Dragon Link Slots Guide And Where To Find Them For 2024

Lynsey Thompson

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Lynsey Thompson

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Michael Graham

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Michael Graham

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Last Updated 16th May 2024, 10:56 AM

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Some casino slot games are iconic. Wheel of Fortune is one, Megabucks is another, and I would suggest that the Huff n Puff series just might be heading down that lane too. 

However, one game that has already achieved iconic status in a relatively short space of time is Dragon Link.

Designed by Aristocrat, Dragon Link has won multiple awards since its launch in 2017 and is quite simply a slot masterpiece.

Its mix of fiery eye-catching graphics, distinct sound effects, hugely popular hold and spin feature, plus the Grand Progressive Jackpot attracts slots players like a moth to a flame. And trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience here.

So, what is it about this Asian themed game that makes it SO popular? I’ll take a look at the different variations, features, updates and most importantly where you can play it.

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🐲 Dragon Link Variations

Even though it feels like Dragon Link has been around forever, it actually only launched in 2017. It began with four variations – Autumn Moon, Golden Century, Happy & Prosperous, and Panda Magic. A further six variations have been released since, taking the total to ten. These are:

  • Autumn Moon
  • Golden Century
  • Happy & Prosperous
  • Panda Magic
  • Golden Gong
  • Peace & Long Life
  • Peacock Princess
  • Silk Road
  • Spring Festival
  • Genghis Khan

The Dragon Link variations are linked by one overriding common theme – the Asian dragon – plus some standardized game features. However, they also have distinct themes and features that set them apart. Each of the games is built around a legendary Chinese folklore or historical character with subsequent matching symbols and graphics.

When Aristocrat designed Dragon Link, they already had the highly successful Lightning Link series of games. They specifically wanted to capitalise on this by keeping some of the most popular features (such as hold and spin) and build a new brand around it. 

That resulted in a game that had all the freshness and excitement of a new launch, but with the familiarity and simplicity of an already much-loved slot. In short, they hit the jackpot.

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Spoilt for choice

There are now ten different versions of Dragon Link to play, all following a different theme. Spread out within those ten are five different free games features to try out. 

High-Limit Dragon Link

Due to the overwhelming success of the original Dragon Link games, Aristocrat decided to launch some mid and high-level variants. And who could blame them?

In 2001, they launched a $1M progressive Dragon Link with a $25 minimum bet, and a $2,500 maximum bet. The best bit? The £1M jackpot is standalone and paid on the spot.  

As well as high-limit Dragon Link machines, which you’ll usually find in casino high limit areas, there is also a series mid-level Dragon Link machines that can be found just outside of the high limit areas. The main difference between these games is the starting denomination and subsequent min and max bets.

Finally, you can also find a range of Dragon Cash slot machines which come in the same ten variations as Dragon Link. The key difference with these slots is that they have a minimum bet of $5 (10c denomination), the progressives are usually much higher, and they are standalone jackpots so aren’t linked to other machines. They also offer more paylines on most denominations than the standard versions.

🔥 Dragon Link Features

As with most Aristocrat games, Dragon Link uses a five reel, 5x3 setup, with five to 50 paylines on each spin.

Lower value symbols are made up of the standard mix of card game ranks – K, Q, J, 10, 9. While the higher paying symbols are tailored to each specific game. In Panda Magic, the high paying icons include tigers and boats, whereas Golden Century has the terracotta army and flags.

Despite there being variations, all Dragon Link games have three main features – Hold and Spin, Free Games and Progressive Jackpots. It is this constant simplicity that makes the game so accessible and appealing to a mass market.

Hold and Spin

There is no doubt about it – Hold and Spin is a crowd pleaser. In Dragon Link this feature is triggered by landing six of the fireballs or orbs. Each fireball contains either a numerical value (such as 100 or $10 depending on your denomination) or a progressive word (such as MINI).

Once you land six balls, the Hold and Spin triggers and you are given three spins to land another. Every time you land one, the spins reset to three so you get another three chances to land another. When you run out of spins, the feature is over and you win the value of all of the fireballs added together.

Hold and Spin is not unique to Dragon Link. Far from it, in fact. Aristocrat already used it with Lightning Link and it features in many other games from Aristocrat and other suppliers. However, Dragon Link probably does it better than most, taking into account both the visuals and audio that accompanies it. 

Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots refer to the specific pots of money which are displayed at the top of all Dragon Link machines. There are four Dragon Link progressives which go up in value – MINI, MINOR, MAJOR, GRAND.

On Dragon Link, the MINI and MINOR progressive jackpots are fixed based on your bet level. The MAJOR is a progressive jackpot that grows independently on each slot until it hits its maximum level ($1000 on all but high-limit machines). Meanwhile, the GRAND is a linked progressive jackpot across the bank of Dragon Link machines that it stands within.

You can win a progressive jackpot in three ways. The easiest is by landing a progressive ball within the Hold and Spin feature. Secondly, the MAJOR can be awarded randomly. It’s rare, but you do see it. Finally, the holy grail: if you land all 15 fireballs in the Hold and Spin, you automatically win the Grand.

The Dragon Link Hold and Spin feature in particular is jam-packed with sound effects and themes that almost forms the soundtrack to every casino I’ve ever been in.

Free Games

The Dragon Link Free Games feature is where the most variation comes between games. They are all triggered in the same way – by landing three of the scatter symbols in one spin.

However, the scatter symbol is different in each variation, and once triggered the free games differ in how they play out. Some examples of this are below:

  • Golden Century and Autumn Moon – A ‘doors reveal’ feature 
  • Genghis Khan and Peace and Long Life – Multiplying wild symbols 
  • Happy & Prosperous and Panda Magic – Remove lower paying symbols 
  • Spring Festival and Peacock Princess – A large symbol in the middle
  • Silk Road and Golden Gong – Expanding wild symbols 

The various Dragon Link games also differ in the number of free games you can retrigger according to how many scatter symbols you land. Some games give three additional spins, while other give six. 

The added benefit of the Dragon Link Free Games feature is that you can trigger the Hold and Spin feature within it. And there’s nothing like winning a bonus within a bonus!

Dragon Link Audio/Visual

Dragon Link games offer a full sensory overload both in sound and vision. The key visual theme of fire and dragons provides an eye-catching sight across a casino floor. Particularly when grouped together in large circular machine banks, as they often are.

The brand is instantly recognisable and highly distinguishable despite there being many other dragon themed slots.

However, the audio identity of Dragon Link is just as, if not more, distinguishable than the visuals. The Hold and Spin feature in particular is jam-packed with sound effects and themes that almost forms the soundtrack to every casino I’ve ever been in.  

Asian-themed music while the Hold and Spin plays out turns into loud gong sounds when the fireballs are counted up one-by-one, finishing off with the carnival fanfare that accompanies the coin show at the end. 

But that’s not all. The MAJOR ball lands with what can only be described as a Adam West Batman ‘’POW’ sound effect. It gets me every time! When you hear it, you’re just praying that ball has brought five of its friends along with it. 

What awards has Dragon Link won?

Dragon Link was recently voted ‘Best Slot Game’ in the 2024 European Casino Awards. 

Prior to that, Dragon Link games won continual awards from 2018 - 2023 at the annual EKG Slot Awards. These include Top Performing Premium Game, Top Performing New Premium Game and Top Performing Proprietary Branded Game. 

Incidentally, in 2023, Aristocrat Gaming was also awarded “Best Overall Supplier of Slot Content” for the fifth consecutive year at the same awards.

🧮 Dragon Link Denominations

(Note: If you're unsure about how denominations work on a slot machine, then check out our handy guide)

The standard Dragon Link games offer denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, $1, and $2. This means it is an ideal game for people to play at all levels and is one of the reasons it’s so popular.

The lowest bet you can place is 50cent on the 1c denomination. The highest bet you can place is $50 on the $2 denomination. 

However, you can find loads of bet levels in between and at different denominations to suit your preference.

For many, sticking with a 1c denomination is preferable for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the math is much easier to work out. When a 100 ball lands on a 1c denomination, it means $1.00. Secondly, playing on a 1c denomination means you are playing with the maximum 50 paylines.

However, the 1c denomination also means the progressive jackpots are at their lowest. Alternatively, experimenting with different denominations can bring more variety and it doesn’t have to mean increasing your bet.

Say you decide you want to bet between $1 - $2.50 on each spin. By mixing up your denominations you can play Dragon Link in a number of different ways. This is shown as below.

Denomination

Credits

Bet amount

1c

100 credits

$1.00 bet

1c

150 credits

$1.50 bet

1c

250 credits

$2.50 bet

2c

50 credits

$1.00 bet

2c

100 credits 

$2.00 bet

5c

25 credits

$1.25 bet

5c

50 credits

$2.50 bet

Just be aware that increasing your denomination will decrease the number of lines you pay, but it will increase your progressive jackpot totals.

📌 Where To Find Dragon Link in the US

According to the American Gaming Association, there are currently 1011 casinos in the US. Most of these, as you would expect, are in Nevada, with the highest concentration in Las Vegas.

Every casino in Las Vegas has Dragon Link machines and many of them, usually with multiple banks of them around the casino.

Even according to Aristocrat’s own map, Dragon Link games can be found in every US state that has a casino. This also doesn’t include the many cruises and other venues that allow gambling.

It’s probably safer to say, that anywhere you can gamble in the US, probably has at least one Dragon Link slot game. 

The popularity of the game is not only limited to the US though. Dragon Link is internationally renowned and is exported internationally in Asia, Europe and Australia. You can also play Dragon Link in Aristocrat Associated Social Casinos, but they are not available at even the best online casinos yet.

Some of the locations you can play Dragon Link in the US are:

Why is Dragon Link so popular?

All entertainment is subjective. Ask one hundred people what their favourite TV show, film, music genre or game is and you’ll get 100 different answers or near enough.

Casino slot designers know that taste varies and they try to come up with a range of different designs, formats, bonuses and features to appeal to different markets. The beauty of Dragon Link is that they have found one that ticks almost all of the boxes for all of the markets.

Visually (and audibly) stunning, simple to understand and play, accessible to all bet levels, two exciting bonus features, opportunities to win big jackpots, and regular payouts as well. The exact RTP can differ depending on the US State you are playing in, but generally Dragon Link is known amongst casino players for paying out regularly.

It is actually very rare for a casino slot game to be so universally loved, but it’s easy to see why it is. 

From a personal point of view, I have played all Dragon Link variations and my particular favourites are Genghis Khan and Happy & Prosperous. I suppose they have just been my luckiest games to date. 

I have also been lucky to win a handful of MAJOR Dragon Link progressive jackpots in my time. That ‘POW’ sound effect is music to my ears! 

Ultimately, though, Dragon Link has been a colossal success for several years and is showing no signs of demise. Spreading internationally now, there’s a good chance that we’ll continue to see more variations in the future. And perhaps one day I’ll hit that Grand. If I don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying.

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Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
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Lynsey is a regular Las Vegas visitor and a keen slots and roulette player. As well as significant experience as a writer in the iGaming and gambling industries as an expert reviewer and journalist, Lynsey is one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube Channel and Podcast 'Begas Vaby’. When she is not in Las Vegas or wishing she was in Las Vegas, Lynsey can usually be found pursuing her other two main interests of sports and theatre.

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