The ability to buy a bonus has remained a somewhat novel and exotic scenario in physical casinos, with the occasional game getting the feature over the years.
More recently, spurred on by online real money gaming casinos where buy a bonus features are much more prevalent, slot machines on physical casino floors are beginning to appear with the feature in bigger numbers, although some casinos are still opting to disable the feature on games that do offer it.
If you’re new to buy a bonus features, he’s a quick overview and the pros and cons of buying a bonus.
What is Buy a Bonus?
It is pretty much as it sounds – instead of doing however many spins it will take to trigger a bonus on a game, you can instead pay a set amount to jump right into a bonus or feature.
These tend to be the more lucrative features, so you won’t be buying a bonus that tends to pay out a small amount, like some of those free spins on games with hold and spins, where it’s tough to get more than 10x your wager.
So, with Buy a Bonus you can jump right in, as long as you’re willing to make that wager.
Pros to Buying a Bonus
The biggest pro is simply the ability to skip the journey (sometimes long, depending on the game) to get to a bonus, and dive right in to what you’ve been waiting for!
Because these tend to be the potentially lucrative bonuses, and generally the most enticing of the ones available on a game, it also means they tend to be among the more fun. Buying a bonus should be an engaging experience, so makers tend to attach it to bonuses with some real potential.
Finally, buying a bonus adheres to the same payback percentage principles as the game itself, so the bonus is priced at a level that reflects the payback percentage over time.
Cons to Buying a Bonus
They can be pricey! It’s not unusual for buying a bonus to be a significant multiple of your per spin bet. 50-100 times your bet is not unusual, and if you’re betting higher it can get into the hundreds of dollars to buy a bonus.
Buy a Bonus can be, and often is, attached to bonuses with some significant volatility in the game itself. On Coin Trio, we’ve seen a $70 bonus buy (with play out based on the $1.20 bet level) deliver just $10, and then doing a handful of $1.20 spins get the triple coin bonus yield a 300x bet of a little over $350.
Of course, if that $350 bonus result occurred on a $70 bonus bet buy, that would certainly be a good outcome, but in the case of our experiment, it didn’t quite work out that way.
Physical casino Buy a Bonus options tend to be more expensive than the online casino counterparts, and it’s something we wish they could find a balance on. The online games have lower starting stakes, so 100x on a 20 cent bet is only $20, whereas on a 75 cent in a casino it’s $75 for the same bonus. There has to be a way to allow lower bonus bet buys using the same math models, especially for games they’ve adapted to online channels with lower bets as well.
And finally, you may just very well be overpaying – although buying a bonus guarantees one, you could have gotten one pretty quickly, as we did in our experiment. Of course, you could ultimately yield none at all. Like anything with slots, it’s all about timing, and there’s no guarantees.
We still like the concept of Buy a Bonus, even if there’s issues. The cost may make it prohibitive for some players, and the volatility can still make it an exciting or tough experience depending on what sort of bonus you end up with, but as a way to get right to the action, it’s about as perfect a solution as we have today.