Why Aren’t Top Dollar Wins Multiplied By Line Count?

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Brian Christopher in front of Double Top Dollar

Newer versions of Top Dollar can feature five or nine line variations. A player wonders why those configurations don’t impact the bonus:

When playing a 5-line Top Dollar machine, if the bonus symbol lands on the top or bottom, why does it not pay 2x your winnings since the bonus appears on 2 pay lines? Similar question for the 10-line version.

Suzette D.

We’re going to preface our answer by saying we’re speaking to the modern Double Top Dollar machines that have been making their way to casino floors in recent years. The new versions are the ones that feature 5 or 9 lines. There are older games in the Top Dollar series with 5 lines, but they generally required three bonus symbols, which would only land on a single line.

The traditional Top Dollar bonus has a symbol land on the third reel only, which is the same on these modern Double Top Dollar machines. And in the case of Double Top Dollar, it’s about the betting structure and where the pays for the bonus comes into place.

When you look at a modern Double Top Dollar machine, the bet generally covers one or two credits for each line, and then one final credit for the Double Top Dollar bonus. The bonus isn’t built into the line pays but gets its own dedicated credit.

So, on a 5-line Top Dollar machine you’ll usually see the max bet is six credits. The first five credits pays for the five pay lines, and the sixth credit pays for the bonus. Regardless of whether the symbol lands, the bonus is triggered off that single credit, which means that it’s not triggered off a line but its own wager. That’s why it’s not multiplied by the number of lines it’s triggered on – the pays effectively come from a separate wager.

Similarly, what you dub the 10-line version is actually 9 lines and a 10th credit for the bonus. Here, again, the bonus is one credit per spin, so regardless of how many lines the symbol connects with, the bonus works off of a one credit structure where you trigger the bonus and then the prizes offered are from that side bet.

So that’s why you won’t see prizes multiplied – the bets and payouts are effectively on an ante bet above/beyond the pays for the lines themselves. If you really wanted to you could play Top Dollar without the bonus by betting less. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun though.

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