ThePOGG.com – your source for reliable information about online gambling.


  • Over 2k complaints managed and $2 million returned to players.
  • The largest collection of detailed casino reviews available online.
  • Bonus value reports to tell you how bonuses really compare.
  • Detailed game guides to help you learn to play.

I certify that I am over 18 years of age and I have read and agreed to the:

We respect your privacy and won't share your email address.
[X] Close this form and return to site
Turn geolocation on
Locale settings

Currently viewing:

English in United Kingdom

Slots Bonus Buy Features – What Do They Really Cost?

Posted by ThePOGG on May 05, 2021

Recent years have seen a proliferation of slot games being released that offer players the option to ‘buy’ the bonus feature rather than having to play the main game until the feature triggers. As bonus features are the part of the game that tends to give the player the best chance of hitting a big win, this option is naturally very attractive to players.

If bonus features are where you are most likely to win and this feature offers you the option to skip straight to the bonus feature, aren’t players better off doing this? Won’t more players win?

The truth is that any time you play a casino game you are playing a game where the house has the advantage. In the long run the casino will win no matter what you do. Casinos would not be a viable business if this were not the case and Bonus Buy slots games are no exception to this rule. But are these features better for players than playing the standard slot game and simply waiting for the bonus feature to trigger naturally?

Lower RTPs = Cheaper Play?

Most Bonus Buy slot games require the player to place a significantly larger wager to ‘buy’ the bonus feature than they would on an individual spin. This is logical. If the bonus feature gives you a higher chance of receiving a big win, the game will need you to risk more to access the feature if the game is to remain profitable. Most Bonus Buy games sweeten the deal by reducing the RTP figure – meaning the game should be cheaper – when players use the Bonus Buy option. To learn more about RTP figures read our article Online Slot RTPs Explained. But does the reduced RTP figure really balance out the increased wager? Does it result in the game costing the player less? That is what we’re going to explore below.

The Cost of A Bonus Buy Feature

To determine whether Bonus Buy features are in fact the better option for players, we need to take into consideration the amount of money wagered alongside the RTP figure for the bets.

Below we’re going to look at a number of popular Bonus Buy slot games. In each we will choose the minimum possible stake. We will time how long it takes to play the Bonus Buy feature at the minimum stake. We will then test the game to see how many spins at the equivalent stake can be played in the same time.

In this manner we will know how much is wagered in the same amount of time using the Bonus Buy option and the standard spin option, and with the RTP figures for each option can determine what the cost is over the same time period for each option.

Euphoria - iSoftBet

 

EuphoriaiSoftBet
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 30
RTP for Bonus Buy96.97%
Time of Bonus Buy01:21:04
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.91
Stake/Spin€ 0.30
Spins Completed27
Total Wagered€ 8.10
RTP for Standard Spin95.99%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.32

 

So above we can see that when playing Euphoria, we managed to play 27 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €8.10 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.32 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.91, nearly 3x as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

Rise of the Mountain King - WMS Gaming

 

Rise of the Mountain KingWMS Gaming
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 30
RTP for Bonus Buy96.85%
Time of Bonus Buy01:54:43
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.95
Stake/Spin€ 0.30
Spins Completed56
Total Wagered€ 16.80
RTP for Standard Spin96.31%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.62

So above we can see that when playing Rise of the Mountain King, we managed to play 56 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €16.80 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.62 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.95 when using the Bonus Buy feature, over 50% more expensive.

East Coast vs West Coast - No Limit City

 

East Coast vs West CoastNo Limit City
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 84
RTP for Bonus Buy96.89%
Time of Bonus Buy03:51:36
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 2.61
Stake/Spin€ 0.20
Spins Completed43
Total Wagered€ 8.60
RTP for Standard Spin96.04%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.34

So above we can see that when playing East Coast vs West Coast, we managed to play 43 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €8.60 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.34 when playing in regular mode compared to €2.61, over 7x as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

Medusa Megaways - WMS Gaming

 

Medusa MegawaysWMS Gaming
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 25
RTP for Bonus Buy97.63%
Time of Bonus Buy01:17:37
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.59
Stake/Spin€ 0.25
Spins Completed18
Total Wagered€ 4.50
RTP for Standard Spin96.29%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.17

So above we can see that when playing Medusa Megaways, we managed to play 18 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €4.50 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.17 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.59, over 3x as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

Machina - Kalamba Games

 

MachinaKalamba Games
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 202.25
RTP for Bonus Buy97.42%
Time of Bonus Buy03:59:37
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 5.22
Stake/Spin€ 0.60
Spins Completed95
Total Wagered€ 57
RTP for Standard Spin96.59%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 1.94

Rainbow Riches Megaways - WMS Gaming

 

Rainbow Riches MegawaysWMS Gaming
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 20
RTP for Bonus Buy96.86%
Time of Bonus Buy01:47:52
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.63
Stake/Spin€ 0.20
Spins Completed20
Total Wagered€ 4.00
RTP for Standard Spin96.00%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.16

So above we can see that when playing Rainbow Riches Megaways, we managed to play 20 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €4.00 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.16 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.63, nearly 4x as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

Dark Vortex - Yggdrasil Gaming

 

Dark VortexYggdrasil Gaming
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 8
RTP for Bonus Buy97.00%
Time of Bonus Buy01:54:08
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.24
Stake/Spin€ 0.10
Spins Completed25
Total Wagered€ 2.50
RTP for Standard Spin96.50%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.09

So above we can see that when playing Dark Vortex, we managed to play 25 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €2.50 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.09 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.24, over twice as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

Barbarian Fury - No Limit City

 

Barbarian FuryNo Limit City
Stake for Bonus Buy€ 17.50
RTP for Bonus Buy96.06%
Time of Bonus Buy02:00:38
Cost of Bonus Buy€ 0.69
Stake/Spin€ 0.25
Spins Completed22
Total Wagered€ 5.50
RTP for Standard Spin96.32%
Cost for Standard Spins€ 0.20

So above we can see that when playing Barbarian Fury, we managed to play 22 spins in the same time it took to play the Bonus Buy feature, resulting in a total of €5.50 wagered. That means that the game cost us €0.20 when playing in regular mode compared to €0.69, over 3x as much, when using the Bonus Buy feature.

The True Cost of Bonus Buy Slot Games

The first thing we should acknowledge is that the above, while being reasonable, is not the most scientifically robust of approaches. We played the Bonus Buy feature through once to establish how long to play for. There are many factors that could influence how long a given bonus feature takes to play. There are also many factors that could influence the number of spins on the main games we got through in the given time. If our single set results were unusually skewed in one direction or the other we could have misrepresentative results. However, in our opinion, and given the results in every single case lean strongly in one direction, it seems reasonable to draw some general conclusions with a reasonable degree of confidence.

In every single game we looked at above the Bonus Buy feature costs significantly more to play than the standard game over the same time period. This factors in the improved RTP figures that these Bonus Buy features offer. The reality is that in this instance the Bonus Buy feature’s higher RTP figure actually misrepresents the cost of the game because the game forces you to bet far more money over a shorter space of time than you would if you were to simply play the base game at the equivalent stake.

And this is the big trick that has been played with Bonus Buy features. The industry knows that most players do not set or stick to limits. If you were to wager exactly the same amount of money on each, the Bonus Buy feature would be the better option for you. But by and large players will limit their sessions – where they consider limits at all – by the time or funds they have available, not by the amount of wagers placed. If the game can get you to place more wagers in a shorter space of time you are likely to lose more in your available time or lose your ‘gambling money’ quicker. Either way the operator is happy. It seems likely that this is the reason that the UKGC has banned slot games with Bonus Buy features.

Bonus Buy Features and Max Bet Limits – The Other Cost For Players

Bonus Buy features have another cost that impacts some players. When playing with bonus money players will, almost without exception, be subject to maximum bet limits. These maximum bet rules apply equally to Bonus Buy features as they do to standard spins. Mathematically speaking, the price of a Bonus Buy feature is just a single large bet on the outcome of the bonus feature. If you use the Bonus Buy feature and it costs more than the maximum bet limit, you will breach the bonus terms and void any winnings you potentially gain. As such we strongly encourage players to avoid Bonus Buy features while playing with bonus funds.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.