On one of the slot forums I frequent, a player had a question:
If you are betting the minimum bet and get a bonus, would you have gotten that same bonus if you were betting max bet?
STATUS: Mixed. Game design has a lot to do with it, and no game will tell you how they handle it.
The player asked about this in the context of people betting up and down the panel or changing their bet amounts. I wrote about changing bets after bonuses or for other reasons in the past and the superstitions regarding them, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.
As talked about before, Vegas-style slots are governed by a random number generator. But game design isn’t monolithic. Does each reel have its own RNG? Are all the reels tied to a single RNG? Is each bet level given its own set of reels and outcomes (indeed, this is written into the pay tables of a variety of games).
Simpler games that simply multiply the win by the bet multiplier, I’d presume for design simplicity, would rely on a single set of outcomes for all bet levels (my thinking being that game designers wouldn’t overdesign a game unnecessarily).
Games where odds shift and change based on bet level might not work that way since they have to account for those shifts, so there could be different outcomes at play. This is particularly likely in the case of multi-denomination games, but again, even single denom games sometimes talk about different reel sets.
However, the reality is we don’t necessarily know how a game was designed. And it’s probably best not to overthink it. Some players get wound up wanting to know if they missed out on a bigger win because they weren’t max betting.
There’s a variety of reasons why you might not have been max betting at the time, from budget to not feeling the game, but even if you would get a bigger bonus at max bet, you’d have had to hit the button at the precise moment.
Now, back to that other part about changing bets. Some of that might be superstition (not winning at one bet so trying another). Some of it may be budget – lost a certain amount so a player lowers the bet to stretch their money, for example. Others bet up and down the panel as a way to get some max bets without having to commit to a constant max bet.
Regardless of that, I wouldn’t stress whether you got a bonus that could’ve been bigger at max bet. If you’re comfortable betting at a minimum bet, and you won, celebrate it! I see people all the time saying they could’ve had more with a higher bet, but those players could have just as easily lost more. Don’t let worries like that take the entertainment aspect out of things.