Online casino gaming has evolved a lot since the first one-armed bandits. Now you'll find there are different styles, categories and variants of slot games to choose from.
As technology advances, software providers have more leeway to test and try different things with their slot creations. Ensuring players always have something new, exciting and often unique to look forward to.
While classic slots, video slots and progressive jackpots are exciting in their standard forms, the addition of new and exciting themes, bonus features and game mechanics have the power to enhance the gaming experience.
Which is exactly what happened when industry-leading software developer Big Time Gaming first released their trademarked Feature Drop in 2017!
Modern online slot games all have one key feature in common - they have exciting bonus features that award big wins. Unfortunately, you need to land a select number of special symbols or complete certain in-game tasks to trigger these features. Sometimes the idea of activating free spins or bonus feature seems nearly impossible.
That's where the Feature Drop comes in handy. This feature, trademarked by Big Time Gaming, was first released with the White Rabbit slot in 2017. This original feature allows you to buy the bonus feature. That means the feature triggers right away and not only when you hit certain win combinations!
What makes this feature genuinely unique is that you can collect tokens throughout your gameplay which lowers the price of the feature price. If you collect enough coins, you could even 'buy' the feature for free.
White Rabbit started a craze ensuring the trademarked Feature Drop from Big Time Gaming becomes a standard in a long list of free slot games released since 2017. These were not just games created by Big Time Gaming but other operators who obtained the rights to incorporate the feature in their games too. Another slot game with this feature that comes to mind is Extra Chilli slot.
Bonus Buy slots are much like your regular online slots with the main difference being that these slots enable you to enter the bonus features instantly via the Feature Drop. With a quick purchase, you can start your free spins or bonus game with ease.
White Rabbit is a significant hit, but there is still a lot of controversy and discussion regarding the new Bonus Buy option. It has become such a widely discussed topic that Bonus Buy slots are banned from top UK online casinos.
The main argument for this ban is that the feature puts players at risk as it allows them to spend even more money in shorter periods. Thus, putting vulnerable players at risk as they chase big wins.
Supporters of the feature argue that players can often spend or lose more money chasing a bonus. That's why the addition of a Bonus Buy feature is more beneficial to online slot players as it enables them to trigger the feature they want to play instantly – putting the power in their hands.
Bonus Buy slots are fascinating and entertaining, but there are some things to take into account before you start.
Big Time Gaming has done a remarkable job with their Feature Drop, adding a standard 50-100x standard price tag to the feature. Of course, when playing White Rabbit, for instance, you will have the opportunity to lower the price tag or even purchase for free using coins you've collected throughout your gameplay.
The Bonus Buy option has now become available in games by different software providers. Not all have been lenient regarding the cost of the Bonus Buy options. You will find that the Bonus Buy option in the NetEnt Serengeti Kings slot comes with a heftier price tag.
While the first 3 scatters have a fixed price, adding 3 additional scatters can cost 360x your stake or more. The same goes for the Bonus Buy features in the NoLimit City slot collection. Their Deadwood slot comes with a Bonus Buy feature costing as much as 750x your stake or more!
Most Bonus Buy features are worth it because, not only do you trigger an instant bonus feature, but your chances of winning are increased too. On top of that, the chances of triggering a win increases. This is due to the fact that through activating the Bonus Buy feature, you automatically benefit from a higher RTP.
Since the release of Bonus Buy slots and the increase of slot volatility, the demand for the Bonus Buy feature has grown. Volatile slots enable players to trigger massive wins, but this means that the slots must first generate the prize pool through player activity. This could lead to long periods without triggering any of the exciting slot features.
Thanks to the Bonus Buy feature, it has become possible to skip the wait and enter the action instantly.
While Bonus Buy slots are trendy right now, they are not so warmly welcomed by all regulatory bodies. Currently, players from all jurisdictions and gaming markets can play the Bonus Buy slots, apart from those situated in the UK. The discussions regarding these slots are continuous, and various regions have considered either banning Bonus Buy slots or limiting access due to the 'high risk' it creates for potential gaming problems.
Blueprint Gaming released a slot in January 2020 that can be considered a Bonus Buy slot, and yet this game is currently available in the UK.
The Buffalo Rising Megaways All Action slot does not have a base game and makes it possible for you to enter the bonus round at a set price.
This workaround has managed to make it past the UK Gambling Commission and, as such, UK players have one Bonus Buy slot option available. That being said, the regulatory body can call on Blueprint Gaming to restrict UK player access to these games at any time.
You can read more about the top 3 bonus buy slots in one of our latest news.
There are three main reasons why players opt for slots that provide a Bonus Buy feature.
The first being the most obvious, which is to unlock the bonus feature instantly. This all depends on the game, circumstance and options available.
If it's a brand-new slot game, you might want to play a few regular spins taking your time to experience all it has to offer. If it's a game you've played before, a theme you're familiar with or a slot that resembles the majority of your favourites, it makes sense to activate the Bonus Buy feature.
It enables you to move swiftly past all the 'boring' spins and get straight to the enhanced gaming entertainment.
The second is the increased chance it provides to trigger more significant wins. It's a well-known fact that the biggest wins of most slots, apart from progressive jackpots, are hidden in the bonus rounds. Instead of waiting for the chance to get your chance to play the feature, you can change fate and activate it yourself.
During the bonus feature, you can enjoy added symbols and modifiers, which includes expanding wilds, stacked wilds and win multipliers which drastically increase your wins on every spin.
Winnings can quickly jump from 10,000x to 25,000x your stake or more. Considering the 1,000x wins available in the base game, it's a drastic change of pace and worth the risk of the Bonus Buy for many players.
Various slots increase the return to player (RTP) percentage in bonus features. With Bonus Buy slots you will note that there are two different RTPs available, the lowest is the RTP for the standard/base game, and the higher RTP is the increased percentage for when you play with the Bonus Buy feature active.
Let's say the slot has a 96.2% RTP and you decide to make use of the Bonus Buy feature. During this feature, your RTP automatically increases to 97.5%. The software provider determined the number, and while small, it remains a jump that increases your winning odds.
It's easy to brush off the concerns of the regulatory bodies, especially when it comes to bigger and better entertainment options.
Bonus Buy slots are the latest craze providing an even bigger thrill than regular online casino slots. The key is to take advantage of the responsible gambling tools offered by your online casino before you start playing or making deposits.
Set loss limits, win limits, game session limits, and deposit limits before entering any of the exciting Bonus Buy slots available. This will enable you to set the tone of your gameplay before you've started.
These slots are beautiful, producing more significant winning opportunities and the chance to trigger fun features instantly. It can also be very costly if not used the right way, especially if you buy features at the highest cost, chasing bigger wins.
No matter what the jackpot prize, the bonus feature, or the terms, you should always play within your means. Never chase losses or big wins and above all else, never gamble funds you can't afford to lose. Play responsibly.
Take a look at the CasinoWow Responsible Gaming Guide for more information on how to take control of your gaming and play like a winner.
Bonus Buy slots are found at many of CasinoWow's recommended online casinos. These casinos stock games from industry-leading software providers such as Big Time Gaming, NetEnt, Microgaming, WMS, Relax Gaming, and more.
With these big names supplying their range of games, you will find more than a few Bonus Buy slot options to choose from.
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