As well as run-of-the-mill bonuses, it should come as no surprise that many casinos offer bonuses tailored to specific casino games. Check out the promotions page of any casino and you’re likely to find specific bonuses for slots, blackjack and roulette. Video poker players may get lucky but these bonuses tend to be less popular.
Our easy to follow game bonus guide analyses the pros and cons of slots, blackjack, roulette and video poker game bonuses.
It’s always been issue of contention…does blackjack require any skill or is it just a game of luck?
Well no matter what else you hear, blackjack is partially a game of skill and luck.
Following the right rules, players can help create their own advantage using what’s called basic blackjack strategy. In layman’s terms, knowing when and when not to split, stand, hit and double.
So what the heck has that got to do with blackjack casino bonuses? Well, as with other casino games that either have an element of skill, a low house edge or offer even money bets, blackjack bonuses tend to be pretty strict. Don’t be surprised to find blackjack bonuses from 50% and topping out at around 100% with high wagering requirements upwards of 50x your deposit and bonus.
Be wary of blackjack bonuses over 100%, there has to be some catch, usually in the form of wagering requirements of 100x or higher. Most of the bonuses to tend to be cashable but in all honesty, unless you are very lucky and play strict basic strategy you’re hardly likely to have much bonus money left after wagering it 100x.
To get the most out of blackjack bonuses we recommend you follow these simple steps:
- Learn basic blackjack strategy. Using this in conjunction with a half decent blackjack bonus will increase your enjoyment of the game, improve your chances of winning as well as help eat away at the wagering requirements.
- Be wary of bonuses that offer 150% match, the wagering requirements are going to be hefty and more often than not the bonus will be non-cashable.
- A wagering requirement contribution of around 20% is pretty much the norm these days. If you see more than 20% with reasonable wagering requirements, take it – see our list above.
- Unless you’re very confident and/or have a big bankroll, go easy on your bet size. A smaller bet size will improve your chances of not losing your entire balance before you’ve met the wagering requirements.
- Don’t be fooled. Advanced blackjack strategy, or card counting as it is known, is impossible online as all online casinos shuffle after each hand. In live online blackjack the croupiers shuffle mid deck so that’s not an option either.
They’re the most popular type of casino game on the planet, so it’s no surprise that slot bonuses are the most common form of casino bonuses.
More importantly, slot bonuses are hands down the most generous and invariably offer the loosest wagering requirements.
‘Why?’ we hear you ask, well it’s simple, slots have a slightly lower payout percentage than other casino games such as blackjack (when played properly) so the casino knows that over a period of time it will more often than not win some or all of your money back. But what they don’t count on are disciplined players withdrawing at the right time.
If you are purely into having a good time and hopefully hitting a jackpot then there’s no need to read this entire article. However, if you’re looking to get the most out of the many bonuses casinos hand out and increase your chances of walking away ‘up’, then read on.
So how do you beat slots bonuses then? There is no finite scientific approach, but we suggest the following:
- Go for a low wagering requirement bonus of around 20-25x.
- Don’t get greedy and go for the stupid 1000% bonuses, stick with 100-150% bonuses.
- Play (bet) steady to meet the wagering requirements. Don’t go crazy and lose your entire balance on a few spins.
- Once you’ve met the wagering requirements, increase your bet limit then withdraw when you hit a big win.
Most slot bonuses in the 100-150% range are cashable bonuses (rightly so). However, going up to the 500-1000% + region, they become non-cashable. If you don’t know what the terms cashable and non-cashable mean, check out our main casino bonus page.
A good roulette bonus is like finding a needle in a very large haystack.
As roulette has always been up there with slots and blackjack in its popularity, you’d be forgiven for thinking the opposite.
It’s important to note that if you’re purely into having fun playing roulette and not into making money from bonuses this article may not be that relevant to you.
You are only going to find roulette only bonuses with high wagering requirements and/or very low wagering contributions. The simple reason is that roulette offers certain types of bets called outside bets that allow players to reduce the risk of losing while still fulfilling the wagering requirements of a bonus. These bets are even/odd, red/black, low (1-18)/high(19-36) and only pay out 1:1 as opposed to a ‘proper’ number bets (called straight-up bets) that pay out 35:1. Therefore it’s in the casino’s interest to make you wager a lot so that inevitable house edge has time to creep in.
Understandably, certain types of players used to abuse these loopholes and walk away having completed the wagering requirements and retain some or all of the free bonus money. Simples!
Sadly, those days are gone. But you can still find bonuses that allow you to play roulette, but more often than not they have some or all of the following limitations:
- High wagering requirements.
- Restrictions on placing even money bets such as red/black etc. They don’t count and may lead to you being excluded.
- Only allow 0-50% of each bet to contribute to your wagering requirements for the bonus.
You’ll often find that on a welcome bonus that does allow you to play European/French roulette that only 10% contributes to wagering. So for every £1.00 you bet only £0.10 of the £1.00 bet will be taken off your wagering requirement. You can find out more about bonus contributions here.
It’s not all bad news. If you really are a roulette head and don’t mind playing American roulette, some casinos such as 32Red (at the time or writing) offer a welcome bonus that allows you play with a reasonable 50% of your bet contributing to wagering requirements of 30x the bonus, or 60x if you consider the 50% contribution.
Video Poker Bonuses
Bonuses that are tailored to video poker-only players are pretty rare, as the game is essentially a game of skill.
Played well with the correct strategy and self control you can whittle down the house edge to less than 1/2 a per cent and sometimes even less.
You’ll mainly find video poker bonuses as part of welcome bonus or deposit bonus. However, they will come with some pretty low wagering contributions which take a lifetime to fulfil.
The chances are you’re going to see video poker only bonuses with wagering requirements around 50x bonus and deposit. If you’re really that desperate to get hold of a bonus to play video poker then you may consider doing this.
However, our recommended option would be to indulge in a bonus where video poker contributes to the wagering requirements as this will give you the flexibility to play other games too. You can expect video poker to contribute about 10% to a maximum of 20% of a bonus’ wagering requirements, which, although it isn’t a lot, is better than nothing. If you do see 20% and you’re a half decent player, take it.
Our top tips on getting the most out of a video poker bonus are as follows:
- Stick with Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild versions. Played well these will net the best returns.
- The most ideal configuration for a video poker bonus would be a 100% bonus, wagering requirements of 40-50x bonus (or 20-25x bonus + deposit) and a cashable bonus
- Learn Jacks or Better simple, intermediate, or if you have time, optimal strategy. A great place to start would be Wizard of Odds’ video poker section.