Characteristics of the Best Bonuses

The most common type of promotion in the online casino industry is a deposit bonus. The premise is pretty simple: Players get extra money added on to their account balance as an incentive to make a deposit. However, early on before the industry fully matured, some people figured out that they could abuse these bonuses over and over to make quite a bit of money directly at the casino’s expense. Along these lines, the sites had to put in certain terms and conditions to protect themselves from this exploitative behavior from certain individuals.

We’re here to show you how to find the most favorable options for yourself during this time when extensive terms and conditions from online casinos are a necessity for them to be able to run the promotions in the first place.

Cashable Casino Bonuses

There are a handful of different factors that go into making a great bonus, and one of the most important is that it’s cashable. The basic idea here is that you want to be able to treat your bonus money like actual cash once you’ve met the conditions of the bonus. However, some offers are non-cashable, and that means you can never cash out the bonus amount. For example, if you deposited $100 for a $100 bonus and win $50, you can’t cash out the full $250. Instead, you can only cash out $100. Along these lines, the best bonuses running today are those that you can cash out fully.

Wagering Requirements

Next up we have the wagering requirements, which is a certain amount of betting that you need to play through before you’ll be allowed to cash out. The general rule here is the lower the requirements, the better the offer. However, you need to be looking at the total ratio of the size of your bonus to the total monetary amount that you’ll need to play through.

For example, you might see a 100 percent bonus on a deposit of $100 that has a 20x play-through. If this play-through is on just the bonus amount, then you’ll be wagering a total of $2,000. However, if this play-through is on the sum of the bonus and the deposit, then you’re wagering twice as much at $4,000. The ratio of deposit to wagering requirement shifts from 20:1 to 40:1, which is a pretty substantial difference. You can actually use all of this information to determine how good of a bonus you’ve got, and we’re going to show you how further down.

Game Restrictions

Most bonuses have some kind of restriction on the games you can play. Obviously, you’d prefer to be able to play the games that you’re a fan of, but they’re not always allowed with every promotion. What’s more is that some bonuses have scaled play-through requirements where the amount you have to wager to be able to cash out increases or decreases based on the games that you want to play. This is something to be aware of in your calculation of the wagering requirements ratio that was described in the above.

Calculating Bonus Value

To calculate bonus value, the size of the bonus, the total wagering requirement (in a monetary amount) and the average house advantage of the game that you’re going to be playing. Here’s how this calculation works.

Suppose you have a $125 bonus with a $5,000 play-through requirement with a game that has a 2 percent house advantage. You apply the house advantage to the wagering requirement to see the average amount that you expect to lose from playing through those requirements. In this instance, you take 2 percent of $5,000 to get $100. That’s how much you’ll be losing from play, on average, and you’ll be gaining a $125 bonus, so that’s a profit of $25.


What makes the best casino bonuses are terms and conditions that allow you to make a small profit or at least break even if you’re playing games that you actually enjoy, and you’ll want to be able to cash out that profit if you so choose. Beware when you’re doing these calculations, however, because you’ll find plenty of offers where you’ll actually take a loss, on average, by playing through the wagering requirements.

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