Banked Bonus Slot Machines
Last week I wrote about Multi-line Bonus Slot machines and stated that the slot makers wanted to give players a little more incentive to keep them playing, so they introduced the banked bonus machines. Here is a look at this concept and some of the advantages for the players as well as a problem that came along with it.
Slot machines that have a banked bonus feature take a percentage of the money programmed to be paid back and set it aside in a "bank" that is paid back to the player in the form of a bonus jackpot when they reach the secondary bonus round. Getting a certain combination of symbols or collecting the correct number of these specialty symbols triggers this. Years ago if some one said they were a professional slot player they would be laughed at. It was a fact that no one could make consistent money playing the one-armed bandits because the machines had a set payoff percentage determined by a computer chip set by the manufacturer to the casino's specifications. But that was before the banked bonus slot machines
Piggy Bankin by Williams Gaming was one of the first banked bonus machine. It was introduced in 1996 and astute players came to realize that the games could have a positive expectation if you played one coin when the jackpot reached a certain level. In the past the idea that a machine was due to hit was just one of the many slot machine myths, but some machines that have a banked bonus feature show you when you are close to reaching the bonus round. The slot machine makers did this to entice the player to keep playing a few more dollars when they were close to the jackpot. Sometimes players were either not aware of this or did not have the money or desire to continue playing these machines. They would leave them with only a few more symbols needed activate the bonus round. Machines left in this condition become a prime target for a new breed of slot machine pros that make money consistently by only playing these select machines.
Anyone can make money from these types of machines by knowing what to look for. Charles Lund was the first to do extensive research on banked bonus slots. In 1998 he published a booklet called "Advantages Slots." His expanded research was later published in his book "Robbing the One Armed Bandits." The book has charts about which games to play and how to play them. Slot expert Gayle Mitchell explores ten of the most popular games in her Bonus Video Slots article on her website. She offers some free advice and tells you what to look for on each of the games.
One of my favorite slots is Vacation USA found in the Odyssey machines. You reach the bonus round by collecting Interstate Signs. There are two different signs one for Route 80 and one for Route 40. Whenever you collect ten of either sign you reach the bonus round. In this round you go on vacation by choosing different cities that appear on the screen. You get a bonus for each city you visit. When you encounter a stop sign the bonus round ends.
Video Poker players are not left out when it comes to banked bonus games.