Online casinos offer lots of bonuses. Some of these are general online casino bonuses that can be earned through any game.
Other offers are for specific games, including slots and blackjack bonuses. Both deals are good from the perspective that they give you a chance to earn money on the side of your play.
But which type of bonus gives you the best chance to win free money? I’m going to cover this matter by looking closer at different types of offers and discuss which is ultimately better.
What Are Online Casino Deposit Bonuses?
Before you can understand the differences between slots and blackjack bonuses, you need to know how deposit offers work in general.
These deals give you the chance to earn bonus money after you make a deposit. They’re based on a match percentage of your deposit.
Here’s how deposit bonuses work:
- A casino is offering a 100% match bonus worth up to $600.
- You deposit $300.
- 300 x 1.0 = $300
- You’re now eligible to earn a $300 bonus.
Obviously casinos can’t just give you this bonus money on the honor system. After all, you and every other player could simply cash out everything once you receive the bonus.
Here are key T&Cs worth noting:
- Playthrough (a.k.a. rollover): the amount of money that you must wager before being able to cash out a bonus.
- Game restrictions: some high-paying casino games offer reduced contributions towards playthrough.
- Claim time frame: you’re given a set number of days to visit your account to claim the offer.
- Rollover time frame: you must meet playthrough within a certain time period.
- Deposit method restrictions: Neteller and Skrill aren’t usually eligible for deposit bonuses.
Of these terms, playthrough is especially important. This factor determines how difficult it’ll be for you to earn your bonus.
If you need to meet 40x rollover on a $100 bonus, for example, you’d need to wager $4,000 (40 x 100). Assuming you had to meet 50x playthrough, the amount you’d have to bet would shoot up to $5,000.
One more aspect worth mentioning is the difference between cashable and sticky bonuses.
A cashable bonus is one that can be withdrawn once you meet T&Cs. If you’re eligible for a $100 bonus, then you’ll be able to cash out the full amount.
A sticky bonus (a.k.a. non-cashable), in contrast, can’t be withdrawn. Instead, you only get to withdraw winnings generated through your bonus.
Sticky bonuses usually have higher match percentages ranging from 200% to 400%. That said, you’re given a lot of funds upfront to try and collect winnings.
This discussion will mainly revolve around cashable slots and blackjack bonuses. But keep in mind that some of the deals you may come across will be in the non-cashable category.
Common Characteristics of a Slots Bonus
Online casinos frequently push their slots bonuses, because they have a higher house edge on most slots. That said, you’ll find many real money slots online offers throughout the internet gaming world.
Below, you’ll see other important aspects behind these deals.
Can Include Free Spins
Some slot bonuses also include free spins. As the name implies, free spins allow you to play real-money slots without having to spend any of your own funds.
Here’s an example of a deal with free spins:
- A bonus offers a 100% match deposit bonus worth up to $200 + 20 free spins.
- You make a $50 deposit.
- This deposit not only qualifies you for a $50 bonus, but also the 20 free spins.
The winnings that you generate through these spins can be cashed out upon meeting T&Cs. Of course, you must have enough money to meet the casino’s minimum withdrawal (e.g. $10).
High Paying Slots Offer Reduced Playthrough Contributions
The logical thing to do when clearing a slots bonus is to play games with the highest return to player (RTP). This plan gives you the best chance of satisfying playthrough while still earning a profit.
Of course, casinos are fully aware of this idea. Their T&Cs may mention how certain slots only contribute 20%, or so, towards meeting rollover.
For example, they may include every slot on their site that offers over 97.5% RTP. Even with high payback, such games would be worse for satisfying playthrough when considering the 20% contributions.
You may even find that such games are excluded entirely from slots bonuses. That said, you want to look over the bonus terms carefully to see what games are on the restricted list.
Keno and Scratch Cards May Satisfy Wagering Requirements
Slots are by far the most-popular game category at online casinos — hence why these bonuses are named after slots. However, they’re not the only type of games that can be used to meet rollover.
Common Characteristics of a Blackjack Bonus
Some blackjack bonuses are strictly for blackjack, while others are listed as “table game bonuses.” The latter allows you to play various other table games, such as baccarat, Pai Gow poker, Red Dog, and roulette.
Of course, slots won’t help you meet wagering requirements for these games. Here are other factors to keep in mind regarding blackjack offers.
Often Cover Multiple Blackjack Variations
Most gaming sites feature multiple blackjack variations. That said, blackjack bonus offers include some or all of a casino’s variants.
Here are some of the different games that you’ll find at online casinos:
- 21 + 3
- Atlantic City rules
- Blackjack Switch
- Classic Blackjack
- Double Exposure
- European blackjack
- Match Play 21
- Multi-hand blackjack
- Perfect Pairs
- Single deck
- Spanish 21
- Super Fun 21
- Vegas Downtown rules
- Vegas Strip rules
You need to check the bonus T&Cs to see which variations count towards satisfying rollover. In most cases, you’ll find that the majority of variants fall under this bonus umbrella.
The vast majority of blackjack games offer higher RTP than the average slot. Therefore, casinos boost the playthrough to make it more difficult to earn these bonuses.
Playthrough on blackjack bonuses can be anywhere from 100x to 200x, depending upon the casino. In contrast, slots bonuses usually only carry between 35x and 50x rollover.
Given that some online blackjack variations offer higher than 99.5% RTP, casinos are justified in raising the playthrough.
Requires Hours of Play, or Large Bets
You might have a good chance to win with online blackjack when adding bonuses into 0 equation. However, you’ll really have to work for blackjack bonuses in the long run.
The high rollover forces you to bet lots of money to satisfy T&Cs. Here’s an example:
- A casino is offering a 100% match blackjack bonus worth up to $500.
- You deposit $300, thus qualifying you for a $300 bonus.
- Rollover is 100x.
- 300 x 100 = $30,000 must be wagered
You can see from this scenario that you’ll either have to play a lot of hours or make big bets to meet playthrough.
Conclusion – Which Online Casino Bonus is Better?
Various factors go into deciding whether a slots or blackjack bonus is better. You can’t automatically declare that one category is superior to the other.
Instead, you need to look at the offer and carefully weigh the T&Cs to determine the value of each individual deal.
Here are the main factors to consider with each offer:
- The amount of money being offered
- Size of match percentage
- Cashable or non-cashable bonus
- Games with reduced playthrough contributions
- If free spins are included (slots only)
The amount of available money especially comes into play if you’re a high roller who’s looking to earn lots of bonus funds. A bonus worth up to $100 won’t be nearly as attractive to you as a deal worth up to $1,000.
The match percentage also factors heavily into the value of bonuses. When comparing a 75% and 100% match bonus, the latter lets you qualify for more bonus funds with a smaller deposit.
You should also note that gaudy match percentages, such as 300% or 400%, are reserved for sticky bonuses. Non-cashable offers can also be good, but you must realize that you’ll only be able to withdraw the winnings.
Finally, slots bonuses with free spins are a little better than deals that don’t include them. You’ll come up empty-handed with free spins more times than not when considering the terms and conditions. Nevertheless, free spins can still be very valuable when you get lucky.
You can see that plenty of factors go into determining if a slots or blackjack bonus is worthwhile. That said, look over the rules and know how to compare different offers to each other.