When online casinos first opened for business over 14 years ago, the concept of a first deposit bonus ( or any sort deposit bonus, for that matter ) was quite foreign. For the most part, the early online casinos focused on recreating the land based casino experience online, providing a good selection of games and relatively easy deposit and withdrawal options. In time, however, online casino bonuses began to pop up.

The initial fad of online casinos bonuses was to get players in the door. For example, CasinoA.com offers no deposit bonus, whereas CasinoB.com offers 20% deposit bonus. As a result, when players compare the two casinos, the decision to play at CasinoB and get 20% free makes the most sense. Early on, these bonuses were generally match play or same-as-cash casino bonuses. Now, however, online casino bonuses are an entirely different beast.

Nowadays, it’s common to see ads for 1000% casino bonuses, or $5000 free, or 500% re-load bonuses after first deposit. At first glance, it would seem bonuses have improved over years, and that the casinos are now being a lot more generous :) . In reality, however, the very opposite has occurred: Casinos boast big numbers in terms of advertising bonuses, but in actuality the player has little to no chance of converting that bonus into cash.

So, what types of bonuses are there? Here are a few with short descriptions:

  • Match Play Bonus - Match play at online casinos is much the same as brick and mortar operations. Players have to wager, for example, $100 real money AND their $100 match play to make use of the bonus. If the player wins, the money can be converted into cash. If the player loses, he/she gets nothing. These are not typically offered at online casinos in recent years.
  • X % Bonus Up to $ Y with Conditions - This is the typical bonus offering at most online casinos now: for example, if you deposit $100 with a 500% bonus offer, 500% of $100 gives you another $500 (the bonus limit) free money to use in the casino. The catch, however, is the set of conditions attached to this bonus. In most cases, players must “play through” or “roll over” their bonus X times before it converts to cash. So, if you get $500 free with a 10x roll over requirement, the sum of your wagers must equal $5000 before you can collect any funds from your player’s account. Furthermore, some casinos restrict the types of games one can play with their bonus money, in order to avoid any exorbitant payouts or bonus abuse.
  • No Deposit Bonus - As its name implies, casinos that offer no deposit bonuses essentially give players a “free chip” to play with before they actually have to deposit money. These types of bonuses usually come laden with conditions similar to the percentage bonus mentioned above, including roll over requirements and some game restrictions.

How do I Make the Most of My Online Casino Bonus?

The most important thing to remember, especially with online casinos in the present day, is that the chances of “beating” the bonus, or satisfying all wager requirements in order to convert winnings into cash, is relatively difficult. The requisite roll over requirements generally mean, for most players, that they’ll gamble away the bonus before they ever meet the total roll over dollar quota.

Next, many casinos impose restrictions on the games available to players that have bonus money. For example, games like Craps, Blackjack, and Baccarat are usually more favorable to the player than progressive slots. As a result, some online casinos may not allow you to play these table games with bonus cash, since that means you could possibly win. Instead, you are left with roulette and slots, which are usually the most favorable games to the house, meaning you lose your money. Some casinos may restrict you outright from ANY table game AND Video Poker, leaving you with slots and nothing else.

As a result, to really get the most out of your bonus, you need to consider the following recommendations:

  • Always Read Bonus Conditions Carefully - Some casinos are more “player friendly” than others, meaning Casino A might have a 15x bonus roll over, versus Casino B with a 30x roll over. Even if Casino B offers a markedly higher % bonus, it’s usually advisable to stick with the casino with the lower rollover requirements, which in this example would be Casino A. If you read the casino’s rules first, you can figure out which casino bonus is best for you.
  • Deposit the minimum amount that qualifies for a bonus - It may be tempting to deposit big and get a big bonus, but remember, you’re going to have to play through all that money before it materializes into cash. Therefore, treat the bonus as “play money” by depositing the smallest amount possible that qualifies for a bonus. That way, if you end up losing your bonus and initial deposit while attempting to satisfy rollover requirements, you’re not at the end of your bankroll.
  • Use E-wallets: You Might Get Extra Bonus Money - Most casinos prefer that players use e-wallets, because processing the money is much easier. Also, it’s easier for players to cash out with e-wallets, since getting your funds usually happens almost instantly. Most importantly, some casinos will offer players depositing with Moneybookers, for example, another 15% bonus on their deposit, in order to reward them for convenient method of business. If possible, use your e-wallet and see if you can get additional bonus money.
  • If Possible, Play Table Games - If your casino allows you to play table games with bonus money, by all means, play these games instead of spinning the one armed bandits. The odds of winning playing blackjack, however, are much better than $1 slot machines. Craps and Baccarat are two other games that can be favorable to the player as well.
  • If you’re confused or don’t understand the bonus, contact customer service - As the old saying goes, “Look before you leap”. If you don’t understand the conditions of a casino bonus, or are confused about the amount of bonus money you received, contact customer service immediately, preferably before you start playing. That way, if there are any errors or misunderstandings, you still have your original deposit money in your account and you haven’t wasted it for nothing.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our online casinos bonus article. Make the most of your bonus, and you’ll have a good time at the casino. A final word, if you decide to reload, or re-deposit, more money, see if it’s possible to NOT get a bonus. That way, there are no roll over requirements, which means anything you win based off your reload deposit is same as cash.

Good luck and Have Fun from Jaxcasinos.com!

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