Online Bonuses

This Online Bonuses lesson at Online Gambling Guide explains the many rewards for players.
With online casino bonuses, the primary impetus for attracting and keeping players are the bonuses or cash incentives.  And there are a lot of them including free poker rolls.
We also look at some of the most common and lucrative forms of online bonuses available.
Let’s begin with the first, and perhaps the most fundamental of all player incentives and that is the bonuses that are offered when we sign up at an online casino.

The Sign up
Online players are offered a wonderfully tempting bankroll boost right from the start that will come in the form of sign up bonuses.
Sign up bonuses, also called initial deposit bonuses, are cash rewards that are paid out as an incentive to get online players to open an account and start playing.
Because these bonuses are designed to tempt new online gamblers to come aboard, which is often a difficult task, they tend to be among the most lucrative form of bonuses that are available.
It’s not uncommon that casino sites will offer hundreds of dollars in ‘free’ money based only on a fraction of the initial deposit.

Although the specific value and type of each sign up bonus will vary from casino to casino, they generally come in one of two different forms: fixed and percentage-based bonuses.
The bonuses in their simplest form come as fixed deposit bonus that will be of an amount that is pre-determined by the online casino and offered to all new online players that open an account with them. The one basic requirement involved is that a player deposit an amount of money that is at least equal to the value of the comp.
For example, if the casino offers you a $50 deposit bonus, then the player must deposit at least $50 to qualify for it. This is also known as a match bonus.

There are also ‘no deposit’ bonuses that some, though not all online casinos will offer from time to time. With these bonuses, the money is essentially FREE and you don’t have to deposit anything.
With percentage-based bonuses, you will receive an amount based on the initial deposit that you have made.
They vary from casino to casino like all of the other online bonuses, but generally range from 40% to 100% or more depending upon the casino site and the promotion they are running at the time of registration.
These are more often than not the most lucrative.
This is especially true for players that establish a large bankroll right from the beginning. Let’s suppose for a moment that you have decided to register at a casino who is offering a 100% deposit bonus. Your initial deposit is the amount of $200. The casino will then match your deposit with another $200 that gives you a total of $400 to play. Not bad at all considering you’ve literally doubled the strength of your bankroll.

You have to work the numbers however to see where the better deals are at online casinos. Online bonuses are not all created equal and what appears to be a super deal on the surface may not be your best bet at all.
Watch those percentage-based bonuses because though many of them look good, it depends on what your initial deposit is that will dictate if you ultimately got the better deal.

If you are gambler that plays with a small bankroll, for example $50. and you deposit at a casino that gives away a $50 match bonus, then you have essentially doubled your bankroll and you will have $100 to play.
However, if you go to a casino that offers anything less than a 100% match, then the return will be smaller than $100.

Finally, you will want to make sure that you are aware that all sites placing certain restrictions on how these bonuses are played and withdrawn. For some casinos, the comps can be withdrawn as winnings when the player has played a value of 10 times the comp value.
For others the minimum play-through requirements will be as much as 35 times before you are able to claim it as a withdrawal.
To examine it further, depending on the games being played, the play-through requirement may vary.
For example, if you are a slots player, then the standard 10-time play-through is correct.
However, if you are a video poker player, it may raise to 15 times. Always be sure to read the terms and conditions for play-through requirements. They will vary greatly from casino to casino.

Online Bonuses: Loyalty Programs
It doesn’t matter the size of your deposit bonus for there can and will come a time when the well will run dry and it will become necessary for you to re-fund your account in order to continue play. History shows that the wonderful sign up bonus that you got on your initial registration was only available to new players.
Those who returned received very little if anything at all in terms of casino comps.
Thankfully, those days are long gone; however, as the increasing competition among internet casinos became fierce.
It came to pass that more and more casino sites started offering additional incentives in order to keep existing online players happy, well fed with comps and returning to the casino to play.
The loyalty programs come in a variety of formats.
You will find that these additional online bonuses will come in 2 basic flavors: additional deposit incentives, and rewards points based on your past play.
The loyalty program may also offer different levels based on your play as well. For example, if you earn X number of points in a month, then you are at the silver level, hit XX number of points and you are at the gold level, etc.

Rewards for Additional Deposits
Now let’s talk about additional deposit bonuses. These online bonuses are cash rewards given to returning online players typically at the beginning of each month and they are based on the amount of deposits made in that month.
Some examples of these types of bonuses will include the match bonus and the percentage bonus.

Match Bonus
This is one of the most common player incentives available.
Match bonus programs will reward you with cash comps that are equivalent to the amount of the first new deposit that you make each month.
For example, suppose you deposited $50. in January and exhausted your bankroll by the end of the month. Then on February 3rd, you deposit another $50. as your first deposit for the month.
The casino will then reward you a match bonus of the same amount,  dollar for dollar, essentially doubling your bankroll to $100.

Percentage Bonus
As mentioned previously, internet casinos will sometimes offer new players online bonuses based on a percentage of their initial deposit. Some casinos are now offering this kind of a bonus to returning online players.
This also is awarded based on the first new deposit of the month, just as if you were a new player at the casino.
Make sure once again, that you pay attention to the play-through requirements that will save a lot of confusion down the road. Understand that not all casinos will offer this so it may not apply to returning players, depending upon where you are playing.
In this case, percentage bonuses may be valued at only 20% or even less, so make sure you read the available promotions on the site so that you know exactly what to expect.

Rewards for Play
These online bonuses are unlike deposit-based bonuses.
Some casinos comp you based on previous play as opposed to the current deposit. Two major loyalty programs fall under this heading and include cash back programs and player’s clubs.

Cash Back Programs
Instead of handing over online bonuses based on a single deposit, a few enterprising online casinos have developed programs that give cash back that refund a portion of total losses for the previous month.
There’s one casino that has a unique twist to such a plan.
They give their players a monthly bonus that is equal to 10% of their net losses for the previous month, and winners receive a 1% bonus that is based on their winning balance.

Online Bonuses: Players Club
This program is very similar to that found in a traditional land-based casino. The players club at an online casino will award points to the patrons in return for play. Thus, for every dollar wagered through casino play, a certain number of points will be awarded.
These points will accumulate over time and when there are enough points earned, they can be converted to casino cash.
The point system varies from casino to casino. Even between those that use the same software, but players will typically receive points for every $10. wagered.
These can be redeemed starting at 1,000 points. Additionally, there are some sites that will provide players with incentives to hold on to the points longer before cashing them in.
There is one casino for instance, that rewards players $25 for 2,500 points. If the player holds the points until they get to 5,000, then  instead of getting $50, they will get $52.50--that is $2.50 more than they would have gotten had they cashed in 2,500 points twice.

Specialty Rewards
There are a variety of specialty bonuses that are often overlooked by online players in addition to the sign up bonuses and loyalty programs. Though the latter bonuses make up the majority of online bonuses available, the specialty bonuses can be quite lucrative. Watch for them.

Referral Programs
These programs are used by online casinos to draw in new players. They offer a referral fee to online players who refer their friends to the online casino and play on the site. The rewards are typically minimal and are usually about $20. Some casino will offer a percentage of the new player’s initial deposit of about 5%.
This could be well worth the effort if you have a lot of friends or family who like gambling and want to play online.

Deposit Options

Some sites will award players additional bonuses for deposits they have made to the casino using specific methods. One casino for example will give you an additional 20% on top of your deposit when you make your deposit using IGM-Pay to fund your account.

Variable Online Bonuses
Occasionally, you will find online casino sites that will offer you extra bonus opportunities that mark some special event that is happening such as launching a new game or even the celebration of a holiday. The online bonuses may come in any number of different forms such as an additional 20% bonus on all of your deposits for a week or they will randomly award free cash to a lucky player that is playing during a certain time frame.
This is where the casino sites promotions page comes in handy, because they will post these promotions ahead of time. Scan through their newsletter archive to search for bonuses that are still in effect.

The number of online bonuses and incentives that are available are as diverse as the number of casinos that are now online.
Some are available as a one-time bonus while others are renewable periodically throughout the life of your online players account.
To be sure, not every bonus will turn a mediocre bankroll into a gold mine, regardless of how large or small the bonus is but any bonus is better than none and is still valuable ammunition in your ongoing battle with the house.

Online Bonuses is followed by 10 Rules for Online Gambling

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