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San Quentin xWays

San Quentin xWays by Nolimit City

San Quentin State Prison is the theme of this newly released video slot title San Quentin xWays from software provider, Nolimit City. The name San Quentin might be familiar to you as it is one of the most famous and oldest prisons for men in the United States of America, California, and has been featured in many films, books, television shows, and now for the first time in this video slot.

NoLimit City had a very productive successful year in 2020 and seems to be in full stride already for this year coming by releasing this excellent title in the very first month of 2021. Nolimit City is testing the limits as the theme of San Quentin xWays is not the norm, there are parody prison slots that exist, but they don’t have the same kind of realism as this particular title.

San Quentin xWays – what you need to know

The volatility of this game is as extremely brutal as are the inmates you would most probably be running into while in this prison. There will be a lot of smaller payouts landed while playing the base game. As far as the symbols go, the regular symbols are not worth much at all, and you will have to score a massive amount of Jumping Wild multipliers if you hope to benefit during the bonus round. While the 2,000x bonus buy option is a fantastic idea, in reality, there are very few players who will take the option.


  • Enhancer Cell positions on the top and bottom rows.
  • Razor Splits and xWays mechanics.
  • Lockdown bonus round with Jumping Wilds.


  • The top-tier bonus round costs 2,000x to buy and is not available for UK players.
  • The gameplay is highly volatile

San Quentin xWays – Theme and background

The game is set inside the prison yard, here you will see guard towers and loudspeakers just over the gates. While in the bonus round, you get to see the rec area, which consists of just a basketball hoop and concrete walls. There is also a cut-scene that involves a shower room floor, two sets of feet, and a dropped bar of soap. I don’t think we want to know what the outcome might be from that situation. Needless, to say, there is one piece of advice to give in this situation… Don’t pick up the soap!

We find 16 symbols in total in this game, which includes the 5 low-paying symbols that are represented by lighters, handcuffs, toilet rolls, handmade weapons, and a bar of soap. The 5 high-paying symbols are represented by inmates Beefy Dick, Loco Luis, Heinrich 3rd, Biker Bill, and Crazy Joe. There are also regular wilds, xWays symbol, razor split symbol, guard tower bonus scatter, split wild and jumping wilds in addition to the regular symbols. 

San Quentin xWays – Gameplay

If you were hoping for a pleasant light-hearted gaming atmosphere, then, perhaps, San Quentin xWays is not for you. This is a hardcore prison-themed game that takes place at a maximum-security prison.

The game features 5-reels with 243 win ways by default, with the number of ways expanding to 46,656 when in the bonus stage. You need 3 or more matching symbols in adjacent reels to land a win, and winning combinations have to start in the first reel and move left to right.

There are two mechanics that we find at the core of the base game, and these are, Split Wilds and Enhancer Cells. Both of these features can allow for massive and even mega wins, with the Split Wild been the more common feature that occurs.

  • Wild Splits: These can land on any reel and then split the other symbols on the same reel into two, thereby increasing the overall ways to win. However, the Wilds symbols themselves do not split.
  • The Enhancer Cells: These are the two caged rows we find at the top and bottom of the reels. If you land one or two scatters then it will activate both cells on the respective reel, which will cause them to open and reveal one of four options, which will increase your overall ways to win.

There are also the Razor Split and xWays that come into play.

  • Razor Split: all regular reel positions are split into two symbols when the Razor Split is activated. If you Land a razor on the top and bottom cell this will cause the symbols to be split twice, which means the first Razor Split will split the symbol into 2 then the next one will split the symbol into 4. The razors themselves have no pay value and do not split.
  • xWays: This mechanic creates a 4-symbol high stack on the same reel, which will reveal a common pay symbol. If you Land an xWays icon on both the top and bottom on the same spin, this will add two times a 4-symbol stack.

You can be awarded wins of up to 150,000x. This is most probably the highest potential that we have ever seen in a non-jackpot slot. The game has a default RTP of 96.03%, however, it can be as high as 94.11% depending on the preference of the casino operator. Also, it has a hit frequency that is quite high weighing in at 34.25%, although the straight line win can be quite low, which means you have to rely quite heavily on the game’s extra features to make headway.

San Quentin xWays – Free spins feature

The free spins are referred to as the Lockdown Spins, these are triggered when 3 or more guard tower symbols are landed on the reels. Once this happens, you will be awarded 3 extra perks:

  • Jumping Wilds, will be activated, and then move to a new position on the reels, they also come with multipliers, which can be doubled whenever they appear on the same reel as a Split Wild.
  • Scatters displayed on any of the reels will have their Enhancer Cells opened.
  • A multiplier will be attached to one convict symbol.

San Quentin xWays – My verdict

It’s quite clear that San Quentin xWays is a great title, while it is quite unforgiving and could even be called brutal. Overall, it has a base game that turns out to be quite well-balanced, allowing for sufficient wins that happen frequently. One must not be misled though, this is a highly volatile game. And at the same time a fun and exciting title to play.

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