If you’re yet to fully experience the thrills and spills of online slot games, did you know that casinos are willing to throw lucrative bonuses your way in order to entice you to their platform? The reason for this is that the online slots space has become overly saturated in recent years, with thousands of casinos now active in the market. As a result, operators will offer you a range of slot bonuses merely for signing up and making a deposit.
With that being said, it is crucial that you have a firm grasp of how online slot bonuses work before parting with your money. If you don’t, there’s a much greater chance that you’ll end up making a loss. By spending the time reading through our 2020 guide on grinding slot bonuses, you’ll be armed with the required tools to maximize the odds of turning your bonus into withdrawable cash.
What are slot bonuses?
First and foremost, let’s make sure that we understand what a slot bonus is. In its most basic form, online casinos will offer you a bonus as a means to entice you to their platform.
With competition between operators now super-high, these bonuses essentially offer you free cash just for signing up. However, it’s not as easy as registering a new account and then withdrawing the money back out. After all, online slots sites are in the business of making money!
Instead, you will be required to spend the bonus funds at the casino. Whether you decide to use the funds on slots, blackjack, roulette, or video poker – the casino requires you to meet some ‘wagering requirements’ before a withdrawal is permitted.
Although we’ll cover the ins and outs of wagering requirements further down, this dictates how many times you need to gamble the bonus funds before a cash-out can be made. The higher the wagering requirement, the harder this will be.
Types of slot bonuses
Slot bonuses come in a range of shapes and sizes. As such, it’s important that you are able to identify how each bonus typically works before claiming a new offer.
Here’s what you need to know.
Matched Deposit Bonus
In the vast majority of cases, an online slots site will offer you a matched deposit bonus. As the name suggests, the casino will match your deposit up to a certain amount. The specific percentage is usually at least 100%, although it can be as high as 300%. The casino will also place a maximum bonus amount that can be claimed.
For example, let’s say that the slot site offers all new players a 200% matched deposit bonus up to £300. This means that by depositing just £150, the casino will give you £300 in bonus funds. As such, you’ll start with a balance of £450, even though you only funded your account with £150.
In a similar nature to a matched deposit bonus, the casino will match your deposit up to a certain amount. However, reload bonuses go one step further by offering you multiple matched deposits. For example, the casino might offer you a 100% matched bonus on your first deposit, followed by an additional two bonuses at 50%.
This allows you to benefit from the bonus offer over several deposits. As such, even if you were successful in turning your first deposit bonus into withdrawal cash, you’ll get to try again on the next deposit.
No Deposit Bonus
Although a lot more scarce than matched deposit bonuses, a no deposit bonus does exactly what it says on the tin. In layman terms, by simply opening an account with the slots site in question, you’ll receive bonus cash. This means that you will receive a bonus without needing to deposit any funds.
In order to prevent bonus abuse (claiming a single bonus offer multiple times), the casino will likely ask you to attach a debit or credit card before the funds are credited. You won’t need to make a deposit, as this is just to verify your identity electronically.
Some online casinos will offer you a bonus in the form of free slot spins. These are credited in two different ways. In some cases, the casino will give you a number of free spins as part of a wider matched deposit bonus. For example, you might get a 150% matched deposit bonus of up to £300, plus 40 free spins.
Alternatively, the casino might give you a number of free spins simply for opening an account. This operates in a similar nature to a no deposit bonus, insofar that you won’t be required to deposit any funds.
So now that you know the main bonus types available in the online slots space, in the next section we are going to explore how the wagering requirement works.
What is the wagering requirement and how does it work?
Without a doubt, the biggest thing that will stand between you and your slot bonus endeavors is the wagering requirement. As we briefly noted earlier in our guide, this dictates the number of times that you will need to gamble the bonus funds before you can request a withdrawal.
The wagering requirement will always be stated as a multiple. For example, if the wagering requirement is set at 10x, this means that you need to gamble the bonus amount at least 10 times. Crucially, you also need to determine whether you need to gamble just the bonus amount, or the deposit amount too.
It’s probably best that we give you a couple of quick examples to clear the mist.
Example 1: Wagering just the bonus amount
Let’s say that you claim a 100% match deposit bonus. You fund your slot account with £200, meaning that you’ll receive the same amount in bonus funds. As per the terms and conditions of the offer, you’ll be required to wager the bonus 20 times.
As such, we need to multiply £200 by 20 – which gives us £4,000. This means that you need to gamble at least £4,000 at the slots site before you can withdraw the bonus amount out.
Example 2: Wagering the bonus and deposit amount
In some cases, the casino will ask you to wager both the deposit and bonus amounts. For example, let’s say that you claim a 200% welcome bonus. By depositing £50, the casino will give you £100 in bonus funds. As per the terms of the offer, you need to wager both the deposit and bonus amount 10 times.
As such, we need to make two separate calculations to determine how much we need to gamble before a withdrawal can be made.
Bonus amount: £100 x 10 = £1,000
Deposit amount: £50 x 10 = £500
As you can see from the above calculations, you would need to wager a total of £1,500 before you can request a cashout.
Game contribution percentage
If you thought that meeting the wagering requirement was hard enough, you now need to make considerations about the specific game you intend to use the bonus funds on. The reason for this is that certain games continue less than 100% to the wagering requirement.
For example, if playing traditional table games like blackjack and roulette, it’s likely that just 10% will contribute. As such, were you to place a £100 bet, just £10 would be wiped from your remaining wagering target.
The good news for you is that slot games will usually contribute the full 100%. In fact, slots are typically the only game that will do. However, you still need to read through the terms and conditions before making a deposit, as certain slot games might be prohibited from the bonus. This is likely to be slots that are part of a progressive jackpot network.
Other terms and conditions to note
On top of the game contribution percentage, you also need to check the terms and conditions for the following metrics:
Time Limit: Most slot bonuses will come with an expiry date. For example, if the bonus expires in 30 days, you will need to meet your wagering requirement within this timeframe before the bonus funds are revoked.
Minimum Deposit: Although slots bonuses come with a maximum bonus amount, you will also need to meet a minimum deposit requirement. This usually starts at £10, although it can be higher.
Family Members: Often overlooked, some casinos only allow one bonus per household address. This means that were your spouse to have previously opened an account with the bookmaker in question, you might not be able to claim the bonus.
Payment Methods: You also need to check whether certain payment methods are prohibited from the bonus offering. In most cases, online slot sites prefer debit/credit card deposits. On the contrary, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill are often restricted from new-player bonuses.
3 tips on grinding slot bonuses
So now that you have a firm understanding of how slot bonuses work, we are now going to give you some handy tips. By following the guidelines outlined below, you stand the best chance possible of turning your bonus funds into real-world cash.
Stick with slot games
Although you’ll likely be targeting slot games anyway, it’s crucial that you avoid deviating into other gaming departments. The reason for this is two-fold. First and foremost – and as we noted earlier, most slot games will contribute 100% to the wagering target. This is in stark contrast to table games like blackjack, which can contribute just 10% of the amount being staked.
Secondly, slot games typically come with some of the lowest house-edges available in the online casino space. As we cover in the next tip, this will increase your chances of walking away a winner.
Choose slot games with an above-average RTP
Known as the RTP (return-to-player), the house-edge on a slot game is determined as a percentage. For those unaware, the house-edge is the statistical long-term advantage that the casino has over you. In the case of online slots – the higher the RTP percentage, the lower the house-edge and thus – the more chance you have of winning.
The average RTP in the online slot industry sits between 94%-96%. As such, you should target eligible slot games that have an RTP of more than 96%. In fact, certain slot games – such as MegaJoker, have a huge RTP of 98.9%!
Play at minimum stakes
There is often a misconception as to how the RTP actually works. For example, let’s say that you are using your slot bonuses on a game that comes with an RTP of 96%. This means that over the course of time, the machine will payout 96% of everything that is staked. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get £96 for every £100. On the contrary, this calculation is based on millions, if not billions of individual spins.
As such, you are likely to experience ups and downs throughout your online slot endeavors. Known as the variance, there will always come a time when you go through prolonged losing periods. Although this is highly unfavorable for your long-term bankroll, there is a simple strategy that can reduce your chances of burning out – play at minimum stakes.
In doing so, you will be able to ride out any subsequent losing streaks. Most importantly, every spin will contribute fully to your wagering requirement, so you’ll stand a much better chance of turning the bonus funds into withdrawable cash.
If you’ve read our 2020 guide on grinding slot bonuses from start to finish, you should now be armed with the required tools to turn bonus funds into real-world money. Take note, grinding slot bonuses is no easy feat. In fact, there is never any guarantee that you will be successful in cashing the bonus funds out.
However, by following the guidelines outlined in this post – especially the three tips discussed just a moment ago, you’ll give yourself the best chance possible of grinding the slot bonus in question. Ultimately, you should take full advantage of the over-saturation of the online slots space, not least because casinos are desperate to land your business.
In doing so, they’re prepared to offer those without an account a lucrative welcome package.