When it comes to most slot games, there’s one thing we all look forward to: and that is the bonus round! Whether it’s a free spins round or a different kind of bonus game, this is typically where the biggest wins or jackpots are to be had.
Providers know how much players love to trigger the bonus round, and for this reason, some of them have incorporated a Bonus Buy feature (also known as Feature Buy) that allows you to enter the round immediately – for a certain price.
In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of bonus buy slots and other online slots that give you an increased chance of triggering the bonus. We’ll let you know where you can play them, and also identify the best slots with bonus rounds that you can enjoy from the UK.
What exactly is a bonus buy slot?
A bonus buy slot lets you skip the base game altogether and go directly for the bonus game.
With the bonus buy feature, you don’t have to sit through hundreds of spins as you wait for the scatter to land on the reels and take you to the bonus game.
For a small fee you can buy entry to the bonus round in a matter of seconds!
The idea is that you will pay a certain price in the hope of winning much more thanks to the combination of features that you can enjoy during the bonus.
Did you know?
Big Time Gaming is the operator behind the Bonus Buy feature. The first slot to come with this addition is White Rabbit Megaways which was released in 2017!
Most popular Bonus Buy and Big Bet Feature Slots
- Reel Rush 2 – NetEnt
- Great Rhino Megaways – Pragmatic Play
- Sweet Bonanza – Pragmatic Play
- Monopoly Big Event – Barcrest
- The Hand of Midas – Pragmatic Play
- Vikings Unleashed Megaways – Blueprint Gaming
- Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix – Barcrest/SG Digital
1. Reel Rush 2 (NetEnt)
Reel Rush 2 is our top recommended alternative to bonus buy slots for British players who are unable to access the standard bonus buy feature.
In this game, you need to trigger the free spins round first, but then you have options to improve your winning chances.
- You can buy Super Tokens in order to play the Super Free Spins feature immediately. This feature comes with progressive multipliers and is the most rewarding of the two free spins modes.
- You can also gamble Super Token symbols in order to win more of them.
- Lastly, you can begin playing with 8 free spins (or 8 super free spins if you have collected 2,000 or more Super Tokens).
|Super Spins Buy Cost||29.5x bet|
|Release Date||December 2019|
You can play Reel Rush 2 at the recommended LeoVegas Casino and get a bonus if you’re a new UK player!
2. Great Rhino Megaways (Pragmatic Play)
There are plenty of slots using the Megaways set up that allow you either to buy free spins or to make use of an ante bet feature.
Great Rhino Megaways is one such game that we recommend, as it comes with the chance of winning 20,000x (not to mention exceptional graphics and fun gameplay!)
Even though its bonus buy feature is not available in the UK, the ante bet will increase the number of scatters on the reels and double your chances of triggering the bonus round.
You will need to pay £0.25 extra for every £1 in order to activate this feature.
If available in your market, the bonus buy feature will cost 100x your total stake to activate.
|Bonus Buy Cost||100x stake|
|Ante Bet Cost||25% on top of total stake|
|Release Date||April 2020|
You can play Great Rhino Megaways at the friendly Energy Casino.
3. Sweet Bonanza (Pragmatic Play)
Sweet Bonanza does not have that many features, but what it does have is a win potential of 21,175x your bet.
This candy-themed slot looks super-sweet and comes with an ante bet feature Ante Bet feature that adds extra scatters to the reels, doubling your chances of triggering the free spins round by increasing your stake only by a fourth (e.g. by staking £1.25 instead of £1).
Although you start just with 10 free spins, you can keep triggering spins indefinitely in Sweet Bonanza, and you’ll also enjoy multipliers of between 2x and 100x throughout the round!
That’s certainly one bonus round worth aiming for!
|Bonus Buy Cost||100x your stake|
|Release Date||25th June 2019|
You can enjoy Sweet Bonanza Slot at WinBritish Casino.
4. Monopoly Big Event (Barcrest)
One of the many games inspired by the classic Monopoly, this slot features Barcrest’s Big Bet Feature, which you can activate from the right hand side of the screen.
Once you click it, you will get to choose between two games: 1) The £20 game features a win multiplier applied to all wins, which increases by 1 up to 5x. 2) the £30 game can give you access to the same win multiplier feature, as well as to two other features, depending on the outcome of a bonus wheel spin.
Monopoly Big Event looks a little bit dated, but the special features enable you to win up to 250,000 credits per spin. The RTP also goes up from 96% to 99% thanks to its Big Bet feature!
|RTP||96% – 99%|
|Bonus Buy Cost||£20 or £30|
|Release Date||April 2015|
You can try your luck on Monopoly Big Event at VideoSlots Casino.
5. The Hand of Midas (Pragmatic Play)
Pragmatic Play’s recent The Hand of Midas slot comes with both a Free Spins Buy feature and an ante bet option that doubles your chances of winning.
British players can avail themselves of the latter.
By increasing the size of your stake by 25%, your chance of getting into the free spins round is doubled, as you will see more scatters land on the reels.
The free spins round comes with sticky wilds and win multipliers – so it might be worth getting into it faster!
|Bonus Buy Cost||25% on top of total stake|
|Release Date||February 2021|
You can play The Hand of Midas Slot and other bonus buy slots by Pragmatic Play at Novibet Casino.
6. Vikings Unleashed Megaways (Blueprint Gaming)
The Viking-themed slot by Blueprint Gaming comes with a free spins buy feature, which gives you access to 4 free spins modes, each with a different number of spins.
As a UK player, you need to activate the bonus round in Vikings Unleashed in the traditional way. However, there is still the option to gamble for a better round once you do so!
You can gamble individually for higher multipliers or more free spins, for up to 27 free spins with a 10x multiplier applied!
However, be very cautious about this: if you lose your gamble, you’ll be taken back to the base game and lose the free spins round altogether!
|Bonus Buy Cost||50x – 200x the stake|
|Release Date||December 2018|
Play Vikings Unleased Megaways at BGO Casino and get a chance to win up to 500 spins as a new customer!
7. Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix
This game by Barcrest is one of the best bonus slots for the simple reason that it features 5 different bonus rounds, which include free spins, a bonus trail and pick and mix bonus games.
Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix comes with a Big Bet feature that increases the RTP from 94% to 98%! This comes in the form of a purple button on the right of the screen.
When you click on this button, you’ll be taken to a screen with a wheel for each bonus feature. The wheels will spin for 10x your stake, and if the arrow lands in the rainbow segment, you will trigger the bonus feature!
This feature is a great alternative to the bonus buy feature in other slot games, which UK players can benefit from if they so wish!
|Big Bet Feature Cost||10x your stake|
|Release Date||March 2016|
You can buy Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix and other bonus slots by Barcrest at Unibet Casino
How does the bonus buy feature work?
Under normal circumstances, to gain access to the bonus round you need to land 3 or more scatter symbols on the reels.
With the bonus buy option, you pay a premium to make sure you hit the bonus game over the next spin.
The bonus buy feature can be quite handy! After all, the bonus round is usually the part of the game that offers the best payouts.
How much does it cost to buy a slot bonus round?
Each slot comes with its own bonus buy fee, which can vary from 50x your bet and go as high as 270x your stake.
NetEnt’s Serengeti Kings comes with a costly bonus buy feature of 358x your stake in order to trigger the bonus feature with 5 scatters. However, it does have cheaper options for buying 3 or 4 scatters.
If you’re a UK player making use of a Big Bet / Ante Bet or Gamble Feature, this would cost much less than buying the guaranteed bonus. In most Pragmatic Play slots, this is equal to 25% more on top of your original stake.
Complete list of games with a bonus buy-in option
Below we have provided you with a list of online slots that outside of the UK feature the bonus buy option.
As a British player, you can still enjoy any of the below games, however, you will have to go old school and wait for the scatter to trigger the bonus round!
- Money Train
- Money Tain 2
- Valletta Megaways
- Yak Yeti and Roll
- Faerie Spells
- Fat Santa
- Book of Gods
- Viking Voyage
- Machina Megaways
- Extra Chilli Megaways
- White Rabbit Megaways
- Buffalo Rising Megaways
- Dr. Electro
- Legacy of Ra Megaways
- Mermaids Galore
- Sweet Bonanza
- Medallion Megaways
- Gods of Olympus Megaways
- Punk Rocker xWays
- Fishin Frenzy Megaways
- Rainbow Riches Megaways
- Temple Treasure Megaways
- Acorn Pixie
- Madame Destiny Megaways
- Kingmaker Megaways
- Genie Jackpots Megaways
- The Golden Owl of Athena
- Carnival Forever
- Fruitbat Crazy
Buying a bonus round – Pros and Cons
The bonus buy option helps you skip all of those boring base game spins where nothing much happens. Instead, it takes you directly to the action, where you have a better chance of landing a substantial win.
The feature can be particularly attractive in the case of slot games where the bonus round is especially hard to trigger, and those who argue in its favour say that it may be less costly than trying to trigger the round the traditional way.
Buying in to the bonus is expenisve and if you avail yourself of the feature constantly you risk running out of funds, or worse, grossly over spend.
Furthermore, buying into the bonus does not necessaily mean you are going to win big. Just like a normal bonus game, you can either win a huge amount, or end the round with a small profit that doesn’t exceed the price of the bonus buy-in.
Tips on how to use the bonus buy round
Before buying the bonus round, it’s wise to do your research.
1. Check the bonus frequency
It may not be worthwhile buying the bonus round if the bonus frequency of a slot is good. In this case, it’s worth playing a few base game spins and triggering it in the traditional way.
The best way to check the bonus frequency of a slot game is by using Slot Tracker. This tool will let you know how often the bonus game is triggered on any particular slot.
2. Analyse how rewarding the bonus round is
It’s wise playing a slot game in demo mode to get an idea of how potentially rewarding the free spins or bonus round can be.
This will help you decide whether it’s worth buying the bonus in the hope of getting a big win, or whether you’re likely to make a loss if you do so.
3. Know when to quit using the feature
The bonus buy feature may tempt players to use it more often than they should.
If you find that you have made a loss from this feature a couple of times, it’s wise not to keep using it.
Having a budget that you’d like to use up on the feature, or a loss limit on it, will help you manage your bankroll better.
Are Bonus Buy Slots Legal in the UK?
Unfortunately, in 2019 the Gambling Commission has decided to make the bonus buy feature illegal for players with a UK account, for reasons related to responsible gambling.
For this reason, providers have continued to offer the same games without this feature to UK players.
However, some providers have come up with an alternative way of helping you access the bonus round or get various feature upgrades, which we’ll discuss down below.
What are Feature Buy Slots?
Instead of allowing you to buy in to the bonus, some slot games allow you to pay for an extra feature or for an increased chance of triggering a feature.
These feature buy slots do not guarantee that you’ll get into a bonus, but may help you do so (for example, by adding an extra scatter to the reels).
In some games, you get what is known as an Ante-bet feature or a Big Bet feature.
For a higher stake, UK players still get an increased chance of triggering the bonus round.
Other games also allow you to gamble the bonus round for a chance to get more free spins, or to buy an upgrade once you trigger the bonus round.
As long as the bonus round is not 100% guaranteed, these features are still legal for UK players, and there are several slots that offer them.
Which one is better: Bonus buy or Feature Buy?
There is one advantage to a bonus buy option: it guarantees you entry into the bonus round.
However, the bonus buy tends to be much more expensive when compared to a feature buy. Not to mention that UK players cannot benefit from it at the moment.
For example, it would typically cost you 100x your stake to buy into the bonus directly in a Pragmatic Play slot that incorporates this option. However, if you use the ante bet feature in the same slot, this will only cost you 25% more on top of your bet.
The feature buy can be a gamble (and in fact, in some slots it is called a ‘gamble feature’ for this very reason). However, if you use it sparsely things can get less expensive than if you were to use the bonus buy.
Great Alternatives to Bonus Buy Slots
If you love bonus buy slots but you can’t play them in the UK, then you still have some other great options.
In addition to the feature buy slots we looked at above, you might also look at some slots with great bonus features.
1. Slots with different bonus game options
Some slot games allow you to choose your desired level of volatility once you trigger the free spins round.
One such example is NetEnt’s Dead or Alive 2, which comes with 3 different free spins modes to choose from.
The High Noon Saloon spins come with a 15x multiplier and the potential of winning 100,000x your stake, but it’s also the most volatile round of the 3!
2. Slots with easy-to-trigger bonus games
Look for slots whose bonus game isn’t too hard to trigger.
A look at the bonus hit frequency on slot reviews or tools like Slot Tracker can provide such an indication, as can playing the game in demo mode.
One of our top recommendations is NetEnt’s original Bloodsuckers. We tend to trigger the pick and click bonus game quite often as we play it (and always end up winning decent cash prizes!) The game is also well known for its high RTP of 98%!
3. Slots with multi-level bonuses
Some slot games come with lengthier bonus rounds that allow you to progress through different levels for a chance to win bigger and bigger prizes.
In Hugo 2, for example, players will first access the free spins round. From this round, they can also trigger the Skull Cavern bonus feature. If they manage to progress through this round without losing all of Hugo’s live, they can progress to the Treasure Chamber and win big!
Avalon II is another example of a game with a fascinating multi-level bonus which also has a story to it. On your quest for the holy grail, you can unlock a succession of features. These includes more free spins, pick and click bonuses and a wheel of fortune at the very end!
4. Slots with highly rewarding bonus rounds
Not all bonus rounds were created equal. Some are simply not worth the wait.
The idea is to look for those slots whose bonus rounds can be very rewarding, either due to a jackpot, or due to a combination of features that increase your chances of landing a big win.
Nowadays, there are plenty of bonus games that incorporate additional features like extra wilds and progressive multipliers.
The providers behind the best Bonus Buy Slots
Some game developers have started to add the bonus buy feature to most of their slots and down below we have made a short list of providers who are releasing bonus buy slots.
Pragmatic Play are on fire right now! This provider is releasing bonus buy slots every month, and most of them also come with an ante-bet feature that UK players can avail themselves of!
Slots by Pragmatic Play are gaining a good reputation for their high volatility and mix of features.
Blueprint Gaming is the provider behind the fun-filled Fishin Frenzy and a host of other megaways slots.
The company is based in the UK, and its slot games are well-known to be quite feature-packed!
Some of the best bonus buy slots by Blueprint Gaming include Temple of Treasure Megaways™ and Ted Megaways™.
NetEnt hardly need an introduction. They are behind some of the most famous online slots, like Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Twin Spin.
More recently, NetEnt has started to incorporate the bonus buy option into some of its slot games… but there aren’t many of these as yet!
Popular NetEnt games with this feature include Dead or Alive 2 and Serengeti Kings.
Not only is Relax Gaming a B2B provider that supplies some of the biggest online casinos out there, but it also has its own portfolio of games, most of them slots.
Relax is the provider behind the Money Train series of slots. The original Money Train allows you to buy your way into the Money Cart Bonus for a premium of 80 times your stake.
Other bonus buy slots by Relax Gaming include Ramses Revenge, Multiplier Odyssey and Iron Bank.
Big Time Gaming
Big Time Gaming is both the inventor of the bonus buy option and the creator of megaways slots!
Its bonus buy feature is trademarked as Feature Drop™ and made quite a hit with the release of White Rabbit.
Nowadays, UK players cannot benefit from the feature drop in slots by Big Time Gaming, but this doesn’t make the collection of games any less attractive: Slots like Extra Chilli Megaways and Monopoly Megaways have become hugely popular!
NextGen Gaming is a studio with a history that dates back to 1999, and which has released hundreds of slot games.
The provider has its small share of bonus buy slots. The most popular include 300 Shield Extreme, whose “Buy Pass” Feature, compared to other bonus buy slots on the market, costs less (60x your stake).
Other bonus buy slots by NextGen Gaming include Medusa Megaways and Pillars of Asgard.
No bonus buy feature but still plenty of fun!
As we have mentioned throughout, the bonus buy feature is illegal in the UK, however, this does not make any of the above slots boring!
Each of these games comes with a set of features and bonus rounds that will have you on the edge of your seat.
What’s more, there are slot games out there that give you the option to gamble for an increased chance of triggering the bonus round. This is something you can take advantage of, if you’re willing to take the risk!
Make sure you weigh the pros and cons and calculate the potential returns. In this way, you’ll be able to use these features only when it suits you!