7 Terms That Make or Break an Online Casino Bonus

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Nearly all real money online casinos offer bonuses to attract new players and keep existing ones. Therefore, you’ll have no trouble finding bonus deals.

You may even see offers that are worth thousands of dollars! But you should never jump at these deals nor any others in the online gaming world.

Instead, you want to look at the terms and conditions first. Reading terms and conditions isn’t the most exciting practice, but it’ll be worth your while in the long run.

After all, you want to find deals with favorable terms. Keep reading to see seven areas you should especially focus on.

1 – Playthrough

Playthrough (a.k.a. rollover) is the amount you must bet to unlock bonus funds. Rollover is expressed as a multiple of the bonus (or bonus plus deposit amount).

Here’s how playthrough works:

  • A gaming site offers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $500.
  • You deposit $300.
  • You’re now eligible for a $300 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 40x the bonus.
  • 300 x 40 = $12,000 must be wagered

$12k might sound like a lot to bet. However, the process goes quicker than expected when gambling at a reasonable pace.

The key issue, though, is defining fair rollover. 40x is standard on 100% match deposit bonuses, while anything higher is generally unfair.

You should look around at a few casinos or more and compare rollover on their welcome bonuses. The goal is to spot the fairest deal, or at least some good online casino bonuses on all casino sites.

2 – Time to Meet Playthrough

Casinos don’t give you forever to meet rollover. Instead, they want you to satisfy playthrough within a reasonable timeframe. “Reasonable” is the key word here, because, in some instances, the timeframe is the exact opposite.

Casino Bonus on Envelope, Woman Sitting Using Laptop

You should be given at least 30 days to satisfy rollover. Certain sites, however, force you to meet playthrough within seven days. Assuming you can’t satisfy rollover in this short time period, then your bonus will be nullified.

That said, you want to pick a casino that offers a fair amount of time to release bonuses. The larger your deposit, the more days you’ll want for meeting playthrough.

3 – Cashable or Sticky Bonus

Deposit bonuses break down into two main categories:

  • Cashable – The full bonus amount can be withdrawn after satisfying conditions.
  • Sticky – Only winnings from the bonus can be withdrawn.

Cashable bonuses are typically what gamblers expect when they go for a bonus. They envision being able to withdraw the entire amount after meeting rollover.

Here’s an example of a cashable bonus:

  • A casino offers a 100% match deposit deal up to $1,000.
  • You deposit $750.
  • You’ll be able to withdraw the $750 bonus after satisfying all requirements.

Sticky bonuses are named for the fact that they stay in your account. But you can at least cash out winnings from them.

Here’s an example:

  • A casino features a 300% match bonus up to $1,000.
  • You deposit $500.
  • 500 x 3.0 = 1,500
  • The $1,500 bonus’ sole purpose is to generate winnings.

Sticky offers are notable for their huge match percentages. You might see “300%” and think that you’re getting a tremendous deal.

The reality, though, is that you only keep what you win. Your total haul will likely be much less than $1,500.

Cashable and sticky deals are worthwhile in their own right. However, you want to know which type of offer you’re chasing before depositing.

4 – Cap on Winnings

Both sticky bonuses and free spins let you keep winnings. But you can’t win an infinite amount with either type of offer.

Online Roulette Wheel, Pile of Dollar Bills

Instead, casinos protect themselves by limiting the amount of money that can be earned through such deals. They may only allow you to win $250 or less from sticky bonuses and/or free spins.

Here’s an example:

  • You make a deposit and receive 50 free spins.
  • The site caps the amount that can be won through free spins at $300.
  • You earn $700 with the spins.
  • You withdraw $300 after meeting terms and conditions.
  • The other $400 vanishes upon cashing out.

The thought of casinos limiting how much can be won through bonuses seems unfair. However, they want to protect themselves in the event that somebody hits a huge jackpot or goes on an amazing streak.

Gaming sites sometimes give out no-deposit bonuses. Imagine if they gave one of these free bonuses, only to be burned when somebody hits a $1 million jackpot.

5 – Max Bet

An easy way to satisfy rollover would be to just make huge wagers over and over. Casinos realize this, which is why they limit bet sizes during active bonuses.

For example, you may only be allowed to bet up to $25 per round in slot and table games. If you make one wager that’s over the max allowed, then you’ll forfeit your deal.

It’s painful to go through the work of reading terms and satisfying rollover, only to miss out because your bets are too high. Make sure that you look for the maximum wager size to avoid this scenario.

6 – Game Stipulations Regarding Playthrough

One common thought regarding rollover is to play games with the highest return to player (RTP). This plan allows you to satisfy playthrough while inflicting the fewest losses possible.

The problem, though, is that casinos include stipulations on their highest paying games. Slots, table games, and video poker with the highest RTP don’t contribute as much to rollover, or are excluded entirely.

Here’s an example of what you may see in terms and conditions:

The game categories below contribute the following amounts to playthrough:
Slots and scratch cards = 100%
Blackjack and baccarat = 20%
Video poker = 10%
Craps and roulette = 0%

Most slots and scratch cards have lower RTP than the other categories. Therefore, they contribute the max amount towards releasing bonuses.

Certain table games and many video poker variations have better RTP. Casinos reduce their contributions towards bonuses as a result.

You may even see some division within slot machine games. For example, games that pay above 97% RTP might only offer 20% towards satisfying rollover.

The biggest thing to watch for is completely excluded games. Playing one of these games results in your entire bonus being forfeited.

7 – Deposit Method Restrictions

You wouldn’t think that a deposit method matters for bonus purposes. However, certain payment methods come with restrictions.

Neteller and Skrill are commonly excluded from bonuses. These e-wallets are sometimes associated with bonus abuse and money laundering at gaming sites.

Person Entering Credit Card Information Into Laptop

Although they’re reputable companies themselves, Neteller’s and Skrill’s services make it easier for bonus abusers and money launderers to cash out.

If stipulated, you won’t qualify for bonuses when depositing with either option. This is exactly why you want to thoroughly know which deposit methods do and don’t qualify for bonuses.


You may be intimidated when looking at a long page of terms and conditions. But you still want to read them for practical purposes.

Doing so ensures you won’t miss any important terms when chasing a bonus. This practice also gives you a better idea on what are fair and unfair terms.

If you need a starting point, playthrough is a good term to look at first. Rollover goes a long way towards determining the value of a bonus.

Keep in mind that certain games may offer reduced contributions towards playthrough. Sometimes, you’re better off playing a game with low RTP as long as it has a 100% contribution rate.

You also want to know how long you have to satisfy rollover. 30 days should be the minimum, while 60 days or more are much better.

Knowing if a bonus is cashable or sticky is also crucial. The last thing you want to do is make a huge deposit, only to find out that the bonus can’t be withdrawn.

Winnings from sticky deposit bonuses and free spins are limited. Therefore, you want to know exactly how much can be earned from such deals.

Another aspect worth noting is the max bet size. You never want to exceed this amount, because doing so will forfeit your bonus.

In summary, the best path towards quality bonuses is fair terms and conditions. Hopefully, you find a gaming site that has reasonable terms so you can get good bonus deals again and again.