If you’ve ever looked into online gambling, whether it be poker, casino, or sports betting, you’ve surely seen countless offers of free bonuses just for making your first deposit. These bonuses are usually match bonuses, and give players one dollar in bonus money for every dollar they deposit. To a layman, it seems like you could get tens of thousands of free dollars in one day if you signed up and deposited at all of the various online gambling sites. However, there is more to these bonuses than meets the eye. This article will look at a few online gambling bonuses and show why they’re not quite what they seem.
The majority of online gambling bonuses are “match bonuses”, usually in the range of 100% up to $500 in total size. In the case of a 100% up to $500 bonus, players will receive one dollar in bonus money for every dollar they deposit, up to $500. Besides the normal first time deposit bonuses, gambling sites will also often offer “reload bonuses”, which provide players with bonuses for making subsequent deposits. Reload bonuses are usually smaller in percentage, right around the range of 25% up to $400 or so.
Ok, so here’s the catch. When you actually redeem one of these gambling bonuses, you have to “clear” the bonus money before it is yours to withdraw. This is how the site protects themself from taking major losses every time they give out a bonus. Most bonuses either require you to earn a certain number of player points at the respective gambling site, or they require you to wager a certain amount of money before you can withdraw the bonus.
Almost every online poker room uses the player points method, and they measure your point accumulation based on how much rake you accumulate. To clear an average online poker bonus, you’re probably looking at playing thousands if not tens of thousands of hands, depending on the size of the bonus and the individual site’s policy. One example of a poker site that uses this system is Full Tilt Poker.
Most casinos and sportsbooks use the wagering requirements. Often times wagering requirements are twenty times the deposit and bonus amount. So, if you deposit $500 and receive a $500 bonus, you’ll have to wager $20,000 before you are eligible to withdraw the bonus money. One example of a bonus like this is the BookMaker.com bonus code.
As you now understand, online gambling bonuses are far from free money. In fact, they probably hurt most players, because players will bet out of their bankroll to try to clear the bonus. I recommend playing for fun and trying to profit on your bets, and to let the bonus take care of itself.