Some slots come with a feature called buy bonus, and it’s a way for you to buy enough scatters to trigger the main bonus round, which is usually free spins. The other way to trigger the bonus round would be to play the base game, which isn’t necessarily the wisest option for your bankroll.
Click the buy bonus button and you’ll usually be taken to a menu that lets you adjust the value you’d like your free spins to be worth. This is akin to lowering or raising your bet per spin in the base game.
The higher the value, the more money it will cost you to buy the feature. Some buy bonus features will allow you to pick more conditions such as additional multipliers and more free spins, all of which will impact the cost to use this feature.
Once you’re happy and confirm the price and what you get in return, the money is debited from your account and the reels spin up, rewarding you with your chosen bonus mode. It’s essentially a shortcut to get to the free spins mode.
All games have a statistic called return to player (RTP), and this figure is usually between 92% and 96% for most slots and is known as the total RTP. But, that doesn’t mean that the 92% RTP is distributed evenly in all game modes.
Let’s say there’s a slot with an RTP of 92%. That’s made up of 50% for the base game and 42% in free spins mode. Normally you play both the base and free spin modes for a total RTP of 92%. Alternatively, the buy bonus feature allows you to skip the base game and go straight to free spin mode.
Let’s say you play with 1,000 m₿ on the slot, making 10 m₿ spins, and it takes 100 spins to trigger 10 free spins. You’ll return 500 m₿ during the 100 base game spins and 420 m₿ during the 10 free spins. That’s an average return of 5 m₿ per spin in the base game and an average return of 42 m₿ per spin in the free spins mode.
Using the buy bonus feature allows you to skip through the base game that returns only 5 m₿ on average per spin and start returning 42 m₿ on average per spin.
Game developers balance out the RTP when you use the buy bonus feature by charging you to use it. The fee is worked out as the average cost to trigger free spins in the base game.
Not all games will have this bonus feature available. These providers will typically have a buy bonus feature in their games:
- NoLimit City
- Big Time Gaming
- Elk Studios
- Hacksaw Gaming
- Pragmatic Play
- Kalamba Games
That being said, not every single game from these game developers will have a buy bonus feature. It’s also worth noting that Kalamba Games has named the feature Hyper Bonus.
BitStarz has all of these game providers, while BitCasino and Cloudbet have a good deal of them, but not all.
That being said, BitCasino and Cloudbet have game providers with a buy bonus feature that BitStarz do not, such as:
- One Touch
- Triple Cherry
Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is, and the same goes for the buy bonus feature. While you do play the bonus rounds with the potential for larger wins than you do in the base game, you often pay through the nose to buy the feature. This in turn means that you need to win more in order to break even or turn a profit.
The price is created by the game developers based on the average win value at your selected bet size to ensure the RTP is the correct value. That being said, it’s often cheaper to use the buy bonus feature than it is to trigger free spins naturally.
The buy bonus feature in San Quentin from NoLimit City will cost you 2,000x your stake if you opt for the max bonus. On the other hand, the standard Big Time Gaming buy bonus feature will run you between 50x and 100x your stake. Do remember that all slots will have a different price; it’s not one set price across the board.
Also, as with all slots, it’s all about luck. You could win nothing or you could win the max multiplier in the free spins that you buy. It’s all down to the luck of the draw. There’s no guarantee, no refunds and nothing you can do to alter the outcome of the buy bonus feature rounds.
The buy bonus feature does have the power to change your session, tipping your bankroll into the green. To summarize, these are the pros of using a buy bonus feature:
- Less time spent in the low-paying base game
- Big wins are more common in bonus rounds
- Skip straight to the action
- Add multipliers and more spins
- Often cheaper to access bonus rounds
The buy bonus feature certainly has its drawbacks, especially for such an expensive feature. To summarize, these are the cons of using a buy bonus feature:
- Wins are not guaranteed.
- The cost to buy this feature can be prohibitively expensive.
The buy bonus feature is a total shot in the dark. That being said, the potential upside of the buy bonus feature is massive. There is potential to rack up a really big win without the cost of playing the base game. Anything more than your buy-in price is pure profit.
The bonus round is where you want to be if you’re trying to score a big win. But that doesn’t mean you should be paying 2,000x your stake to get there. The chances of a win that big are pretty slim, but they do happen from time to time.
The buy bonus feature is best suited to players that have a larger appetite for risk. There is definitely a huge risk in using the feature, but the rewards can be worth it.