The Real Deal Behind Online Casino Bonuses
Online casinos are continually implementing new bonus offerings as a one-up on their competition, to retain player loyalty, and to attract new players. Some of the “best casino deals” are mere gimmicks and some are actually useful to players, making it imperative that potential players understand just how these various bonus offerings work before they accept and engage.
Cashing Out A Bonus
Whether the bonus is labeled as a welcome bonus, match deposit bonus, a number of free spins or coins, or a certain amount of free play time, the fine print of the casino's online terms and conditions will most always mandate that the recipient complete certain tasks before being able to cash out any bonus money.
This requirement generally translates to the player making a certain number and/or monetary amount of wagers, meaning the player will generally have to put some amount of their own money at risk in order to complete the requirements and possibly collect any bonus-related money. The amount of non-bonus related money this requires varies, but it more often than not equals to or exceeds the bonus funds.
The terms and conditions of the bonus may also involve several expiration timeframes, such as a specified amount of time a player has to accept and/or collect the bonus. This timeframe may be just a few short days or several months.
Calculating The Cost Of The Bonus
Consider the wagering requirement, wagering percentage contributed toward fulfilling requirements, and the house edge to determine approximately how much a bonus will cost.
• The wagering requirement (WR) is typically 20-40 times the bonus plus deposit before a bonus will be paid out.
• Wagering percentage contribution (WPC) varies greatly between both online casinos and particular games; it’s a multiplier of the wagering requirement that basically says only a certain percentage of each wager will go toward fulfilling the waging requirement. Online slots usually offer 100% WPC, making the wagering requirement a straightforward requirement. Roulette, Blackjack, and such games, however, usually have a 50% or less WPC. It can be as little as eight percent with games like Blackjack offered by Microgaming online casinos, thereby turning a 25x bonus plus deposit requirement into an endeavor that far surpasses whatever bonus amount is at play.
• House edge is all about probabilities. Casinos calculate long-term profits and odds based on the totality of wagers for a particular game. Games like Keno have universally unfavorable betting odds. On the other hand, basic Blackjack can have a house edge of less than one percent in some cases. Knowing the house edge of a game helps the player estimate the time spent playing a game before the advantage changes.
Are Casino Bonuses A Trap?
Casinos wouldn’t exist if they didn’t create an advantage in their favor to keep everyone from being a winner. Like any business, their objective is profit. The above three factors of WR, WPC, and edge are the casino’s way of ensuring the odds of a player’s projected loss is greater than the potential bonus amount to be collected.
Players who find themselves automatically credited with a bonus they don’t want to accept may always contact the casino’s customer service team to decline the offer and have it removed from their account.
To project loss, a player can simply multiply amount wagered by house edge. To figure out how much it will take to cash out a bonus, a player can simply multiply deposit and bonus amount times WR times WPC. Most will find this calculation to be about three times the bonus amount and at a loss.
Consider Return To Player Value
Return to player value, or RTP, is basically the opposite of the house edge. It shows a player’s potential winnings. RTPs for online casinos average around 90%. RTP related to a particular game and casino over a precise period is something to consider in valuing and calculating the cost of a bonus.
Say an online slot player has a 100% contributing percentage and a match deposit bonus of 100% for $50 for example. Although the terms require a specific number of wagers as described above, the player would still be turning a $50 deposit into $100 to play.
Are The Best Casino Deals Worth The Risk?
To answer this question, players need to carefully read the terms and conditions of the offer. Offers with a nice bonus, no game limitations, and low wagering requirements could easily be worthwhile when picking a game with a low house edge and high RTP.
Don’t make the mistake of just looking at the amount of the best casino deals. A big bonus may be accompanied by unreasonable terms that are all but impossible to fulfill with any profit to the player. Meanwhile, smaller bonuses may be less attractive on the surface, but they may have terms that are easily fulfilled.
In reading any bonus’s terms, also look for any consequences of not fulfilling the bonus requirements or attempting to cash out before completing. Some online casinos use the lure of bonuses to go beyond just improving their probability of getting players to risk their own money. These unscrupulous entities may seize all a player’s invested money if they fail to meet the terms of the bonus or even attempt to collect an unfulfilled bonus.
By looking at these terms, players can quickly judge if an online casino’s bonus is designed to honestly attract new players or is merely a ploy to capitalize on unsuspecting players not fully understanding the fine print of the bonus offering. Like most things in life, casino bonuses are neither universally good nor bad.