When online casinos first came into the scene they had to think on a marketing idea that would attract more players. Online gambling was new and many players were unsure if they should deposit funds in what seemed like an unknown entity. The marketing ploy that most online casinos chose and is still being aggressively used today is the cash bonus.
Nothing charms a future client more than free cash, and online casino bonuses are just that. The most popular form of a bonus is the sign up or welcome bonus. The size of the bonus differs between the different casinos but it usually revolves between 100%-400% of the initial deposit. There is usually some kind of limit to the bonus so you can’t just deposit 100, 000$ and hope to triple it up.
Naturally, as more and more casinos started offering cash bonuses a different kind of client emerged situs itupoker. A client whose sole interest was in the bonus itself and his goal was to cash out the bonus as soon as possible and than simply leave. This led up to the online casinos toughening their wagering requirements before allowing a withdrawal of the bonus.
The wagering requirement is a total amount you have the bet in order to be able to withdraw the bonus. The actual number varies from casino to casino but a typical number could be between 10x – 20x the amount of the bonus, so if you deposit 500$ and receive 500$ as a cash bonus your total betting must be above 5000$ to cash out the bonus. This may seem like a big amount but remember that if you are playing a game like blackjack using 5$ bets, you will win many hands (as well as losing) so the requirements can usually be cleared in matter of several hours.
Some casinos have blocked several games from qualifying as a method to clear bonuses. This usually includes the bets games that casino offers like a very liberal version of blackjack (for example a very small house edge single deck game) or some forms of video poker.
Online poker sites also offer sign up bonuses. The method to clear those bonuses is a little easier since you have to play a certain number of raked hands. Online poker bonuses are easy to clear even if you are a mediocre player and most online poker sites of periodical reload bonuses which allow poker players to enjoy other bonuses than the regular welcome bonus. Online casino players know that the latter ones offer various bonuses. “Free-load” looks attractive, however, are they really useful these bonuses? Are they profitable for gamblers? The answer to this question depends on a lot of conditions. Mathematics will help us answer this question.
Let’s begin with an ordinary bonus on deposit: you transfer $100 and obtain $100 more, which it will be possible to get having staked $3000. It is a typical example of bonus on the first deposit. The sizes of a deposit and bonus can be different, as well as the required stake rates, but one thing remains unchangeable – the amount of the bonus is accessible for withdrawal after the required wager. Till this moment it is impossible to withdraw money, as a rule.
If you are going to play in the online casino for a long time and rather insistently, this bonus will help you, it can really be considered free money. If you play slots with 95% pay-outs, a bonus will allow you to make on average extra 2000 $ of stakes ($100/(1-0, 95)=$2000), after that the amount of bonus will be over. But there can be complications, for example, if you simply want to have a look at a casino, without playing for a long time, if you prefer roulette or other games, forbidden by casinos’ rules for winning back bonuses. In the majority of casinos you won’t be allowed to withdraw money or will simply return a deposit, if a wager is not made on the games allowed in the casino. If you are keen on roulette or blackjack, and a bonus can be won back only by playing slots, make the required $3000 of stakes, in the course of 95% of pay-outs you will lose on average $3000(1-0, 95)=$150. As you see, you not only lose the bonus but also take out of your pocket $50, in this case it is better to refuse the bonus. Anyway, if blackjack and poker are allowed for winning back the bonus with a casino’s profit only about 0, 5%, so it can be expected that after winning back the bonus you will have $100-30000, 005=$85 of the casino’s money.
“sticky” or “phantom” bonuses:
More and more popularity in casinos is gained by “sticky” or “phantom” bonuses – the equivalent of lucky chips in real casinos. The amount of bonus is impossible to withdraw, it must remain on the account (as if it “has stuck” to it), until it is completely lost, or annulled on the first withdrawal of cash means (disappears like a phantom). At first sight it may seem that there is little sense in such a bonus – you won’t get money anyway, but it’s not completely true. If you win, then there is really no point in the bonus, but if you have lost, it may be of use to you. Without a bonus you have lost your $100 and that’s it, bye-bye. But with a bonus, even if it is a “sticky” one, $100 are still on your account, which can help you worm out of the situation. A possibility to win back the bonus in this case is a bit less than 50% (for that you only need to stake the entire amount on the chances in roulette). In order to maximize profits from “sticky” bonuses one needs to use the strategy “play-an-all-or-nothing game”. Really, if you play little stakes, you will slowly and surely lose because of the negative math expectancy in games, and the bonus will only prolong agony, and won’t help you win. Clever gamblers usually try to realize their bonuses quickly – somebody stakes the entire amount on chances, in the hope to double it (just imagine, you stake all $200 on chances, with a probability of 49% you’ll win neat $200, with a probability of 51% you’ll lose your $100 and $100 of the bonus, that is to say, a stake has positive math expectancy for you $2000, 49-$1000, 51=$47), some people use progressive strategies of Martingale type. It is recommended to fix the desired amount of your gain, for example $200, and try to win it, taking risks. If you have contributed a deposit in the amount of $100, obtained “sticky” $150 and plan to enlarge the sum on your account up to $500 (that is to win $250), then a probability to achieve your aim is (100+150)/500=50%, at this the desired real value of the bonus for you is (100+150)/500*(500-150)-100=$75 (you can substitute it for your own figures, but, please, take into account that the formulas are given for games with zero math expectancy, in real games the results will be lower).