Slots with a Buy a Bonus Feature (aka Buy Free Spins or Feature Drop): the pros and cons
Slots with a Buy a Bonus Feature are making ground. Especially since 2020, many larger providers have released these slots. Now, we’re close to 100 slots, and many more will be released.
Pragmatic Play, Nolimit City or Relax Gaming, to name a few, have started to release slots with this feature.
Coincidence, or not, but these providers are gaining more and more ground at the expense of the traditional big guys like Netent or Play’n GO.
How does the Buy a Bonus Feature (Feature Drop) work?
The Buy a Bonus Feature offers players the possibility to activate the free spins straight away. For a fee.
You don’t need to activate the bonus free spins, for example, by spinning three or more scatters (or bonus symbols) in the main game. Or, for example, by filling up certain meters of clearing a field. No, in this case, you get the “free” spins without waiting.
You may wonder if the word “paid” spins is not more appropriate than “free” spins…
The price is usually around 100x the original bet. For example, if you bet 10 cents per spin in the main game, you can play the free spins for $€10.
The advantage is clear: no need to “struggle” in the main game. You get access straight away.
Different names for the same feature
There are multiple names for this feature.
- The Buy Feature (by Relax Gaming)
- The Feature Drop (by Big Time Gaming)
- The Bonus Feature Buy (by Nolimit City)
- The Buy Free Spins Feature (by Pragmatic Play)
- The Bonus Buy (by Blueprint Gaming)
- The Buy Pass (by Scientific Games).
A whole range of different names, all with the same meaning.
The pros and cons of the Buy a Bonus Feature
- You save time and get to play the free spins straight away.
- The RTP is often more attractive than that of the main game.
- Ideal for high rollers: high stakes are “rewarded” with fireworks.
- It’s expensive.
- Buying Bonuses can be addictive. You always want to have “just one more shot.”
- It makes slots more boring. The feeling of “earning” of “winning” the free spins disappears.
Below I discuss the pros and cons in more detail.
Advantage 1: You save time
A significant advantage is that you don’t have to activate the free spins by playing the main game. Who knows, you are curious to know what the free spins are all about. Then, the Feature Buy is a very interesting option.
With some (high variance slots), you could easily need 300 or even 500 spins to activate the free spins. That takes a long time and can be frustrating at some point, especially if you get close, but not close enough!
Advantage 2: The RTP (the payout percentage) is often more favourable
I see that many of these slots have an RTP for the main game and an RTP for Buy a Bonus Feature.
What is striking is that the RTP for the Buy a Bonus feature is often considerably better. The best way to prove this is to compare the RTP of the base game with the RTP’s offered when you buy the Free spins.
We have selected the slots of Big Time Gaming, Blueprint Gaming (only the Megaways slots listed on their website), Pragmatic Play, Nolimit City and Relax Gaming.
|Name||RTP base||RTP BB||Cost|
|Big Time Gaming:|
|White Rabbit Megaways||97.24%||97.77%||100x|
|Extra Chilli Megaways||96.41%||96.82%||100x|
|Book Of Gods||96.35%||96.39%||80x|
|Fishing Frenzy Megaways||96.10%||96.50%||100x|
|Gods Of Olympus Megaways||96.03%||96.91%||100x|
|Safari Gold Megaways||96.50%||97.00%||100x|
|Buffalo Rising Megaways||96.50%||97.01%||100x|
|Rick And Morty Megaways||96.55%||97.16%||150x|
|Sweet Bonanza Xmas||96.51%||96.51%||100x|
|Great Rhino Megaways||96.58%||96.58%||100x|
|John Hunter & Book of Tut||96.50%||96.50%||100x|
|PunkRocker||96.01%||96.44%||80x – 238x|
|Deadwood||96.03%||96.11%||71x – 750x|
The RTP of many slots, if you go decide to take the Buy a Bonus Feature, is very interesting.
Disadvantage 1: It’s an expensive feature
Buy a Bonus features do not come cheap.
Yes, you get access to the free spins and, therefore, an excellent opportunity to grab a nice win. But don’t forget that your stakes are substantial.
The most common bet is around 70x and 100x the original bet, but it’s considerably higher for some slots.
In the case, the minimum bet is 20 cents, and you can buy the free spins for 100x the stake, you’re talking about two tenners when you buy the free spins.
I recommend you only use this feature if you have plenty of cash.
For example, if you have $€100 to spend, you can perhaps play the free spins 10 times. Usually, the wins of the free spins are considerably lower, as money has to be set aside for the few big payouts, for the lucky few.
Disadvantage 2: It’s addictive
And yes, this disadvantage is linked to the first disadvantage. You think you’re going to land a big win. But if you don’t, you’re though in minutes.
With the main game, the pace is much slower, and you have more playing time.
So it’s addictive, and it’s for the reason that this feature is prohibited in some countries (e.g. the UK).
Disadvantage 3: The excitement of “earning” the free spins is no longer there.
What I love of some slots, is the feeling of joy and reward, when you (finally) activate the free spins. You won’t get that great feeling with this feature.
Some slots have beautiful savings mechanisms, where you need to “work hard” to get the big reward (free spins) finally. I’m talking about slots like Monopoly Megaways, Lil’ Devil or Holy Diver, all Big Time Gaming slots.
You’re “struggling” your way through the main game to get the free spins. If you finally land the free spins! That feeling.
Isn’t it ironic that Big Time Gaming introduced this feature in 2017 with White Rabbit?
Where can you find slots with Buy a Bonus features?
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