The Wonderful World of Casino Promotions
Casino bonuses turn online betting on its head and offer players the chance to enjoy something for nothing. Here’s how different promos work, how to find them, and the best sorts of games to play to end up with cash in the bank.
Various Types of Online Casino Bonus
Given the house always has an edge it may come as a surprise to betting newcomers that online casinos almost always offer introductory promos and ongoing bonuses for existing players. This happy turn of events has come about due to the tight competition within the marketplace, effectively making it a buyer’s market with casinos competing for custom. From a player perspective, this means there’s a menu of promotions from which to pick, which is a pretty advantageous position to be in.
Bonus types vary according to who can access them and how they function. Broadly speaking, promotions are either for new players as welcome bonuses or for existing players (which may be recurring promos such as cashback every Thursday, for example). In addition, bonuses can offer free access to the chance to win cash prizes via free cash, free play, or free spins or require money to be paid in for a match deposit deal.
Free spins are normally tied to one particular game, whereas free cash can be used on a wide variety of the slots and table games a casino has to offer, but they’re usually worth around the same amount (about $20 or so). Free play is like free cash with rocket boosters, worth hundreds rather than tens of dollars but for just a single hour, after which the promo cash vanishes but profits remain. Match deposits are typically at 100% (so the casino increases your bankroll dollar for dollar) but can sometimes be matched at 200% or even 300%. Cashback casino promotions return a certain percentage of losses over a given period of time (often a week). Reload bonuses are very similar to the welcome match deposit bonus and are offered on a regular basis but at a lower rate.
How to Find the Best Promotions
Because casinos use promotions as a means to attract and retain players they are not shy about advertising them and it’s typical for such deals to be plastered front and center over the homepage of a website. Within dedicated promo/bonus sections all the detail of particular offers can be found. However, there is one big downside for players which is that the sheer number of betting sites and bonuses correspondingly take a long time to compare.
Because of this, a quicker way to easily find and compare the best promotions is to make use of review-type websites. That way, players can soon find the best slots for free spins and play for a profit with easier and free-of-risk casino bonus offers that allow the chance to win real cash prizes without any fear of loss. In addition to free spins promos, free cash and other deals are also easy to find.
This means you can find the same promotions (and sometimes exclusive codes too) but without having to spend hours trawling the great many online casino websites and taking notes yourself.
Tips and Tricks for Finishing Ahead
Once you’ve got yourself a casino bonus the enjoyable challenge remains of turning it into cash in the bank. While free slots are usually associated with just one game, free cash and match deposit cash can be used very widely. Picking the right games to play is critical, as is checking the terms and conditions (see below).
Most of the time, promos come with an upper limit on what you can withdraw. This means that while everyone dreams of winning a million dollars it’s unlikely to happen through a bonus. The withdrawal cap rules out jackpot slots (which are sometimes prohibited specifically anyway) and means that focusing on the best bang for your buck is the way to go. In terms of slots that means looking at high RTP (return to player), which is the average return expected after a gaming session. Many players also like the volatility to be low, as this means results deviate less from the average.
On the table games side of the casino, blackjack is a great option and has the lowest house edge of any table game, followed closely by roulette. Blackjack’s an interesting game because it has greater player agency than most casino games but be aware that the low house edge assumes the player makes the correct choice and knows whether to stick or twist in difficult moments.
One thing to avoid is trying to be clever by behaving in a way with bonus money you never would with your own cash. If you back red and black in roulette then yes, you have a great chance of ‘winning’ and moving forward to satisfying the wagering requirement (the total sum that must be bet prior to withdrawal). However, such patterns of betting are usually explicitly forbidden and can get your bonus voided.
Checking the Terms and Conditions
The withdrawal cap has already been mentioned, and the higher this limits the better for players. The wagering requirement is quite the reverse, with 30x the value of a promotion being pretty good and lower being better. This affects not just the time it takes to meet this universal condition, but also the chances of finishing ahead (the more you bet the closer to the average result of a small loss you are likely to be. In short, finishing ahead with a low wagering requirement requires a smaller slice of luck than finishing ahead with a mammoth wagering requirement). Similarly, specific limits may apply to individual wagers, so just check and see if this is the case as straying beyond these upper/lower thresholds can once again void a promo.
An important extra note about wagering requirements is that different gaming categories frequently contribute at differing rates. As a general rule, slots are a great bet as they normally contribute 100%, so every dollar wagered counts as a dollar towards the wagering requirements. Table games tend to be lower, from 20% to 50%, so there’s better value in playing slots (although the low house edge of blackjack and roulette do still make them viable options).
Time limits shouldn’t be a concern as free play excepted, they tend to be generous, but it’s always wise to check just in case. Casinos also specify any games that are not eligible for promotions, and it’s worth running your eye over the list.
There’s a great array of bonuses for players to use, and the easiest way to readily compare the best promos is to let a review site do the hard work and just consult the list they compile. Because there are so many promos, don’t be afraid to pick and choose, and always consider the terms and conditions before opting for a special offer.