The battle for customers between online casinos has never been more savage than it is now. There are hundreds of gambling sites out there and they are all desperately trying to attract new players and keep them.
One of the most common mechanisms the online casinos use is to offer bonuses to every new user. If you are going to play with real money, taking full advantage of such deals is essential.
And yet, all promotions come with various strings attached, so they can be misleading. The tips we share here will help you evaluate every online casino bonus properly and understand what to expect before you proceed to deposit your hard-earned cash.
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Percentage of Your Deposit
Almost all bonuses, including the welcome bonuses offered by online casinos, require you to make a deposit. The extra money you receive is based on a percentage of the amount you add to your account, so that’s the first part you need to be careful about.
For example, if a bonus states that you get 100% of your first deposit that means the bonus will be as big as your deposit.
Obviously, the larger the percentage is the better, as the bonus will require a lower investment. There are other factors to consider, as you will see below, but you should be looking for 100% or more in most cases.
Maximum Amount You Can Receive
Next in line is the maximum you can receive. Most casino bonuses online are limited to a certain amount and the gambling sites announce it clearly. For example, a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $100 means that $100 is the maximum you can get from the promotion.
We won’t go into too many details here, as this factor is pretty clear. You want the largest offer possible.
The first two aspects we explored are obvious and the online casinos are fairly transparent about them.
You don’t have to read the small print or ask customer support to find out more about them. That’s not the case with the wagering requirements, though.
Most casinos make sure it takes at least several clicks to get to them and that’s not a coincidence.
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But let’s take a step back and explain what the term “wagering requirements” means. Since the casino can’t simply give you free money that you can instantly withdraw, they need to find a way to keep you active up to a point in which you return at least some of the free cash to them.
They do that by asking you to wager the bonuses you receive before transferring them to your withdrawable real money balance.
For example, if the terms and conditions of the deal state that you need to wager the bonus 30 times prior to withdrawal and you received $100, you have to place bets worth $3,000 before the extra cash is truly yours.
As you can imagine, the exact wagering requirements are crucial for the true value of the bonus. There are several key points, but let’s start with two of them.
You must understand if the wagering requirements are for the bonus only or for the bonus and deposit, because the latter is true for some casinos.
That changes the calculation drastically. For example, 30 times the bonus for a 100% up to $100 bonus means $3,000. If the deposit is included, the number goes to $6,000.
Once you know what the case is, you should take a look at the sheer number. Whether it’s 30 times, 50 times or even more. That will help you understand approximately how much money you need to bet before you clear the bonus.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Up to this point, you have a very good idea what to expect and how to evaluate each bonus. That’s not enough, though, as you will often encounter specific circumstances that could be a game-changer, so we want to add a couple of other important factors that many people underestimate.
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- Excluded payment options: some casinos on the web don’t line certain payment options like PayPal or Skrill, for example. Make sure to check if the bonus you are targeting can be obtained with a deposit via the banking method you are planning to use.
- Game contribution for the wagering requirements: the house edge for the different casino games varies, so the operators add extra rules for the wagering requirements. Some of them even exclude certain titles and you can’t clear your bonus playing them. Take a closer look at the terms and conditions, so you are not forced to play games you don’t like later on.
- Timeframe: most online casinos put a timeframe on each bonus and it’s important to check that. You might have only a week to clear it, in other cases, it could be a month or more. Either way, it’s important to know and plan accordingly.
Always make sure to know what you’re getting into when you decide to acquire a bonus from an online casino. You can make money from certain promotions, but it can’t happen without careful planning and close evaluation of all-important aspects of the bonus.
Another thing to consider is that the best bonuses are not always the biggest available. A smaller promo that requires less work and is easy to clear might be the better option.