Online Casino Bonuses 101

You’ve probably seen that most online casinos advertisements usually offer some sort of bonus or FREE money to get you to start playing there. Like most things in the world, nothing really comes free, so before you start claiming this free money and then getting upset that you’ve been scammed, I suggest you keep reading and see how this all works.

First of all, you may ask; why do online casinos even offer this “free” money?

It’s part of their marketing and differentiation strategy. In a nutshell, online casinos are generally “skins” of a specific software provider, so actually behind the different owner, graphics, licensing etc under the bonnet there’s not much difference between let’s say all Playtech powered casinos, or all Microgaming powered ones.

So, if they are mostly the same below the hood, there needs to be some sort of difference which will convince you to play at “X” online casino and not “Y”. Besides the graphics, licensing, support and reputation, another way to pitch to potential players is by giving them something, in this case, a bonus.

Having put that out of the way, the next question you might ask yourself is: OK, so Casino X is offering $5,000 free, maybe I’ll sign up, take my $5,000, play them out and go on to Casino Y.

The answer here is pretty simple as well. In order to claim bonuses at at an online casino, you will usually need to make a deposit, unless it’s specifically stated that you don’t, but we’ll get to that later.

Before we sink into the beef of the different types of bonuses offered at online casinos, here are a few extra terms and points you should be aware of, so you can clarify them with a support representative before claiming a bonus, just so you know where you stand and what you’re claiming.

1. Wagering requirements: Most bonuses have wagering or playthrough requirements, meaning that you need to play a certain amount before you can withdraw winning from your account. On average wagering requirements are usually between 15 to 40 times, however pay attention to what you are required to wager. In some cases it will be just the bonus times X and in others you will need to wager the bonus + your deposit amount X times. The latter by the way is more common.

Another tidbit you should pay attention to with regards to wagering requirements is, that at most online casinos, if you request a withdrawal before you have completed the wagering requirements, all your winnings to date will be void. Not really fair, but this is reality.

2. Games played: Make sure you read the T&Cs in this case. Because slots games are generally the most profitable games for online casinos, many bonuses tend to be valid only for slots games. Usually scratch cards and keno will comply with this rule.

In other cases, you will be allowed to play your bonus on all games; however not all games will count 100% towards the playthrough requirements. For example play on slots will count 100% but roulette will only count 30%, meaning that you will actually need to wager over three times more in order to clear the wagering requirements and withdraw your winnings.

3. Minimum deposit requirement: In most cases, in order to claim a bonus you will be required to make a minimum deposit, which again can vary. It’s generally a small amount which you will probably deposit anyway. It’s usually not over $50.

Now that we’re all on the same page and speaking the same language, it’s time we went through the main types of bonuses available at most online casinos.

1. A Match bonus is the most common type of bonus. For every $ you deposit, you will be credited X% of what you deposited by the casino. So, if, for example, casino Z is offering a 100% match bonus, deposit $100 and the casino will give you an extra $100 in bonus money. This means that actually start playing at the casino with $200. Match bonuses are almost always limited to a certain maximum bonus amount you can claim. A match bonus can be a standalone bonus as part of a promotion (more common at US friendly online casinos) and/or as part of the welcome bonus

2. A welcome bonus is generally offered by most, if not all, online casinos to new players who sign up and make their first deposit at the casino. The welcome bonus is the sum of all the possible match bonuses you can accumulate as a new player at the casino over a specific period of time, or within your first X deposits, or a mix of the two; so if a casino advertises a $3000 welcome bonus, it’s actually the maximum you can get with the 1st deposit bonus, second deposit bonus, monthly bonus etc, where if you deposit the maximum amount of each match bonus, you can reach the advertised welcome bonus. If you deposit less than needed for the maximum bonus in each stage, you won’t reach the amount advertised in the welcome bonus. So, in fact, the welcome bonus advertised is the MAXIMIUM amount you can claim in bonus money during your first period of playing at the casino.

3. A No deposit bonus is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a bonus you receive from an online casino which will enable you to play real money games without having to make a deposit. This is a great tool for online casinos to acquire new players as it lets them try out the casino without having to make a deposit. In some countries it helps solve the “trust” issue casino players have with online casinos. Many players who feel comfortable depositing and playing at one online casino will be wary when trying out another one they’ve never played at. Other players don’t want to make a deposit without trying out the software and games so a no deposit bonus can definitely help here. Some online casinos give no deposit bonuses as part of their standard offering and others steer well away from such bonuses as they claim that they tend to attract the wrong type of players, i.e. players who have no intention of playing for real money in the first place and that it just puts a strain on the support team with no actual outcome. I think that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and that people claim no deposit bonuses for different reasons.

No deposit bonuses are generally for a pretty small amount, usually $10-$15 and they are either offered to potential clients directly by the casino or by websites affiliated with them. No deposit bonuses also have wagering requirements you need to complete before you are able to withdraw your winnings if you’ve been lucky.

4. Sticky/Play only bonuses are bonuses which you cannot withdraw from your account. If you get lucky and win and request a withdrawal, the bonus amount you received will be deducted off your winnings. Let’s say you claimed a $50 sticky bonus and got lucky bringing your account balance to $500. Now you would like to withdraw your winnings and go celebrate with friends. The online casino will only allow you to withdraw $550 from your players account and $50, which is the sticky bonus amount, will be void. Play only bonuses are usually larger than match bonuses and the wagering requirements lower.

5. Payment method bonus: This is something that was initially common at Playtech powered casinos and has spread to many others as well over the years. Besides depositing at an online casino with your credit or debit card, there are many electronic options most of which offer instant fund transfers without the associated hassle and high fees. Many of these alternative payment methods, as they are widely called, offer their services to people without a credit check and you can transfer money from your bank account discreetly. Some are even pre-paid cards you can buy at a kiosk. Just for using these alternative payment methods you can receive an extra 10-15% bonus on every deposit you make in addition to any other bonus you claim. Be sure to check the cashier section before you sign up to an online casino you’ve never played at as this can definitely be to your advantage.

6. Most online casinos have a Loyalty/VIP Club scheme where you can redeem bonuses in return for points you accumulated while playing. The more you play, the more points you earn and the better the point-bonus conversion rate becomes.

It is always important to check the specific T&Cs at the online casino you’re playing or plan to play at because often you will not be allowed to withdraw the bonus amount or the bonus amount can be docked off your winnings.

OK, so I’m pretty sure you’re now thinking how to take advantage of all this good, so here’s the flip side of the card. Online casinos are extremely sensitive to bonus abuse, also known as bonus whoring, by players. Just like you can get expelled from a land based casino for counting cards for example, you can also get your players account locked at an online casino at the first suspicion they have of bonus abuse. You need to remember that at the end of the day gambling is entertainment and is supposed to be fun and exciting. It’s not a day job and you can’t really earn money at the casino. Bonuses add to the fun and excitements and at the end of the day, are only a marketing tool. Claim them, have fun with them, increase your excitement but don’t expect log out richer.

Why It Is Beneficial To Gamble At Online Casinos

In the early 90’s, way before online casinos were prevalent, I enjoyed a great game of Roulette at one of my favorite land casinos three or four times a week. These days, I don’t even have to leave the comforts of my own home to get in on the real action.

With the beginning of online casinos during the mid-90’s, and shortly there after, their popularity has catapulted them into the most popular form of online entertainment all over the world. Currently, online casino gambling facilities are debuting every week it seems.

Compared to the typical land casino, you will find that playing at online casinos has its numerous advantages. In fact, we have compiled just a few of the many benefits to playing online. Take a look:

Play Any Time, Anywhere

If you have Internet capabilities, you have your pick at hundreds of that never close. No matter where you are on the planet, you can play at Internet casinos for real money. What’s more, these virtual casinos have many excellent game choices that even the most discerning player will find himself entertained and even capable of winning a lot of cash.

No Need To Dress A Certain Way

Some land casinos tend to have dress codes to bet large amounts of money. Now, you can even play the formal version of Baccarat in your bath robe if you want to. No need to dress to impress, you will be playing in the privacy of your own home. No one will mind your look what so ever. Now you can even where that hideous but very lucky poker cap you love so much without people staring.

No Problem With Weather Or Climate

Playing at online casinos will put a stop to your disdain of Las Vegas summer heat. Rain or shine, you can be rest assured that you can get into an online casino without having to carry an umbrella or heavy overcoat. Remember, you don’t have to embark on any trip to a casino. You can sit in your favorite comfortable chair at home during sleet, snow or sunshine and log on to a great adventure.

Travel Not Required

Many people who love to gamble do not have the luxury of living in Vegas or even want to go there. With the wonderful new world of online casino gambling, you will save precious time and money by playing right from home. The money you save from not having to travel can be turned into a bigger bank-roll for you to budget. The time you save from travel could be money in the bank, too.

The Personal Safety Factor

When playing at online casinos, you don’t have to worry about unknowingly dropping your money or chips on the ground and walking off only to realize that you lost a lot of money. You can also feel at ease that no one will be out to take physical advantage of you when playing online. Playing from home, you will be one one’s easy target either. These days, women are playing more online casino games and winning some of the Internet’s top jackpots, many female players feel more confident at home than they tend to at land casinos by themselves.

The Ever Present Smoking Issues

With more people concerned about playing in smoky environments, playing at home is an obvious advantage. Plus, those of you that do enjoy smoking will be able to do so without any flack from others. These days, many land casinos don’t allow smoking in their poker rooms either. Statistically, many regular casino gamblers are heavy smokers, if this is a problem for you, being at home will ensure a good environment for you.

Crowd Control

We all know gambling is the new favorite past time. Land casinos get real busy. Sometimes it is very difficult to find a table game or slot machine in your play-range – not so at home. Many players are intimidated by crowds. New and even seasoned players down like people ogling there game-play. Online casinos provide the privacy and confidence you will want. It is always nice to sit at home and play at your own crowd-free pace.

Games Selection

As we mentioned already, online casino provide just about any game you could possibly want to wager on. They offer even more than your typical casino on land, too. Think of just about any type of theme for a slot machine, you will find it online. Online casinos are always looking to offer more casino game all the time. You will not get bored.

Deposit and Withdraw Methods

If you play at casinos on land, you must use cash to start game play. Casinos on the Net provide a complete selection of funding or deposit methods to start you playing. Credit card use is permitted and accepted most often. Not having to use cold hard cash only provides you with more funding choices than casino on land will provide.

Free Game Play

Just about any online casino will allow players set up a dummy accounts where you can practice and become familiar to the software and games without using real money. You can always practice until you feel absolutely ready to wager real money. Being able to test the waters for free is a great advantage to online casino game playing. Confident players are good players.

Free Money Bonuses

Yes, money fro nothing. Most all online casinos now offer you a free cash deposit. Some are known as sign-on bonuses here if you deposit a certain amount of money the casino will match it the first time (up to a certain limit) these types of bonuses tend to be in the hundreds of dollars. Other types of free money amounts can be anything from 20 – 50 dollars, and even much more depending on your initial deposit – so be sure to check out good online casino reviews.

There You Have It.

Are you convinced? You should be. The above advantages to playing online are just a few of the many reasons you will want to play at home. These are the focal reasons why I love playing from my own home. In my vast experience playing online casino games fro real money, I believe these reasons are more than enough to keep me away from the typical casinos on land all over the world.

If you are not yet convinced and you would rather venture into a crowded, smoky, germ laden gambling hall, I still wish you much luck. One thing to consider when heading back to a typical big city casino is that without even having to open your front door, you can open other doors to winning cash.

Land Based Casinos Vs Online Casinos

There is a growing debate between the popularity of land casinos versus online casinos. While the basic format of the casinos is the same, the debate comes when choosing a casino to suit you, the player. Choosing the type of casino is a difficult choice, but once the type of game has been decided, there are several points to note on the different casinos.

The slot machines are the key to deciding on the better type of casino, as they give a good indication of the level of game play in the casino itself. While the slot machines themselves are similar, in that you insert the coin and pull the handle, hoping to match the symbols to win the prize, the differences are many, and it’s important to understand these differences when making your decision.

The payout of the machines has a large impact on the decision. A land based casino has a considerably smaller payout percentage than an online casino. This is mostly due to the overheads that the land casinos have to pay out to run the casino. For example, they have mechanics, waiters, cleaners, and dealers, and these are paid through the house profits of the machines. An online casino usually only has a few workers that require payment. In this way, the payouts are generally higher, and will entice a larger customer base due to the increased rates.

The larger customer base of the online casinos largely attracts more customers. The more people playing the machines at one given times increases the popularity, thus making it seem as though there is an advantage to playing the slots at that particular casino. There are so many online casinos that each site has to offer the best service in order to keep your custom. Land based casinos have no real need to do this, because the chances of having another casino in the same city are quite small, and people rarely want to travel a long distance to find other slot machines.

If you do decide to travel to another land based casino, it is important to be aware that the casinos may have dress codes, or other rules to follow that may be different to the previous one you visited. An online casino is a great way to sit in the comfort of your own home without having to worry about what to wear, or what to eat. It is up to you to decide how you spend your time, and your credits whilst playing for the top prizes. It is also possible on many online sites to chat to other users via a chat function, so that you still have the interaction with other players.

It is easy to fall for the gimmicks that can be put up on certain casino sites, making it impossible for you to win any prizes. Sometimes, the lack of winnings could be down to the player not being used to that particular machine. In a land based casino, it is therefore wise to play at a number of different slot machines to find the right one for you. However, this could prove costly, and you could end up spending your money before you’ve found a machine that works for you. With an online casino, there is always a section where you can either download a trial version of their machines, or enter a java page. This enables you to play the slots for free, and implement any strategies you have before playing with real money.

There is a worry that using your own money is not safe with an online casino. Credit card fraud is a common crime, and it is wise to be wary about giving your details over the internet. To ease your mind, casinos use a secure server that transfers any money quickly and easily, and generally doesn’t store any personal information where it can be accessed by other users. Confidentiality is a major factor when creating an account with these sites, and the owners of the casinos understand that in order for you to keep playing their wide range of games, they must stick to their own rules.

When thinking about the wide range of games, a land based casino doesn’t offer the same variety. Mostly this is due to space in the room, and the cost of having many different machines. There is also the fact that only one person can be playing the same game, so there may be an empty machine in one area, and a queue in another. Because an online casino deals with the software for a certain machine, there is no limit to how many can play, and there is an unlimited amount of space to have a wider variety of machines.

To entice customers to play their games, many casinos offer many bonuses. A land based casino will typically offer bonuses such as luxury holidays in the form of hotel visits, cruises or plane tickets. These are offered with the requirement of obtaining a certain number of points or wins, or for being a member of their casino for a given length of time. It is sometimes difficult to obtain these points, as there is no guarantee of keeping the same machine for a long period of time to build up the points that you need for the prizes. The benefits to playing online are endless. Casinos offer similar rewards to their land based predecessor, and there are no limits to the length of time a player is allowed to use the machines. To help you with the ability to play these games, many casinos will give a player free credits, or free games to play the machines as a bonus for being on the site for a certain amount of time. Downloading software versions of the slots means that players have no time restriction, and is free to come and go as they please, and will always be able to play that particular game.