Choosing Between Online Casino BonusesBy: Joe Valentino, Wednesday July 21st 2010
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Often online casinos ask players to choose one from a number of bonuses. Though this choice may apparently appear to be simple, it is actually not so. Several factors need to be considered such as the basic nature of the bonuses, the fine print in the terms and conditions and the players’ own objectives and inclinations. Because these factors will interact differently in each case it is impossible to provide clear cut guidelines for making the choices. This article will attempt to discuss the issues involved so that the players have a clearer picture of how to analyse the factors.
One of the most common choices is between a free spins welcome bonus and a deposit welcome bonus. In the free spins welcome bonus the player is given a certain number of credits to wager in a given time. He can keep the winnings subject to certain terms and conditions. The major advantage of the free spins welcome bonus is that no deposit has to be made up front. However, players would be required to make a small deposit when they withdraw their winnings from the bonus and this has to be factored into the calculations. The fine print of the free spins bonus usually specifies a cap on the winnings from the bonus. A similar cap may also be specified in the fine print of the deposit welcome bonus and the player would need to compare the two. The deposit bonuses require larger deposits but the bonuses offered are usually 100% of the deposit. Therefore players who have experience of online gambling and are would anyway be depositing the required amounts would prefer the deposit welcome bonuses.
Sometimes players are required to choose between reload bonuses for different game categories. Usually slots and speciality games like keno and scratch cards are placed in one category and table games and video poker in another category. If the player has such an aversion to a particular game category that he would never play it then his choice is clear. However if he is relatively neutral towards the different categories then he needs to evaluate the parameters. Usually slots bonuses will be larger and have lower wagering requirements. However this does not mean that they are automatically better. Slots, keno and scratch cards have significantly higher house edges and players are less likely to win in these games. And players should remember that they only get to keep the winnings from the bonuses and not the bonuses. The temperament of the player also comes into play in this case. If the player is risk averse and willing to trudge through the wagering requirements for small gains he would do well to choose the table games bonuses. Players with risk taking tendencies can go for the slots bonuses.
An interesting choice is between a deposit bonus and cash back on losses. Here the exact numbers become more important as do estimates for expected wagering and expected losses. One factor to bear in mind is that the deposit bonus requires further investment from the player whereas the cash back bonus does not. But cash back bonuses would usually be much smaller.
In choosing between bonuses the player cannot escape from reading and understanding all the fine print. If he does not do so he would end up making the wrong choices.
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