The Gamble Feature in slots: how does it work and is it smart to use it? 

The gamble feature is one of the oldest slot features. Many land-based slot machines already included this feature. You’ll still often find the feature on Merkur and Novomatic slot machines in gambling halls. But you’ll find it on more and more online slot machines as well.

The gamble feature is also known as the ‘Risk Game’, Double Up, Head or Tails, etc. The name may differ for each gaming provider; the idea is the same every time. You win something during a spin, decide to use the Gamble Feature, and with a little bit of luck, you’ll double your stake.

You can double by correctly guessing the side the coin will land on. Or by guessing which colour the next card is going to have. In other words, there’s a 50/50 chance of winning. There are some variants nowadays, like betting on higher or lower, betting on the right card symbol, and ‘gamble features’ variable odds and prices.

In this article, CasinoWizard will explain what the ‘Gamble Feature’ is, on which slots you’ll find the feature and whether it’s a good idea to play this game.

How does the Gamble feature in slots work?

How the gamble feature works precisely depends on the type of feature on the slot machine. CasinoWizard will explain how it works using several examples.

They all have a few things in common. You play the gamble feature after a winning spin. At least if you choose, because the gamble feature is not a mandatory component of the gameplay of a slot machine.

Heads or tails

Many of the earliest slot machines already had a heads or tails game. After a winning spin on the slot machine, you could keep playing, but you could also choose to bet on heads or tails. You’d bet by pressing the heads or the tails button.

Or you could just ram it a few times if you thought it influenced your odds of winning. Afterwards, the lit cursor would move very quickly between heads and tails. Then it would stop on either one.

Many online slot machines have similar gamble features. It’s especially common on Betsoft, Stakelogic, Endorphina and older Play’n Go slot machines.

The design differs on each slot machine, but its function is the same. You bet your winnings on heads or tails. Guessed the right side? You’ll double your stake. If not, you’ll lose it all again. Some slot machines also allow you not to bet your entire winnings but half, for example.

There are two possible outcomes. The chance of getting heads is the same as getting tails. In other words, you have a 50/50 chance of winning.

gamble feature on slots

Red or black

Another variant is betting on guessing the right card colour. This variant is often found on Stakelogic, Novomatic and EGT slot machines. After a winning spin, you’ll choose whether you want to play the gamble feature again.

If you play, you’ll bet on red or black. Afterward, a card is turned over. Is that card the colour you bet on? Then, you’ll double your winnings.

The odds of winning are 50%. After all, a deck of cards consists of 52 cards. Jokers aren’t used in the ‘red or black’ game. There are 26 red cards, i.e. 2 through ace, in the suits hearts, and diamonds. There are also 26 black cards. 2 through ace, in spades and clubs.

how does gamble feature on slots work

Spades, clubs, hearts, or diamonds

Of course, there’s another way to design the card feature. Many EGT and Stakelogic slot machines allow you to bet on the colour or suit of a card.

Betting on the suit will not just double your stake; it will quadruple it. Imagine that you won € 1 with a spin and bet it on the right suit, you’ll receive € 4. That is € 3 in winnings.

Gamble-feature-online slots

Higher or lower

The game ‘higher or lower’ is played with cards as well. You won’t be betting on the colour or suit, but on whether or not the next card will be higher or lower than the one already on the table. For example, you play the ‘higher or lower’ gamble feature, and there’s a 7 on the table. You’ll win if you get an 8 or higher and lose if you get a 6 or lower. It’s a tie if you get a 7.

The odds differ for each game because you are dependent on the card that’s already there. If there’s a two, 48 (out of 51) cards are higher than a two. You’ll tie the game if you get any of the three other twos. With an ace, the situation is reversed. 48 of the 51 other cards will mean you lose, while the three other aces will tie the game.

This variant of the gamble feature can be found on Endorphina slot machines. The fun thing about this ‘higher or lower’ feature on Endorphina slots is that you can first take a look and then decide whether or not you want to play.

how does gamble feature on online slots work

Risk ladder

Do you ever play Merkur slot machines? If so, you’ll have played Merkur’s ‘Risk Ladder’. You can play the ‘Risk Ladder’ after each winning spin. For example, you can do so on Double Triple Chance.

The winnings you earned are on the next to last rung of the ladder. You play all-or-nothing. You’ll double your winnings if you end up on a higher level. If you end up on a lower one, you’ll lose everything.

You can then choose to repeat the process or return to your slot play. If you decide to keep playing, you’ll play to double your winnings. End up at a higher rung? You’ll double your winnings. End up at a lower rung? You’ll cut your winnings in half.

Afterward, you can keep playing. You can keep going until you reach the top or bottom of the ladder, or if you choose not to keep playing and return to the original game. There is a play-off in the middle of the ladder: all or nothing.

Risiko-ladder-gamble feature

Variable odds

One of the newer variants is where you choose how much of your winnings you want to play. And you won’t just be playing for euro rewards. You can also choose to play for free spins. This variant of the gamble feature can be found on Book of the Irish.

The basics remain the same: you win something on a spin and then have the choice between cashing out or betting with on the ‘gamble feature’.

Afterward, you decide for yourself. The idea is for the pointer to end up in the green area. That green area makes up half the wheel when you play to double your winnings. In other words, 50%. You can increase or decrease your odds of winning. You have the greatest odds of winning if you play for 1.35 times your bet. You’ll be playing with odds of about 74 to 75 percent. You can also try to triple your winnings. In that case, your odds of winning would be about 33.3 percent.

You can also play for 5, 10 or 20 free spins. You’ll be playing for 5 – 25% odds in those cases. Did you win? Then you’ll get your free spins.


Is it wise to play the Gamble Feature?

Statistically speaking, it doesn’t matter if you play the gamble feature or not. Let’s start with the gamble feature with 50% odds of winning and 50% odds of losing as an example.

You’ll double your stake if you guess right, and there’s a 50% chance that you do. Your chances of losing are 50% as well, in which case you’ll lose your stake. Statistically speaking, you’ll double your stake in half these gamble features. In the other half, you’ll lose your stake. In a simple example, that would look as follows:

You end up with what you started with: € 10. In practice, these things are often different. The chances of 5x red or 5x black (or 5x heads or 5x tails) are 24.6% That means a 75.4% chance of things going differently.

Like, for example:

We’ve now got six black cards and four red cards. You’ve doubled your stake four times but lost it six times. That means a net loss of € 2.

Naturally, that would be the other way around if you guessed correctly more often.

In that example, you’d end up with € 4. You guessed right 7 times and guessed wrong 3 times. Impossible? No. The chances of getting red precisely 7 times in 10 games are 12 percent. The likelihood of getting red 7 or more times is 17%.

And in reality, you won’t play the gamble feature with the same stake every time. It all depends on the number of wins you’re playing in the gamble feature.

In this example, you guess 7 out of 10 correctly again. Because you had a bit of luck with higher stakes and weren’t so lucky with lower stakes, you ended up with € 42.20 in winnings. Naturally, you could be unlucky, even with the statistics. Imagine that you only guess 3 out of 10 correctly, and you’re not lucky with higher bets, but with lower bets – you’ll end up with reasonably high losses proportionately.

Card suits

Another possibility is to bet on the suit of the card. In a 52-card deck, there are 13 cards per suit. If you bet on hearts, you would win 13 out of 52 cards. That is 25%. You’ll quadruple your stake in that case. A bet of € 1 on hearts means that you’ll be at € 4 if your card is hearts. That’s a winning of € 3.

Statistically speaking, you’ll win one out of every four games. A simple example: you play € 1 forty times. Statistically speaking, you’d win 10 games and lose 30. The 10 games you win will net you a total of € 30, while the 30 lost games will mean a loss of € 30.

On paper, that means betting on the suit will have you end up with the same amount you started with. On paper. We’re not gambling on paper. We are gambling on a slot machine. The same applies when you bet on heads or tails. Or bet on red or black. Depending on how lucky or unlucky you are, and which bets were (un)lucky, you’ll either win money or lose.

Higher or lower

There is a little more strategy if you’re playing higher or lower and get to see the card you have to beat beforehand. You get to do so on Endorphina slots.

There are five cards on the table. The leftmost card is open. The idea is for you to get a higher card. Did you? You’ll double your stake. The lower the open card, the higher your chances of winning.

You’ll play with a payout rate of over 100%, which means you have the edge over online casinos if you play with a 2, 3, 4, or 5. Is there a 6, 7, or 8? Then your chances are comparable to heads or tails, or red or black. Playing with a 9 or higher open will means you have a disadvantage compared to the casino.

Why is there a ‘Gamble feature’ on slot machines?

That is an excellent question. In many cases, it turns out that it doesn’t matter much whether or not you play the gamble feature. Then why is the feature found on slot machines?

The primary reason is that it gives the player the impression that they can affect the game. People and gamblers specifically tend to overestimate themselves. As with roulette, many slot machine players think they see patterns in the outcomes of the gamble features on a slot machine.

For example: after the coin landed on heads three times in a row, players think the chances of getting tails are higher on the fourth toss. That is not true. With the fourth toss, the chances of getting tails are 50%, as always. The same goes for the odds of getting heads. The fact that many players think differently is known as the ‘Gambler’s Fallacy’.

Casinos often limit the number of times you can double your winnings. For example, it’s 5 times on Novomatic slot machines and 10 times in a row on Endorphina slot machines. Because the winnings are limited in this way (and losses are not), the casino has a slight edge.

And finally, it’s a crowd-pleaser. Many players like to gamble after a winning spin. Doubling your winnings doesn’t sound bad, does it?

Gaming providers also sometimes take the easy way out. Many slot machines still have fruit symbols because that’s what players are used to. Why are there so many clones of slot machines like Book of Ra and Random Runner? Precisely because people know them already.

Watch out for unreliable slot machines

Statistically speaking, it doesn’t matter much whether or not you play the gamble feature. At least if the slot machine is offering a fair game. A balanced slot machine will give you a 50% chance of tails and a 50% chance of getting heads in the ‘heads or tails’ gamble feature. Independent experts verified this and certified the slot machine. That means you can rely on having a fair chance.

Things are different for slot machines that haven’t been reviewed. Do those offer you a fair game? No idea. The chances are that they don’t. For example, Betsoft has been caught tampering with card games and jackpot slot machines. Who’s to say that the heads or tails game will give you a fair chance?

Exactly no-one. Make sure you always play the gamble feature on reliable slot machines at reliable casinos. The quickest way to find slot machines with a gamble feature is through the CasinoWizard slots finder.

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