They can look pretty tempting, those huge bonus offers of free cash from the online casinos. There’s plenty of bonus offers which match your initial deposit up to a few hundred dollars, lots more offer even more. The casinos offer these as a temptation to get you past that initial registration phase and actually playing their games. They know only a small proportion actually go through, sign up, download the client and start playing – they want those people!
But before you sign up for that first bonus, the one offering a thousand dollars for free – just step back and think for a minute. Firstly get idea to get out of your head is that you can sign up, take the bonus place it on black/red or some simple bet and run off with the profits if you use. The online casino bonus system doesn’t work like that and never has.
The casino’s know that a proportion will just try and hit and run using only their bonus to play and put in certain restrictions on these bonuses. The most important one to remember is the play through requirement (sometimes referred to as wagering requirement) which places a restriction on when you can withdraw any of this bonus. This is normally specified as a figure like 40, 50 or 60 and refers to the number of times you need to gamble with that bonus before you can withdraw it. It varies a lot but something like 50 is not uncommon – so for a $100 bonus you might have to play through 50 times the sum of the deposit and bonus. This might give you a figure of $10,000 which would be the value of all the bets you need to place before making a withdrawal – that’s a lot of betting.
The idea is that you cannot just make easy even money bets or use something like Fibonacci and then run off with their bonus. You have to play a lot before releasing that money (or your initial deposit) – during which time they will have a very good chance of winning it all back. Depending on the game you play, the house edge and the way you play – the reality is that you’ll need a very large slice of luck to simply play through and withdraw that bonus.
For many of the larger bonuses there are even bigger restrictions, lots of the really big ones are actually non-cashable – which means you’ll never be able to withdraw them. Combined with high wagering requirements then such a bonus is extremely bad news – don’t go near these online casinos.
So Online Casino Bonuses – Waste of Time ?
Not for the casino they’re not – that’s why they use them. The bonus will attract new players and make them a profit in the vast majority of cases. There are certain situations where you can play through the wagering requirements of a bonus and cash out at the end, but in reality this won’t happen many times. In the long run, a casino will mostly win – these bonuses are designed to ensure that you have to place a lot of bets before you can profit from them.
Still playing the games is fun anyway and it does offer you a chance to learn the ropes when you start. But never, ever base your selection of an online casino game purely based on it’s bonus. Remember also that now most online casinos worth playing have some sort of practice area such as this free play roulette page.
There is another problem with many of the more ‘fly-by-night’ online casinos which offer huge bonuses – they’ll simply refuse to payout if you did make a decent win. There are thousands of stories of casino’s refusing to pay out based quoting some obscure rule or regulation – or simply suggesting that you’ve done something wrong. Stay away from unfeasibly large bonuses and especially ones that arrive as Spam in your inbox. If a casino is willing to Spam you, then it will very probably be willing to fix the games and keep your winnings too.
It might sound boring but pick your casino based on reputation. The big well run companies have efficient help desks, proper terms and conditions and fair games. They might not be offering enormous bonuses but at least you’ll get a chance at winning with them.