When playing at online casinos, you are offered many bonuses. It is important to know all the details about a bonus before you decide to accept it. Different casinos have different rules, but the information below is everything you should know about bonuses without going into the specific rules of each casino.
The Welcome Bonus is something that is offered at pretty much every online casino. It definitely comes in handy, allowing you to bet more for bigger wins, and extending the play time on your deposit. The welcome bonus is usually the largest bonus you will get from that casino, though sometimes they will offer several bonuses, or an ongoing bonus as a welcome gift.
An example would be offering an unlimited 200% deposit bonus for the first week. That means every deposit made during your first week at the casino will be awarded a 200% bonus. Deposit $100 and get $200, giving you $300 to play with. If you lose that, or cash out, you can deposit again and receive the same award.
Sometimes a bonus is ‘sticky’, meaning it cannot be cashed out along with your winnings, and there can also be a maximum amount you are allowed to cash out. This is usually the case with No Deposit Bonuses, while deposit bonuses are normally cashable and do not have maximum withdrawal restrictions.
An example of this would be offering a $60 free chip (or “no deposit bonus”) that comes with wagering requirements (explained below) and a maximum cash-out of $300. This is usually a ‘sticky’ bonus, so if you complete the wagering requirements and have over $360, request a withdrawal of $360 to get the maximum $300 cash-out (as the $60 bonus is removed during withdrawal).
Make sure you read the bonus Terms and Conditions before you decide to play with a bonus. This way you know exactly what the specific bonus conditions and wagering requirements are, as they differ from casino to casino.
Most casino bonuses advertised are for playing slot games, though many casinos also offer bonuses for card and table games, or allow play on all games with certain conditions. It is very important if you take a slot bonus, that you do not play any restricted games (like blackjack and roulette are usually restricted) or you may forfeit any winnings. That is why it’s important to read the Terms and Conditions of the bonus at that casino.
Bonuses almost always come with Wagering Requirements (WR) which usually prevents you from withdrawing until you have wagered a certain amount of money. For this reason, some people decide not to play with bonuses. You can play without bonuses by either not redeeming a coupon before a deposit, or if it is automatic you can ask customer service (via live chat or email) to stop the bonus from being applied to your deposit(s).
Most bonuses at MicroGaming casinos have a WR of the bonus x (a certain multiplier, usually 30x). As you wager, the bonus credits are moved into your cash balance, but you must still complete the full WR before you can withdraw.
Most bonuses at Playtech and RealTimeGaming casinos have a WR of Deposit + Bonus x (a certain multiplier, usually 20-30x). I don’t really like this WR system as it throws the deposit in to the equation.
For a comparison between the two systems, we’ll use an example of depositing $100 with a 100% bonus at both ‘MG Casino’ (MicroGaming) and ‘RTG Casino’ (RealTimeGaming). At ‘MG Casino’, the WR would be $100×30 = $3000. At ‘RTG Casino’, the WR would be $100+$100 x 20 = $4000. That’s quite a difference, and consider that 20% is almost the lowest offered at RealTimeGaming casinos, it is usually 25x or even 30x.
The wagering comes from placing bets on casino games. Different types of games are weighted differently when it comes to wagering, that is if you are allowed to play other types of games with the bonus. If you can play all games on the bonus, blackjack and roulette for example are usually weighted much lower than slots, and some games don’t count at all. Slots are almost always weighted at 100%, meaning every dollar spent counts as a dollar towards the WR.
These wagering requirements may seem like a large amount of money to wager, but when playing slots, you win your bet back and more often enough that you don’t really realize how much you have wagered.
I personally like to play with a bonus because, at the very least, it gives you more playing time on your deposit.
Again, make sure you read the Terms and Conditions for any bonus you decide to take, before you start playing. Some bonuses don’t allow you to play certain games, and if you do, the online casino has the right to remove the bonus and any winnings.
As a Canadian that enjoys playing at online casinos, I like to share my experiences and knowledge that I have gained to help others get the most out of their online gambling experience.