When it comes to beating the online casinos, the most important tool at your disposal is knowledge. Casinos use various different tricks and practices in order to ensure that they have the edge over the player at all times. It is for this reason why that knowledge – on casino games and specifically online casinos themselves – is your best friend.

Signing Up

First thing’s first, whether you are new to online casinos or not, it is imperative that you read the terms and conditions BEFORE signing up, especially when it comes to your deposit bonus (more on that later). Even if you only ever play at one online casino, it is important to check the casinos terms and conditions whenever you make a deposit. Casinos regularly change their terms and conditions so it is imperative you check them in order to receive the best casino bonus that you can possibly get.

Sign Up and First Deposit Bonuses

We have all seen the various sign up bonus offers advertised by casinos, “get 100% deposit bonus up to £200” for example. Any rational person would take this as written, however, it is often not as simple as that.

Wagering Requirements

When you receive your deposit bonus it is important for you to know that you cannot withdraw your bonus without having first used the bonus to play games on the casino. For most casinos, the wagering requirements are x20, x30 or x40. For example, if you sign up to an online casino offering a 100% matching deposit bonus and deposit £100 you will receive £100 as a bonus. However, if the wagering requirement in order to eventually withdraw your bonus is x20, then you would have to wager a total of £2000 in order to withdraw the bonus. This example will only work if the game you are playing allows for a percentage to wager of 100% (more on that later).

Something else you must check the terms and conditions for is whether or not the game you are playing even allows you to play with your bonus. For example, Blackjack very rarely allows the player to use his/her deposit. This is basically because blackjack is a skill game. The games which the casino allows the full 100% wager percentage are almost always slots games – there is no skill to slots whilst the balance is always in the casinos favour. The table below shows what the majority of casino’s offer players, in terms of the amount of the bonus they have to wager in order to withdraw the bonus – this does not take into account sticky and non-sticky bonuses (see next paragraph).

Contribution required if the wagering amount is (30x)  with £100 bonus

Game

Stake Percentage Contribution

Wagering Requirements

Slots

100%

£3000

Roulette

10%

£30,000

Video Poker

10%

£30,000

Blackjack

0%

N/A

An example – Leo Vegas Casino
Popular online casino Leo Vegas stake contribution table

Game Category Stake Percentage Contribution
Slots 100%
Table Games 10%
Video Poker 10%
All other games 100%

 

Sticky v Non-sticky Deposit Bonuses

The terms sticky and non-sticky will never be used by casinos, nevertheless, it is important for casino players to know the difference between the two. A ‘sticky’ bonus is not something you want to receive. When a bonus is sticky it means that your initial deposit as well as your bonus will be ‘stuck’ together – meaning in order to withdraw any of the money you will have to wager it a certain amount of times as stated in the casinos terms and conditions. Your initial deposit will be treated exactly the same as your deposit bonus.

The non-sticky deposit bonus is what you are looking for. Your initial deposit and bonus will be separate. So you do not have to wager your initial deposit a certain amount of times before withdrawing it. Though the terms and conditions will not use phrases such as sticky and non-sticky, if you read them you will be able to tell whether they are sticky or not. If the casino’s first deposit bonus is sticky then you should either deposit without receiving a bonus or you should look for a new casino.

When To Take The Bonus and When To Avoid Taking The Bonus

If you are an online slots player, then you should always take the bonus. Slots games almost always offer the player a 100% bonus stake percentage contribution so you will have to wager a minimum amount of times before being able to withdraw your winnings. Be aware, however, that there will always be some slots games which offer less than 100%, so you need to check this before you start playing. If you are a slots player there really is absolutely no reason not to accept the deposit bonus. If you’re a roulette player, try to ensure that the percentage to wager is not below 10%. You will need to check the casino’s terms and conditions to find this out. If you are a blackjack player do not take the bonus as it will be absolutely meaningless to you. Furthermore, you do not want to become lumbered with a ‘sticky’ bonus as this will essentially mean that you will never be able to withdraw your initial deposit if you are playing solely blackjack. If you are a video poker player, again, it would also be pretty pointless taking your bonus as the previous table shows.

As a general rule, if the casino game you are playing requires an element of skill to be profitable in, it is probable that you will have to wager an astronomically high amount before you are able to withdraw it. Many blackjack and poker players fall into the first deposit bonus trap. Always read the first deposit bonus terms and conditions before depositing, every casinos conditions are different. Remember, there are no shortage of online casinos so it does not hurt to look around to find one that is 100% the right casino for you.

What You Should Do Depending On What Type Of Casino Player You Are

The truth is, whether or not you should take/use your first deposit bonus mainly depends entirely on which type of casino game you usually play.

Slots Player

John is a slots player (click here for a slots beating Wiki guide). John is looking for a new online casino to play on and sees an offer from a casino site which gives new players a 100% sign up bonus up to £100. The first thing John does is look at the casinos terms and conditions as he needs to know whether or not his initial £100 deposit will be ‘stuck’ to his bonus – John would rather this doesn’t happen.

After confirming that the bonus he receives would be ‘non sticky’ John then needs to ensure that his slots games of choice are not excluded from the 100% stake contribution percentage. John also needs to discover what the wagering amount is for the deposit.  It turns out that the wagering requirement is 20x – likely the lowest it can go – this, John is happy with. After looking at the Slots terms and conditions, John finds out that two out of his five favourite slots games are excluded. Although John could decide to look for a different online casino in order to find one that would allow him to play all his desired slots with his bonus money, he decides that he will just use his deposit bonus on the three slots that can be played with 100% stake contribution and play the excluding two with his own money.

Roulette Player

Mary is a roulette player. Mary is also looking for a new online casino to play on and sees an offer from a casino site which gives new players a 100% sign up bonus up to £200. However, Mary is an experienced online casino player and already knows that sign up bonuses are mostly useless to roulette players as the percentage to wager is always very low (see contribution required table to remind yourself why). Therefore, Mary finds a casino site that she knows she would enjoy playing on and does not think about the sign up/first deposit bonus.

Blackjack Player

Pete is a blackjack player. Pete knows that whenever he wants to look for a new online casino to play on, he may as well ignore all the sign up and first deposit bonuses because blackjack is a skill game and online casinos do not allow players who play on solely skills games to withdraw free money.

To Recap

If you are an online slots player then of course you should take the bonus, however, you need to ensure that you pick the casino which offers you the best ways in which to eventually cash this bonus out into your own bank account. This includes:

  • Ensuring that the stake contribution percentage is 100% for the online slots you wish to play.
  • Making sure the wagering amount of the bonus is preferably x20 to give you a slimmer chance of cashing out the bonus.
  • Ensuring the casino doesn’t include your initial deposit as part of your bonus, you should be able to play with them separately.

If you are a table games or video poker player, then more often than not it is not worthwhile taking the bonus. More than likely you will never be able to cash any of it out. Your main priority should be to ensure that you find a nice casino to play your favourite casino games. Do not be tempted by casinos offering lots of ‘free’ money, the money is not really free so do not be fooled.