If you like online slots, where soap and shivs are the order of the day, San Quentin xWays is worth a stretch. Johnny Cash and BB King have both performed there. It’s got its own gas chamber, just off Death Row. Serial killers are two a penny. What’s not to love? Are you ready? Right: strip, spread, touch your toes, and get ready to spin. We’re going in.

San Quentin xWays Look and Feel

San Quentin xWays Slot Symbols
San Quentin xWays Slot Look and Feel

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"San Quentin xWays has got an old school graphic novel vibe to it. Heavily tattooed cons grace the screen... The tongue is planted firmly in cheek. It’s fun."

San Quentin xWays has got an old school graphic novel vibe to it. Heavily tattooed cons grace the screen. Either side of the reels are security cameras, lookout towers, and prison walls. The tongue is planted firmly in cheek. It’s fun.

When you launch the game, you are introduced to a variety of San Quentin residents, including the likes of Heinrich 3rd, Loco Luis, Biker Bill, and Beefy Dick. The play area is a five by three grid, with another two horizontal rows both top and bottom. These are locked Enhanced Cells and only come into play when certain symbols hit.

The game adopts the xWays format. The default base game, in the 5 x 3 grid, has 243 potential win lines. You need adjacent matching icons to win. If you break open the extra horizontal rows, or hit wilds, the payline win potential increases significantly. Facial tattoos, shower gags and rioting prisoners – all beautifully animated, as well as a soundtrack that mixes Santana, Metallica, and Ice T. What’s not to like? As one lonely prisoner said to another: let’s go deeper.

How To Play San Quentin xWays Slot

San Quentin xWays is wild – in every way. On the main screen, you can adjust your bet. You play all the paylines with every spin. You can set up autoplay and – in some cases – you can select turbo play. This option is restricted in certain territories.

There are lots of bonus symbols in San Quentin xWays. Wilds come in three formats: regular, jumping, and split. Split Wilds double up the symbols. If you hit two Split Wilds on a single spin, the amount of possible paylines jumps from 243 to 675. Jumping Wilds, as the name suggests, skip from reel to reel. If they hit a Razor Split enhancer, the multiplier is doubled. If you land the xWays symbol, you get a four-high stack of matching symbols. You also have the Razor Split symbol; this splits/doubles all symbols on the corresponding reel.

It all sounds complicated because, frankly: it is. You need to play it, to get it. But it’s worth the struggle. The key objective of San Quentin xWays is to land the Lockdown Spins. It’s the bonus round where prison life suddenly gets very rewarding. More on this to follow. Throw in animated cutaway scenes from prison life, like showers for two, games of cards, and psychopaths staring at the CCTV, and you get the basic picture. It’s a game with a lot going on!

San Quentin xWays Slot Symbols

San Quentin Xways Slot Symbols
San Quentin Xways Slot Symbols

Prison life is summed up beautifully by the graphic design team at Nolimit. The five base game icons, and key components for a stay in Chokey, are: toilet paper, handcuffs, a shiv fashioned from a brush and screwdriver, a lighter, and a bar of (undroppable) soap. Sounds spot on.

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Next up, are the aforementioned cons: Luis, Beefy, and co. Beefy is the daddy of the block, paying 5x for five in a row. Other symbols in play include the bonus – a prison watchtower, assorted wilds, xWays, and a razor blade which splits/doubles icons.

In Summary

What can you say about a game that puts one of the world’s most infamous prisons front and centre, with a crazy cast of characters? San Quentin xWays is a blast. If you’re idea of fun is hanging out in the prison yard, clutching a shiv, and watching out for Mr Big, do some time with this online slot.

It’s laugh out loud funny, complete with swearing, showers, and some truly entertaining game play. Putting the prison theme to one side, it’s also a great online slot, packed with features, extras, wilds, and a riotous and rewarding Lockdown Spins bonus round.

If you’re done with pirates, fed up with Cleopatra, and can’t face another wolf, take San Quentin for a spin. It’s definitely not one for the faint-hearted but it’s a game that can hold its own in the prison canteen. Just don’t make eye contact.

San Quentin Slot Bonuses

Bonus Name Bonus Explanation
Lockdown Spins

Spin your way to three or more watchtower scatters, playing San Quentin xWays, and you’re heading for the Lockdown Spins. The screen cuts away to reveal a riot in full swing. The round starts with a spin of the reels. This establishes multipliers and the number of free spins.

Three, four or five bonus symbols also determines how many Jumping Wilds you get: 1, 2, or 3. If you hit the bonus during the Lockdown Spins, you win another Jumping Wild and additional spins. The maximum number of Jumping Wilds is three.

All the Enhanced Cells are now open and in play. Now, the action starts. Jumping Wilds, Multipliers, Enhanced Cells; they all come to life. With extra horizontal rows, the potential payline count increases exponentially. If you break the bank, and achieve 150,000x your base bet, you win the Psycho Manhunt – complete with some gnarly psycho graphics. Basically, you’ve beaten the game and got out of jail. Kudos.

Split Wild

The Split Wild can land on any reel during the base game, and splits the symbols above and below into the Enhancer Cells, expanding the game’s Ways to Win.

Razor Wild

During the base game the Razor Split symbol splits all symbols on the reel to double positions. If Razor Split lands on both top and bottom Enhancer Cells on the same reel it will split them twice.

San Quentin X Ways FAQs

San Quentin xWays is a prison-themed online slot game set in California’s infamous San Quentin prison. With a cast of quirky characters, cheeky humor, and a graphic novel vibe, this game offers a unique and entertaining spin on the traditional slot machine experience.

The xWays format starts with a 5×3 grid and 243 potential win lines. When certain symbols are hit, such as wilds or extra horizontal rows, the payline win potential increases significantly. The game includes a variety of bonus symbols and wilds, such as regular, jumping, and split wilds, that enhance the gameplay and increase your chances of winning.

The main bonus feature in San Quentin xWays is the Lockdown Spins. When you land three or more watchtower scatters, you activate this bonus round, which includes free spins, multipliers, and jumping wilds. Enhanced cells are also in play, increasing the potential payline count exponentially. If you achieve 150,000x your base bet, you win the Psycho Manhunt, essentially beating the game and “getting out of jail.”

The key symbols in San Quentin xWays include essential prison items like toilet paper, handcuffs, a shiv, a lighter, and soap. The game also features a cast of colorful characters such as Luis, Beefy, and others with prison-appropriate monikers. Other symbols include bonus watchtowers, various wilds, and a razor blade that splits/doubles icons.

About the Author


Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is an online gambling industry veteran, with more than 25 years in the sector. After an early career in journalism, Cullen took a marketing role at the world’s first online sportsbook: Intertops.com. Since then, he has worked at dozens of online gaming businesses, been held at gunpoint, seen his boss arrested, and was witness to the Absolute Poker cheating scandal.

Reviewer since April, 2023

San Quentin X Ways Details

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