Does Your Bet or Denomination Have Any Effect on Your Chances of Getting a Bonus?

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A player asked us this question on Brian Christopher’s YouTube channel:

Does your bet or denomination have any effect on your chances of getting a bonus? I mean, I have heard folks at the casino say that if they hadn’t bet the $.50 bet (or whatever the bet was) they wouldn’t have gotten the bonus, that the machine was set to go off with the $.50 bet over any other bet used at that time.

Mindy W.

This is one of those questions that has a somewhat complicated answer, because the answer is both yes and no, as it depends on the game.

For a standard slot machine with standard bet levels and so on, your denomination or bet level have no impact on your chances of getting a bonus.

To your specific example, a traditional slot doesn’t have certain bet levels where a bonus is “due,” so therefore you have to bet 50 cents to get the bonus. Bonus frequency tends to be the same across bet levels, and it’s about the timing of the spin and what the RNG delivers as the outcome.

Even though casinos can set slightly better payback percentages on a higher denomination, games are often designed to strike a balance so that regardless of denomination or bet level, your bonuses occur on roughly the same frequency, and perhaps just pay better on those higher denominations when you do get a bonus.

But there are game types that do give you a better chance of getting a bonus under certain circumstances. It’s easier to highlight these as this is by design. This includes:

  • Games with a specific bet that increases your bonus chances. Game series like Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz and James Bond, all produced by Light and Wonder, are great examples where you can select a “more/better” bonus bet.
  • Games with add-on bets for bonuses, like Konami’s Jackpot Streams feature, allow you to select how much you want to bet towards that bonus, with increasing chances of a bonus as you up the bet towards the bonus.
  • Some pot games, like Dancing Drums, where all the prizes stay the same, your chances of the pot closing increases with bet, so you get more chances at the progressive prizes. Your chances of winning a grand in any pick would be the same, but you just get more tries.
  • A newer class of game increases the bet increments by more than just the line bet. An example of this is Buffalo Chief or Cash Express Luxury Line. This tends to give the game more money for the bonuses as you bet up, so that could impact both the chances and the prizes once you get it.

So it helps to know what you’re playing if bonuses are a key focus, and take advantage of those opportunities when they exist. Of course, when you’re betting more for a bonus, you’re spending your money faster, so droughts without any big wins or bonuses will hurt more as your cash depletes faster.

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