Added: May 22, 2012
Like any other commercial organization, online casinos need to provide incentives to players to join and also to its existing players not to leave. This is all the more important in the face of the intense competition prevalent in the online casino industry and the ease with which players can switch brands. There are several ways such incentives can be offered. Some of them are promotional competitions and freeroll online tournaments. However, bonuses remain the most popular and most expansive of the mechanisms to induce players. Online casinos have developed different types of bonuses including those given for getting friends to join the casino.What is an online casino bonus?
In the normal course online casinos give players credits for wagering when the players deposit equivalent cash at the banker. In the case of a bonus, credits are offered to the player against which no cash is taken from the player. However, the player may be asked to deposit $100 and be given $200 worth of credits, out of which $100 worth of credits would be against the deposit and the balance $100 as bonus. The player can use these bonus credits for wagering at the online casino in the normal manner and would be allowed to withdraw the amount won from wagering the bonus subject to certain conditions.
Why should I take a casino bonus offer?
Online casino bonuses are always optional and players are never under compulsion to avail them. However, if the player is able to meet the associated conditions without putting himself to inconvenience or difficulty then he can get hold of extra wagering money without having to pay for it. In such circumstances it makes sense to take a casino bonus offer. In the end if he is unable to win anything from the bonus, it does not matter. Such free playing money can come in handy in trying out new strategies or understanding new games without having to pay a price.
What are wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are the most important condition attached to a bonus. The wagering requirements state that the bonus has to be wagered a number of times before the benefits accrue to the player. For a bonus of $20 and a wagering requirement of 20 times the bonus, the player is committed to wagering $400. The additional funds come from winnings from the bonus and the players own funds. Hence it is crucial to evaluate the wagering requirements in terms of actual amount that will have to be wagered. For deposit bonuses the wagering requirements usually apply to both the deposit and the bonus and this increases the total amount.
Are there bonuses that I should avoid?
Each player has to carefully evaluate the bonus terms and conditions carefully and then decide whether to accept the bonus or avoid it. Players should avoid bonuses that compel them to wager larger amounts that they normally would have done. If the wagering requirements are excessive as compared to the player’s bankroll then he must avoid the bonus. Similarly bonuses that require qualifying deposits that are larger than the player can afford to make should be avoided.
Some online casinos offer bonuses to players for cancelling their withdrawal requests. Cancelling withdrawal requests is not a healthy practice and therefore such bonuses must not be availed.
What are bonus codes and how to I use them?
Sometimes online casinos allot an alphanumeric code to a specific bonus. This is known as a bonus code or a coupon code. If a player wants to claim the bonus then he has to enter the code at the cashier of the casino at the time of making the deposit. The player has to log in and access the deposit section of the cashier. He has to select the deposit option and enter the bonus code, the deposit amount and other details as may be required and then confirm the transaction. If the player forgets to enter the bonus code the bonus will not be credited to his account.
What are the different types of bonuses?
Online casino bonuses can be classified in different ways. Welcome bonuses are offered to new players for signing up with online casinos. Reload bonuses are offered to existing players. Deposit bonuses require the players to make a deposit first and then the online casino will give a corresponding bonus. No deposit bonuses do not require a deposit up front, but may require players to fulfill other conditions. Play bonuses cannot be cashed out by players, but only the winnings from these bonuses can be cashed out. Other bonuses can be withdrawn along with the winnings after the wagering requirements are met.
Deposit Match Bonus
Deposit match bonuses are specified as a percent of the deposit made. The deposit has to be made first. In 100% deposit match bonuses the online casino will give a bonus equal to the deposit. Deposit match bonuses also specify the minimum deposit, maximum bonus and wagering requirements to be fulfilled before withdrawals can be made.
No Deposit Bonus
In no deposit bonuses the players do not have to make deposits but may have to fulfill other requirements. No deposit welcome bonuses are usually small bonuses offered to players when they open real money accounts at online casinos. Sometimes no deposit bonuses are offered to players for winning promotions and tournaments.
Free Play / Free Credits Bonus
Free play bonus or free credits bonus are casino credits offered to players for wagering on a game or selection of games for a limited time period. Usually they are offered to new players who are asked to wager these credits over a few hours. These players are then allowed to cash out the winnings up to a limit.
Slots & Blackjack Bonus
Slots bonuses are deposit bonuses that can be wagered only on online slots games and blackjack bonuses are deposit bonuses that can be wagered only on online blackjack games. Slots bonuses generally offer higher percentages and lower wagering requirements than blackjack bonuses. This is because slots games have higher house edges and online casinos compensate for that.
High Roller Bonuses
High roller bonuses are deposit bonuses designed for players who wager large amounts at online casinos. They have very high upper limits. In some cases no upper limits are specified. The qualifying deposits are also large and the wagering requirements are quite stiff. Normal players should stay away from high roller bonuses.
Monthly bonuses are deposit reload bonuses offered to existing players. There is no upper limit specified on individual bonus transactions but the total bonus that can be availed in the month is capped. Some online casinos offer complete freedom in claiming the bonuses, whereas others restrict the days on which these are available.