Online Casinos: Bonuses and Play-Through Requirements

Most online casinos offer bonuses of some sort or another, which could be in the form of sign-on bonuses, frequent player bonuses, or bring-a-friend incentives. While they can seem very enticing, you can be sure that there will be restrictions and requirements attached to each. Unfortunately a lot potential players don’t take the time to read the terms and conditions that are attached to each casino. Those players who take the time to do their research and read through the fine print will have a better understanding on how the bonuses are paid out and which games qualify for the bonuses.

Many online casinos offer their bonuses automatically upon sign-up, however there are some that have time requirements that must be meet in order to claim the bonus. Usually a bonus will be a certain percentage of the initial deposit, and not to exceed a set dollar amount. For example, if the sign-on bonus is 50% of your initial deposit, then when you deposit $200.00, then your bonus amount will be $100.00. If the limit on the bonus is $200.00, then your bonus money will never be over $200.00, even if you deposit more than $400.00. Every online casino has some sort of sign-on bonus for new depositing players and they are usually described in the “Promotional” section of the casino website. Frequent player bonuses are set up in much the same way, with a percentage paid out on your deposit and a set limit on the amount of the bonus. The bring-a-friend bonus is normally set up as an amount per player that you “bring” to the casino.

Just about all of these bonuses are going to require a play-through, and just as the bonus amounts vary, the play-through requirements vary also. These have been established by the casinos so that players won’t sign-up to play, collect their bonus money, and then cash out right away without any play time at all. Most of the time, the play-through is set up as multiples of the qualifying deposit plus the bonus. This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Let’s take our earlier bonus example and attach a play-through requirement of 15 “times” the deposit. This would mean that you add your $200.00 initial qualifying deposit to the $100.00 bonus money, which would total $300.00. Multiply this $300.00 with the play-through requirement of 15, which brings the total to $4500.00. What this means, exactly, is that you will need to wager a total of $4500.00 before you can withdraw your winnings. For example, if you are playing blackjack and wagering $10.00 a hand, then you will need to play a total 450 hands in order to meet these restrictions.

There are other restrictions that online casinos will sometimes attach to the bonus money that they offer. Some casinos will exempt certain games from the play-through structure, so that any wagers made while playing these games will not be applied. The most common games that you will see exempt are roulette, craps, or blackjack. There are also some games that have additional restrictions and will only apply a portion of the wager to fulfill your play-through requirement. In other words, if the casino states that only ¼ of your wager is applied, then for every $20.00 that you wager, only $5.00 will be applied to your play-through. You will normally find this restriction on video poker, craps, or blackjack. There are some casinos that have no wagering requirements at all, but they are almost impossible to find, and usually the bonuses are not very large.

One of the most important things to remember is to always look through the terms and conditions that are established by each casino before you accept any bonus or incentive money. These should be easy to find on the casino website, and most are not too difficult to understand. If you find that you don’t understand what the terms and conditions are, then call customer service and ask questions. It never hurts to make sure that you understand completely what is expected of you and to know exactly what you should expect from the casino. Just take some time, do your research, and read the fine print. Oh, and remember, to always have fun! Good luck!

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