Online casino bonuses all have one thing in common: they give you the opportunity to earn extra money on the side of playing casino games.
Therefore, you may be excited about any bonus opportunity that comes your way. But you should definitely be selective when considering these offers.
After all, some bonus deals are more valuable than others. They provide extra value relative to what you must bet to earn them.
This guide discusses the main traits that you should look for when considering casino offers. It also covers how you can calculate bonus value on a per-dollar scale.
What Makes a Casino Bonus Valuable?
You can’t just look at one single aspect to judge the quality of online casino bonuses. Instead, you should consider all of the factors presented below.
A bonus’ size takes center stage when you’re truly looking to cash in on a deal. If you’re a mid or high roller, then you’ll probably want the most cash possible.
In this case, you should seek deals that offer up to $500 or more. Many gaming sites provide this kind of bonus cash. Therefore, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a huge offer.
A big bonus is nice. But how much do you need to deposit to truly take advantage of it?
The bonus match percentage answers this question. It determines what you must deposit to get whatever you’re looking for out of a deal.
The following example shows the importance of match percentages:
- You have $200 to deposit at an internet casino.
- The first casino offers a 100% match bonus; you’ll qualify for a $200 bonus in this case.
- A second casino features a 75% match: you’ll qualify for a $150 bonus in this situation.
- A third casino offers a 50% match; you’ll only qualify for a $100 bonus at this site.
Every gaming site features a minimum deposit. They require you to deposit a certain amount so that they’re not dealing with lots of tiny transactions worth $2.
You may have no trouble meeting the minimum deposit at any casino. If you’re dealing with a small bankroll, though, then the deposit minimum can make a big difference.
Most casinos require anywhere from a $10 to $20 deposit at the least. You should opt for the lower range when seeking to get a bonus as cheaply as possible.
Different types of casino bonuses exist. Here are the three main offers that you’ll find throughout the industry:
- Deposit bonus – You place a deposit and qualify for a deal.
- Free spins – You deposit and receive a certain amount of free slots spins.
- No deposit bonus – You register for an account and qualify for a small bonus.
Each of these offers require some degree of time commitment. However, a no deposit bonus typically offers the least amount of money for your troubles.
Of course, these deals are attractive because they don’t require you to make a deposit. But they often pay little to nothing by the time you’ve satisfied terms and conditions.
A deposit bonus offers the most buck for your time. You can guarantee that you’ll receive a solid amount of money from these deals upon meeting T&Cs.
Favorable Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions are the requirements behind each bonus. You should thoroughly read through the casinos bonus T&Cs before pursuing any offer.
Some of the terms that you may come across include:
- Playthrough – How much you must wager before cashing out a bonus.
- Time to Meet Playthrough – You typically have between 30 and 90 days to satisfy playthrough.
- Bonus Code – Many casinos require a special bonus code for any given offer.
- Game Restrictions – Some games don’t count towards playthrough due to their high RTP.
- Maximum Bet – You can’t bet above a certain amount when meeting playthrough.
- Neteller & Skrill Deposits – Most gaming sites don’t let Neteller and Skrill depositors qualify for bonuses.
Each term is important because it can make or break your deal. However, you want to especially pay attention to playthrough (a.k.a. rollover). As covered in the next section, rollover plays a key role in determining the value of a bonus.
Calculating Value in Bonuses
Earlier, I discussed the various aspects that go into determining how valuable bonuses are. You always want to consider the size, match percentage, and time commitment involved with these deals.
Yet another factor to think about is how much a bonus is worth on a per-dollar basis. In other words, how much must you wager to get each dollar of the offer?
Here’s a comparison between two bonuses to explain:
- You qualify for a $150 bonus.
- Rollover is 20x.
- 150 x 20 = $3,000 in wagers to meet playthrough
- 150 / 3,000 = $0.05 per dollar in rollover
- You qualify for a $250 bonus.
- Rollover is 25x.
- 250 x 25 = $6,250 in wagers to meet playthrough
- 250 / 6,250 = $0.04 per dollar in rollover
As the example shows, the first deal is slightly more valuable. It offers one cent more in value ($0.05 versus $0.04) per dollar in playthrough.
Virtually everything is different with these two bonuses regarding the size, playthrough, and amount that must be wagered. But with simple math, you can easily compare offers and their relative value despite the different variables.
What Else Should You Consider?
You’ll do perfectly fine at finding valuable bonuses using only the advice discussed so far. However, you might also want to consider the following factors as well.
A Casino’s Image
Most gaming sites do their best to run an honest business. After all, they risk alienating customers and drawing bad reviews by treating customers badly.
Unfortunately, some bad apples still exist in the online gaming world. Certain online casinos are untrustworthy and crooked enough to not honor bonuses that players have earned.
Such casinos typically use ambiguous terms and conditions. This way, they can point to an unclear term as a reason why they won’t pay a bonus.
You should always thoroughly research any internet gaming site that you’re considering. Such research proves valuable when figuring out if the casino will pay bonuses and treat you well in other areas too.
How Frequently You Play Casino Games
Large bonuses are always enticing. However, you also need to consider if you’ll play enough to actually earn a big bonus.
If so, then you have no worries about needing to wager more. Assuming you’re just a casual player, though, you should consider that you probably won’t satisfy playthrough within the allotted time frame.
Sacrificing One Bonus for Another
Some online gamblers mistakenly assume that they can take advantage of a no deposit bonus first, then follow up with the welcome deposit bonus. Many casinos, however, only let you go after one offer or the other.
You may pick up a small $20 no deposit bonus in hopes of earning some free cash. Depending upon the casino, though, you might not be able to get the deposit bonus as well.
If Theoretical Profits Are Possible
The best bonuses are those that offer theoretical profits. You can potentially earn large profits through a combination of low rollover and games with high RTP.
Here’s an example of such a scenario:
- You qualify for a $200 bonus.
- Rollover is 20x.
- You play a slot with 98% RTP (2% house edge).
- 200 x 20 = $4,000 in wagers
- 4,000 x 0.02 = $80 in theoretical losses
- 200 – 80 = $120 in theoretical profits
Rollover is the first big factor to consider. As long as you have low playthrough, then you stand a stronger chance of profiting from a deal.
You also want to check which games are restricted. Certain casinos restrict most games with high RTP, which definitely hurts your chances of making money off a bonus.
Where Can You Find the Best Casino Bonuses?
For bonus purposes, the three main types of casino markets are as follows:
- Grey states/countries served by offshore casinos.
- Regulated jurisdictions served by legal online casinos.
- Newly regulated jurisdiction served by legal online casinos.
The latter option is definitely the best regarding bonuses. Legal online casinos that operate in newly regulated jurisdictions are in the customer acquisition phase.
They’re looking for ways to stand out and draw a high percentage of the available customers. Outstanding bonus deals are a great method for attracting these players.
Many bonuses in nearly regulated markets feature fair match percentages, large max amounts, and low rollover. You can expect a theoretical profit from any of these deals.
This isn’t to say that grey jurisdictions and legal markets that have been around for a while don’t feature solid bonuses too.
The difference, though, is that operators in these jurisdictions have existed for quite some time. They’re no longer in the customer acquisition phase and, as a result, don’t offer such generous bonuses.
Bonuses can be difficult to compare due to the different factors involved. Nevertheless, you can make a valid comparison with just a little information.
You just need to look at the bonus amount and playthrough. Using simple math provided in the earlier examples (Calculating Value in Bonuses), you can find out which offer is more valuable.
Of course, you shouldn’t blindly chase the more-valuable deal every time. You also want to consider other variables too, such as a casino’s reputation, the playthrough volume, and if you’re sacrificing one offer for another.
Nevertheless, you’ll have a valuable tool in your arsenal when able to calculate bonus value. You can use these skills to get the best deals again and again.