How To Play Cash Or Crash
Cash or Crash Live is Evolution’s latest “game show” title, set on a vaguely steampunk themed blimp. In the middle of the cabin is a ball drawing machine containing 19 green balls, 1 gold ball and 8 red balls. The balls are drawn automatically, live on screen with a compere dressed as a member of the airship’s crew. The game is based on a very simple idea:
- When a green ball comes out of the machine, the blimp rises up a level.
- When a red ball comes out of the machine, the blimp crashes all the way back to earth and the game ends.
- The gold ball is a shield; as well as sending the blimp up a level just like a green ball, it negates the next red ball. That’s all there is to it.
Except that’s not all there is to it at all, not by a long way.
For a start, there’s the stunning background graphics, revealing another layer of Evolution’s fantasy city every time the blimp rises up a level. Cute penguins, a miniature steam train, a shocking pink castle and a thrilling looking rollercoaster are just a few of the landmarks you’ll spot as you travel upwards (or crash down).
The gameplay of Cash or Crash is not as simple as you might think, either. The buy-in is easy, as all you do is place a single bet at the start of the game (starting at 20p). What’s complex is that you need to decide when to collect your winnings as when the blimp crashes to earth anything you still have on the table will be lost!
As the blimp rises, your winnings go up according to the paytable, which shows what you could win at the next three levels plus the top prize. The paytable itself is enhanced if and when the gold ball is drawn.
After each rise with no gold ball in play, you have three choices:
- Continue – leave all of your winnings on the table
- Take Half – cash out half your current winnings. This is only available when half your current winnings is 40p or more, so you won’t be able to use this option at low levels if you only bet 20p or 50p. After you cash out half, the paytable adjusts to show what you could win with your remaining stake.
- Take All – cash out all of your current winnings.
On the decision screen, the two little airships show you the chance of the next draw ending the game (red) or continuing (green/gold). The chance of getting a red ball goes up with each level as the number of green balls left in the game goes down. You can also see how many other players choose each of the three options. If you don’t pick one of them in time, the choice defaults to Continue unless your previous choice was Take Half (in which case it defaults to that).
When there is a gold ball in play, there’s no choice; you continue upwards automatically until the next red ball is drawn. That cancels the shield and the three choices return.
The RTP of Cash or Crash falls within a range of 94.51% to 99.59% depending on what betting and cash-out strategy you use, and there is a helpful description in the game help files of the strategy that attracts the top RTP of 99.59%:
- Continue until the blimp either crashes or reaches level 9 without a gold ball. Take all at level 9.
- If you get a gold ball before reaching level 9, continue until a red ball is drawn.
- When a red ball is drawn after a gold ball, continue for one round more if on level 1,3,4,5,6,8,11,12,14 or 15 and then take all (if you don’t crash). Otherwise, take all immediately.
This strategy is high variance; if it weren’t for the gold ball fewer than 2 games in every hundred would reach level 9 and the rest of the time you’d lose your entire stake. The gold ball helps but as there are 8 red balls and only one gold and it only takes one red ball to end the game, most of the time the game ends without the gold ball having shown up. Indeed, in more than a quarter of all games the FIRST ball to show up is a red one – as can be seen in the screenshot, where the coloured bubbles in the bottom right hand corner show the results of the last 8 games.
In practice, lots of players don’t follow the highest RTP strategy but Take Half or Take All considerably before reaching level 9; while this may not be the best strategy for maximising RTP a lot of people clearly find it more enjoyable as they win in many more of the games.
Where To Play Cash Or Crash
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