Most people will agree that online casino bonuses are great, and some will even go as far as saying they are the equivalent of free money. However, have you ever asked yourself if you would be better off without a bonus, simply playing using your own money all the time? The answer to that question can be tricky, as it depends on a number of factors. The truth is that it varies by bonus, but sometimes even the online casino in question can play a huge role in your decision.
No matter what, the decision on whether to claim a specific bonus is ultimately yours. In this article I’ll be going through upsides and downsides of casino bonuses, with the goal of making said decision much easier. I’ll also be including a few important things commonly ignored by bonus players.
Of course, the greatest upside of the bonus is the bonus cash itself. Oftentimes a bonus will match your deposit, giving you double money to play with. This gives you greater leeway when playing, and allows you to switch it up with bet sizes. With more cash in your account, you can take more risks, and we all know that the higher the risk the higher the potential reward.
The best bonus you can claim is the one which requires zero investment on your part. Indeed, those types of bonuses exist, usually as a one-off from a generous online casino looking to attract players.
Make sure to use these bonuses wisely, as they are rare to come by. Free bonuses come in the form of free bonus cash or free spins. These bonuses usually come with additional restrictions, but we can hardly complain with free money.
The negatives are greater in number, but they don’t necessarily outweigh the positives. If a bonus is good – let’s say a 200% match on your deposit with reasonable wagering requirements – then it’s simply too good to pass up on. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the downsides of casino bonuses in general.
The dreaded wagering requirements are the greatest obstacle between your bonus cash and your pockets. Often times, they are an impassable barrier, which is why it’s absolutely crucial you avoid impossible wagering requirements.
Clearing your wagering requirements takes time, which is why it can often become a mind-numbing process that takes the fun out of your gameplay, making you start to wonder if it’s even worth it to continue. It can be especially painful if it ultimately leads to a depletion of your bankroll.
This is why you should think well before getting fired up for advertisements of absurd bonus amounts, such as $1000, or in some cases even more. If you claim a $1000 bonus, you would need to wager $80,000. You don’t have to do the math to know that it is borderline impossible to wager such an amount without losing everything in the process.
However, a good strategy high rollers use is to try and win big on table games and then wager on slots in an almost risk-free environment. Unfortunately, most casinos are aware of this and have placed various restrictions to prevent this, which brings me to my next point.
I did mention that I would list some commonly ignored aspects of casino bonuses, and the max bet is probably the most overlooked rule by players, leading to endless complaints online. This rule puts a restriction on the maximum bet you’re allowed to make with a bonus active. Your max bet amount is usually capped at $5. This is what stops you from going straight to a roulette table and putting $100 on a close to 50/50 situation. It would certainly simplify the wagering process. If you bet an amount surpassing the max bet, the casino reserves the right to void all your money. Some casinos don’t exercise this right and show lenience to players, but there is no need to put them to the test.
Game restrictions are always present when there’s a bonus active. Casinos know that table games would almost ruin the point of having wagering requirements, so they usually exclude them entirely from the wagering process. Some casinos make table games contribute less towards wagering, rather than excluding them, but usually you will be stuck playing slot machines throughout the whole process.
Time limits aren’t usually a big deal with bonuses, but they can still be impactful if you don’t have much time to dedicate to this activity. Online casinos usually give you a week or a month to wager your bonus, but some can limit you to mere days.
Cashout limits cap the cash amount you’re allowed to withdraw generated from bonus money. So, even if you’ve made $500 using your bonus, a cashout limit of $100 would effectively burn the other $400. These limits are usually reserved for no deposit and free spins bonuses, although certain deposit bonuses are not exempt from this restriction as well.
When it comes to bonuses, the best advice I have to give is to always carefully read the terms and conditions. After all, it’s your money at stake. In fact, this advice would still stand even if you’re playing without a bonus, as some rogue casinos will do anything to scam you out of your money.