Online casinos offer bonuses for two main reasons. First, they want to encourage new members to open accounts. Second, they want to motivate existing members to participate and place wagers.
The problem is that many casino sites, including some of the largest names in the industry make it difficult for players to withdraw their bonuses. Even worse, they often conceal the details surrounding bonus cash-outs, hoping that members become ineligible due to their own actions.
- Casino Bonuses
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Bonuses From The Online Casino Perspective
If you are just now getting into playing at online gambling sites you missed out on the really great online casino bonuses. Back in the day (2006-2009) online casinos were so flush with cash that they gave away tons of crazy bonuses without strict requirements.
People ‘abused’ the hell out of. There were entire websites dedicated to ‘bonus whoring’. This means where you as the player play and multiple new online casinos clearing bonuses and making some “easy” money.
Those days are long gone. Let’s be real.
The online casinos clamped down and realized how much money they were losing to the bonus whore crowd. Not only were they losing money to those players, they were paying out affiliate commissions to the sites sending these types of clients. In fact, in the “early days” of casino sites, that’s basically what happened. They paid affiliates to send them bonus whore traffic that ended up putting many online casinos out of business, or having them turn rogue.
Bonuses today are different.
So, the legit online casinos created wagering requirements and other terms and conditions before giving you the bonus money. The short answer is that you’re required to wager a certain amount of money in order to cash out. And bets placed on certain games (for example, craps) often don’t count toward the requirement.
The online casinos on our “Good Casino List” offer new player bonuses but they all come with rollover requirements. Many of them are not cash-able. That’s the way it is today. If you see a bonus that looks too good to be true (after reading the terms and conditions carefully!) then you should be extremely cautious. Casinos do not do this anymore.
Bonuses come with rollover requirements. You can accept the bonus and have fun with the money. If you are more worried about cashing out at any time and not needing to meet any wagering requirements then you can also refuse any bonus. They do it for their protection. But, it’s an unfortunate circumstance that makes it difficult to know where to play your favorite casino games. Until now…
Types of Casino Bonuses
Casinos offer different types of bonuses. We will explain the most common ones here.
- The Sticky Casino Bonuses
The most common bonus you see advertised across the internet are the “Play Bonus” or “Sticky Bonus”. This simply means that you can use the money to play the games but you cannot withdraw the bonus. It’s known as a “sticky casino bonus” because it sticks to the casino and not to the player. Many players who do not read the fine print on the bonus offers often feel like the casino “stuck” it to them. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
In the early ages of online casinos, when the market was well less matured than it is now, online casinos did offer incredible cashable deposit bonuses with very few rules. There were organized groups of players who knew how to maximize every weakness in the online casinos bonuses and grab the bonus money as quickly as possible and run. These players were known as the “Casino Bonus Whores” and while we can’t say we blame them for doing it, their actions have resulted in much more restrictive bonus offers. It is easy to determine if the bonus offer is considered sticky or not if you read the terms and conditons. If it says “for wagering only” then it is a sticky bonus.
- Welcome Deposit Bonuses
The casino welcome deposit bonus is probably the most common promotion that online casinos run. These are the bonuses that offer you a percentage of your deposit matched up to a certain dollar amount. You have to wager or “roll over” the deposit and bonus amount a specified amount of times before you can withdraw the bonus. The trick you need to be aware of with the welcome bonus is that many games are not allowed in the clearing requirements. Typically this includes the lower house edge games like odd / even roulette bets, low edge craps bets, blackjack etc… Often times the only games that will work are online slots, keno, and scratch cards. It is important to read the rules when you are signing up at any online casino and know what you need to do to earn your bonus.
- Casino Bonus vs Poker Bonus vs Sportsbook Bonus
If you are playing at a casino that has an online poker room or attached sportsbook then most of the time the bonus offers are different depending on what you plan to do. The most common additional bonus is a poker only bonus. For example, at the Bodog casino and poker room, the poker players get 100% of their bonus matched up to $1000 in addition the 10% instant bonus that the casino/sportsbook players get. This additional poker bonus is earned by playing real money ring games and tournaments and has it’s own unique clearing requirements.
No Deposit Casino Bonuses – Totally Free Casino Money?
Back in the day you could literally get free cash at tons of online casinos. A lot of them offered no deposit bonus money. No deposit casino bonuses aren’t nearly as prevalent as they once were. Here’s how they work: once you open an account, the casino places money into it without your having to make a deposit. You can then use their money to place wagers, keeping any winnings that result.
At first, it sounds as if the casino is giving you free money. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The casinos that still offer this type of bonus have dramatically tightened their restrictions. Below, we’ll explain what those restrictions are, why casinos use them, and an alternative bonus structure that you’ll find to be more attractive.
No Deposit Casino Bonuses from the Casino Perspective
Years ago, online casinos had to alleviate the fears of new customers who were hesitant to risk their money. So, they offered to put free chips into players’ accounts without requiring them to make a deposit.
Predictably, people opened new accounts (sometimes, several of them), claimed their free chips, and then quickly redeemed them.
As a result, gaming sites began to hemorrhage cash. Many of them went out of business. That’s why online casinos have applied tight restrictions to their no deposit bonuses.
What Are No Deposit Casino Bonus Restrictions?
Today, if you want to take advantage of this type of no deposit bonus, you’ll have to agree to a number of controls.
First, a lot of casinos won’t allow you to withdraw the bonuses. You can use the free money to place wagers, but you’ll have to forfeit it when cashing out.
Second, there’s often a playthrough requirement that is slightly above the bonus value. That’s a crafty strategy because it requires players to deposit money in order to use a “no deposit bonus.”
Third, there’s often a strict time limit. We’ve noticed a few casinos requiring players to meet a playthrough requirement within 1 session or before a given time period elapses. Fourth, they’re usually under $50 (and often as little as $5). It’s hard to get excited about that amount of money.
A Better Casino Bonus Structure
Now, we understand that we’ve painted a mildly bleak picture of no deposit casino bonuses. To be fair, some people enjoy them. However, there’s a much better alternative.
Bonuses Based On Games You Play
If you are a slots player you can get a certain type of bonus. If you are a table games player you can get a different type of bonus. Usually slot bonuses can be huge and require a fair amount of rollover. Table game bonuses are usually smaller and require higher rollover requirements due to the lower house edge.
Some games count for bonus clearing. Others do not. Simply betting red/black on roulette will not clear your bonus offer at many online casinos. Let’s take a look at a few popular table games bonus offers.
Blackjack Bonuses Review
- Bovada – Blackjack bonus offer of 100% match
Cashable Vs. Non-Cashable Blackjack Bonuses
Cashable blackjack bonuses are those that you’re allowed to withdraw. For example, if you deposit $100 and the casino matches with another $100, you can use the sum for your wagers. If the casino allows you to cash out your bonus after meeting the wagering requirement, it’s considered “cashable.”
On the other hand, if you’re allowed to use the bonus for placing wagers, but are forced to forfeit it after meeting the playthrough requirement, the bonus is “non-cashable.” If you’re playing with non-cashable blackjack bonuses, try to set a winnings goal to hit (for example, 200% of your beginning balance). Once you hit your goal, conserve your cash and make small bets to meet the wagering requirement. It’s not an infallible strategy, but it works well in most cases.
Other times, the bonuses are offered to existing members through various promotions. In order to validate the bonus, you’re required to place wagers equal to several times the sum of your deposit and bonus. For example, the “wagering requirement” may be stated as “20x deposit and bonus.” In most circumstances, the types of games on which eligible wagers can be placed are limited. Slots nearly always count toward the wagering requirement.
But, bets on blackjack games are rarely eligible. We hope this article explained the difference between cashable and non-cashable blackjack bonuses. We also provided you with a short list of the best online casinos for placing blackjack bets toward your playthrough requirement.