What are bonus buy slots?
Don't care waiting for a bonus to drop? Here's everything you always wondered about the bonus buy feature but never dared to ask. Despite the huge variety of online slots; there is one thing the majority have in common – the best chances of scoring big wins occurs in their bonus rounds. Until recently, it took patience to wait for these potentially game-changing bonuses to be triggered. This is no longer the case due to a relatively new innovation found in a growing number of bonus buy slots.
It's big winnings people are after when playing online slots, and bonus rounds are where they are typically found. That's where the multipliers are unleashed, reels added, rows expanded, or symbols enhanced to boost the likelihood of landing a stack of coins. It's no wonder most highlight clips or betting stories take place far away from the base game in the elusive but potentially rewarding bonus rounds.
If triggering a bonus game naturally seems daunting, time-consuming, or an unwanted grind, then this is where feature buy slots come in. In most regards, feature buy slots are the same as regular slots, with one big difference. For a fixed price, players can skip the base game entirely to instantly access the most exciting parts of a bonus buy slot.
🔔 The first bonus buy slot
The modern-day bonus buy option (or feature buy) was introduced in 2017 with the release of White Rabbit. Big Time Gaming's trademarked Feature Drop™ option established a standard that was to become widely used in the industry. Even so, White Rabbit remains unique still to this day due to its token collection feature, which, when collected, lowers the price of the bonus buy feature. Pocket enough of them, and you may even trigger the bonus for "free".
🔔 Feature buy slots have stirred up some controversy
Whilst White Rabbit went on to become a major hit for the Australian studio, the newly introduced bonus buy feature did stir up quite a lot of controversy. So much so that it eventually became banned in the UK. The arguments put forward by its critics was that it put vulnerable players at risk by making it possible for them to spend hundreds, even thousands, within a very short amount of time.
There is also a lot of discussion on accurately expressing a winning total from feature buy slots. If you've forked out €2,000 for Lockdown Spins and win €100,000 back, have you won 100,000x the bet or 50x? The former is the generally accepted method, but the debate rages on.
Supporters, meanwhile, often argue that they enjoy having the freedom of choice and that chasing a bonus often costs more than actually buying it. We all know how temperamental slots can be, triggering back to back free spins one moment before wading through a trough of hundreds of feature free spins. Bonus buy slots give players a certain amount of control by letting them know the exact cost and time needed to launch the bonus round. Below we have listed all bonus buy slots on the market along with free demo play which allows you to test the games before spending your money.
🔔 How bonus buy slots work
Most of the time a feature buy slot plays out exactly the same as its non-feature buy counterpart. The difference is you pay a certain amount of money, a multiple of the stake, to activate the main features. Some bonus buy slots let players buy free spins; others from developers such as Nolimit City provide a menu of extras to choose from.
Activating them is easy. A bonus buy button will clearly be displayed, and clicking it will present the options. This generally includes setting the base bet to calculate the price and any other add ons. Extras could be picking different numbers of spins or starting multipliers, and so on. When you are happy with the configuration and the price, hit the start button for the bonus round to commence. When the feature is in action, the rules will usually be the same whether it was bought or organically triggered. However, players often receive certain statistical benefits with bonus buy slots.
🔔 Feature buy slots - what you need to know
So, is there anything you absolutely need to know about the bonus/feature buy before you dive into it? Well, the fundamental idea may be the same across all providers, but there are still some things you should be aware of. One of the positive aspects is that, if you opt to activate the bonus buy option, you usually get to benefit from higher RTP. What that means is that your chance of winning is increased compared to default gameplay.
When it comes to the feature buy option, some games stick out more than others. For example, buying 18 spins in Machina Megaways will cost you 337 times your stake - far more than the standard 50-100x standard set by Big Time Gaming and other established providers. NetEnt too went with a rather costly version in their first-ever feature buy slot Serengeti Kings. Whilst 3 scatters comes with a fixed price, the cost of additional scatters is dynamic and may cost as much as 360 times your stake or more. Few bonus buy slots are as extreme as those on offer from Nolimit City, however. With a price tag of 750x for the most expensive feature in Deadwood, or 2000x in San Quentin, these are some of the most costly bonus buy slots available on the market. Then there are slots like Genie Jackpot Megaways where buying the bonus doesn't actually guarantee you a bonus.
🔔 Where can one play bonus buy slots?
As online slots have become significantly more volatile over time there's also been an increase in demand for the bonus buy feature. Volatile slots often come with massive potential and in order to be able to pay out such huge jackpot sums to the players, these slots must collect it first. Now, what this means for each individual player is that it can take hundreds, maybe even thousands of spins, before a bonus is triggered. With the option to buy the bonus, players can skip straight to the more exciting part of the action.
As mentioned previously, the bonus buy option is currently available in all jurisdictions and markets except for the UK where it became banned in 2019. This means that players from Canada, New Zealand and even India can still benefit from the option of buying features across all our top casinos. Just keep in mind, if you decide to claim one of our welcome bonuses you need to make sure that you are allowed to buy bonuses whilst playing with bonus funds.
🔔 Be aware of the risks when buying bonuses
It's easy to get tilted or carried away when buying features. Even if you've managed to build yourself a massive balance, it can all be lost within a few minutes when buying bonuses. In most cases, bonus buy slots are designed in such case that the payout percentage will be relatively high. The average return to player is typically also increased in feature buy slots. With that said, the return can still be shockingly low if you're really unlucky. Before you start buying bonuses, try the games in free play demo mode to see how they behave. That way you can get a rough understanding of what to expect.
🔔 Do feature buy slots offer better value?
You might be wondering whether it is cheaper to purchase the feature on a bonus buy slot or leave it up to fortune? In reality, there really is no way of accurately predicting this due to the inherent random nature of slots. There's always a chance the requisite number of scatters land on the very next spin, or, they could take 500 spins to finally appear. If a slot advertises a hit frequency to free spins of 1 in 100, and it costs 70 times the bet to buy the feature, it might seem cheaper to just buy them and be done with it. However, this doesn’t take into account money won along the way, or reflect when the bonus will actually trigger. Bonus buy slots are as much a gamble as regular slots, so all elements are to be considered before paying for them.
🔔 10 popular bonus buy slots
Bonus buy slots shortcut players to the most stirring parts of a game but should be handled with care. They can be a costly gambling tool, and it is easy to get caught up in the rush in an attempt to maximise the thrill. Be sure to set limits and only play them according to your bankroll. As always, avoid the temptation of chasing losses, and only ever play with money you can afford to lose. This will help ensure feature buy slots remain an enjoyable and responsible way to gamble. This is a list of the most popular and most played bonus buy slots.
#1 - Money Train 2 (Relax Gaming)
- RTP: 96.4%
- Max Payout: 50,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 100x
- Youtube Video: 50,000x max win
- Review & Demo: Money Train 2
#2 - Dead or Alive 2 (NetEnt)
- RTP: 96.80%
- Max Payout: 111,111x
- Price of Feature Buy: 66x
- Youtube Video: Wildline
- Review & Demo: Dead or Alive 2
#3 - San Quentin xWays (Nolimit City)
- RTP: 96.03%
- Max Payout: 150,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 100x, 400x, 2000x
- Youtube Video: 150,000x max win
- Review & Demo: San Quentin xWays
#4 - Fruit Party 2 (Pragmatic Play)
- RTP: 96.53%
- Max Payout: 150,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 100x
- Review & Demo: Fruit Party 2
#5 - Fire in the Hole xBomb (Nolimit City)
- RTP: 96.06%
- Max Payout: 60,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 60-500x
- Youtube Video: 60,000x max win
- Review & Demo: Fire in the Hole xBomb
#6 - Starburst XXXtreme (NetEnt)
- RTP: 95.29%
- Max Payout: 17,770x
- Price of Feature Buy: 60x
- Review & Demo: Starburst XXXtreme
#7 - Hop'N'Pop (Hacksaw Gaming)
- RTP: 96.20%
- Max Payout: 12,500x
- Price of Feature Buy: 100x, 200x, 400x
- Review & Demo: Hop'N'Pop
#8 - Top Dawgs (Relax Gaming)
- RTP: 96.10%
- Max Payout: 25,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 90x
- Youtube Video: 25,000x max win
- Review & Demo: Top Dawgs
#9 - Fat Santa (Push Gaming)
- RTP: 96.45%
- Max Payout: 6,400x
- Price of Feature Buy: 80x
- Review & Demo: Fat Santa
#10 - Punk Rocker (Nolimit City)
- RTP: 96.11% - 96.64%
- Max Payout: 15,000x
- Price of Feature Buy: 80x/243x
- Review & Demo: Punk Rocker