Casino Bonuses as Prizes for Wagering ContestsBy: Ryan Alders, Wednesday December 2nd 2009
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There are many ways in which online casinos offer bonuses. One way is as prizes for competitions in which the winners are those who wager the most. Players should be cautious of entering such contests because they may end up wagering large amounts they cannot afford in the hope of winning bonuses that are just not worth the trouble.
Such contests are offered in a number of attractive ways. They are often called online tournaments, which is not incorrect. However it is not always clarified that what is being tested is not the skill of the player, nor his luck but simply his ability to wager large amounts. The wagering in these contests is often restricted to some new games released or extremely popular old ones so that players have an incentive to wager large amounts. While the packaging adds to the excitement the core issue for the player should be what level of wagering would put them in the reckoning for the bonuses.
Some online casinos make the decision easier for the players by providing a leader board. This gives each player his position relative to the leaders. Players can get a fairly accurate idea of how much more they need to wager in order to break into the prize pool. A completely accurate estimate can never be arrived at because the leaders are also wagering continuously, but with practice players can factor in a value for that. Hence if players feel that reaching the top is beyond their budget they can discontinue wagering in that promotion. Over time players will get a feel of which promotions are suitable for their budget.
But if there is no leader board then players are totally clueless. One way to form an idea is that the larger are the bonuses offered as prizes the greater is the wagering likely to be. There are two ways to handle promotions like these. The first way is to give them a wide berth. There is plenty of action online without having to get involved in competitions where you have no idea how much to wager in order to win. The other is to fix the wagering limits based on the funds availability and then forget about the prizes. In these contests players are wagering their own funds and therefore keep the regular winnings in addition to prizes that they may win. Hence it is best to treat this as a normal wagering session. Winning will really be a bonus.
By and large such contests are not suitable for low rollers because winning or losing is decided by how much is wagered. A few online casinos have modified the conditions to make these contests attractive to low rollers. Instead of the most amounts wagered the winner is the player who places the most bets. This allows low rollers to choose the lowest possible wager. He can thus place a large number of bets without extending his bankroll.
Finally players need to understand the difference between a cash prize and a bonus. A cash prize really is one that can be withdrawn without having to meet wagering requirements. For bonuses wagering requirements have to be met. Hence the first thing players should do while evaluating a tournament of this nature is to ascertain whether the prize is a cash prize or a bonus.
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