrise is wild and substitutes for any line pay symbol only. It appears on reels 2 to 4 only.
  7. The gold coin is a scatter symbol and pays 1, 5, or 10, according to whether there are 3, 4, or 5 on the screen. In addition, 3 to 5 gold coins shall win 3, 15, or 20 Free Games respectively.
  8. Reels 1 and 5 are 4 positions high.
  9. Reels 2 to 5 can show 4 to 7 positions. This what I call "stacks."
  10. Some symbols may transform into an arrow or buffalo.
  11. If the player gets an arrow symbol, the reel on which it appeared shall grow by one position.
  12. If a reel that already has 7 positions in a stack, then the player shall earn the award above that stack and then that reel shall reset to 4 positions high.
  13. A special golden arrow can appear on reel 3 only and only when that stack is already 7 positions high. If it does appear, the player shall win the progressive jackpot and then the reel resets to 4 positions high.
  14. A different set of reel strips is used according to the height of the stacks.
  15. The prize above reels 2 and 4 is usually a Stampede or Free Games bonus. Very rarely is it a Super Stampede.
  16. The prize above reel 3 is always the Super Stampede bonus.
  17. The Free Games feature shall begin with 8, 15 or 20 free games.
  18. Free spins have different reel stripping.
  19. The stack sizes on the initiating spin shall be retained in free spins.
  20. If the player gets two gold coins in a free spin, he shall win 5 more free spins. The player can re-trigger the bonus with 3 to 5 gold coins with 8, 15 or 20 additional free spins.
  21. In free spins, the sunrise symbol, in addition to being wild, shall also come with a 2x or 3x multiplier, to apply to all wins for that spin. Except, if the player retriggers the bonus with 3 to 5 gold coins, then the wild multiplier shall be 3x or 5x for all remaining spins.
  22. The Stampede can be won only if that award appears above reel 2 or 4 and that reel gets an arrow on a stack size of 7.
  23. In a Stampede, a heard of buffalo will charge across all five stacks, changing many of the positions to buffalo.
  24. A Super Stampede is the same as a normal stampede, except there will be multiple stampedes of buffalo. I assume the average number of positions changed to a buffalo is more in a Super Stampede.

Here is an example of the "ways to win" rule. In the images below (after a Stampede) there are 1, 4, 2, 2, and 1 buffalo in reels 1 to 5 respectively. That makes 1×4×2×2×1 = 16 ways to win. Five buffalo pay 300 credits, so the total win was 16 × 300 = 4800 credits, or $48.

stampede example

If my rules were not clear or incomplete, here are the rule screens directly from the game.

Play Point

I recommend playing when there are 3,136 ways to win or more.

A rare exception is if there is a Super Stampede at the top of reel 2 or 4, in which case you should lower the Play Point. If forced, I would say to 2,688 in that situation, but that figure doesn't have much data behind it.

Some vultures will adjust the Play Point according to whether the reel 2 or 4 stack is at 7 and one away from a bonus. Other vultures will be more inclined to play if the bonus above the reel 2 and 4 stacks are Free Games, as opposed to a regular stampede. My opinion is these factors are not strong enough to adjust the Play Point, but I recognize that opinions range on such games and I may not be exactly right. As always take my advice with a grain of salt.

The buttons conveniently do the math for you, showing the number of ways to win for all five options on the bet amount.

buffalo ascension ways to win

External Links

Discussion about Buffalo Ascension in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.


I would like to thank "Howard Ratner" for his advice and consultation on this game.