Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Beginner's Guide to Casino Bonuses

A Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses

Think casino bonuses are just for –EV gambling suckers? Think again. Despite the common perception, certain casino bonuses are virtually risk-free and basically a license to print money. This post is a general strategy guide to getting started in casino bonuses, pulling together assorted tips and tricks I've learned after embarking into the world o' casino bonuses.

Yeah, I know. Only suckers and degenerate gamblers play at online casinos. The house always has an advantage. You’re guaranteed to lose money if you play long enough. Don’t be a chump.

Yes and no. The house does always have an advantage. But in games such as blackjack, that advantage is very, very small, usually around 0.5%. If the casinos were crazy enough to, oh, say just give you $100 or $200, you could very easily overcome the house advantage and make money playing blackjack. In fact, if you’re smart and disciplined, you’re virtually guaranteed to make money, usually around $30-40/hr for the better bonuses. And you only need a bankroll of $100 to get started.

Online casinos are more than happy to hand out fat welcome bonuses to new players each and every day. Why would they do that? Because they know that most people are true gamblers, and aren’t smart and disciplined enough like you are to seek out the best bonuses and to play in the necessary fashion to maximize the value of the bonus. So for every smart player who takes the bonus and runs, they get three suckers, netting them a hefty overall profit.

All bonuses aren’t created equal, though, so you have to be careful, especially when just starting out. The #1 rule in casino bonuses is to always check the terms and conditions, as they often change and the terms are very, very important, as they can greatly influence your strategy.

While the best bonuses let you play games with a small house advantage like blackjack or craps, don't just assume that a slots-only bonus is a bad one. It all depends on the size of the bonus that you're getting and what the wagering requirements for the bonus are, as even slots-only bonuses can be profitable given the right conditions. One thing to keep in mind with playing slots, too, is that there's always the chance (albeit a longshot) that you could hit a huge jackpot, as some online slots have paid out winners millions of dollars for just a single spin of the reels.

So be sure to check out the casino bonus terms before you get started, as not all bonuses are created equal. Another thing to keep in mind is that it's sometimes good to go ahead and signup for a bonus that's not so great, as you may get better reload bonuses later that can be very profitable.

Casino Bonus List (updated October 25th, 2010):

Rome Casino: up to $10,000 in signup bonuses
Millionaire Casino: 100% up to $5,000 signup bonus
Cherry Red Casino: up to $7,777 in signup bonuses
Rushmore Casino: 100% signup bonus up to $888
Slots Oasis Casino: 400% signup bonus up to $4,000

Casino Bonuses Only for non-US Players

Bet365: 100% signup bonus up to €100
888casino: 100% signup bonus up to $200
William Hill: new player signup bonus of up to $150

42 comments:

Heafy said...
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ScurvyDog said...

Good luck, if you make the plunge. I wish I'd done it sooner myself, as it's pretty mindless, easy money. Lemme know how it goes.

Johnny Mac said...

Great post and I'm tempted to give it a try. I've been able to limit my online transactions to neteller so far, do you know if these casinos take deposits/make cashouts to neteller? (will have to research myself when not at work)

ScurvyDog said...

Yeah, I should have pointed out that they all accept Neteller payments, and process withdrawals through Neteller, too.

Four of those casinos listed (PlanetLuck, StarLuck, CasinoCounty, and AceClub) all use the same processing systems as Party, via IGM-Pay, so the deposit/cashout procedure is basically idential to what happens at Party and assorted skins.

Most of them also offer bonuses for using the IGM-Pay transaction system, too, just like Party, so after you clear the innitial bonus you can usually get a decent bonus for depositing again via IGM-Pay.

Johnny Mac said...

just for your amusement, i managed to bust out on my first attempt. of course i was way up (+100 over the bonus) then got goofy and ignored all of your rules, and thus I got smacked down to 0.

Lesson learned. I will be tackling the rest a little later, playing by the rules and limits, with the plan to at least reduce the initial $100 loss, and perhaps to end up with a profit. At least I learned my lesson on try #1, with the minimum $100 rather than later.

Thanks again for the write-up, great stuff.

ScurvyDog said...

Sorry to hear about busting out, web. I completely whiffed on one, too, cashed out down forty bucks on another, and broke even on one. So it's obviously not all gravy, with buxom Swedish supermodel twins handing you serving platters filled with cash.

Betting the boring minimum really is key, if you want to ensure an overall profit. It's definitely hard, though, especially if you're prone to gambling. And especially if you get ahead early on a bonus, as it seems like "fun" money, and you start increasing your bet size, seeing as you're on a roll, etc.

Then you hit a bad streak and, instead of dropping back to the minimum bet, locking in an eventual small win, you start betting bigger, trying to get back all that profit that is suddenly gone. Then suddenly you account is showing zeros and you're looking for the magic button on your keyboard that lets you rewind time twenty minutes.

In the long run, though, the math is with you, if you stick to minimum bets and only target the fat, juicy bonuses.

Johnny Mac said...

It's like you were in my head the whole time :)

It's taken me three starts to get bankroll management at online poker sites right, I'm not too surprised I crashed and burned with this.

They gave me $10 credit. I guess I'll try for the double or nothing method to rebuilding a bankroll from scratch, at least until $50 or so.

Johnny Mac said...

My latest update: After losing $100 at Starluck, I tackled planet luck. Down to around $140 or so (playing by the odds the whole time, i've just got no luck) I started trying to cash out the original $100. I didn't want to lose a single buck on this step of the experiment. It kept telling me I hadn't met the requirements. Last night I was hitting $120 so I finally emailed to get my wager amount, and I had gone pretty far over it (i think i was at +1800, 1600 was needed). It was then they informed that the funds are available 24 hrs after the requirements were met. So this morning I just took all of my $125, leaving me -75 after two casinos.

On to #3!

Wolvie said...

I am about to embark on a spree of Casino bonus whoring and wanted to first thank you on your very detailed strategy for this starting with only $100.

I want to mention a change to the William Hill first deposit bonus - in the small print it now says the WR is $2000, not $1600 as you stated. I assume these things change quite regularly.

As a side note, I spent about 1.5 hrs. last night reading some of your other past posts. I must say I think you're a great writer - your style of writing mixed with your dry wit makes for some very enjoyable reading.

Keep it up, and I'll let you know how I do with the bonuses. (I plan to start at William Hill, as I like the fact that I can cash out if I get down to my original $80)

Cheers.

Wolvie said...

Well, I finished my WR for William Hill tonite....finished at $217.50 total, for an $80 investment. Not bad. This means when I start to do the $100 for $100 ones, even if I totally lose everything on one of them I'll still be $37.50 ahead. Nice.

I'm starting the next one tonite....I'll keep you posted.

Cheers.

Allan.

Wolvie said...

Well, I finished my second casino bonus site, Planetluck. I finished at $239.50 for a $100 investment. I'm liking this casino bonus thing!!!!!

Anyways, started Starluck tonite, already at $200 after 250 hands.

I'll keep you updated.

Wolvie said...

Well, things didn't go as well with Starluck....finished at $125...so only a $25 bonus, but that brings the total bonuses to $302!

Not bad for a few hours of clicking buttons.

I'll be waiting for a couple of days to get the money into my account before moving on the Casino on Net.

Cheers.

Wolvie said...

Started CON tonite after receiving my funds from both Starluck and Planetluck. So far I'm about $4 down after 400 hands.

ActionJunkie said...

Just wanted to post a quick note of thanks for posting this article. I found your site through http://del.icio.us/ a few weeks ago and have played through most of the bonuses you list here. Like you mention, it's kind of boring but so far I've been lucky and am up a little over $2 grand. Which rocks. Thanks again.

Jim said...

Great post! I read your article and decided to give it a shot. I setup a Neteller account and deposited $100 via instacash (-8.9% fee but whatever...), then setup an account with Starluck. As of today I walked away with $150 profit from the intial $100 investment. I played by the rules, the only time I bet more than a $1.00 was when I was up enough money so I didn't care if I lost a few bucks (highest bet I placed was $5.00)...tomorrow I am off to PlanetLuck. Thanks!
-jimmy (www.jimminus.com)

JohnVall said...

Right on. I've done three of them now and am about $400 ahead. Not a bad way to kill a few hours, make some money, and get my gambling fix. Thanx.

Jim said...

Minor update: I am waiting for StarLuck to deposit my money into my Neteller account so I can proceed to the next step... I called StarLuck and had them expedite the transfer, I recommend to others to call right after you withdrawl and ask them to expedite!

-jimmy

brad said...

Amazing article. Did you realize the channel TechTV totally copied your atricle? (not word for word, but close enough)

Also I made about 900.00 on a 40.00 william hill bonus just betting (gambling style) Im doing good on the bonus sucking life.

Thanks man!

Slayre said...

started on Starluck last thursday.. within an hour, i was down to $120.. with $123 wagered.. following that BJ religously... not good... easy math there..

switched to video poker.. within two hours.. back up to $167 with $820 wagered....lil tuffer math, but much better...will keep up plan, only staying with video poker...

ScurvyDog said...

Slayre,

Blackjack really is the way to go with these, even if you didn't immediately have success with it. Like a great man named Axl Rose once said, "Just a little patience, yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh..."

The problem with video poker is that the payout numbers you see are skewed towards the potential of hitting a royal. While a particular video poker game like Jacks or Better may return 99.46%, more often than not you'll get creamed playing it with a typical $100 bonus on a $100 deposit. Your bankroll is too small and the game is too high variance for you to last long enough to hit a bigger payout that effectively reduces the house advantage.

Slayre said...

Scurvy,
That sounds good, it really does... however... since it COST me, 80 dollars to WAGER 120 dollars.... then from there, I got PAID 47 dollars to WAGER another 680 dollars... don't you think that I should stick with what is working, for me at least.....

Right now, I've got another $750 to wager with a bankroll of $157...... I just play Jacks or better and I never try to double...

I am not disagreeing with you... I am just saying, since VP is 'working' for me, right now, I am gonna stick with it....

Thanks for your comments.. I will keep updating here...

ScurvyDog said...

Slayre,

I'm definitely in favor of doing what's working for you, especially if you're having fun playing video poker and making money.

All I'm really saying is that losing $80 after wagering $123 at BJ (making minimum bets) is really, really unusual. Freakishly unusual. Which sucks in and of itself, but it especially sucks since this is the first one you tried, as it sort of skews your perspective and leads to hating on the blackjack. Which, based on the cold hard math, is by far the best way to go when clearing these casino bonuses.

But yeah, like I said, whatever works. Hit a royal at video poker and shut me up. Heh.

Slayre said...

Well, shut up then, or at least be quiet, cuz, I hit a straight flush... paying 100x's, I was betting $1... but, before that, I hit quad 3's, 50X's ( .50 bet ), but before that, I hit quad 2's, 50x's ( .50 ).

Here is what happened... I had hit quad Jacks on the standard J's or better machine... putting me at 197 with about 650 or so left to wager.... next day.. today.. the machine is cold... I get all the way down to 100 in my bank... still have 300 or so to wager.. doable, but, looking like no bonus... so, I switch back to BJ... lose 5 hands in a row... down to 95 bucks... go back to video poker, this time a new machine.. 'The Vegas Club', betting .50cents... The cool thing was the bonus feature.. if you get 3 sets of dice after the hand, you get to play a bonus game for free... paying you your bet times the roll of the dice.. easy money..

anyway.. quad 2's put me at 112 or so.. the threes put me at 137... and I was at 117 when I hit the SF... putting me at $217, with $9.25 left to wager... I played 9 hands at a dollar bet, lost every damn one.. heh.. then won with a quarter bet...

then i blew about 30 bucks playing around with the other machines...

leaveing me $170, zero left to wager... :)

lastlapled24 said...

Hey man, thanks for the useful information. I started on March 1st, and have netted $1316 so far this month. I have not ran into a site yet, that I haven't made money. I have also checked into some sites that let you autoplay. I usually grind on a site during the day and set another site up on autoplay when I go to bed. The autoplays themselves have netted me around $300. Not bad to go to bed and wake up with $100 extra dollars. But like you have said before, nothing is guaranteed. Though I have been lucky with all sites so far, one site I only netted 50cents, but it is a positive. It was an autoplay, so I didn't have time invested. Thanks and keep grinding.

Slayre said...

Didn't do all that well on Planet Luck... mostly due to just being an idiot... was at $75.00 when met the wager, and figured I would spend 25 to try to get back to $100... I got to $175 and should have stopped, then down to $101, and still should have stopped... ended up busting out with zero...

my own damn fault... debating on the next step or not... prolly should let my wound heal some first.

lervad said...

Thank You very much ! Just did the Will Hill bonus as the first one, and finished of with 90 $ more, than I brought. Your method is Brilliant. :)

sam said...
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sam said...

Hey, First of all your tricks are awsome, but u kniw a person with gambler instincts finds it very hard to follow it religiously how much ever hard he tries. Anyways, I am one of those bad gamblers but I did follow your instructions till the end wen I had around 250 and had wagered everything, then I thought 150 wont be a big deal for me let me wager another 100 fast so that I win or loose, need less to say I lost in a few minutes. then I spent 50 on roulette and slots just for fun and finally cashed out for my 100. Went to the next casino planetluck, was again up some 230 then played a few shots for 30 and cashed out with 200. Its fun
thankyou :)

sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tcx780 said...

hi,

I'm new to this and appreciate your post here. It's really informative.

I had a question regarding william hill. Is it better to sign up in UK sterlings and take the bonus offer in pounds instead of US dollar?

Is it a higher bonus amount by doing so?

Thanks!

lucky2win said...
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s888s said...

I've signed up at InterCasino and cleared the bonus. I now want to work on some old InterPoker bonuses I have. Has anyone had luck merging their 2 accounts and working off Interpoker bonuses on InterCasino?

lucky2win said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fanatix said...

Well I used perfect strategy at starluck on the multihand table. So i was playing 3 hands $1 a pop and busted the 100 deposit and bonus. Not a good start i'll give it another go at planetluck

Should I not be playing these multihand tables even though i am betting the min.?

fanatix said...

Well I used perfect strategy at starluck on the multihand table. So i was playing 3 hands $1 a pop and busted the 100 deposit and bonus. Not a good start i'll give it another go at planetluck

Should I not be playing these multihand tables even though i am betting the min.?

mcdtr1 said...

First one I tried was Hard Rock Casino (one of the most generous offers by the way), cleared the WR easily and then got happy with the high stakes after I received the bonus and nearly blew it all. Seems like the casinos know they can often even turn a profit out of the bonus whores.

I am also getting tempted a lot to play mulitple hands against the dealer. But it seems to me that even at low stakes, this is a higher variance (i.e. more risky) strategy as the dealer will often either bust and all your hands will win, but often you may have doubled up your three 10s say against the dealers crappy 5 and he will end up with a 21 or something and take loads of your money.

Perhaps the best way if you're bored is to up the stakes when you're a fair bit up on your initial investment in that casino, but to avoid doing this when you are down?

lucky2win said...
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psibe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
psibe said...

Question: How do you know when you have cleared the bonus... is there a way to keep track of how much you have bet?

etavoa said...

What sites have automated blackjack playing?

GoBucksIndy said...

Thanks for the info! I've hit up 7 of the sites an have made over $900. One recommendation I would make is to not play at Casino On Net. The software is painfully slow and takes forever to clear their bonus.

Rollo Tamasi said...

I have no discipline, but I have luck on my side.

I'd made $450 appx. by the time I finished Starland and Planetluck, so I went to 888.com and went on a wicked heater.

Then, I did something stupid. I bet $300 on one hand - but I won. Heh. Then I did it again later, and won again.

Dumb, but I left 888.com with over $1400.

I plan on putting $100 into Golden Palace for the $300 bonus, and then betting it all on either red or black in roulette. Then I'll min. bet in blackjack if I win. Maybe.