Online casinos use special bonus offers as incentives for players. For example, almost every single online casino has a welcome bonus for a player’s first deposit. These bonuses can give players some extra value that they wouldn’t get otherwise, but they aren’t always worth it. The terms and conditions for online casino bonuses can be difficult for many players to understand, but if you know how these bonuses actually work, then you can skip most of the fine print and get the most from these promotions.
Play-Through Requirements, Game Restrictions
Play-through requirements (or wagering requirements) and game restrictions are the first things that you have to pay attention to when you’re looking at the terms of a bonus. Suppose, for example, that you have an option to make a $200 deposit with a $200 bonus and that the play-through requirement on this bonus for blackjack is 50 times the sum of the bonus and the deposit.
This means that you would have to make a total of 50 * $400 = $20,000 in bets before you were allowed to make a withdrawal.
If you think that the house advantage on the type of blackjack you’re playing will be about 1.5 percent, then you’re going to lose 1.5 percent of $20,000 on average while clearing the bonus. Since 1.5 percent of $20,000 is $300, it’s clear that you will not be getting the best of it with a $200 bonus.
Other Terms and Conditions
Aside from the game restrictions and play-through requirements, you will also need to pay attention to whether a bonus can be cashed out or not. Non-cashable bonuses with high wagering requirements are never good bets, and this is the case even if you can place wagers with the bonuses before you finish the play-through requirements.
With that having been said, a non-cashable bonus with a low wagering requirement can allow you to make profitable bets in some cases.
For example, suppose you have a $100 deposit with a $100 non-cashable bonus and a $1,000 wagering requirement. It could be a profitable strategy with the right games to place one bet for the whole $200 right off the bat. The idea is that if you win your bet, then you will just make small bets to finish the play-through requirement and cash out your winnings.
What to Focus On
What you need to keep in mind is that online casino bonuses are designed to be profitable for the casinos. Occasionally you will find situations where you can play through a bonus profitably, but these cases are few and far between.