GoodLuckMate is reader supported. Learn more about how we make money
Should the Slot Gamble Feature be Banned – Thoughts and Testing Rounds

August started strong this year. Soaring temperatures, multiple €100k progressive jackpots were hit, and plenty of new slots hit the market. One thing that especially got my attention, however, was the Wild Phoenix Rises release by Mascot Gaming.

The game introduced the new and exclusive Risk & Buy feature among the various cool mechanics and impressive graphics. The "buy" part refers to the bonus buy option. I've already shared my thoughts on bonus buy and whether it's worth it. The "risk" part is a creative twist on the traditional gamble feature. Upon getting more details, I wondered if this feature and anything similar should be banned.

Stay with me as I share my thoughts on the topic alongside some results from the 20 test rounds I did.

Some Introductory Words

For those unfamiliar with the gamble feature, it's an option to gamble your winnings immediately after the spin ends. Expect a simple Double or Lose outcome or something more complex depending on how the provider offers it.

For example, there are gamble features based on card colors and suites. In this case, you pick a color and/or suit. If you get a match, you get x2 or x4 the winnings amount.

If you're wondering what's problematic with this feature, at least in my opinion, it is the possibility of losing everything. I believe that whenever we win a prize, we feel energized and adrenalized. I see how this euphoria could lead us to make possibly unreasonable decisions to risk the winnings we just got.

That's why I started my testing round with the idea that, if not fully banned, there should be some regulation associated with the slot gamble feature.

How I Tested the Risk & Buy Feature

I generally want to get as much information as possible before forming my opinion about something. And you must know by now that I enjoy testing out things. Only two months ago, I scratched off a scratch card a day to see what would happen.

I'll obviously do the same with this topic.

For testing purposes, I played the video slot that inspired this opinion piece – Wild Phoenix Rises by Mascot Gaming.

The gamble feature – or, in this specific case, the Risk & Buy mechanic – deserves a chance to prove itself rewarding.

Obviously, you get to use the gamble feature only when you hit a prize. So, I'm presenting the outcomes of 20 gamble rounds, disregarding anything in between. I know that 20 rounds aren't a big number, and I know that using the same feature on another slot may have a completely different outcome.

Still, these are some interesting figures and stats to consider before you risk your winnings for a potentially higher payout.

Let me explain what I did so you can track the progress easier.

I played in demo mode and bet 5 credits per spin. The game's betting range is 0.25 to 50, and since 1 isn't offered, I went with 5.

I would spin until I hit a winning combo. Then, I'd use the Risk & Buy feature as many times as possible to test it out. Obviously, I expected to lose all winnings, but I was curious to see what my longest winning streak would be. I also wanted to see if I'd ever get to unlock one of the better-paying levels on the Risk Wheel (spoiler: I did!).

Here's exactly what happened every test round:

  • 1 – risk 15.40 – miss
  • 2 – risk 17 – won x3 or 51 credits – lost on second spin
  • 3 – risk 10 – miss
  • 4 – risk 22 – miss
  • 5 – risk 0.40 – miss
  • 6 – risk 0.40 – won x2 or 0.80 – lost on second spin
  • 7 – risk 0.60 – won x2 or 1.20 – hit the green gem and accessed the second wheel – lost everything
  • 8 – risk 1 – won x2 or 2 – lost on second spin
  • 9 – risk 7.20 – won x3 or 21.60 – won x3 or 63.80 – lost everything
  • 10 – risk 6.20 – won x2 or 12.40 – lost on second spin
  • 11 – risk 0.60 – won x3 or 1.80 - hit the green gem and accessed the second wheel – lost everything
  • 12 – risk 1.20 – won x3 or 3.60 – won x3 or 10.80 – lost everything
  • 13 – risk 10 – won x2 or 20 – lost on second spin
  • 14 – risk 0.18 - hit the green gem and accessed the second wheel – lost everything
  • 15 – risk 3.69 – miss
  • 16 – risk 30 – won x3 or 90 – lost on second spin
  • 17 – risk 6 – miss
  • 18 – risk 0.40 – hit the green gem and accessed the second wheel - hit the green gem and accessed the third wheel – lost everything
  • 19 – risk 0.60 – miss
  • 20 – risk 6 – won x2 or 12 – won x3 or 36 – lost everything

If I turn these into useful stats, here's what I get.

  • I played 20 rounds and immediately lost 7 of those. This figure means that about one-third (35%) of the gambles were unsuccessful right away.
  • A total of 13 rounds, or 65%, led to a second gamble. I lost 6 second spins or 46.15% of the 13 second chances.
  • An additional 4 times among the 13 second spins, I hit the green gem that triggers the second level of the Risk Wheel but doesn't pay anything. So, 30.76% of the second spins paid nothing but led to potentially better prizes on the next spin.
  • Out of 13 second spins, 6 (46.15%) were misses, 4 (30.76%) were green gems, and only 3 (23.07%) were winning ones.
  • Of all winning spins, I either hit the x2 or x3 multipliers, nothing bigger than that. I got the x2 multiplier a total of 6 times and the x3 multiplier 8 times.
  • I managed to trigger the green gem two times in a single gamble session, but that led to no winnings.

Let me share some other thoughts on the experience before I sum up my thoughts.

I was surprised by how many wins I hit during my testing session. Nearly every third or fourth spin gave a payout, even if it was a small one. Sometimes, I'd hit three or four wins in a row. However, I never managed to hit five in a row and trigger free spins. Boo Hoo.

Another interesting thing is the perception that you can stop the Risk Wheel at the right time. However, it will just quickly land where it was supposed to land without your intervention.

My point is, don't try to outsmart it. The RNG does its job well.

The best moment was unlocking the second wheel. Let me tell you, my adrenaline levels were off the charts, even though I played in demo mode. All the excitement didn't last long, as the next spin was a miss, and basically, nothing happened.

Wild Phoenix Rises

Should Regulators Ban Slot Gamble Features – Final Thoughts

I must admit that I enjoyed the Risk & Buy on Wild Phoenix Rises. More importantly, the testing rounds showed that the win-lose ratio wasn't the worst. It was definitely better than I expected it to be. Again, please take these figures with a grain of salt, as 20 rounds can't really give the full picture.

Still, I was pretty happy with the outcome of it all. If I had played with real money, I probably would've been more careful, especially when gambling higher prizes. My biggest disappointment was not winning anything on the second and third levels of the Risk Wheel. Considering the payouts there are bigger, I guess that's expected.

However, I did all this testing and analyzing from the perspective of someone who knows about online slots. I have an idea of how they work, what to expect, etc.

I can see a scenario in which rookies focus on the promising payouts and ignore the risks they're taking. Every wager you make is a risk. When you get lucky and hit a prize, should you really throw it away within seconds?

That said, I wouldn't suggest banning the gamble feature. I would, though, suggest some changes to make it more transparent.

It would be cool if providers added the RTP of the gamble feature and highlighted it somewhere on that specific screen. Insights into hot and cold streaks could be useful, too. I would also maybe restrict the gamble amount to half the prize instead of the full prize. That way, players will win something even if the gamble doesn't go their way.

As for the attractive Wild Phoenix Rises slot, I recommend you try it. The game is awesome, and I enjoyed playing it. If you are not sure where you can find it, try BitStarz Casino. It 100% has it. And when you hit a bounty, I say think twice before clicking on the inviting "Risk" button!

This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.

Share on
Milena Petrovska
Milena Petrovska
Last Update: 23 Aug 2023
Milena is second-to-none when it comes to researching, reviewing, and recommending top online casinos. She stops at nothing when it comes to getting all of the facts and figures straight in each of her expert reviews. Plus, having worked as a writer within the iGaming industry since 2014, Milena has seen it all and is familiar with every aspect of online casinos.

Stay up to date on all the latest news by subscribing to our newsletter. New subscribers get a €/$10 no deposit bonus!

info Country restrictions may apply