The Bonus Game and Bonus Game Symbols in Online Slots

Bonus Game and Bonus Game Symbols + Best Paying Slots

There are thousands of online slots currently on the market (more than 10,000 actually). And a decent chunk of them have got the Bonus game in one form or another. However, due to such a diversity, the Bonus game feature is not consistent across the board, and can be introduced in many different ways.

As a result, casino players mean different things when they are talking about the Bonus game in slots. In this article we are going to discuss the Bonus game specifically as a separately animated bonus feature, think of it as “a game within the game” in this context.

Best Paying (RTP) Online Slots with a Bonus Game

(Players from United States are welcome)

Bloodsuckers Online Slot Logo
RTP: 98.0 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Elite of Evil: Portal of Gold Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.5 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Treasure Island Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.07 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Halloween Fortune Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.06 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Age of Egypt Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.05 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Wild Swarm Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.03 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Frozen Diamonds Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Nitro Circus Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Gorilla Gold Megaways Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Wild Wheel Big Money Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.98 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Guns n' Roses Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.98 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Fortunes of Alibaba Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.89 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Immortal Romance Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.86 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Powerspin Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.84 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Space Wars Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.75 %
Bonus Game: Yes
It's Time!! Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.74 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Tales of Dr.Dolittle Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.72 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Magic Oak Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.71 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Ozwin's Jackpots Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.7 %
Bonus Game: Yes
Happy Ape Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.66 %
Bonus Game: Yes

More online slots with the Bonus game (as a separate round)

With that being said, let’s learn:

  • What do players mean by the Bonus game and what makes it so special

  • Bonus game symbols and how they might look like

  • Types of Bonus games in online slots and some other question you may ask

What do players mean by the Bonus game?

Software developers are the guys who create online casino games. There is no naming convention among them for what they call the Bonus game. Hence, you can come across the Bonus game to have very different meanings depending on a particular game creator’s wishes.


I would say, the Bonus game has one of these three meanings most of the time:

  • Super broad meaning when anything even slightly valuable or special is called the Bonus game. Software providers with this approach would treat Free spins, Free spins re-triggering, Expanding or Sticky Wilds, a separate bonus round as the Bonus game. As for me, it does not make any sense to mix everything altogether, because new casino players especially get confused in a big way.

  • Free spins round is referred to as the Bonus game. This is less confusing meaning, but still pretty much is. The thing is that Free spins is a very different beast and it already has got a pretty much elegant and descriptive name, which is “Free spins” obviously. So here I don’t get as well why they would make everything so complicated when there is definitely the better way.

  • The Bonus game is a separate round of the slot, it has some unique and animated mechanics, and it has nothing to do with Free spins (though Free spins can be granted as a reward during a Bonus game). I find it as the most reasonable approach to what we would call the Bonus game in online slots. Moreover, in the article, the Bonus game is going to have exactly this meaning.

What makes the Bonus game so special?

The Bonus game is a very thrilling feature of slot games, and casino players are super excited about getting it. What makes us feel that way?


  • Valuable prizes to be expected.

  • Relatively hard to hit as a result of lucrative prizes.

  • The Bonus game round is separated from the main gameplay of the slot. So here is going to be some special animation, usually involving the main character of the slot’s plot.

  • A casino player is usually supposed to actively participate. As a rule of thumb, we need to guess something correctly (open some boxes, guess the right pathway, etc.) to get the maximum possible reward.

How do Bonus game symbols usually look like?

Bonus game symbols activate the Bonus game. Usually you have to hit at least three of them. Moreover, sometimes they can appear only on certain reels (for example, on the 1st, 3rd and 5th).

In terms of their appearance there is also some diversity.

A picture plus the “Bonus” sign on it is the most prevailing.


A picture that serves as the Bonus symbol is less widespread.


Just only the “Bonus” sign is a very rare thing to have. Mostly you can come across it in old-fashioned slot games.

The last thing to mention here, the Bonus symbol can be very misleading. Thus you can easily catch Bonus symbols, but instead of the Bonus game, to be rewarded with Free spins. It is the case, because some software developers actually mean Free spins by the Bonus game.

Bonus game vs Free spins: where is the difference?

The Free spins round is the same as ordinary gameplay except for that the reels are spinning “for free” in this scenario. Yes, some slots introduce some sort of animation, but on its core, Free spins are nothing more than just casual spins.

The Bonus game is very different in that sense. Here you will be sent to the whole new section of the slot, specifically dedicated to its Bonus game. Hence, you can expect some cool animation and unique graphics (some engaging intro animation is also common), not just casual spinning of the reels.

Types of Bonus games in video slots

In terms of what symbols trigger the Bonus game:

  • The Bonus game is triggered by some dedicated symbol (usually is explicitly called Bonus game symbol).

  • The Bonus game is activated by some other mechanics. For example, you need to gradually collect some number of collectibles (let’s say 10 emeralds or whatever). Once you have done it, the Bonus game is going to be launched right away.

In terms of required order:

  • Some order required. For example, Bonus game symbols must match some payline, similar to how regular paying symbols work.

  • No order required (similar to how the Scatter symbol works).

In terms of jackpot:

  • The Bonus game opens the opportunity to participate in a progressive jackpot. For example, exactly as it is implemented in Divine Fortune.

  • The Bonus game is limited to this particular online slot, and it can not reach super enormous size.

How it is getting triggered:

  • The Bonus game can only be triggered randomly (with the help of RNG). The majority of online slots have got such mechanics.

  • The Bonus game can be bought for some price. This is a relatively new feature, though it is getting more and more popular.

In terms of reward:

  • Cash winning is the most common reward.

  • Free spins may supplement cash winning or may serve as a reward of its own.

  • Multipliers are also used as a prize.

  • Other rewards can be basically everything valuable (or some mix of previous 3 types), and they are only limited to developers’ imagination.

What is the Buy Bonus game feature?

Some online slots (usually newer ones) allow you to get the Bonus game right away for some fixed price. Now you don’t have to wait, which is quite appealing at first glance. However, buying the Bonus game is a pricey venture, and it usually costs at least 50 times of your bet (x100-x150 are often the case).

How often you can come across the Bonus game in online slots

Approx. 30% of online slots come with the Bonus game feature. So to speak, it is a fairly common thing in online slots, though in comparison to the Free spins, it is implemented much rarely.

Approx. 90% of online slots, on the other hand, have got the Free spins round nowadays.

How does the Bonus game affect Volatility?

As a rule of thumb, the more opportunities to win big you have, the higher Volatility is going to be. Though it is not as simple as that.

Bonus games can be very different in terms of maximum winnings. Hence there are definitely online slots with a Bonus game and low or medium-low Volatility at the same time.

However, I agree that online slots with the Bonus game feature tend to have medium-high or high Volatility level in general.

Therefore, you should check on a particular slot’s Volatility level to get valid information (here).

How does the Bonus game affect the Winnings Hit frequency?

The Winning Hit frequency is also affected by the Bonus game in the similar manner that Volatility is. If you prefer online slots with the Bonus game, then expect to hit per-line winnings less frequently.

Anyway, it is not dogma. There are definitely online slots on the market with the Bonus game and even high Hit frequency. Bloodsuckers slot would be a great example (Hit frequency of 41%, which is one of the highest).

How does the Bonus game affect RTP?

There is no connection between the Bonus game feature and RTP (House Edge). Hence you can come across online slots with the Bonus game in place and decent RTP, and vice versa. No pattern to be discovered here.

Where to learn about a Bonus game in a particular slot?

You can easily find it in the information section, which basically each online slot has. Just simply click on the “i” icon and scroll a few pages if needed.


A rating of online slots with the Bonus game (as a separate round)

The Bonus game is a very cool feature of online slots, no question about that. It brings much more fun to the table. Though please keep in mind, The Bonus game comes at some cost (higher Volatility and lower Hit frequency) as online slots have to make up for generous prizes somewhere else.