It’s a well-known fact that most online casinos will offer players bonuses, either to encourage them to join the platform or as a means of loyalty rewards for customer retention. However, bonuses are often misunderstood, both in what they represent and how they should be applied. A good way to think about it as a means to explore the platform and games without risking your real money funds.
The best online casino bonuses will be simple to understand, laying out the wagering requirements, win caps and other conditions. But players still have to devise strategies to use them correctly. Bonuses aren’t “free money”, but they can be used to your advantage. Below, we set out some simple rules for using them smarter. These rules are designed to be sensible, neither glorifying playing casino games or guaranteeing success:
Read the Terms and Conditions Before Accepting
Most online casinos will give you the opportunity to accept or decline a bonus. While the former might seem like a no-brainer, it’s worth considering all of what that means. For example, a bonus might prompt you to play games you don’t really want to play, or for longer periods than you usually would. The point, as such, is that the bonus should be accepted only if you feel it augments what you previously had planned to do at the casino. Some experienced players might eschew bonuses altogether if it does not fit with their strategy. Above all, have a read of the Ts & Cs before deciding whether the bonus is right for you.
Learn All About the Concept of Variance
One of the most important things about using a bonus is understanding that online casino games will have different levels of variance. A high variance game is one that has big “hits” but is quite volatile, whereas a low variance game offers smaller wins but more frequently. As bonuses usually involve wagering requirements (you have to gamble the amount a specific number of times), then low variance games are usually more suited to turning over the bonus into real cash. Most casino game review sites will provide information on the variance of each game. And don’t forget that some bonuses can be capped (a maximum amount you can win), so perhaps playing the volatile games with big jackpots is the wrong way to go about it.
Remember It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Casinos will almost always give players a generous amount of time to meet wagering requirements – at least a week – but players can often rush in to try to turn it into withdrawable cash as soon as possible. It is so much better if you take a more measured approach. The bonus will still be in your account if you take a break for a day or two. This will help you get a little perspective. Remember that all casino play is more enjoyable if you have a clear head. Too much time spent playing and your decision-making can go out the window.
Treat the Bonus Like “Potential” Money
One of the ‘problems’ that players have with using bonuses is that they can treat it a bit like fake money, meaning they are more likely to be frivolous with it. As we know, it is also not real money – yet. The best way to think about it is as a kind of middle-ground between the two; potential money, let’s say. If you have read the terms and conditions, then you will know the parameters of the wagering requirements. It is thus possible to build a strategy to reach your goal of turning the bonus into withdrawable cash. Patience is the key.
Consider Forfeiting the Bonus
This idea might sound counterintuitive, but some casinos will give you the option to forfeit the bonus funds in your account, allowing you to continue playing with your real money funds or make a withdrawal. While it might sound like a dumb idea, as, after all, bonuses don’t cost you anything, you should remember that there can be an advantage to playing with real money funds. For example, some promotions might only apply to real money wagers and some games might not be accessible with bonus funds. It’s an option that some players take, so you can consider it. Moreover, there will always be other bonuses and promotions available on top casino sites, so there is no need to always put your eggs into one basket.
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