Bonus Buy Feature in Pokies: Guide & Top Games

Pokies used to offer similar gameplay in the base and bonus rounds, when the latter were present. Newer games provide uninteresting standard play with spectacular features and sky-high winning potential in the bonus round. This, along with the desire for riskier gameplay, has resulted in the implementation of bonus buy in pokies.

  • The bonus buy (aka feature buy) provides slot players with the option to pay a premium to instantly trigger the bonus round.

The stake, bonus feature, extras, and more influence the cost of bonus buy in pokies. Some slot games even offer feature buy variations, that’s how in demand this gameplay mechanic is.

Continue below to learn how bonus buy works in pokies, the best games to buy bonus, and more.

Quick Facts About Bonus Buys

Definition: Special feature enabling instant entry to the slot game’s bonus round for a fixed cost relative to the wager.

Alternative Name: Feature Buy

Best Games: Sugar Rush 1000, Shark Time!, Chaos Crew, Wolf Legend Megaways, Razor Returns, Cash Truck 2, and Nitropolis 4.

Cost: 50 – 2,000x the bet or more per purchase

Types: Automatic entry to standard free spins, bonus round with gamble feature, free spins round with add-ons, and more.

RTP: Buying the feature in pokies provides a slightly improved RTP.

Interesting Facts: Some countries, casinos, and developers have stopped supporting this feature to protect players from overspending at online pokies. On the other hand, gaming vendors like Pragmatic, Elk Studios, Wazdan, Nolimit, Push Gaming, and Relax Gaming have been primarily focusing on such pokies.

Who Should Play Them: Players struggling to control their gaming and those who prefer a more chilled gambling session should avoid bonus buy pokies. High rollers and players looking for fascinating gameplay might want to check this gaming category out.

What is the Bonus Buy Feature in Pokies?

Online pokies usually work in two different modes. The base or standard gameplay is what you play most of the time. Scatters or other special combos can unlock bonus rounds, such as free spins, where the winning opportunities are typically higher.

Organically landing three or more scatters to trigger the bonus round can take 20 – 500 free spins, on average, although you might never get it. It’s random unless you are playing bonus buy pokies.

Gaming vendors have introduced ante and boosted bets, which increase the cost per round for a higher chance of entering the bonus round. The bonus buy feature takes this concept a step further:

  • The bonus buy instantly unlocks the special round for a cost equal to 50 – 100 times your wager. Some games provide customisations for an additional cost, for example, entering the bonus round with more free spins or modifiers.

The average player might hear the 100x cost to enter the bonus round and instantly disregard it. There are two main schools of thought regarding this pokies feature:

  1. Against: Why bother buying the feature in pokies when it doesn’t guarantee wins? And where is the fun in paying a small fortune when you might enter the bonus round on the next spin?
  2. In Favour: Players with large bankrolls who want volatile gameplay are so accustomed to buying bonuses that don’t get any kick out of playing in the standard mode – why even bother when all wins occur in the free spins round? This argument is 100% valid on some games with completely dull base game, mainly titles from Hacksaw and Relax Gaming.

How to Buy the Pokies Bonus Round?

Buying the bonus round in pokies is straightforward. In most cases, the option is visible under a banner saying buy feature for X cost. The amount will depend on your current bet per spin and the required multiplier.

For example, the Gates of Olympus bonus buy costs 100x the stake. Assuming your bet is set to A$1 per spin, it will cost you A$100 to instantly trigger the bonus. When the option is selected, you will pay the fee and the next spin is guaranteed to deliver the required amount of scatters to unlock the special feature.

Add-ons, such as extra modifiers, more scatters, or additional spins will influence the total you will need to pay. Some games offer bonus buy for up to 1,000x the wager or more. Developers have noticed how popular this special feature is with players, and often design their newer games primarily focusing on the special features and bonus buy custom options.

How Much Does It Cost?

Originally, the bonus buy was introduced by Big Time Gaming on the White Rabbit Megaways pokie. Pragmatic Play then slowly started implementing this feature across all their games, in most cases for a fixed 100x cost to get the minimum amount of scatters to enter the bonus round. That’s the case in the most popular games by the company, such as:

  • Gates of Olympus
  • Sweet Bonanza
  • Big Bass Bonanza
  • 5 Lions Megaways
  • Starlight Princess

Most traditional gaming companies like BGaming, NetEnt, Blueprint, NextGen, and Big Time Gaming require 60 – 120x the wager to enter the bonus round. Add-ons are not provided.

On the other hand, Relax Gaming, Hacksaw Gaming, Nolimit, Wazdan, Push Gaming, and newer international gaming vendors have established bonus buy features with numerous add-ons increasing the cost and winning potential per purchase.

Admittedly, the bonus buy has turned the once innocent pokies machines into an expensive hobby. This is why the feature has now been banned in the UK and certain countries like Greece limit the bonus buy to minimum bets only. Casinos can also set their own bet limitations for bonus buy to protect players from overspending.

Is The Bonus Buy Feature Worth Using in Pokies?

Whether you should buy the feature in pokies or not is a highly personal choice. It costs a small fortune if you are used to betting A$1 or more per round. If you are that type of player, it doesn’t make sense to lower the bet per spin to purchase the bonus, in my view.

On the other hand, players who activate ante bets or similar features and pay more per spin for a higher chance of entering the bonus round might as well instantly purchase the feature. Newer games by ReelPlay like Big Bass Amazon Xtreme and Boss Bear by Push Gaming require twice your bet for higher chances to enter the bonus round, making the instant buy route more attractive.

Ultimately, players looking for high-risk high-reward gameplay might want to consider this option. Those who like to play pokies for longer and enjoy the grind should stick to manually spinning the reels hoping for the best.

I fall in the latter category – nothing beats the feeling of seeing two scatters and not knowing whether you are in yet!

Special Features You Can Buy in Pokies

Free spins is the most common special feature you can buy in pokies. Some rounds let you choose your volatility before entering, like 5 Lions Megaways, by sacrificing free spins for higher multipliers and vice versa. Free spins with optional gamble or discounts for collecting certain symbols are also available at selected pokies.

Hold and Spin bonus rounds, jackpot bonuses, respins with additional wilds, and other special features might be up for purchase too.

The type of feature you are buying will primarily depend on the game you are playing. For instance, Extra Chilli by Big Time Gaming has a single feature, and you can buy it for a multiplier of your bet. On the other hand, Dead or A Wild has two special features you can choose from to buy for varying costs.

On the flip side, some companies with highly coveted bonus rounds might decide that it is not worth putting their special features up for instant purchase. Piggy Riches Megaways and Gonzos Quest Megaways are a couple of examples. Most progressive jackpot bonus rounds won’t be offered in bonus buy format either. Yet, developers often revisit their games to implement modern features, so the above might alter in the future.

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Whether a pokie will come with the bonus buy option will depend on the casino you are playing at and the gaming provider. Some prefer to keep things simple or don’t want to incentivise riskier gambling activities.

I have listed casino sites offering thousands of bonus buy pokies above, sign up and you don’t need to wonder whether you will play the feature. These sites provide responsible gambling tools, utilise them to ensure you stay in control of your spending and don’t go overboard with your gaming.

The following are some of the games with the most fascinating bonus features you can buy:

  • Gates of Olympus – take a trip to Ancient Greece and the mountain where the gods reside with Gates of Olympus by Pragmatic Play. 15 free spins with stacked multipliers up to 500x can be purchased by paying 100x your bet. The sequel Gates of Olympus 1000 pays 3x the max win of the original and also lets you buy into the bonus for the same cost.
  • Dead or A Wild – the Wild-West-themed pokie by Hacksaw can pay up to 10,000x your stake through its bonus features. You can buy any of three special features, Duel at Dawn, Deadman’s Trail, and the Great Train Robbery. The latter is the free spins bonus and you can enter it for 80x your bet.
  • Money Train 4 – the latest sequel of Relax Gaming packs the steampunk universe we have learned to love with improved graphics and statistics. The maximum win is capped at 150,000x this time, enter the original Money Cart feature for 100x your bet, or with persistent symbols for two or three times the price.
  • Templar Tumble 2 – the non-progressive jackpot version of the game features the bonus buy round during which progressive multipliers and extra wilds persist throughout the bonus. The Templar Tumble 2 free spins bonus game is a hit or miss, yet it is worth buying if you enjoy taking risks. My last bonus buy paid 400x my stake for a 100x purchase fee.
  • Fist of Destruction – this Hacksaw title has a great arcade fighting theme reminding me of the Street Fighter video game. The 10,000x jackpot can easily come around when you trigger the special features. There are several options here – the Throwdown! free spins is an interactive bonus that costs 100x to enter, you can pay 150x for a minimum of four wilds during each spin. Cheaper alternatives include paying 3x for higher chances of triggering the bonus manually or 50x for guaranteed multiplier wilds on the reels.  

I tried to cover a range of bonus buy pokies to highlight that they come in all shapes and sizes. Search far and wide to ensure you are paying for a worthwhile bonus, demoing pokies bonus buys helps put things into perspective.

Ideal Picks for Low Rollers – Cheaper Alternatives

Low rollers who play pokies for the feature have two alternative options.

Pay More for Extra Scatters: Employ the golden bet, ante bet, or whatever the provider calls it during your spins. It increases the cost per round for extra scatters in the gameplay. Some developers are abusing it though, 9 Coins Hold the Jackpot by Wazdan provides the option to pay 20x your bet per spin for improved chances to land a bonus. On the other hand, Pragmatic’s ante bet typically costs 20% more. The latter is a more affordable option for low rollers.

Buy Feature at Minimum Bet: Set your bet at A$0.1 or A$0.2 and buy the feature for A$10 or A$20. Players who want to experience the bonus feature at least once can do so without breaking the bank this way. Some games like Dead or Alive 2 can pay over 100,000x through their bonus round, so A$0.1 can take you a long way indifferent of your bet size.

List of Bonus Buy Pokies

What originally began with BTG’s White Rabbit is now a standalone category at online casinos. Since listing all bonus buy pokies is impossible, I visited one of my favourite casinos (Wazamba) and included their most-played bonus buy pokies below.

  • Le Bandit
  • Max Miner
  • Bill & Coin
  • Bis Bass Floats My Boat
  • Aztec Forest
  • Space Invaders Win and Spin
  • Big Piggy Bank
  • 9 Jokers Stick and Spin
  • Dark Summoning
  • Raven Rising
  • Wolf Fang Snowfall
  • Big Bad Wolf Megaways
  • Madame Destiny Megaways
  • Brooklyn Bootleggers
  • Darkness
  • Fruit Party 2
  • Starlight Princess 1,000
  • Wisdom of Athena
  • Reel Banks
  • Wild Chapo 2

Conclusion

Bonus buys removes scatters from the equation. Indifferent to your luck, you can play the feature of online pokies by instantly purchasing it. The cost is significant, though.

These games are now hugely popular at online casinos, so this guide lays out the pros and cons from a personal perspective. Being an average player in terms of bankroll and playing habits, I appreciate having the option but I generally skip it. If you decide to play this way, make sure that you don’t go overboard and start wagering more than usual. Cheaper alternatives like ante bet also increase the chances of entering the bonus round.

Ultimately, avoid games requiring thousands of times your wager to trigger a bonus round. They can pay massively but things are unlikely to turn in your favour in the long run by gambling such amounts. Stay in control and always compare bonuses before buying them using feature buys in demo on our site or at the casinos we recommend.

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