If you have been scouring the net in search of online slots to play, you will no doubt have noticed that casinos are always trying to get you to sign-up by enticing you with juicy bonus deals. These bonus offers come in different varieties and always have terms and conditions attached. Fully understanding how each bonus type works will help you avoid any nasty or frustrating experiences, and guarantee that you get the best deal for your budget.
Types of Bonuses
- No Deposit Bonus
As the name suggests, players are not required to put down any money to be eligible for this type of bonus. The only thing players needs to do is sign-up and receive the offered amount. It will either be directly credited to their new online casino account, or it can be claimed via online submission or email. Based on the operator’s terms and conditions, limitations may include maximum withdrawal amounts or the request of a token deposit prior to be able to withdraw any winnings.
- Match Deposit Bonus
This is a very common bonus offering to new players. The casino asks the player to make a deposit and offers to match it with a percentage of the total deposit value. So, if the casino offers a 100% match up to $200, it means that any deposit under $200 will be matched in equal value. This way the player has double his original bankroll to play with.
- Free Spins Bonus
The Free Spins bonus is aimed at slots players who wish to try out games without putting down a deposit first, but still win real money. The terms attached to this type of bonus stipulates that invariably some sort of deposit will have to be made in order to withdraw any winnings.
- Free Money Bonus
This bonus is usually a fixed amount offered against a first deposit, regardless of its value. For example, a casino will offer $50 free on deposits of at least $20. So, should the player deposit $100, his total available bankroll will increase to $150.
- Reload Bonus
This type of bonus is aimed to encourage more deposits after the client has opened an account. The casino will send weekly or monthly offers of a bonus whenever another deposit is made.
- Sticky Bonus
Sticky bonuses are usually very generous amounts, up to as high as $3,000. That is because players cannot withdraw them – only the winnings made over and above the initial bonus amount once the wagering requirements have been met.
- Cashback Bonus
Casinos use cashback bonuses to reward loyal players. This is usually in cash or casino credits and offered to players on a weekly basis. The value of the bonus is based on a percentage of the player’s losses – usually in the range of 5% to 20%.
Other bonuses include Exclusive Bonuses, Loyalty Bonuses and High Roller Bonuses. The terms surrounding these bonuses vary between casinos. Some may feature wagering requirements as part of the terms and conditions, while others may not. These types of bonuses are usually restricted to regular customers of a certain status and often require higher than normal opening deposits – with subsequent higher returns.
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How Bonuses Work
By now you have figured out that although bonuses are advertised as “free cash” this is by no means the case. There are various hoops players need to jump through to fully benefit from the bonus deal offered, and that is comprehensively explained in the terms and conditions. Note that bonus terms are not the same for all online casinos, so read through them whenever you try something new, paying special attention to the following factors:
- Wagering requirements
This is also known as playthrough requirements and stipulates that a player must wager the bonus amount, or the bonus amount plus the deposit amount a certain number of times before any winnings may be withdrawn. Wagering requirements are generally linked to deposit bonuses and free spin bonuses. It is the area in the T’s & C’s that creates the most confusion and can be quite costly if not understood correctly.
- If a player deposits $100 and accepts a bonus deal where the match bonus is 100% and the requirement is that the bonus needs to be played through 20 times, the player must make $2,000 worth of bets off a $200 bankroll before any winnings can be withdrawn.
- If the requirement is that the deposit and the bonus amount must be played through 20 times, then the player must be prepared to place bets to the value of $4,000 on a bankroll of $200 before any winnings can be withdrawn.
The amount of times wagers must be made can vary drastically from one casino the next. It can go as high as 60x therefore it is critical for players to understand the wagering requirements first and foremost and feel comfortable that it can be met
- Match deposit percentage
When accepting a match deposit bonus, make sure you know exactly how much the casino is contributing. It will either be fractional percentage match, like 25% (typically comes with a large money limit to play for) or a 100% match, where the casino meets you halfway. The latter will obviously be easier on your pocket.
- Game contribution
Some casinos only allow certain games to contribute towards satisfying the wagering requirements. In addition, qualifying games contribute in varying percentages. For example, slots typically contribute 100% while other games contribute far less or nothing at all. It therefore makes sense to opt for games offering the highest percentage, as you can clear the requirements in a much quicker time.
- Time limit
Check out the time requirements before committing to a bonus deal, as many offers expire within two to four months. If you have not met the wagering requirements within the given timeframe, you will lose the bonus money.
- Penalties and restrictions
Not adhering to wagering requirements, like playing prohibited games, can result in penalties being incurred.
Players can also run the risk of losing their bonus winnings altogether in cases where they wish to cash-out before completely satisfying the requirements.