Bonus buy slots are as popular as ever – these are the 5 most played titles in the category.
Various feature buy options may have been around since the dawn of online gaming, but the modern bonus buy variant that we’re used to seeing in slots today is a fairly new innovation that can be credited to developer Big Time Gaming. Their first slot to offer players the choice of skipping the base game, White Rabbit Megaways, was released in 2017 and started a trend that is still going strong.
A lot of things have happened since 2017, however, and as one could likely have guessed, some controversy has inevitably ensued since its introduction. In 2019, the UK Gambling Commission, as the only regulator in the world, decided to impose a ban on the use of bonus buy in online slots. Many expected other regulators would follow suit, but that has not been the case. Thus, players in gambling mad countries like Canada, Germany, Finland, and Sweden can still make use of the option.
As is typically the case in this industry, game developers have taken the bonus buy feature, tweaked it, and launched a large variety of versions – some more unique than others. In some offerings, hitting the bonus buy option does not even guarantee you’ll get a bonus! A popular upgrade, if you will, is the addition of a gambling wheel which allows you to gamble the spins awarded. If accepting the challenge, players can win additional spins, or even lose them all.
With statistical data to back it up, and having done some extensive research, here is a list of the 5 most played bonus buy slots of 2020. Just a quick reminder before we carry on though – buying bonuses can be extremely costly and there is never any guarantees that your investment will be repaid to you. Proceed with caution when using the bonus buy option.
Extra Chilli Megaways (Big Time Gaming)
Released in 2018, Extra Chilli Megaways not only remains one of the most played bonus buy slots today, it’s also the game that took the bonus buy option to the next level. Big Time Gaming did so by adding a wheel to make the game ultra volatile whilst also giving players the chance to win up to 24 free spins. On the flipside, gambling your spins may result in a loss of free spins which makes it a truly nail biting experience. Thankfully, there’s a ‘collect’ button for the faint-hearted (or wise) should you wish to skip taking the risk. However, should you decide to go for it, the price tag of 50x for 8 guaranteed spins is comparably low.
During regular gameplay, Extra Chilli Megaways offers an RTP of 96.15% – 96.41%. This number increases to between 96.26% – 96.82% when buying the bonus. According to Big Time Gaming, and as stated in the help file, the optimal strategy is to “always spin the gamble wheel”. As for win potential, it’s in the region of 20,000 times the stake per single spin, and as many of you guys know, Big Time Gaming is not a developer to advertise fake max win potential. Their slots usually come shipped uncapped, so for players dreaming of hitting ridiculously high wins, Extra Chilli Megways is undoubtedly a good choice.
Buffalo Rising Megaways (Blueprint Gaming)
One of the first developers to recognize that Big Time Gaming were on to something with their ‘Feature Drop’ was Blueprint Gaming. The first to acquire a Megaways license, and having great success with it, Blueprint Gaming eventually started rolling out bonus buy slots of their own. Their most popular one, Buffalo Rising Megaways, was released in late 2018 and came with a twist that had not been seen at the time.
Activating the bonus buy feature for a cost of 100x, players are then presented with 4 different options which essentially allow players to choose the volatility themselves. Ranging from high to very high volatility, 15, 10, or 5 free spins will grant you a starting win multiplier of x1, x5, or x10. There’s also a Mystery Choice which awards a random number of free spins along with a randomly chosen starting win multiplier.
The max win may not be as high as in many other Blueprint Gaming offerings, but the 10,000x top reward is likely more than enough to entice most punters. Another thing that might entice players to hit the bonus buy button is the increase in RTP which here rises from 96.5% during regular play to 97.01% with the bonus buy engaged.
Deadwood (Nolimit City)
This year has seen the entry of some enormously popular bonus buy slots. One of the most hyped is Deadwood from developer Nolimit City. It’s undoubtedly also the most controversial. Why? One of the two bonus buy options offered in this game comes with a price tag of 750 times your stake!
With that said, the setup in play when activated is extremely beneficial, so the price tag is not entirely unreasonable. Players can either opt for 10 Shoot Out Hunter Spins with guaranteed wilds (high volatility), or 10 Shoot Out Gunslinger Spins with sticky multipliers (extreme volatility). Whichever you choose, the Shoot Out feature will be in play on ever spin, transforming all low value symbols into wilds.
If you feel this option is too extreme for your budget, and to be frank for most of us it will be, you can always go for the less costly one. At a price of 71 times the stake, you get the same as above albeit without the highly sought after Shoot Out feature.
As is typically the case, engaging the bonus buy feature in Deadwood bumps up the RTP. In this case not by a lot though, going from 96.02% – 96.03% during regular play, to 96.06% – 96.11% during free spins, and 96.08% – 96.12% during the Shoot Out free spins. These are the default RTP settings mind you, and can be lower depending on where you play. Nevertheless, Deadwood is a bonus buy slot of the likes never seen before and one that can reward players with wins of up to 13,950 times the stake.
1 Million Megaways BC (Iron Dog Studio)
Iron Dog Studio is a relatively small developer that owes much of its success to the Megaways game engine. Out of all the titles in their portfolio, unsurprisingly, it’s really only the Megaways titles that attract any attention. In the case of Iron Dog, the bonus buy button made its debut in the 2019 hit release Pirate Kingdom Megaways, but it’s their most recent slot, 1 Million Megaways BC, that currently gets all the love.
Highly volatile, and with a max win potential of a whopping 40,000 times your stake, players have the option to buy from 6 to 14 free spins with a price tag of 50x to 270x the stake. For whatever reason, and in contrast to most other bonus buy slots, buying the feature here actually decreases the RTP from 96.2% to 96.1%. The difference might be of little mathematical significance, but an unusual decision nonetheless.
Money Train 2 (Relax Gaming)
When it comes to hot games, it currently doesn’t get any hotter than Money Train 2. A follow up to the monster hit slot Money Train released in 2019 by Relax Gaming, Money Train 2 is bigger, better, and far more beautiful to look at. In fact, firing up the two slots side by side shows just how far the studio has come within the span of just one year. The face-lift is only part of the deal, however. Significantly more volatile this time around, the max win potential has been more than doubled from 20,000x to 50,000x whilst a couple of new features and modifiers have been added as well.
Now, those of you familiar with the original already know that it’s all about the free spins here. Both games have literally been designed with the bonus buy functionality at the core of the whole concept. Hence, UK players and fans of the original Money Train slot were particularly disappointed to see the UK Gambling Commission impose a ban on the bonus buy feature. Overnight, Money Train more or less became unplayable as there is little in the base game to feed the enthusiasm.
in Money Train 2, Relax Gaming has identified the problem and, although it’s still a bonus buy slot at the core, a 2 scatter tease multiplier feature helps ease the pain a little bit during the base game. Even so, Money Train 2 is a slot in which many are eventually likely to hit the ‘Buy Feature’ button. For the sum of 100x the stake, the Money Cart Bonus Round triggers on the next spin, increasing the RTP from 96.4% to 98.0% in the process. Not bad! Out of all the bonus buy versions listed here, the one on offer in Money Train 2 is likely the best due to its high RTP setting, its acceptable price tag, and massive potential.
That sums up our list of the most popular bonus buy slots to play in 2020. Again, remember people. Buying bonuses is expensive and there is always the risk of a brutal bonus round. We recommend to only engage in bonus buy gameplay when you have a very healthy balance and feel you can truly afford to try your luck. It’s easy to get tilted and rage-buy bonuses, so proceed with caution and always gamble responsibly.