Frenzy Mode: The Clock Counts Down, and Players Get Sucked In

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Cashnado Cash Grab frenzy mode

There have been some functions introduced on slots in recent years that are designed to play with our psychology to keep us playing longer. We’ve talked about the idea of Perceived Persistence nudging players along; another one that has gotten attention is the concept of a Frenzy Mode.

The idea here is pretty simple. At various intervals, a slot machine will enter a different play mode. Some features may be taken away while others are introduced, but only for a limited window of time, which is illustrated with a counter that is counting down. 

Everi popularized this technique with games like Shark Week and The Vault, and for awhile really leaned into it, but other companies have experimented too, such as Light & Wonder with their Hot Hot Super Shot games, and Aristocrat with their NFL Super Bowl Jackpots and Buffalo Strike games.

Ultimately, the machine’s payback isn’t changing, it’s effectively just entering a different game mode. The money is shifted around. Sometimes a game is harder in its default mode, with it easier to win in Frenzy Mode, and sometimes it’s the other way around. That’s because the volatility of each side of the game can differ depending on how the money is distributed.

Sometimes the shifts are substantial. On The Vault, you can’t get any other bonus except to Open the Vault during the Diamond Rush and be awarded Diamond prizes. Players are often chasing a particular thing within the time limit. Sometimes, they’ll spin faster in the chase to capture it, and that is just encouraging more bets against the house edge built into the game, so it’s a net win for the casinos when you do this.

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Here’s an example of Brian playing one of Everi’s games with a Frenzy Mode, Cashnado. During the Frenzy Mode, a new bonus is introduced, the Cash Grab Bonus, where you collect cash by touching bills flying across the screen. On occasion, those numbers can be pretty substantial, and when it provides extra picks, the prizes seem to grow over time. 

That’s exactly what happened to Brian, and caught him off guard because he didn’t know they could be that big! Of course, they can also be small prizes adding up to just a small multiple of your bet.

Frenzy Modes encourage players to play faster, or keep playing for the special bonus, but ultimately it’s just playing towards a different goal. But that psychological hook draws in players that the games seem to maintain their presence on the casino floor.


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