You’ve probably seen that most online casinos’ advertisements usually jili slot offer some sort of bonus or FREE money to entice you to play there. As with most things in the world, nothing really comes for free, so before you start claiming that free money and then get upset that you’ve been scammed, I suggest you read on and see how this all works.
First of all you can ask; Why do online casinos even offer this “free” money?
It is part of their marketing and differentiation strategy. In short, online casinos are generally “skins” of a particular software provider, so behind the different owners, graphics, licenses etc. under the hood there really isn’t much of a difference between, say, all Playtech powered casinos or all Microgaming powered casinos operated.
So if they’re mostly the same under the hood, there must be a difference that will convince you to play at online casino “X” and not “Y”. Besides the graphics, licensing, support and reputation, another way to appeal to potential players is by giving them something, in this case a bonus.
With that out of the way, the next question you might be asking is OK, so Casino X is offering $5,000 free, maybe I’ll sign up, take my $5,000, play it and move on to Casino Y
Again, the answer is pretty simple. To claim bonuses at an online casino you will normally need to make a deposit unless it is specifically stated that you do not, but we will get to that later.
Before we get into the different types of bonuses offered at online casinos, here are a few additional terms and points to keep in mind so you can clear them with a support agent before claiming a bonus, just so you know where you stand and what you claim.
1. Wagering Requirements: Most bonuses have wagering or playthrough requirements, which means that you must wager a certain amount before you can withdraw any winnings from your account. On average, wagering requirements are usually between 15 and 40 times, but be careful what you have to wager. In some cases it will only be the bonus times X and in others you will need to wager the bonus + your deposit amount X times. The latter, by the way, is more common.
Another tidbit to watch out for regarding wagering requirements is that at most online casinos, if you request a withdrawal before completing the wagering requirements, all your previous winnings will be void. Not really fair, but that’s the reality.
2. Games played: In this case, be sure to read the terms and conditions. Since slots are generally the most profitable games for online casinos, many bonuses are usually only valid for slots. Usually, scratch cards and keno follow this rule.
In other cases you are allowed to play your bonus on all games; however, not all games count 100% towards playthrough requirements. For example, playing slots counts 100%, but roulette only counts 30%, meaning you actually have to wager three times more in order to meet the wagering requirements and withdraw your winnings.
3. Minimum Deposit Requirement: In most cases, in order to claim a bonus, you will need to make a minimum deposit, which again may vary. It’s generally a small amount that you’re likely to deposit anyway. It’s usually no more than $50.
Now that we’re all on the same page and speaking the same language, it’s time we go through the main types of bonuses available at most online casinos.
1. A match bonus is the most common type of bonus. For every $ you deposit, the casino will match you with X% of your deposit. So, for example, if Casino Z offers a 100% match bonus, deposit $100 and the casino will give you an additional $100 in bonus money. This means that you actually start playing at the casino with $200. Deposit bonuses are almost always capped at a certain maximum bonus amount that you can claim. A deposit bonus can be a standalone bonus as part of a promotion (more common at US-friendly online casinos) and/or as part of the welcome bonus
2. A welcome bonus is generally offered by most if not all online casinos to new players who sign up and make their first deposit at the casino. The welcome bonus is the sum of all possible match bonuses that you can collect as a new player at the casino over a certain period of time or within your first X deposits or a mixture of both; So when a casino advertises a $3000 welcome bonus, this is actually the maximum you can get with the first deposit bonus, second deposit bonus, monthly bonus, etc. If you deposit the maximum amount of each match bonus, you can reach the advertised welcome bonus. If you deposit less than required for the maximum bonus at each stage, you will not reach the amount advertised in the welcome bonus. So in fact the advertised welcome bonus is the MAXIMUM amount you can claim as bonus money during your first time playing at the casino.
3. A no deposit bonus is pretty self-explanatory. It is a bonus you receive from an online casino that allows you to play real money games without having to make a deposit. This is a great tool for online casinos to attract new players as they can try the casino without having to make a deposit. In some countries it helps to solve casino players’ “trust problem” with online casinos. Many players who enjoy depositing and playing at an online casino will be wary of trying another they have never played at. Other players don’t want to make a deposit without trying out the software and games, so a no deposit bonus can definitely help here. Some online casinos give no deposit bonuses as part of their standard offer and others steer clear of such bonuses, claiming that they tend to attract the wrong kind of players, ie players who have no intention of playing for real Gambling for money and that it only burdens the support team with no actual outcome. I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and people don’t claim no deposit bonuses for a variety of reasons.
No deposit bonuses are generally available for a fairly small amount, usually $10-15, and they are offered to potential customers either directly by the casino or by websites affiliated with them. No deposit bonuses also have wagering requirements that you must meet before you can withdraw your winnings if you are lucky.
4. Sticky/Play only bonuses are bonuses that cannot be withdrawn from your account. If you are lucky and win and request a withdrawal, the bonus amount you received will be deducted from your winnings. Let’s say you claimed a $50 sticky bonus and were lucky enough to get your balance to $500. Now you want to withdraw your winnings and go partying with friends. The online casino only allows you to withdraw $550 from your player account and $50, the sticky bonus amount, is void. Match only bonuses are usually larger than match bonuses and have lower wagering requirements.
initially common at Playtech
5. Payment Method Bonus: This was something that was originally common at Playtech powered casinos and has spread to many others over the years as well. As well as depositing at an online casino using your credit or debit card, there are many electronic options, most of which offer instant transfers without the hassles and high fees that come with it. Many of these alternative payment methods, as they are commonly known, offer their services to people without a credit check and you can discreetly transfer money from your bank account. Some are even prepaid cards that you can buy from a kiosk. Just for using these alternative payment methods you can claim an extra 10-15% bonus on any deposit on top of any other bonus you claim. Be sure to check the cashier section before signing up at an online casino you have never played at as it can definitely work to your advantage.
6. Most online casinos have a loyalty/VIP club program where you can redeem bonuses for points you’ve earned while playing. The more you play, the more points you earn and the better the points bonus conversion rate becomes.
It is always important to check the specific T&Cs of the online casino you are playing or wishing to play at, as often you will not be allowed to withdraw the bonus amount or the bonus amount may be deducted from your winnings.
OK, I’m pretty sure by now you’re thinking about how to get all these benefits, so here’s the downside of the card. Online casinos are extremely sensitive to bonus abuse, also known as bonus whores, by players. For example, just as you can be banned from ทดลองเล่นสล็อต jili a land-based casino for counting cards, you can also have your player account blocked at an online casino at the first suspicion of bonus abuse. You need to remember that at the end of the day gambling is entertainment and is meant to be fun and exciting. It’s not a day job and you can’t really make money at the casino. Bonuses add to the fun and excitement and at the end of the day are just a marketing tool. Claim them, have fun with them, increase your excitement, but don’t expect to sign off richer.
Ron M. Faulkner is the leader of the group of online casino professionals behind CasinoPromoGuide. The group aims to provide online casino players from all over the world with updated information about bonuses and ongoing promotions. The name of the game is to help players stretch their online gambling budgets that little bit more in these days of relative recession.