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Online Casino Bonuses Explained

Author: Sylvia Garcia

Online casino bonuses were created as a rewards system to attract players, thank them for their business, and to entice them to play more. Since the entire experience happens in a virtual environment, these casinos are hard-pressed when competing with real brick-and-mortar casinos. Their response was to offer their players free money to spend on more gambling.

Almost all online casinos offer various types of bonuses for loyalty, regular play, for playing on a Tuesday, and most importantly, for signing up in the first place. The benefit of the online casino bonus system is clear, if you give players free money for signing up at your casino, they are more likely to experiment with games they don’t usually play. Plus if the size of the deposit is large enough, they might sign up to play where they’d otherwise be more cautious.

Online casinos usually offer players various bonuses to choose from. Before you dive in feet first to choose an online casino bonus, please keep in mind that several factors need to be considered. For example, a player should take into account the basic nature of the bonus, the fine print in the terms and conditions, and his or her own objectives. When you consider that these factors all interact differently, it is impossible to offer clear guidelines for making these choices. Still, several factors should be considered that will not only make the process easier but will also help you to analyze the various elements involved.

Two of the most basic offers involve a free spins welcome bonus vs. a deposit welcome bonus. In the former, the player is offered a certain number of credits to wager in a given amount of time. Online casinos offer no deposit bonuses so that you can have the opportunity to taste the exciting world of casino gambling without risking any of your own money. You can keep your winnings but they are subject to certain terms and conditions. The advantage to the free spins welcome bonus is that you get to try out the games without risking any of your own cash. However, keep in mind that you are still required to make a small deposit in order to withdraw any winnings. Plus the fine print usually specifies a cap on the winnings from the bonus. A similar cap can also be specified in the fine print of the deposit welcome bonus so it is important that you are careful when choosing this type of bonus as well.

Deposit bonuses usually require larger deposits but the bonuses offered are usually 100% of the deposit. This effectively doubles the amount of money you're going to play with, and it's an excellent way for a new player to build an impressive starting bankroll. For example, if you deposit $50 then the casino will match your $50 so you will be playing with $100. If you plan to make a deposit anyway, then the deposit bonus is probably your best bet.

Casinos also feature reload bonuses for different game categories. For example, slots and specialty games like keno and scratch cards are one category and table games and video poker would be considered another category. If you’re mainly a slot player than your choice is simple.

However, if you are relatively neutral where these categories are concerned, then you need to carefully evaluate the parameters.

Slots bonuses are usually larger with lower wagering requirements. This does not, however, mean that they are better when you consider that slots, keno and scratch cards have significantly higher house advantages and that players are less likely to win at these games. Plus, you are allowed to keep your winnings from the bonuses but not any of the bonus money itself.

Two final options are deposit bonuses vs. cash-back on losses. Here the exact numbers become important as do estimates for expected wagering and expected losses. The main factor to keep in mind is that the deposit bonus always requires further investment from the player whereas the cash-back bonus, although usually smaller, does not.

Finally, let’s discuss how the player's temperament comes into play. If the player is averse to taking risks and is willing to trudge through the wagering requirements for small gains he would do well to choose the table games bonuses. Players who prefer to take risks should opt for the slots bonuses.

When choosing a bonus, it is recommended that you carefully read and ensure that you understand the fine print. Ignoring this advice could end up not only costing you your bankroll but can also ruin what would otherwise be a thrilling experience.