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Every online casino offers a long list of bonuses and promos to attract players. And while there are several genuine offers that you should not miss, the internet is filled with shady deals designed to rip you off.

If you’re reading this, chances are you were duped once, and you don’t want a rerun of the experience. We’ve put together the top tips that will help you quickly identify bad bonus terms and give you the information you need to decide which bonuses to take and which ones to pass.

How to Identify a Bad Bonus?

Reading a casino’s terms of use is probably the most boring thing on the planet. But we strongly suggest familiarising yourselves with the terms of use before signing up. Here’s a list of bonus offers to avoid.

If you find any of these on your shortlisted casino, run:

How to Calculate the Estimated Value of a Bonus?

Online casino bonuses are not as simple as they seem. Most amateurs make the mistake of disregarding the terms of use and taking bonuses at face value.

To calculate the real value of a bonus, follow these steps:

Figure Out the Bonus Amount

This is the exact bonus amount that you receive. For instance, if a casino offers a 100% bonus on your first deposit and you make a $10 deposit, the bonus amount is $10.

Familiarise Yourself with the Wagering Requirements

Wagering or Playthrough Requirement is the total number of times you have to wager the bonus amount before being allowed to withdraw your winnings. So, for instance, if you’ve deposited $10 and the casino has a 10x wagering requirement, you must wager $100 in total before processing a withdrawal request.

Keep an Eye Out for the House Edge

House Edge is the mathematical advantage that the casino has in each hand. This ensures that the casino makes a profit at the end of the day. To calculate the estimated value of a bonus, deduct the bonus received from the house edge and the wagering requirement.

For instance, if you received a $10 bonus with a 40x wagering requirement and a 3% house edge, your bonus EV is -$2. As a rule of thumb, stay away from casinos with a negative EV as they will eventually take all your money.

Let’s take another example where the bonus is $500, and the playthrough requirement is 20x while the house edge is 3%. In this case, the EV is $200. This is an excellent bonus that will help you make a profit in the long run.

And if you struggle with math, fret not, as there are several EV calculators on the internet that you can use for free. All you need to know are the bonus amount, wagering requirement, and house edge, and the software does the rest.

Bad Bonus Terms to Strictly Avoid

Here are some popular examples of bad bonuses that you must avoid if you hope to make a profit:

Piggy Bank

Limited Banking Methods

Learning that you don’t qualify for a bonus offer just because you used a certain payment method is very disappointing. Unfortunately, situations like these are unavoidable. Some online casinos reserve certain bonuses for players that have signed up using a specific payment method like an eWallet.

Prize Wheel

Sticky Bonuses

Sticky bonuses are promos that players cannot withdraw. These usually look attractive at a glance, but players can only win cash prizes when playing with this kind of bonus. Once the player meets the wagering requirements and requests withdrawal, the casino removes the bonus cash and pays out the actual winnings.

Some casinos try to lure players into using sticky bonuses by allowing them to use the perks for longer periods and even after withdrawing the winning amount. Online casinos are free to experiment with sticky bonuses since amateur punters are naive and don’t have a problem with them.


Game Contribution vs Bonus Clearance

Players must pay close attention to the game contribution vs bonus clearance percentage. While this calculation might come across as slightly complicated, especially if you’re an amateur, understanding how things work will enable you to make better decisions in the long run.

While most players understand that bonuses come with playthrough requirements, they don’t understand that the casino contributes differently to bonus clearance. While some games contribute fully, others contribute partially.

Here’s a list of contributions to help you grasp the basics:

  1. Video slots contribute the most at 100%
  2. Roulette contributes 10%
  3. Baccarat and Blackjack contribute 5%
  4. Video poker and progressive slots contribute 0%

This means that if you wager on progressive slots or video poker, you don’t meet the wagering requirements. And if you wager $100 on roulette, it accounts for $10 towards bonus clearance. However, betting on video slots accounts for 100% of the wager. This is how online casinos encourage new players to play video slots.


Max Cashout

Casino bonuses sound attractive when they’re advertised as free for all. For instance, players often fall for marketing gimmicks that state they get to keep the money that they win using the bonus. In reality, every casino has a max cashout policy that limits players from withdrawing the bonus cash.

For instance, certain casinos can have a max cashout at $100. This means you can cash out your bonuses up to $100. So, don’t forget to read the fine print related to max cashout before signing up.


Limited Weekly Withdrawal

Several casinos limit the total amount that players can withdraw per week. This ensures that your winnings don’t leave the casino’s account for a longer duration. Casinos get away with such restrictions since amateur players don’t think much about these limits.


Deadlines for Meeting the Playthrough Requirements

This one’s a real bummer! Once you sign up at a casino, you can’t take your sweet time to meet the wagering requirements. The clock starts ticking the minute you accept the bonus. Most casinos will usually offer anywhere between a week and three months to meet the wagering requirements, post which the bonus becomes invalid. If you feel the deadlines are too stringent, feel free to try another casino.

How to Make the Most of a Bonus Offer?

Smart players always find a way to make the most of the bonus offers. The trick is to take advantage of the offers that can boost your bankroll.

You can make the most of bonus offers provided you take certain precautions:

  • Read the terms of use carefully before claiming a bonus
  • Contact customer support to clear your doubts
  • Study the fine prints related to wagering requirements and max cashback
  • Withdraw your profits as soon as it's available
Charles Ingel - Senior Content Writer

Charles Ingel is our resident casino and bonus review expert. He makes sure that every bonus on our site is active and tests for fairness. Charles sees to it that we have the best no deposit promos of any online bonus site.

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