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Understanding Various Slot Machine Feature Bets

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Written by Joshua
Mr. Big Talks Slots by Wayne Clingman and Joshua O'Connell

Today’s post is an excerpt from a book I co-wrote, Mr. Big Talks Slots, available as an eBook from Amazon. Each copy sold supports me directly so if you enjoy what you’re reading here on my site, it’s an easy and affordable way to do so.

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There is a percentage of slot machines that have feature bets or side bets. This is something above and beyond the game’s baseline bet structure, which can either enhance an aspect of the game, or let you buy in to a whole other scenario that can offer its own potential wins. Here’s a couple of examples:

More/Better Bonus or Feature Bets

The more/better bet appears on a variety of modern slot machines. They tend to let you amplify a specific bonus or feature in terms of overall frequency and pay, but you have to bet extra credits to get it. Usually this extra bet is between 50 percent and 100 percent of your base game bet.

So if you’re paying 50 cents a spin for the base game, you might see a more/better bet that boosts your bet to 75 cents or $1. This additional bet does not improve any payline hits you might get playing the game normally. But if you trigger a bonus or feature, which should hopefully happen with more frequency, you should have a better chance at a big win.

Some players like to get bonuses or features more regularly, and so buying this bet makes the game more exciting. But every spin where a bonus doesn’t come out, you’ve spent that money and it’s gone into the ether. Less wins more often? That’s more volatility.

Buy a Bonus

The Buy a Bonus capability is appearing on more machines and the idea is pretty simple. You pay a set price, and you get a bonus automatically. Of course, bonuses can be big winners or not, but if you want to just get into a bonus, it’s certainly an option.

If a game has multiple bonuses, the buy a bonus feature is usually limited to one choice out of it. But sometimes you are even only buying a chance at a bonus, so it’s important to read the screen and understand what it is you’re opting into.

Jackpot Chance

Many games have the ability to select a wager that opts you in to a jackpot chance. Many games that have a “pot close” mechanism let you decide how many progressive jackpots out of the four present you wish to play for, and that sets your base game bet accordingly. 

Others have an additional bet above and beyond the base game bet to have a chance at a progressive. This therefore works similar to the more/better bets where you’re paying for a separate wager that helps to boost your chances at triggering a feature, in this case a progressive jackpot win. Therefore this, too, raises the volatility of the game.

You Get to Decide

Many of these features don’t have to be purchased at all, so if you wish to conserve your budget or keep the game simpler, you don’t have to enable them. These bets are added to slots by designers who are hoping to boost the overall bets on games, but you don’t have to follow their lead. 

But if your budget allows it and the extra feature gives you what you’re looking for out of a game, have at it! It won’t change your overall payout, just like changing the lines around, but might give you a chance at a bigger win if things land just right.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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