Has Merkur Truly Cracked The Online Market?
What Is Merkur Known For?
What Can We Expect From Merkur In The Next 50 Years?
About Merkur Gaming
Innovation, passion and tradition are the values at the heart of the Merkur Gaming experience. Based in Germany, Merkur Gaming is part of the Gauselmann Group, a world-renowned gaming group founded by Paul Gauselmann in 2012. This gives it the support of an organisation that employs 12,500 people in over 40 countries worldwide and is worth €3bn (£2.78bn).
Gauselmann has a hugely positive reputation in Germany, having won a string of awards as one of the best employers in the country. In 2018, it was named one of the best employers for promoting and supporting women employees. Merkur operates a number of land-based and online casinos and runs a social casino with an emphasis on fun rather than prizes. It is strongly focused on highly-regulated markets, which is a good indicator of its legitimacy.
This security has enabled Merkur Gaming to create a large portfolio of high-quality games with multi-faceted content that appeals beyond its home market; in fact, the combination of experience, tradition and innovation in Merkur slots makes them well worth looking out for at online casinos. You can also play a great collection of its three- and five-reel slots in demo mode here at Slots Temple.
Merkur Gaming gameplay features
Merkur Gaming is slowly and steadily conquering the online market, although it has traditionally been best known for producing fully-featured cabinet games for bricks and mortar casinos. These include the incredible Avantgarde Magie, which delivers a high-paying link solution for progressive jackpot play.
This is a company that is using all the latest technological advances to up the game when it comes to online slot content. Already well-established for its superb cabinet games, Merkur now combines HD graphics with its proven gameplay innovation to produce slots that are entertaining and challenging for every style of play.
Merkur offers great diversity in its themes, often offering a spin on a familiar genre that is totally eye-opening. It is also the creator of some truly original features, including:
- Gamble: Merkur slots let you gamble every win to double or even triple your winnings or more. You will either gamble on the turn of a card or on a ladder-style increaser; either way, you will have the opportunity to boost your bankroll and turn the volatility of a slot to your advantage.
- Re-win: this feature guarantees some kind of reimbursement to the player after a non-winning spin. This is often combined with the double and triple chance features to increase the number of re-wins available for potentially lucrative outcomes.
Merkur also makes full use of all the gameplay options at its disposal to pack its games with wilds, multipliers, free spins and bonus games. There is a particular focus on generous free spin bonus features.
Focus on three-reel classics
In its transition from offline to online, Merkur has stuck to what it knows best and has produced a series of classic Vegas fruit machines that have proved incredibly popular with players. There are some great examples in the Triple Chance series of three-reel, five-payline slots. These feature the re-win game mechanism that helps to recompense a player when they have experienced a losing spin; for example, Double Triple Chance has a re-win wheel of fortune-style game that delivers plenty of cash-filled opportunities to win.
Cash Fruits Plus ups the number of reels to five and adds the powerful sunmaker symbol to a line-up of traditional fruit symbols. Land five and you will pocket the tasty 10,000-coin jackpot. The 95 per cent RTP and low volatility make this a very playable slot with the potential for rich rewards.
Fruitopia is the slot that really made Merkur’s name when it started to produce content for online casinos in 2015. Another great way to get your five a day, with cherries, lemons and grapes galore, this classic slot adds the joker wild symbol to create the potential for plenty of winning spins. The crisp, clean graphics and uncomplicated gameplay make this a perfect introduction to Merkur slots and the world of online spinning.
Candy and Fruits is another slick and traditional slot that is ideal for beginners and adds a wild symbol into the mix. Start with three paylines and play at bet max to unlock all ten. Another of these retro games is Super 7 Reels, which is a back to basics game with winning combinations that play right to left in addition to left to right, effectively doubling the number of paylines.
None of these games are earth-moving and the graphics are basic, crisp and serviceable. They are definitely old-school spinners with few features but they are packed with fast and furious action and some decent gameplay. Merkur games have improved and evolved markedly since their early days, with the company moving into the realms of five-reels video slots with strong characterisation and exciting bonus features.
Cutting-edge video slots
Although Merkur is not about to challenge Microgaming or NetEnt any time soon, it has really upped its game when it comes to producing five-reels slots of real quality and visual interest.
We have already mentioned the diversity of the entire Merkur portfolio and you will find some real treasures when you move away from the vintage end of the collection. Of course, Merkur has put its own twist on well-known themes, such as Ancient Egypt and Myth and Magic. The graphics have a distinct in-house style that errs on the side of the slightly old-fashioned - think Aristocrat with its signature royals - but the developers are on a steep learning curve.
Knight’s Life takes the five-reel, five-payline format of some of the fruity games but adds a really cracking free spins feature that can be hugely rewarding. Earn up to 30 free spins with progressive multipliers of up to 3x. You can even retrigger free spins with just two horse scatter symbols.
Generous free spins are also a feature of Queen Cleopatra. This is one of Merkur’s most visually impressive slots and has a decent RTP of 96.12 per cent. Three Book of the Dead scatter symbols award three free spins, with the book flipping open to reveal a chosen symbol that will expand to fill its reel whenever it appears. You can also retrigger the free spins indefinitely by spinning three more scatters. The equally attractive Dragon’s Treasure uses a similar free spins feature, giving it great potential.
The game most often credited as showing what Merkur was capable of beyond those retro Vegas fruities is 221b Baker Street. This is a Sherlock Holmes-themed slot with some stylish graphics and two lucrative features: free spins and the duel bonus. The free spins are typically generous, with up to 20 spins with a 5x multiplier on offer. The duel bonus combines some nifty animation with a familiar pick and win bonus but shows what Merkur is capable of; in fact, the look and feel of this slot with its comic book good looks and immersive soundtrack make it a slot well worth investigating.
If your preferred bonus feature is free spins, Merkur slots will definitely be your cup of tea. In Vampires, there are 15 free spins with wilds that turn other winning symbols wild, while magic-themed Zipper delivers up to 24 free spins and multiplying wilds aplenty for some huge payouts.
There really is a Merkur game to suit every theme, whether you love mystical adventures such as World of Wizard or takes on empires such as Gold of Persia. There is not a theme that this company has not tackled with some degree of success, from the skate-themed Skate Jam to the modernist adventure Sci-Donia and even a tribute to pixelated arcade games with Reel’n’Run. Other highly-rated games include Eye of Horus, Monkey Mayhem and Theatre of Rome.
Merkur Gaming in online casinos
There are currently an estimated 20,000 Merkur gaming cabinets in land-based casinos worldwide. Its online slots seem to be just as popular, appearing in a wide range of online casinos including highly-rated sites such as 666 Casino and Slotster. You will also find them at some of the really big hitters, such as Mr Green and BWin casino. It is fair to say that Merkur slots are a good mark of quality and that if its software is present at a casino site, it is usually worth giving the reels a spin.
Merkur has not rested on its laurels and is branching out into other casino games besides slots; for example, Septagem is a casual game in which you place a bet and gems are revealed. You are aiming to reveal all seven to win a huge payout.
Merkur has also produced a series of roulette games, including a double zero classic roulette game with one click game selection and the classic roulette we all know and love with one zero, orphelins and 5.8 series games. Bahama Roulette is another classic single zero game with a Caribbean blue baize and a reel nestled in the white sands of a tropical beach.
These games are beautifully executed with great attention to detail in the graphics and gameplay. They also look stunning thanks to HD resolution for a crystal clear gaming experience. Again, they may not quite be at the standard of the big players in casino gaming but Merkur is a relative newcomer in the battle to create top-notch online content and is learning all the time.
Other Merkur products
Merkur is also renowned for its cash recycling products that support the automated pay-in and pay-out of sports betting slips, safe and quick cash handling, and money changing in all directions. The new GeWeTe Cash-Protect-System offers enhanced protection for your cash handling system. This is another string to Merkur’s bow and enables it to deliver a complete land-based casino solution alongside its ever-popular cabinet games.
How to get the best out of Merkur Gaming slots
There is no doubt that Merkur Gaming slots are worth a spin with their generous free spin features and integrated gamble feature. If you want to get the best out of your experience playing Merkur slots, these simple tips will optimise your next Merkur spinning session.
- Check the volatility and RTP. Most Merkur slots have an RTP of 96 per cent and above. Although this is a theoretical number, it is a fair indicator of the kind of payout ratio you can expect; however, this can vary unless you play thousands of games at a 100.00 wager, which is how game developers arrive at the RTP calculation. Volatility is also a good metric for judging where the wins are likely to come from and the ratio of risk to reward. High volatility slots deliver more substantial but less frequent payouts than low volatility slots, which deliver a steady stream of low-value wins.
- Have a test spin in demo mode. You can test out your selected Merkur slots in free play mode, which lets you test the water and try out different staking strategies without risking any of your bankroll. You will also get a sense of the most rewarding slots without making a potentially expensive mistake.
- Study the paytable. Each Merkur slot has a unique paytable and it is a good idea to study this so that you know where the paylines are and what rewards to expect from different combinations of high and low paytable symbols. You can also study the game rules and find out what to expect from bonus gameplay.
Fairness and legitimacy
When you play Merkur Gaming slots, you can rest assured that they are fair, legitimate and secure. Every Merkur Gaming slot is thoroughly audited by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), which holds the coveted ISO 9001 certification. GLI offers a wide range of certification and auditing services and is one of the leading bodies in the industry. It also licenses gaming companies, with Merkur licensed through GLI.
As of 2018, Merkur Gaming has been a member of Euromat, the European Gaming & Amusement Federation. It is one of its corporate members alongside JVH Gaming, Faro Games, Lowen Entertainment, and other leading lights in the European gaming industry.
The fact that the history of this company reaches back to 1957 speaks of its legitimacy and solid reputation in the industry. Coupled with the presence of Merkur software at some of the best-rated casinos in the business, it is safe to say that Merkur Gaming is a trusted name when it comes to producing casino games that are both fair and legitimate.
The mobile gaming experience
Like most games studios, Merkur is fully engaged with instant play gaming, creating its five-reel slots using HTML5 technology. This enables Merkur slots to be played directly in-browser, which delivers plenty of benefits for the mobile-first gamer.
Being browser-based means there are no files or apps to download before you start a spin session with Merkur slots. Simply open your favourite browser and you won’t have to wait long before your game is ready to go - thanks to the asynchronous loading of assets, it takes mere seconds from selecting a slot to spinning it. An added bonus is that HTML5 slots use less battery power than conventional Flash-based slots, so you can enjoy on-the go-gaming for longer.
Whether you use an Android phone, an Apple tablet or a Windows laptop, you will experience the same flawless performance across your devices regardless of the operating system. Better yet, browser-based games optimise for any size of screen and orientation. It goes without saying that the best Merkur graphics look outstanding on a pin-sharp HD screen.
Positives and negatives of Merkur Gaming slots
If you love a rewarding free spin bonus, you will definitely enjoy playing Merkur slots. This is the favourite bonus gameplay feature in more recent slots and is usually incredibly generous - not only do you start the feature with a decent number of free spins but also they can usually be retriggered indefinitely for some massive potential. Merkur usually combines free games with another feature, such as expanding wilds, featured symbols or multiplier prizes, to deliver plenty of bang for your buck.
One criticism that is often levelled at Merkur games is that the graphics are not up to the standard of industry giants such as NetEnt. While this is certainly true of the earlier fruit machine-style slots that are clearly ported from the land-based cabinets, Merkur has produced some very visually appealing games since it hit its stride; in fact, titles such as 221b Baker Street and Odin are quite stunning and compare well with the best in the business.
Are Merkur Gaming slots worth playing?
Merkur Gaming can’t be faulted on the diversity and professionalism of its product. Literally, all bases are covered, from land-based cabinets to online slots and money management. If you are an online slots player who loves a free play feature, few are better than those offered in Merkur slots. The initial parcel of slots is generous and there is always an extra feature to create greater potential.
As these slots are backed up by one of the giants of the gaming industry, you can play safe in the knowledge that there are no nasty surprises in store. Merkur slots are fair and legitimate and with hundreds on offer covering every theme and genre, this should be one of your go-to providers.
With a solid reputation and plenty of integrity and innovation on its side, Merkur Gaming is definitely a studio that delivers plenty of solid gameplay. While it may not be at the forefront of developers just yet, it seems to be on a constant learning curve and its content just gets better and better all the time. Slowly but surely, it is adapting its land-based approach to its online casino games, which can only bear some very tasty fruit.