The gamble feature has been a part of slot games since the very first fruit machines were created. Whilst in its first incarnation the gamble feature offered players a simple yes or no choice, in recent years online slots designers have developed the concept into a much more complex affair. Ultimately, however, the premise remains the same: the gamble feature allows you to take your winnings and play for double or nothing.
It's a double edged sword, but of course we love the excitement! Nevertheless, the feature needs to be used with intelligence and restraint. Today we're talking about the common types of gamble features you may find in slots, the pros and cons, and when the feature should be used.
Slots that offer a gamble feature generally give the player the chance to double their money when they've just made a win on the base game. The feature usually offers players a 50/50 choice, where if the gamble pays off, you'll come away with twice the amount you've just won. The feature can be as simple as clicking one icon over another.
Some games allow you to gamble every single win, whilst others only offer the option on ‘big wins'. In addition, some gamble features will let you play on, gambling your win over and over. This means doubling it once, then again and again. It has the possibility, therefore, of producing quadruple amounts or higher.
Of course, however, with every gamble you run the risk of losing everything. Gamble features are always optional, and so if you don't have the stomach (or the budget) for chancing everything then you can simply skip the round and carry on with the base game.
Whilst all gamble features run on the same concept, you'll often come across them in different disguises in each slot.
A card game feature is arguably the most classic gamble option within slots. This kind of game usually requires players to predict whether the next card shown will be red or black, yet in some versions a player may have to guess whether the card will be higher or lower.
A more complex version of the game may also allow you to up the stakes by guessing the suit of the card. This normally offers you the chance of a higher gamble, as the odds of being correct have changed. So, for example, if you say that a card will be a red diamond, you may be playing for the chance of quadrupling your money.
A Coin Toss
Another common gamble feature is a classic coin toss. Simply flip the coin and predict whether it will land on heads or tails.
Rolling a Dice
This is a gamble feature that can sometimes looking more confusing than it is! When rolling a dice to gamble your winnings, you're normally simply guessing whether the side it lands on will be odd or even. As dice go up to six, like a coin toss, this is another 50/50 risk. You may sometimes be offered the option to predict an exact number which will increase the gamble multiplier but, of course, is much riskier.
Spin the Wheel
A spin the wheel gamble feature generally works by asking players to predict where the pointer will land. Segments of the wheel will be different colours (e.g red and blue) and you'll be required to pick a colour before spinning. To make this kind of feature as fair as the ones mentioned above, there'll be an equal amount of red segments to blue segment, although we've also seen this type of gamble feature offer players the chance to gamble for a higher multiplier, if they change how the wheel is divided up.
For example, say the wheel has 12 segments, a 50:50 gamble would show 6 red segments and 6 blue segments. However, if you change the format of the wheel so there is less blue segments, say 4 blue and 8 red, and then predict the wheel will end up on a blue segment you'll be rewarded with a bigger win. Conversely, if you pick a red segment, you may be offered a lower than double multiplier.
Whilst it's all down to personal preference, there are some instances when a gamble feature may be more or less appealing to players.
One advantage of gamble features is that it gives players a way to increase their balance very quickly as they're not waiting around for a win. This can be great if you've only got a small amount left and you're happy to accept that if the gamble doesn't go your way then you would have been out of money soon anyway.
However, if you're not too certain about losing everything, then we'd suggest that the gamble feature is only worth playing when you've built up some wins already. Similarly, some players prefer to only gamble their smaller wins, so they can hold on to the bigger amounts.
Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages to gamble features (and one you may not be aware of) is that it's quite common for a common for a casino to not allow any gamble game wagers to be taken into consideration for wagering requirements. If you're playing with bonus credit this is important to remember!