Push back the foliage of this Central American jungle to reveal yet another slot themed around Ancient Mayan Culture. Novomatic brings us 5 reel, 10 payline slot with High volatility and a worryingly low payout rate of 95.18%.

The slot’s been around for a while and I wanted to check out how they’ve updated it over the years. I mean if it’s got that much staying power, there’s gotta be something great going on, right? Well, let’s take a walk with our bold adventurer and pick through all the somewhat unorthodox features to find out whether this mythical book is worth any trouble at all.

  • The game’s prize potential is decent
  • The gamble feature can double your win in the base game
  • Players who enjoy high risk can boost Free Spin wins with the Extra Bet feature
  • Book of Maya is available to players in Canada
  • The RTP is lower than you’d hope
  • There’s no soundtrack, just arcade-style digital sound effects
  • There are too many dry spins for small budget players
TYPE Video Slot
REELS AND PAYLINES 5 reels, 10 paylines
GAME FEATURES Free Spins, WIlds, Scatters, Gamble Feature, Extra Bet Feature
RANGE OF BET 0.40 to 200
COIN VALUES 0.40, 1.00, 2.00, 4.00, 10.00, 20.00, 40.00, 100.00, 200.00
MAXIMUM WIN 1,249 x your bet
PAYOUT 95.18%

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Theme and Background

Let’s cut to the chase. The theme and game design aren’t going to blow you away. There’s something very crude about the symbol design, and our main adventurer character looks like a roughly-hewn combination of the child of Indiana Jones and a Ken doll. I tried not to look at him too much.

The other symbols are what you expect from this sort of theme, lots of eerie features carved into colored stone. The soundtrack was appalling, a series of whirrs and beeps straight out of the very first arcade game, designed to make your ears bleed from prolonged listening. I turned the sound to a resolute ‘mute’ as soon as I realized it wasn’t changing.

The grid, set against a jungle and temple ruins, is made up of A to 9 cards plus an assortment of Mayan carvings, a gold throne and our extremely polished adventurer. The Book of Maya in question also appears, acting as both Wild and Scatter. Quite frankly if you racked up this slot alongside all the other Mayan themed games available right now, you’d struggle to pick it out of a line up.

Book of Maya - Gameplay

Aside from a variation on the usual free spins offering, the special feature gameplay is a little different in Book of Maya. Whether this serves to make the slot more interesting or simply unnecessarily confusing is up to you, but here’s how it all works.

Book of Maya extra bet symbol

Extra Bet

On the top right hand corder of the grid, you’ll notice a button labeled ‘extra bet’. Press this and two things will happen.

The first is that your bet will be automatically doubled, and the second is that youll engage respins, which will come into play when you activate the Free Spins feature (more on this below). The downside to all this is that even though your bet has doubled, the payouts for individual symbols will remain the same.

Book of Maya symbol

Free Spins

This feature is triggered when you line up enough of the game’s Scatter symbol. The mystical Book of Maya is representing here, and you’ll need 3 or more Books to get your 10 Free Spins. Before the game kicks off, 1 symbol will be chosen at random.

During the spins, each time this chosen symbol lands it will expand over the full reel, increasing your chances of forming winning combinations. Now, if you’ve activated the ‘Extra Bet’ button (it will be green if you have) then you’ll also have the added benefit of bonus re-spins during the feature. This means that every time the randomly selected expanding symbol lands and expands, the remaining reels will be re-spun.

Book of Maya gamble symbol

Gamble Round

And for an added layer of thrills, and the opportunity to double your money with every winning combination in the base game, Book of Maya includes a ‘Gamble’ button. This gives you the chance to gamble your winnings on a game of black or red.

You’ll need to guess the color of the next playing card to be turned over, with any incorrect guesses seeing you lose all of your most recent win. However, guess correctly and the slot will pay out at double your win.

Book of Maya - Payouts and Wagering Limits

There’s definitely decent money to be won during this tour around Ancient Maya, but it won’t be easy. Our avid explorer is the slot’s highest paying symbol, offering 25,000 coins for 5 of a kind. This is followed by the Book of Maya and the green Mayan God who represent the same value. Unsurprisingly, the card suits are the lowest value, with the remaining symbols taking middle place.

The mysterious Book of Maya serves a dual purpose, acting as both the wild and scatter. It replaces all other symbols (except the special expanding symbol) and also triggers the game’s Free Spins feature. The payline bets in this slot can be customized, as can the bet placed per line, giving players an added layer of flexibility.

The slot does feature autoplay, but it can’t be programed for a pre-set number of spins, you’ll have to hit stop if you want to call it a day. So be sure to watch your balance on that one! In terms of a strategy, I would advise players to keep bets low with this slot. You’ll want to make your bankroll stretch out as long as possible, giving you time to hit on the special features, because that’s the only place you’re going to excavate any value.

Book of Maya - Final Verdict

Book of Maya 150 x 150

Final Verdict

Book of Maya


Quite frankly I’m surprised this slot has been in circulation for so long. I’ve scarcely experienced a game of its kind that pays out so infrequently. I fear there’s very little treasure to be excavated here, just a bank balance at risk of becoming as extinct as the Mayan civilization.

The special features were weak and highly compromised, requiring you to bet double for several spins in the hopes of maximizing on the Free Spins round (if you ever succeed in triggering it). This felt a little bit scammy and put me off wanting to engage with the slot for an extended period of time. The dry spells were also a big problem, and saw me almost entirely depleted of funds before I recouped any losses.


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