Why Buy a Bonus Isn’t a Ripoff

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Almighty Buffalo Megaways bonus buy

Slots are beginning to include the Buy a Bonus feature in growing quantities, which allows players to get right into a bonus for a flat cost. This isn’t sitting well with one player, who wrote in with us to say:

Buy a bonus is a RIP OFF. I hope this doesn’t become common in real casinos. In online slots, they crank up the volatility to insane levels so you will never get the bonus playing normally. This makes people buy the bonus instead.

BCSlots Fan

First off, we won’t go with you on the term “Rip Off” because it’s a transparent choice – pay X, get a bonus. Players can choose to do it or not do it, and the RTP on online slots will declare if the buy a bonus is any different from the main game (oftentimes it’s not).

Volatility has been cranked up over the years in casinos, not just online, and the buy a bonus feature is not the reason for this – players want the opportunity for bigger bonuses, and the only wat to do that is to make the games harder, push out how often a bonus occurs, and make the range of bonus outcomes broader.

We shared here a list of games that have more affordable buy a bonus options; many of them are physical casino games ported online, and the price of the bonus is lower because the bonuses pay less. 

Most online-specific buy a bonuses have settled on a 100x cost relative to the wager amount as the price of a buy a bonus, but that also relates to the overall potential of those bonuses being higher. That speaks more to the volatility of the bonus itself, vs. how difficult it is to get a bonus.

Online bonuses don’t seem too much more difficult to get than bonuses on a standard slot; the big difference we’ve spotted is the volatility of the bonus itself – we’ve gotten some outstandingly large bonuses online that would be incredibly unusual in a casino, and so buying a bonus, while often returning something, is far from a guaranteed win.

But even in physical casinos bonuses have been pushed out quite a bit – what used to come every 50 or so spins 15 years ago now averages every 120 spins, and is still growing. Online slots may push that out somewhat further but buy a bonus really fills a gap that’s developed as bonuses become less common, and at the same time encourages more coin in – the holy grail for casinos.

So it’s not a rip off, it’s a choice – you can still opt to spin for bonuses. But for those who just prefer to play out bonuses, it’s another way forward.


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