In our humble opinion here at Slots Play Casinos, if there is one major difference between land-based casinos and online casinos it is in the area of casino bonus offers. Land-based casinos used to offer free flights and hotel accommodations but they weren’t really free since players had to buy a few hundred dollars of non-redeemable chips.
Nowadays, land-based casinos suffice themselves with free alcohol and buffet meals as their best bonus offers. High rollers can get a bunch of freebies but the average player has to make his or her way through the casino on their own.
What Kind of Bonus Offers Do Online Casinos Make?
Well, the best answer is: all the offers the casino can think to offer! We can start with the Welcome Package that every reputable online casino offers. Some Welcome Packages are rather modest and even then, they reach into the low thousands of dollars!
The really big Welcome Packages are really big! They reach at least halfway to $10,000 and sometimes skirt the edges of that massive sum.
How Does an Online Casino Afford to Make Such Extravagant Offers?
The wagering requirement is the best answer here. This is a requirement that a gamer who accepts a deposit bonus, and sometimes even a no deposit bonus, wager a factor of that bonus before they can withdraw winnings.
This is fair since without the wagering requirement, some gamers would cash out as soon as the bonus was credited to their casino account and then poof! the bonuses would disappear!
The key element in the area of wagering requirements is its size. Here size does matter! A 30x wagering requirement is universally seen as fair. Some online casinos offer deposit bonuses with a 25x wagering requirement.
Online Casinos Also Run Many Promotions
Most promotions are for deposit bonuses. Some add free spins to the offer. First, we should look at the best deposit bonus promotions. The keys are the bonus rate and the maximum bonus size.
Gamers are not required to deposit the full amount in order to get a deposit bonus. Most online casinos have a vey small minimum deposit of, say, $20. The players who can afford to go for the maximum bonus might deposit $1000 give or take.
One aspect of bonuses is that a player should never deposit more than what a given deposit would bring as a bonus. For example, if the bonus is for 100% up to $1000, a gamer should never deposit more than a thousand dollars. Above that deposit amount, there is no bonus.
Gamers can always wait for the next bonus offer since there are so many of them.
The Bonus Rate Can Make or Break a Bonus Offer
A bonus rate of 50% means that in order to get a sizable bonus, a gamer has to deposit twice as much as he or she would need to deposit at a 100% bonus rate. Some bonus rates are for as much a 200%! These bonus offers might be the best around for a period of time.
Here the gamer should read the terms and conditions to see how high the wagering requirement might be and which casino games go toward fulfilling the wagering requirement.
If the casino counts blackjack and video poker toward the wagering requirement and if a gamer has developed skill at these games, then even a higher wagering requirement might make a bonus at that casino worthwhile.
How is That Possible?
Simply put, the return to player rate in blackjack and video poker are close to 100% (99.5% to be exact). That means that a gamer who has learned the correct strategy in these games for every hand will likely have some winnings after completing even a 60x wagering requirement.
Instant Play Also Contributes to the Bonus Scene
Instant Play means that gamers do not have to download a casino. This also means that gamers can play at more than one casino directly on their server. That means that a gamer who would like to deposit $2000 can do so at two casinos and get $2000 or more in bonuses instead of the maximum $1000 at one of the casinos!
Loyalty or Comp Points Are Another Bonus Better Earned at an Online Casino
Loyalty and comp points are the same thing. Some casinos call them loyalty points and some call them comp points but they are the same, namely, points that gamers acquire by playing. Gamers accrue comp points only when they play for real money.
The terms and conditions in comp points are very important since many casinos favor slots over other games and some don’t award comp points at all for blackjack and video poker, which, as we just noted, have the highest return to player rate.
Why is the Comp Points Bonus Better at an Online Casino?
The simple answer is that players can play at an online casino every day if they choose to. Many play a couple or three times a week. Comp points grow quickly when players play often even if they play for short periods of time.
By the way, Slots Play Casinos recommends that gamers play in short sessions for several reasons. Short sessions avoid the boredom that can set in when any activity is pursued for too long a period of time. Second, the casino is readily available whenever you want to play so there is no incentive to play on and on of a single session. Third, since gamers are usually at home when they play online casino games, they have other interests and responsibilities.
While online casino gaming can be a lot of fun, we never recommend continuing to play online casino games when other activities beckon.
Let’s Return to the Comp Points Bonus
An online casino keeps track of all comp points for all gamers in real time. This is because of the power of giant computers with great software which is possibly the first thing an online casino acquires as it is setting up to join the fray of online casino competition.
Land-based casinos give players a player’s card which keeps track of all the plusses and minuses in that player’s gaming. The player is responsible for keeping track of his or her player’s card. How often does a player forget which drawer they put the player’s card in when they got home the last time they were at a land-based casino.
In addition, all of the accumulated comp points are for nought if a player does not go back to that land-based casino. The same applies, of course, to online casinos but tit is a lot more common for a gamer to go back to play at an online casino (maybe the next day; maybe the next week; and so on) than they are to go back to exactly the land-based casino they played at last year or the year before.
This is especially true of standalone land-based casinos!
We suspect that there are many thousands of dollars (maybe millions) in unredeemed comp points sitting in drawers at home buried under a year’s or two worth of domestic detritus!
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