Let’s face it, we all like the idea of getting something for nothing. After all, that is the kind of offer that has driven sales for decades, and online casinos are no different when it comes to trying to attract new business.
Let us explain the different methods
While there are different methods employed to try and entice new players through the virtual ‘doors’ of online casinos, we are going to look at two of the most popular options. Discover why casino bonuses and free spins are good for the casino, and how you can make them work for you too. We will give you a quick guide which includes the small print that you need to be aware of when you claim your bonus cash.
Online casinos will normally offer a welcome bonus to get new players to sign up with their site, and then regularly offer further offers to current players to make sure that they don’t move to a rival site. While the regular bonus offers and promotions can be great, the real headline offers are those welcome packages. After all, this is when the casino has to stand out from the crowd and try to encourage somebody to go to the trouble of registering their details and making a deposit. So how do online casino bonuses work?
Is welcome bonuses really that attractive?
Most online casino bonuses will match either some or all of the first (or even first five) deposit or deposits made by a new player on the site. When the welcome bonus is spread over three or five deposits, it allows the casino to advertise much larger bonus amounts – sometimes of $1,000 or more – which of course looks pretty attractive to potential new joiners. Online casinos will often throw in some free spins to sweeten the pot even further. These are an allowance of a set number of spins on one or more specified slot games which you don’t have to pay for.
In order to make it easier to understand, let’s come up with a hypothetical casino and welcome bonus to illustrate. So we will call our online site the ‘Imagine Casino’ and say that they are offering new sign-ups $1,000 along with 100 free spins on the Starburst slot game. Sounds great, but let’s look behind the numbers to see how the $1,000 would be paid.
What is welcome bonus based on?
In our example, the Imagine Casino welcome bonus is based on the first four deposits made by the new member. It breaks down like this:
1st deposit matched by 100% up to $100
2nd deposit matched by 25% up to $400
3rd deposit matched by 25% up to $400
4th deposit matched by 50% up to $100
As you can see, the total bonus does indeed add up to $1,000, but you would have to deposit considerably more than this in order to claim the full amount. In fact, the Imagine Casino is asking you to deposit $3,500 in order to take full advantage of the welcome bonus, which is probably going to be a bit much for some.
And now that we are examining the small print, it’s time to take a look at the tricky business of wagering requirements.
Why do the casinos have bonus and free spins conditions
If an online casino simply gave you a bonus with no conditions, you could just sign up with lots of casinos, immediately withdraw the bonuses and go off on your merry way. Casinos would go bust, and the whole scheme would collapse. That’s why online casinos impose wagering requirements before customers can withdraw the bonus money and any winnings earned from it.
In other words, you will need to bet a multiple of the bonus (or bonus plus deposit) before the funds can be removed from your account, and often you have a deadline to complete this wagering by. This goes for free spins too, as often any money you win from these will be subject to the same wagering requirement.
In our example, we will say that the Imagine Casino asks you to bet 40 times the bonus amount that you claim before it is withdrawable. If you claimed the full $1,000, you need to make bets totalling $40,000 on the site in order to withdraw it. What’s more, games like roulette and blackjack and video poker will not count anything towards this total, so you must only bet on slot games. Already you can see that this generous bonus is not quite as good as it first sounded.
But is it a waste of time?
The answer to that question is: Absolutely Not! With some smart slot play and a little bit of luck you will be able to turn bonus offers and free spins into withdrawable cash. Although some people are put off by the size of the wagering requirements, you would be surprised to learn just how easy it can be to clear them off, as long as you follow our tips. Here’s how to give yourself the best chance of releasing your bonus money.
Always pick the right game
First, as mentioned above, choose a slot game with a high return to player (RTP), but make sure that you check the terms and conditions to ensure it is eligible. For example, Bloodsuckers is excluded from many wagering requirements as it is such a player-friendly slot game. Now you need to play the minimum bet per spin. It is tempting to play larger amounts so as to clear the big wagering requirement faster, but patience is the key to success here.
Remember, your slot game should have an expected return of at least 96% so if the wagering requirement was $1,000, you could reasonably expect to retain at least $960 of that sum over time. Also, make sure that you choose a game with a bonus feature, as this is where you can expect to win larger amounts, and hitting the bonus feature a couple of times can be enough to help you to claim that cash.
So, sign up with a new casino today and take advantage of their welcome bonus by spinning those reels!