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When a Bonus… Is not

When a Bonus… Isn’t

Bonus events ought to be just that. If they are not, move on

By Frank Legato

We lately received a couple of letters from readers concerning bonus rounds in slot games. One reader asked no matter whether it violated any laws for casino slot machines to advertise one thing as a “bonus” when a player can get nothing at all, and can, in fact, lose funds in a purported bonus round when the return is reduced than the wager on the spin.

The short answer is no, there’s no law against this. As long as the possibility of a bonus bigger than the bet is there, it can be advertised as a “bonus round.”

1 reader, Landry in Orlando, offered a laundry list of recommendations for us to pass on to the slot manufacturers. Right here are two of his bullet points:

  • “When a bonus round is encountered, the winning amount ought to in no way be significantly less than the original bet. Nothing at all worse than going by way of $300 to finally hit the bonus and only win three cents following paying $5 per spin.
  • “No slot machine need to ever inform a player ‘You are a huge winner’ when they only won a nickel. The sayings must differ according to a player’s win quantity. For instance, ‘You are a massive winner’ need to only be reserved when a player wins 10X or more of their original bet. ‘Not a bad bonus’ for when a player wins 5X their original bet. And when a player gets absolutely nothing from a bonus round, the machine must reply, ‘This bonus round sucked, but please continue to play.’ You get the picture.”

These are sound suggestions, even though the last one would never be encountered in the genuine world. No slot manufacturer is ever going to draw attention to a sucky bonus round, and like it or not, there’s no genuine way to steer clear of having at least a few sucky bonus rounds in there.

Properly, there’s one particular way—make triggering the bonus more difficult than authorizing a nuclear attack. Most players do not want a themed slot machine that has a bonus occasion as the central function to be programmed so you never ever see that central feature.

Programmers of slot-machine games are, at heart, mathematicians. For every game, they are faced with a mathematical balancing act among the game’s expected earnings and its enjoyable features— whilst remaining inside the parameters that will yield the desired return-to-player percentage, also known as payback percentage.

Of course, there is the creative side of game style: What type of bonus features must be offered? Should it be a hold-and-re-spin sort of experience? A wheel spin? Cash-on-reels attributes? A choosing game? Cascading reel spots?

It’s up to the mathematician in game design and style to fit all those aspects within a set portion of the general percentage of wagers being returned to players. The designer need to fit in winning line combinations, progressive jackpots and bonus events that happen both in main games and in these bonus events. If the designer desires a game that returns 90 % in payback percentage, it need to be determined how considerably of that 90 % is devoted to primary game wins, bonus wins and progressive jackpots.

If the designer desires a relatively frequent bonus occasion, the average bonus wins will need to have to be accounted for within a extremely small percentage window. If he devotes ten % of the payout to the bonus, the major game is chugging along at 80 %, a difference players will certainly notice.

This is why game designers permit the occasional bonus round that doesn’t spend a bonus it is usually the only way to pay for other cool attributes in a game.

That mentioned, the reader’s appeal to slot producers nevertheless rings accurate. You should win more than your bet in a bonus round, with the occasion of a losing outcome incredibly uncommon. And seeing “You’re a winner!” flash on the screen in those losing conditions is rather annoying. Even though the suggestion of varying messages right after bonuses is not realistic, I’m certain game programmers can set it so there is no celebration message below a specific threshold. Landry’s other bullet point for slot-makers: “Have it clearly posted if playing a bigger bet will increase a player’s possibilities in the bonus round.” That’s a excellent one—there is an rising number of games coming from the companies in which frequency and odds in bonus events rise with the wager. Not all have what they should—a concise message by the button panel that states “higher bet, greater bonus.”

As for common tips, we constantly come back to a couple of basics with regards to slot bonus events:

  • It’s not a bonus if you do not win above and beyond the principal game.
  • It is not a bonus if you in no way see it.

If you play a slot game centered about a bonus event and regularly win tiny, zero-win or losing bonuses—or if you never ever see the bonus round right after, say, two $20 investments—it’s probably greatest to move on. There are lots of bonus slots out there.

Raiders Owner Reels A single In

A lot of excitement has been constructing in Las Vegas as the Raiders welcomed fans to Allegiant Stadium soon after playing in an empty constructing in 2020. Win or drop, owner Mark Davis appears to be performing well, with a net worth valued at far more than $500 million. He added a tiny bit to that total thanks to a nice slot machine score in early September.

TMZ reported that the new Sin City resident was out for a evening on the town at the Mohegan Sun Casino Las Vegas at Virgin Hotels and took a seat at a Wheel of Fortune machine. It turned out to be a good trip as he hit a tiny jackpot for $1,800.

As the season got underway, the win may have been a sign of things to come. The silver and black opened the NFL season with a nice overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders haven’t produced the playoffs given that 2003 and are a 50-1 longshot to win the Super Bowl this year. However, it looks like Davis’s luck appears to be altering.

Lightning Strikes at Bally’s Atlantic City

It is all about the bonus round at Bally’s Atlantic City’s new Lighting Hyperlinks Lounge, featuring 34 Lightning Link slots such as player favorites Lighting Money and Buffalo Link, new comfortable seating, and new décor like carpeting. Plus, all games are linked to a progressive jackpot.

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