Free spins and bonus games provide players with the opportunity to score some of the largest wins in any online slot game. These special features either trigger randomly or require a specific symbol combination to unlock. Getting there can be quite frustrating, however. Often players must go through a hundred or more spins until they finally trigger the coveted bonus.
But what if we told you that instead of spinning on and on and praying to the reel gods, you could jump straight into the bonus action? This is now possible thanks to the arrival of bonus buy games, a new breed of online slots where players have the option to buy their way right into the special features instead of waiting to trigger them manually. The question is should you take advantage of the bonus buy functionality, and if yes, is it really as lucrative as it sounds.
The Mechanics of the Bonus Buy Feature
Bonus buy slots work exactly like regular online slots, the only difference being players can pay for their bonus round entry rather than spin the reels over and over again in hopes of triggering it manually. And let’s be honest here, bonus games are what all reel spinners hope to hit when playing online slots.
Does Bonus Buy Improve RTP?
The amount required to pay for the bonus buy feature is game-specific but typically ranges from 30x to 150x the base stake. In other words, players who normally risk a dollar per spin would have to spend $30 to $150 to automatically unlock their bonus rounds. As you can see, we are not exactly talking about chump change here.
Using this functionality is obviously not cheap but it is all a matter of high risk versus high returns. This is because most slots would usually yield their highest payouts during bonus games and free spins. With that said, the winnings generated during bonus rounds often do not cover the cost of the bonus buy feature.
Who Should Use Bonus Buy?
The bonus buy feature could be a welcome addition to reel spinners’ gameplay provided that they satisfy one of several criteria. We believe you might find it useful if you belong to the following three categories of slot fans.
- Players who prefer instant gratification – It is all a matter of how you like to play the slots. If you are the type of player who craves jumping right into the bonus action without any delays or deferment, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of the bonus buy occasionally.
- Players who lack the time to trigger the special features manually – Some slot mavens prefer to enjoy shorter betting sessions during their brief snack breaks or daily commute. With high volatility slots, there is no guarantee you will land the triggering symbol combination within half an hour or so. The bonus buy can come in handy if you are short on time and cannot wait for one of those free spins rounds to hit normally.
- Players with large enough bankrolls – Buying bonus rounds can be rather expensive and as such, is a viable option only for spinners with bankrolls large enough to sustain the risk. A single feature trigger costs approximately 100x your base wager. Even if you are playing at the lowest betting level and risk $0.20 per spin, purchasing a bonus will still cost you $20. You can squander a $100 or $200 bankroll in next to no time at this rate.
Who Should Not Use Bonus Buy?
The bonus buy feature has gained a lot of traction lately but this does not render it suitable for all types of players. Much of the decision regarding the use of this function obviously depends on spinners’ individual circumstances. Some players will be better off if they altogether refrain from the practice or use the functionality on rare occasions only.
- Slot fans from certain jurisdictions – Players from some countries like the UK cannot take advantage of the bonus buy function even if they are willing to do so. The British regulatory body (UKGC) outlawed the feature in 2019 due to fears it could fuel gambling addiction and cause problem gamblers to spend even more money.
According to the regulator, slots with this function belong to the category of higher-risk products as they encourage players to increase their wagers and facilitate loss chasing, among other problematic behaviors. UKGC-licensed online casinos were subsequently instructed to deactivate the functionality in slots that offered it or remove them altogether.
- Players who lack discipline when gambling – This is an extension of what we said above. Using the bonus buy may be a bad idea for players prone to loss chasing even if they live in jurisdictions where the feature is legal and readily available. We recommend you refrain from buying bonuses given that you lack the discipline to control your spending while gambling.
- Players who cannot stomach big losses – The bonus buy is an expensive feature but does not ensure you will walk away as a big winner after bonus games. More often than not, you will end up in the red after your free spins.
Do not forget most slots are highly volatile and can wipe you out quickly if you do not spend extra money on bonuses every few minutes. If defeat and big losses frustrate you, you should probably settle for triggering your bonuses the regular way.
- Purists who prefer traditional gameplay – At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you enjoy playing your slots. If you are the type of slot buff who likes to take their time and spin the reels at a more relaxed pace, then perhaps the bonus buy functionality is not really for you.