Video Bonus Slots
Video bonus slots, or video slots are the “new age” type of slot machine. There are mainly two different types of slot machines - a reel slot and a video slot. The reel slot machine is the granddaddy of slots. The games with the three reels, takes up to three coin bets and is a very basic slot machine. The video slots are the games with multiple reels, multiple paylines and loaded with fancy features to keep the player entertained. While the reel slot machine is considered to be a staple, the video slot machine has become one of the top machines to attract new players. Let’s face it, IGT’s Little Green Men and The Frog Princess are fun games and it’s because of the bonus rounds, animations, and fun filled features that these games do draw the new player in. Do the features make the games better than the reel slot? Well that depends on the type of player you are, and whether you fully understand the cost involved in playing a video slot over a standard game.
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Features on a Video Bonus Slot
For starters the word bonus means the games will include a bonus of some sort. For some games like RTG’s Cherry Red slot, this means a free spins round whereas others like Playtech’s Bonus Bears slot machine it could mean free spins and a feature round. The bonus on the game is typically triggered once you’ve lined up three or more scatter symbols on the respective paylines. A few of the added benefits of bonus rounds
Bonus Round - Bonus round triggers free spins and often gives player anywhere from 5 – 20 free games
Free Spins - Free spins usually (not always) include a multiplier. This means any wins during the free spins bonus round are multiplied by the given number.
Featured Bonus - Bonus features include full animation and provide the player with the option to select one item from a group. Sometimes you can choose more than one item. Once the item has been selected a prize in coin value will be awarded.
Some video bonus slots give players multi-level bonus rounds. These games are more common among Wagerworks slots, like the Dungeons and Dragons and Microgaming slot machines. The multi-level bonus rounds will give you a second featured bonus when you complete the first round successfully.
Other features on a bonus slot machine include;
Multipliers - multipliers which multiplies the winning payline by a specific amount. A really fun slot machine that includes multipliers is RTG’s new Texan Tycoon Slot. In this game the multiplier will be chosen by random and can amount to 2x,3x,4x,5x, or 10x the winning payline.
Wild Symbols – The most common symbol used in a video bonus slot is the wild symbol. Most wild symbols have the word wild written right on the symbol however if the game your playing doesn’t you can easily view the payout chart which will tell you what qualifies as a wild. The wild symbol will complete a winning combination and replace the symbol needed for that specific payline. The only time a wild symbol won’t complete a payline is when a scatter appears.
Scatters – Scatters are fun. Scatter wins will depend on the game. Some games have specific requirements for where a scatter has to line-up before you’ll receive credit for it, while other games allow the scatters to land anywhere. What’s great about a scatter symbol is it only takes two for you to get your original wager back. The third triggers the bonus round and any subsequent scatter will increase your overall win.
Drawbacks to Playing Video Slots
While video bonus slots are incredibly fun and 100% entertaining they do have some major setbacks players should be aware of before sitting down to play. By far the biggest drawback to playing a video slot online or in your local casino is the cost. These games are expensive – period! Sure it says a nickel on the game but that’s per line and with 15+ line slot machines available those nickels add up real quick.
Suppose you’re playing a 20 payline nickel machine which is pretty much standard these days. One spin will cost you $1.00 and that’s only if you’re playing a single coin. If you begin increasing those bets the cost obviously goes up. Compared to the standard reel slot machine, that’s an extra quarter per spin. For most players, the train of thought is “It’s really not a big deal. It’s only a quarter!” and that’s true except when you begin to compare the payouts between the two machines.
Most reel slot machines give you back 1.5 x your bet on the first payout whereas a video bonus slot won’t even come near that. The average payout on a bonus slot machine is almost 70% less than your minimum bet. Why? Suppose you bet all 20 lines at $0.05 a line. Each line is only worth $0.05 which means your payout is based on that amount not 100% of the wager. It’s because of that, that players get confused when they hit four 10’s and wonder why in the world they only received $0.25 back on their original bet. Remember, although you’re betting more, the amount you can expect to receive back is significantly less unless you manage to hit a jackpot or receive a win on multiple paylines.
Hopefully this article gave you the basics on video slot machines. Remember to watch your payback percentages and if you have to play a video slot try and keep the minimum number of payline you’re betting on down to a minimal. There are games that have 50+ lines and we feel these should be avoided if you want to hang onto your money long enough to have some fun.
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