Online Casino Bonuses
Anyone who has played at an online casino has undoubtedly been offered a casino bonus.
It might be something like, ‘Deposit $500 and get $500 Free”, or ‘Download Now and Get $1000 in Free Bets”. Even if you have downloaded and deposited previously, many will offer you a bonus to reload your account. If you have wondered if these bonuses are worth it and how you can get them, then this article is a must read.
Are the Bonuses Worth Taking?
In short, yes. This is free money, especially if you were planning to deposit and play anyway. You would be foolish not to accept the bonus (in most cases), and most people do. The key, however, is to follow the rules so that you can successfully clear your bonus (more on that later).
Different Types of Online Casino Bonuses
There are a few different bonus types that online casinos offer.
Beyond just a first deposit bonus, reload bonus, or any other special deposit bonus, the type of bonus refers to how the bonus is structured. For instance, Rushmore Casino has a Welcome Bonus of $888 over your first two deposits. This does not mean that if you deposit $888 they will give you another $888 in cash. Rushmore’s bonus is called a “play bonus”. This means that the bonus money can only be used for play and can never be withdrawn. The benefit of these bonuses is that they are free bets and any money won from these bets can eventually be withdrawn.
GoCasino is another great site offering a “play bonus”. Their offer is even larger, $20,000 in free bets over your first 20 deposits.
Other casinos, like Bodog Casino, offer a cash bonus. This is simply a match of your bonus, up to a certain percentage or dollar amount, which is yours to keep once you meet the bonus rollover requirements.
How to Get the Bonuses
As mentioned, these bonuses are almost literally thrown at you, either through emails, popups in the casino lobby, or even when you contact customer support.
If you are not currently playing out a bonus then look around. If you cannot find one at your regular casino and you are not attached to the software, try a new casino. We have yet to find one casino online that will not offer you free money for your first deposit. If you are partial to the casino you already play at and do not have a bonus offer, contact customer service. Chances are there is a bonus available that you can take advantage of.
How to Clear the Bonus
Nearly all bonuses must be cleared before being eligible for withdrawal.
In most cases, attempting to withdraw before clearing the bonus will void not only the bonus, but any winnings derived from wagering the bonus money. This would be one reason not to accept a bonus. If you know that you will not keep your money online long enough to clear the entire bonus, then you should not accept it.
Since most bonus programs require you to wager the bonus first, any winnings you accumulate would have to be returned if you do not clear the bonus. Some sites require you to clear the entire bonus at once, while others will clear the bonus in parts.
To clear the bonus, you must generally wager money equal to your deposit amount, or your deposit amount plus bonus amount, a certain number of times. This is called rolling over your deposit. Roll over requirements typically range from 15 times to 30 times. So if you deposit $100 and they require you to roll over your deposit 20 times, then you must make wagers equal to $2000 in order to clear the bonus.
You must also figure out which games are allowed in clearing your bonus. Again, most sites will void your bonus and any winnings if you play on a game that does not qualify for the bonus. This can be very frustrating if you have won some cash and simply by playing on a disqualified game, you must forfeit all of your winnings.
Just about every online casino allows bets on slots to clear your bonus. All other games vary from one casino to the next. Many sites will allow wagers on video poker and some specialty games like scratch tickets. Table games are often prohibited or restricted, meaning that bets placed on them will either void your bonus or only count a small percentage toward clearing the bonus. It is rare to find bonuses that allow Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, or any casino poker game like Caribbean Hold’em Poker game.
You absolutely must read and make sure you understand which games are allowed and prohibited under the terms of the bonus. The reason why table games don’t normally count towards the wagering requirements is because they are classed as “easy wagering games” which would allow people to complete the wagering requirements with little or no risk. Take roulette for example, you could just bet on red and black over and over again until the wagering requirements have been completed. Sure, you would lose when the zero hits, but you would almost certainly end up in profit which is why the casinos don’t allow such practices.
If you are not sure, contact customer support. If you follow the rules, many of the bonuses are quite easy to clear. Doing so will require a bit of luck of course, since you will be playing games with a higher house edge, but once you get through clearing the bonus, you will have a nice boost to your bankroll and you will have had a lot of fun doing it.