People love their bonuses, they are all the rage nowadays, and I have to admit that they are really a beautiful thing. It takes some understanding, however, to be able to use bonuses correctly. People tend to think of them as a free gift from the casino. Like free money that fell from the sky. But this is not exactly the case. You have to start thinking of bonuses more like a boost from the casino. Some financial backing to get your wagers where they should be so that you can win the best possible jackpots on a given bet. Speaking of jackpots, be sure to check out the JackpotCity.

How does this work? Well, there are several types of bonuses out there. Every online casino will offer one form or another of these basic types. The most common are Match Bonuses and No Deposit Bonuses, and these can be further subcategorized as Sticky Bonuses and Non Sticky Bonuses.

The first thing anyone should do when they are about to accept a bonus is to read the fine print. There is always fine print attached. And we are so used to hitting the “agree” button without reading the contract that goes along with it that we end up missing out on some very important information. Did you really think that bonus was a gift? Think again, buddy. This money is entangled in something called a “bonus wagering requirement.”

The reason these bonuses are tied up to wagering requirements dates back to the early days of online casinos. This is not ancient history. Casinos online only go back about 15 years or so. So back in the early days, bonuses were exactly that. They were bonus cash. Free money you could collect when signing up. So what happened is that people would sign up, take the money, and cash out. Then they would go to another casino, do the same thing, and round and round they would go. This actually happened, and people made some cash that way.

So now, you can’t do that anymore. Casinos have wagering requirements that need to be met before the money can be withdrawn. These requirements are very specific, and are there specifically in order to make sure people don’t walk away with the bonus money. In essence, they are there to make it very, very hard to withdraw that money.

It is worth understanding how these wagering requirements work. It will save you a hassle down the line, and avoid the most common misunderstanding people have when they want to cash out and find out they can’t. To put it simply, the wagering requirement is a specific condition that has to be met before the funds are available for withdrawal. Most often, it takes the form of a multiple of the original bonus that has to be placed in bets. Each bonus has a version of this.

Take, for instance, a bonus with a wagering requirement of 20x. Now, you accepted $100 from the casino as bonus money without reading the fine print and you want to take it out. You will quickly find out that it will not be available to you until you have bet 20 times that bonus amount. That means 20x100 that’s $2,000. Before you can touch a single dime of that hundred dollars you will have had to plunk down bets totaling $2,000 in various games.

It gets more complicated than that. Not every game is counted the same as going toward the wagering requirement. Slot machines bets might count for 100% of the money you put down. So if you bet $100 on slots, you have to wager another $1,900. Blackjack might be different. It might count only for 20%, which means that if you bet $100 on blackjack, only $20 goes towards the wagering requirement, so you now still have to bet $1,880 even though you wagered $200 thus far. Makes sense?

Now, some bonuses are No Deposit bonuses. These are just money you get without having to put down any of your own. Same rules apply…maybe. You have to read the fine print. The reason is that some bonuses are sticky and others aren’t. If it isn’t, then you’re good to go, but if it is, then the money can never be withdrawn. It was there for you to play with. You’re welcome to the money you win with it. But you cannot ever take the original bonus out, no matter how much you wager from now until the end of time.

It doesn’t sound fair, really. But the thing is that it actually is fair. And not just fair, it is an extremely good thing to have a bonus of either kind. The trick is forgetting that you just got $100 or $1,000 of casino money. You have to start thinking of it in terms of a boost. You have just received a massive boost to your bets. What the casino is doing, is bankrolling your bets.

Now, instead of betting $10, you can bet $20, while only incurring half the risk. Anything you win is yours, so that’s a given. So, say you get deposit $100 and you get $100 in bonus money. Now you make bigger bets and you’ve won $100. You get to withdraw $200, even though there is still $100 of bonus money in there. The thing is that the only reason you managed to win $100 in the first place is because you had bankroll money, courtesy of the casino, to increase your bets. Instead of betting the minimum, you were betting the maximum, for example. And you have ended the day $100 ahead, essentially having doubled your money in the process. Just remember that you should always look at the terms attached to a bonus so that you can decide if it’s good for you. In the end it shouldn’t matter that the booster money is not for you to withdraw. It was there to help you along. If you think about it, who can say no to that?