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Bonus Games

Basic pokies only need to have a few elements: some reels, some symbols, and rules for how those symbols need to combine in order for you to win prizes. That’s enough for a poker machine to make players happy, and that was all that they had for the first century or so that they were in existence. Sure, some added in wild or scatter symbols, and additional paylines were offered, but those were just minor variations on your standard pokies experience.

On the other hand, bonus games add an entirely new dimension to any poker machine. These special features take you entirely out of standard pokie gameplay, doing something that feels more like a mini-game hidden inside the poker machine. These special bonus features offer players the chance to win big prizes, adding a lot of excitement to make sure that pokies never feel dull.

What is a Bonus Game?

A bonus game is any feature on a poker machine that occurs outside of the normal gameplay available on a typical spin. Often, this means players are taken to a second screen, a feature that is only available on video pokies. However, it’s worth noting that older electronic and mechanic pokies found in clubs and casinos can sometimes have bonus rounds, too: one obvious example is the Wheel of Fortune slot machine, in which activating the bonus round allows the player to spin the wheel, revealing a bonus prize.

Some special features can also take place right on the reels, but with some added advantages: for instance, many pokies offer free spins games to players that are definitely bonus rounds, even though they take place right on the reels. However, things like wild symbols, multiplier symbols and scatters don’t count as bonus games: they’re available on every single spin and don’t have any effects outside of the spin itself.

Types of Bonus Games

There are a number of different kinds of bonus games that players can access in poker machines. This is one area in which almost every pokie is different: while it’s hard to make a machine incredibly unique in its base game, using a particular set of bonus features is a great way to make pokies stand out from the crowd.

One very common type of bonus game is the free spins feature. This is probably the most common bonus in the industry: a player is given a certain number of spins for free, often with a multiplier to winnings, extra wilds or other bonus symbols on the reels, or some other advantage. These often start as a second screen bonus game where the player does some activity in order to figure out what kind of free spins they get, with different numbers of spins and multipliers (or other perks) potentially available.

Another type of bonus feature that is commonly seen is the “pick ‘em” style bonus. This can sometimes occur right on the reels, but is usually seen on a second screen, where players are asked to pick from a number of choices to reveal prizes. These are also very common, appearing on thousands of different machines in various forms.

Slightly rarer are what could be called “adventure” or “story” bonus rounds. In these special features, players play through some sort of scenario, perhaps moving from scene to scene as they make choices. The length of these bonus games might vary; make the wrong selection, and your adventure could come to an end, while continuing to get lucky could keep the prizes flowing for a long time. Betsoft pokies are particularly known for these kinds of features, especially in their 3D pokies like The Slotfather.

How to Access Bonus Games

Bonus games can be revealed in a number of different ways. The most common way is by hitting a particular combination of bonus symbols that grant access to a game. However, other games offer some or all of their bonus features entirely at random; this is especially common for progressive jackpots, such as in the Marvel series of poker machines by Playtech.

Finally, some bonus rounds require players to collect points or symbols in order to work their way up to accessing the special feature. For instance, the Betsoft machine Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde makes players collect 100 red potion symbols before the potion meter is filled, at which point they get to play a free spins mode.

Before you play any online poker machine, it’s a good idea to check out the bonus games offered. These bonuses are what will make a game truly unique, and probably what will make you like one game over another. Once you’ve found a type of bonus game you like, you’ll have no trouble finding lots of online pokies to play and enjoy!

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