Book of Ra Review

Book of Ra is one of the most famous high variance slots of all time and a classic from Novomatic’s library of games. Its’s simple gameplay with an Ancient Egyptian theme has been copied many times over – one random expanding icon in the free spins round can lead to massive wins of 5,000x. Play from 10c per spin at 95.1% RTP.

Name:  Book of Ra

Developer:  Novomatic

Paylines:  9

Reels:  5

Rows:  3

RTP:  95.1%

Variance:  High

Top Payout:  5,000x

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Book of Ra is a world-famous, five-reel, three-row online slot game featuring 10 paylines. It has been the inspiration for many other slots like Play n Go’s infamous Book of Dead. Novomatic’s game is popular for its simple gameplay and super-high variance with big payout potential. It’s Indiana-Jones type hero character has been copied many times over in other video slots, as has its basic hieroglyph graphics and ancient civilisation theme.

The objective here is to create winning combinations of three or more matching symbols, starting from reel one on the left. Some higher value symbols only require two matching symbols to trigger a payout. You can start spinning from quite a low stake level at just 10c and right up to $50 per spin for high rollers. This game also has an autoplay function which allows you to set the number of spins you want and your bet per spin, before letting the game then play automatically.

The game has become so popular in the video slot world that Novomatic have released several sequels including Book of Ra Temple of Gold and Book of Ra Deluxe.


The RTP of Book of Ra is 95.1% which is under average and the high volatility of the game means that the payouts are very uneven. Typically you can experience long periods with little of no payouts at all followed by short bursts with very high wins, usually triggered in the famous free spins round. The top payout is an impressive 5,000x and requires a full screen of the highest value icons – more on that in a moment.


Book of Ra has an ancient-Egyptian theme and as it was released way back in 2005, the graphics are a little outdated. The reel set sits against a backdrop of the pyramids and a windswept desert all in deep oranges and browns.

The low value icons on the paytable are the playing card symbols Q, J, A, K and 10. The high value symbols are in line with the Egyptian theme – here you will find purple scarab beetles, gold Egyptian statues, a gold Egyptian head, our hero character, and, of course, the Book of Ra itself.


  • Full screen of wilds possible
  • Super high variance
  • Classic theme
  • Very simple gameplay
  • Inspiration for many other slots


  • Variance too high for some


Book of Ra is a very simple and easy to play slot game and so only has two special features – a wild symbol and a free spins bonus round. Here is how they work:

Wilds Feature

The Book of Ra is the most important symbol on the reels as not only is it your wild symbol, it is your scatter symbol too. As the wilds symbol, it will replace other symbols on your reels to help form new winning combinations and award cash prizes.

Free Spins Round

The scatter Book of Ra symbol landing three or more times on the reels will trigger the free spins bonus round, which is what this slot is most famous for.

Here you are awarded 10 free spins but before the round starts, you will see the Book of Ra appear and pages start to flicker.  One of the symbols on your reels will now be randomly chosen. This symbol will become an expanding symbol during the free spins round to help you create even more winning combinations. That means, each time it lands, it expands to full reel height. It is possible to fill every reel with an expanding icon and in doing so, fill the entire reel set with identical symbols – this full screen affect is infamous in creating epic wins.

HINT: To get the biggest wins in the game, you are looking for the expanding symbol to the highest value icon, the explorer character.


Book of Ra is one of the most famous slot games anywhere online and is a must-play for any high variance slot fanatic. This game was one of the first on the scene with an Egyptian theme and although the game is older with quite outdated graphics, the design is still good. If you are looking for a very simple slot game that is easy to spin and has a few exciting features then this is a great option for you. It’s all about hitting free spins and getting a good value for your expanding icon. There are of course many updates on Book of Ra but you can’t beat the original!


Book of Ra by Novomatic