Bonus Bowling

Published: 29/01/2013

Played today on every continent, the sport known as “bowling” has been around for thousands of years. Archeological digs in Egypt have revealed artifacts related to a bowling type of game dating back to 3200 BCE, and there are records of Roman legionnaires playing a similar game with stones that would eventually evolve into the Italian pastime known as Bocce.

Originally an outdoor sport played on grass, bowling has taken such forms elsewhere in the world as candlepin, duckpin and five-pin bowling indoors, and pétanque, skittles, bitlles and boules outside. For many centuries, ninepin bowling was the most common version used for wagering, and it was banned in areas where gambling was illegal. In 1895, the first standardized rules for modern ten-pin bowling were devised in New York City, and now nearly 100 million people in 90-odd countries are said to enjoy the game.

Giving its long history, widespread interest and tremendous popularity, bowling was selected by software maker Playtech for development as an arcade game. Dubbed “Bonus Bowling,” this game has lots of the same sights, sounds and action found on the lanes of real bricks-and-mortar bowling alleys, but it can now be played in online casinos like Bet365.

The active lane for Bonus Bowling appears on the left side of the gaming display, while the betting window is on the right. The object is to predict how many pins will be knocked down in total following two throws of the bowling ball. Odds vary upward, with higher payouts for the more pins knocked down.

Correctly choosing 0-3 pins pays double the wager. For a successful bet on 4-6 pins, the payout is triple. A multiple of 5X is won for getting 7-9 pins. The very highest awards come from Spares and Strikes, paying 10X and 25X, respectively. As might be expected, the occurrence of “marks” (Spares and Strikes) is relatively rare, while “open frames” (nine pines or fewer) are common. So-called “gutter balls” occur with frequency, too.

The minimum bet is €0.10 for all selections; however the maximum ranges from €4.00 to €50.00, depending on the payout level. Each game begins with the player placing bets on the five levels of outcomes: 0-3, 4-6, 7-9, Spare or Strike. Using +/- toggles, bets may be placed on just one outcome or all five in varying amounts. The total wager displays in what looks like a video monitor above the betting area, along with indicators for the results of the first and second throws and the amount won.

The 3D-like graphics and superb audio effects of Bonus Bowling are highly authentic. After the player clicks on “Throw” to start the game, the “Throw 1” label flashes on the lane and a bowling ball can be heard striking the boards and rolling toward the pins. As pins are struck, they can be heard falling and careening off other pins. A red light flashes above the lane as the dead pins are cleared, and then “Throw 2” occurs. Winnings are flashed in a “You Won” display, while losses trigger a “Try Again” display.

To continue with the same wager, all the player needs to do is click “Throw.” Changing the bets can be accomplished by using the +/- toggle or by clicking on “Clear Bets” beneath the Throw button. The absolute maximum wager is €109.

Other than selecting amounts to wager, the decision-making aspects of Bonus Bowling are quite limited. Control options available can be found in the “Tools” pull-down menu under “Options,” such as “Game Settings,” “Audio Settings” and “General Settings.” This is where the player can disable the game sounds, background sounds or dealer voices. It is also possible to adjust the game speed for normal play or fast play.

Published on: 29/01/2013

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