Bonus Video Slots

Bonus slots: the latest gaming trend are the most fun, graphically loaded, glitziest slots to come along in a long time. When I think how I laughed at my video arcade friends back then; but guess who's playing these arcade party machines now?

Bonus slots are described as "branded machines", entertainment-content", "brand recognition", "participation" games, "interactive" & "banking" slots.

I like the name 'Bonus Slots' because it says it all. The main goal of these games is to play the reels to get a "second chance" bonus round where the real money is.

Regular slot players will recognize the names: Monopoly, Elvis, Let's Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Piggy Bankin', Reel 'Em In and coming soon, The Three Stooges and Dick Clark's American Bandstand version.

When you approach a Bonus Slot at Novoline you will immediately see many more graphics than a basic slot or progressive; 25 symbols or more filling up the screen in front of you. The buttons in front of you will offer as many as 5 or 9 paylines.

Many versions come in penny denominations, but with maximums up to 225 coins for pennies, 45 coins for nickels, that's $2.25/spin folks. Nickel, quarter and dollar versions: credits should be divided by 20, 4, and 1 to calculate true dollar value. The RNG is still very active even when the machine is idle and the number of possiblities with graphic-rich bonus slots is staggering. Same RNG principal applies; once you drop the first coin, the final decision is made.

Like any other slot type, there are more lucrative Video Bonus Slots to play and we will bring those to your attention.

Payouts are much more frequent, usually every 2-3 spins.

Strategy education is easily digested and learned on a graduated scale: lessons for novice, intermediate and aggressive player. Bonus Slots 101, 201 and 301 if you will.

Read all information posted; I know you have heard this before but with many more payout options with these versions, very important.

Take a look at the help menu which explains game rules and pay lines criss- crossing the screen grid. Scatter pay "wild" symbols are paid when appearing anywhere on the screen.

Bonus round top points should be a contributing factor in selecting bonus types/versions. Bonus secondary jackpots can produce up to 10,000 coins and primary/top jackpots 100,000+ as printed on machine.

I always learn a lot simply by observing seated players who are usually quite informative as to how a particular bonus slot is played. You can observe the bonus round in action before a final decision too.

Warning: casinos set up bonus versions simply because they know players will get carried away with accumulating credits and a chance at the bonus round.

Wager management and discipline are required like any other casino game; be an intelligent gambler. Critical with bonus machines because higher betting amounts dictate that a bill-acceptor is used rather than hand-feeding coins, otherwise resulting in not having enough credits to play that maximum bonus round. Keep track of monies gobbled up by the bill-acceptor; it could very well be time for a new bonus version.

Novice=N: Observing all the slot bonus versions for certain features is key here; get the most value for your money. Most versions described are available in nickel or penny denominations which is a good place for the novice to begin. Start off playing all nine lines, if available, but 1 coin/line, rather than the top 45 or 90 coin maximum; at $2.25 & $4.50/spin; it's much more than you would bet on one 25¢ VP hand at $1.25.

Try: Piggy Bankin', Reel 'Em In, Elvis and Monopoly.

Intermediate=I: These bonus slots are suggested for educated players who have tried the novice bonus slots and want to seek out other versions to conquer.

Try: Chicken, Desperado, Early Bird and Treasure Tunnel.

Aggressive=A: Additional education is required for these slot "professionals" where a "Look for" method is advised to seek out those video slot versions with semi-complete bonus wins. Many Vegas "locals" are sweeping casino floors looking for abandoned bonus slots where players were either unaware of a near bonus round completion, or have run out of money. This method requires more time but now the average player knows the "insider scoop" of a new breed of winning slot players!

Try: Boom, Empire, Jungle King and Double Diamond Mine.

As you can see bonus slots are played differently from basic slots where my usual advice of playing maximum coins and single paylines is "out the window" to allow optimum strategy. Bonus slots are "reel" enjoyment and with a strategies education, the profits from these newest versions cannot be denied.

Bonus Video Slots 301

As promised, we are moving on to the next BVS level. It's time for aggressive slot players to step up, front and center. We will embark on an exploration of those bonus video slots that were left with incomplete bonus rounds; waiting for the enterprising player.

Believe or not, there are now pros out there searching for BVS's with unfinished bonus options; especially in Vegas town. The majority of BVS players either don't realize that they are close to competing for a bonus round/jackpot or just plain run out of cash leaving a moneymaking possibility for the aggressive player ---- time to strike. Following are ten bonus video versions that can provide this opportunity and what to look for before you begin your attack. These versions and more are discussed in my All Slots Made Easier book.

1) Boom: 5 reel, 9 line

We begin with an explosive version offering standard reel play. Points accumulate with wild "flaming matches" scattered on screen. Watch the firecrackers count at top of screen until 50 attained when bonus credits are awarded. Look for machines with 30 or more firecrackers already in place. Fun fireworks display at bonus round as you watch firecrackers exploding.

2) Buccaneer Gold: Odyssey game.

Look for 2+ daggers towards bonus round. Player is one of two fighting pirate ships. Reels show up in opposing ship's hull. Five daggers gets you a treasure chest bonus round. Ahoy me matee!

3) Double Diamond Mine:

Line up diamond(s) on the payline and drop a number of diamonds into shaft/tube(s) that give extra coin when shaft(s) full. Look for 9 diamonds in one shaft, 8 in each of two, or 7 in three waiting for bonus rounds. Diamonds really are a girl's best friend, especially when you are creating a collection of them.

4) Empire:

King Kong scaling the Empire State Building on a timer. This bonus video slot is one of what I call a 'racing version' where a timer and a certain plateau must be attained before the bonus bucks kick in. The climb symbol moves Kong 1, 2, or 3 floors based on wager. You must reach at least 70 floors for first bonus then higher bonuses as you scale to top floor #110. Look for time left and at least 27 floors climbed for first bonus.

5) Fort Knox: 3 reels, Odyssey game.

After regular reeled slot play; player opens the Vault revealing 3 safety deposit box selections. Each subsequent trip adds another digit to the vault combination. When combination is complete, viola, top bonus awarded. Look for combinations with at least 4+ digits already in place, then take a seat.

6) Greased Lightning:

At the advance symbol, you find '57 Chevys -- engines revved and running while racing with a time limit. Look for games where 3/4 of race has been completed and bet max. I have found different racing car styles of this version; the concept is very similar. However, nothing beats a cooool '57 Chevy. You are allowed to sing the song from Grease, except when you have a voice like mine and then casino management frowns on it.

7) Isle of Pearls:

On the dive symbol; get ready for a deep sea adventure where the aggressive player will be diving to the bottom on a timer. There can be hidden treasure when you find games with 50 feet or fewer to complete first bonus and play the max. Hope you don't get the bends, but come up with a real catch.

8) Jungle King:

Jungle King: climbing vine activated by climb symbol and is timed. 70 ft qualifies for first bonus. Look for time left and completed climb of at least 35 ft at which time you play max credits for bonus bucks. This version is popular and earns the title of 'King of the Jungle' especially for aggressive BVS players.

9) Lady of Fortune:

Step into the fortune teller's booth where you match letters in phrase bonus for top jackpot. Look for at least 5+ lit letters/symbols already in place and play max credits. You can be the fortunate one with this game.

10) Wild Cherry Pie:

Object of the game is to fill in the 9 sections of the pie with 6 cherries each = 54 total for bonus $. Cherry-filling is based on bets placed. Standard reels offer cherry as wild symbol and are then directed to pie sections. Look for versions with at least 12 cherries in place. Ummm....good.

Do take note of these BVS points:

Even though bells sound and bonus amounts light up, you should check each payout amount because a "big deal win" of 30 credits is not truly a win when you bet 45 credits originally. All features are not available or could be different versions as casinos order their own configurations. Aggressive play translates into aggressive betting. When these potential winners are located, max coin play is suggested to pick up the top payouts.

Caution: I don't advocate that you get overly aggressive. It's not nice to stand behind other players or bother them. Casino management does watch out for these types of players and you will be evicted. You probably never thought you would hear me say that you could be thrown out of a casino for playing slots; something that is usually reserved for card-counting blackjack players, but it can happen. Patience is the key for this form of bonus video play, as you wander the casino floor searching for the right conditions before start of play.

It's true that Las Vegas residents do have the upper hand where a plentiful supply of machines and casinos are located. However, that's no reason why tourists can't use these same tactics when in Vegas or any other large gambling venue where the same conditions apply. Slot players have been unable to use the phrase "This one's ready to hit" with any real certainly before. However, in the case of these half-done bonus versions; it can be a correct prediction and bring in buckets of cash.

Happy Hunting.

Bonus Video Slots 201

Are you as knocked-out as I am by the creative minds behind bonus video slots? They just keep rolling out innovative themes, graphics, and bonus combinations. Just when you think there are no new ideas to be harvested - a new version comes on board.

Since last time we met, slot players have cut their teeth on entry-level bonus video slots and we are ready to move on to the Intermediate level. I suggest the following 10 versions for those BVS players whose mission is to explore additional bonus challenges and slots victory. These versions followed after the initial introduction of bonus-round slots. A quick scan of the help menu will ignite your curiosity, plus assist in your decision to continue the challenge.

Unlike basic slots, payouts for these entertainment slots are more frequent, with the added benefit of bonus round bucks and/or free spins. Some of these BVS versions are located among the many choices of the Odyssey line of slots; these are designated with an 'O' in the description line.

Banana-Rama: 3 reel, O

Chimp and gorilla characters are your congenial hosts. Bonus round takes you to the oyster bar where selection of shells reveals bonus $. While you're playing at the same Odyssey slot, you may also have the choice of a magic carpet ride via Arabian Riches, a 3 reel version that grants 3 of 14 wishes for bonus coins, free spins and multiplied jackpots.

Bingo: 5 reel

Two games in one-5 reel with fruit, bar and wild symbols plus 3-D numbered bingo balls and bingo card. Player chooses winning configuration with straight or diagonal lines the easiest wins. When 3-D bingo ball lands on lit pay line, produces free spin with number matching a number on player's card. Your chosen combo win gets a loud Bingo!This is a very popular game and can be found at most casinos. Bingo players love this game as much as any bingo hall. It's ironic, Vegas bingo palaces were set-up to be loss-leaders to attract slot players; now both groups are fascinated by this particular slot.

Chicken: 5 reel, 9 line

Our innovative Australian friends offer an amusing version of the old joke about the chicken crossing the road. Two bonus-round features are:

Three squawking chickens running scared gets free spin(s) for up to 500 credits.

Takes you to a 4-lane highway chase scene where you watch the comical scene of chickens trying to cross the road. Once across safely, bonus amounts are added to your free spin credits.

Note: No animals were hurt during any bonus round play. Top jackpots range from 7500 to 25000 coin versions.

Desperado: 5 reel, 5 line

Calling all cowboys and cowgirls - this is your game. Three bonus coins on lit payline lands you in old west town with 5 targets at various points. Player chooses one to shoot; 4 hold bonus amounts and one hides word 'bank' taking player to third screen- the bank's interior. Choose one of 5 dynamite sticks for winnings up to 2500 coins. Go git 'em pardner.

Silver Belle Express: O

Head on over to an Odyssey slot for more western fun and a train ride. Bonus round puts you in a Pullman car in the Old West traveling to one of 3 bonus station cash "depots" to make your selection.

Early Bird: 5 reel, 5 line

We're digging for worms here as shown by the scatter pay symbol. Three in a paying combination proceeds to the bonus screen of five sleeping birds, where you choose one to fight with worm. Winning bird and time length determines bonus award $$.

Polly and Roger: 5 reel, 9 line

Ahoy Mates - Long John Silver would be proud and very amused. Power version is the best choice. 3 scatter pay Polly Parrot or Jolly Roger flag symbols provide free-spin bonus. Also additional screen has parrot race with 5 characters and more bucks for correct choice of winner by player.

Top Banana: 5 reel, 9 line

More of the animal world and a large grin when you line up 3 hippos, gorillas or turtles. A gorilla dangles a bunch of bananas while a monkey waits on the seesaw, a tub of water on the other end. Bonus round credits add up if you stack the monkeys high enough to grab bananas. Random bonus reveals a hidden multiplier for extra $$.

Treasure Tunnel: 3 reel

Another very popular game; treasure tunnel reel symbol activates bonus multiplier. Box at top of machine shows a treasure tunnel that resembles a target with set of 5 rings. Multipliers are 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and center, can be up to 25x pay. Flashing will stop at your bonus amount. Plus, if the reels line up two treasure tunnel symbols, multiplied bonuses=big bucks.

Triple Cash Winfall: 3 reel

Nice merge of 2 popular slots and certainly favorites of mine. Combination of Red, White & Blue and Triple Diamond. Pay table shows multiplier combinations and wild symbols. Bonus screen displays roman pillars with spaces in between. Player tries to fill up space between pillars. When coin stack reaches 10 on any pillar return is 10 coin bonus. This game boasts twice the hit frequency of basic RWB/Diamonds, also larger primary and secondary jackpots.

A couple of gentle reminders about all BVS:

Even though bells sound and bonus amounts are lit up; you should check each payout amount because a "big deal win" of 30 credits is not truly a win when you bet 45 credits originally. To stretch your gambling bankroll, start off with 1-2 coins per payline; you can then risk a maximum spin as your credits mount. All features are not available or could be different versions as casinos order their own configurations.

I do not include any video poker or keno versions of bonus slots as there are no versions that I have seen that can match the higher payouts of full-pay VP and certainly none with keno. You now have 20 bonus versions to select and more to come when we connect again. Until then, sport a big grin with a loud guffaw for this entertainment bonus unmatched since we were kids at the circus or visiting a carnival.

Bonus Video Slots 101

They are everywhere, they multiply like rabbits..what's a slot player to do? No gaming establishment can call itself a trend-setter without the placement of bonus video slots on the casino floor or online. For the fascinated, but overwhelmed slot player who needs a score-card to stay ahead of the latest bonus video slots, there is help at hand.

I plan, in the coming months, to provide a graduated education beginning today with Slots 101 for novice players. In my book, All Slots Made Easier, over 40 bonus versions are rated; let's begin with ten that most BVS players will recognize. The older versions that started the trend and are familiar sights in most casinos are: Piggy Bankin', Reel 'Em In, Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly. A few strategies tips to begin are: always check out the secondary jackpots for each version found at the top of the machine or on the pay schedule.

This is important as one bonus version pays more than others and will determine your choice and denomination that fits your wager management plan. A quick study of the help menu and payline grids will help you determine winning combinations, also which symbol combos payback the most. There is an attractive sprinkling of wild or scatter pay symbols to increase your winnings. Hey, I'm with you -- there are many bonus versions where I never quite figure out how I won, or conversely why a particular line-up was not a winner. I trust the RNG in this case, but I do know that five of the same symbols lined up is a definite winner no matter what version I choose to play.

You should always play all paylines to take advantage of the many wild and scatter symbol combinations-generally 5 or 9 lines. Try one or two coins per line, therefore a spin of 9 to 18 nickels is not an expensive wager. As you build your winnings, take some risk with the occasional maximum spin, (45 coins). Bonus slots provide frequent payouts, usually every 2-5 spins; taking the player to the money-making bonus round when certain scatter pay symbols line up just right on the paylines.

Below is a top ten suggested list for novices, version features and strategies:

Piggy Bankin':

The bonus slot that started it all. Piggy is waiting for players from the front of these slots and will donate a credit in the piggy bank as you start play. Line up three blanks and more credits are added to piggy bank. When 'Break the Bank' symbol lands on the right reel payline, cash in, take the money and run. It takes an average of 80 spins for this win to replay. Play 1 credit/line as you wait to cash in. Look for at least 30 credits banked and left; these machines allow a nice head-start for observant players.

Reel 'Em In: 5 reel, 9 line.

Symbols include fruit, bell and 3 fish. Scatter pay symbols -- a fish, a worm and an insect. Bonus screen shows 5 fishing characters where your choice brings in the 'catch' and a bonus amount.

Filthy Rich: 5 reel, 9 line.

Think Pigs. Scatter pay of a barn, chickens and a horse. Bonus round presents 5 dirty pigs; your choice gets a quick hose down by the farmer and your bonus amount is revealed. Start with 1 coin for each of 9 paylines.

Wheel of Fortune: 5 reels, 5 lines.

An all-time favorite. Standard reel play determines when you go to the Wheel for bonus dollars. Altogether now, WHEEEEL OF FORTUNE! Better: There is a banking version of this game where word WHEEL is spelled out for additional points. Look for 1201+ points accumulated and play 1 credit/payline.

Jackpot Party: 5 reels, 5 lines.

Party horn symbols transform into a bonus round grid of tiles; player makes selection with arrow, behind tiles are bonus amounts, 5-1000 coins. Party Pooper tile will end the game and bonus credits added to previous coins. Disco theme to keep you dancing, dancing, dancing during play.

Betty Boop-Roaring Twenties:

Best version to play. Three Roaring 20's stars equals a trip to the bonus round of 20-200 coins or more. This one has frequent hits.

Elvis 'the king of bonus slots': 3 reel

Regular reel play with special Elvis symbol takes you to bonus wheel flashing 'gold record' dollar amounts around while listening to Elvis tunes. Stopping the wheel lands you on a bonus amount and song title. Machine locks for short tune while video and bonus credits are added to your previous total. Gold record "Greatest Hits" medley stop will be a CALL ATTENDANT for the big jackpot. Even with a losing spin you are entertained with Elvis trivia questions. This game is 'solid-gold fun'. Also try Elvis 2 with new features and more song hits.

Let's Make a Deal: 5 reel, 5 line.

Audio/Video feast for player. Two bonus features.

Scatter pay of three audience members takes you to Audience Feature. Two hold bonus amounts and other secret envelope-pays 2-5 times scatter pay jackpot, multiplied by total bet.

Three gift packages for Deal Feature-one with hidden bonus prize. 2-8 times total bet or 50-200 coins at max coins bet.

You can trade up for the big deal of the day; hostess presents doors 1, 2 or 3 - behind one door big deal, medium bonus or zonk that will take all your bonus points away. RNG picks different results for 3 doors each time. Graphics include fruit symbols, Monty's piggy bank and costumed audience members also wild symbol subs. Five piggy banks wins progressive jackpot.

Monopoly: 5 reel, 9 line.

Once Around best version. Features top box set of dice. Uncle Pennybags symbol is wild and top line jackpot is 100,000 at max bet. Scatter pay is community chest. 3 dice symbols=bonus round which is trip around the board collecting bonus points wherever your "token" choice lands. You can also buy houses and hotels on certain properties you choose-5 credits each. Payoffs for landing on these chosen properties pays 5 times the house cost. Watch the board above as you go round back to "Go" space with bonuses from 4X for Baltic Ave up to 300X for elite Park Place and Boardwalk. Start by betting 1 coin for each of 9 paylines increasing as your bonus credits grow. I've won often on this one.


3 scarab symbols, wild Tut symbol; bonus round takes you to pharaoh's tomb where a choice of five sarcophagi with hidden bonuses await with bonus $. If the image of sphinx is revealed; second bonus screen travels into second chamber with group of five; choice brings as much as 2500 coins multiplied by bet. I like this one.

Warning: Even though bells sound and bonus amounts light up; you should check each payout amount because a 'big deal win' of 30 credits is not truly a win when you bet 45 credits originally. Similar to a return bet in video poker; these bonus amounts may not be adding to your overall win. Move on to another version if these 'short-pays' continue. Also all features are not available or could be different versions as casinos order their own configurations. Novices now have the educational tools; and can easily join the BVS club players who welcome the latest fascination in casinoland.