Useful tips

Online Casino Bonuses To Avoid

What Online Casino Bonuses Should You Avoid?

Bonuses are a great thing when you’re starting out at an online casino. But even though they can be a nice addition to your gambling budget, there are a few bad apples you should watch out for. I’ll share with you some tips and tricks on how to avoid getting burned by online casinos and what online casino bonuses you should try and avoid at all costs.

What are Casino Bonuses?

There are hundreds, even thousands of online casinos on today's market. With such a crowded competition, online casinos must do their best to give something interesting that will make players join their platforms. That’s where online casino bonuses come in. They are created to drive new players to the casino by offering them certain benefits and advantages for signing up. With that being said, not all bonuses are good for you, as some can bring you more harm than good. Casinos also have to take care of themselves, and often include specific rules many players neglect to follow. During my years as a gambler, I found that there are several bonuses you should avoid when signing up for a new online casino. This brings me to the first big thing I want to talk about.

Bonuses with high wagering requirements

Bonuses with high wagering requirements

Wagering requirements are one of the biggest pitfalls players fall into, especially inexperienced ones. They are mechanics included in every casino bonus you will find online, and I mean every. If you try to withdraw your bonus without meeting them, you will be declined and will lose all of your progress towards the said bonus. What's worse, you can also lose your deposited money in the process and end up with nothing from your playtime. Wagering requirements are considered to be a scam by many online players, though they protect the interests of casinos, so there’s little you can do, except be smart when playing.

So, what can you do to avoid being tricked and trapped with a bad wagering requirement? Well, the only thing that I advise you to do is to read all of the bonus terms and conditions before signing up to a casino. Watch out for all suspicious signs and don’t accept a wagering requirement that you think might be a challenge to meet. In my opinion, wagering requirements at around 25x are very easy to obtain, while your chances of getting that bonus significantly diminish when you get into 30x-40x types of wagering requirements.

There is another thing you should be aware of when trying to meet bonuses, and that is that not all casino games count toward the wagering requirements. I can't tell you of how many people aren’t aware of this, even though it makes a huge difference. For example, slot games count fully towards meeting wagering requirements, while games like baccarat, roulette or poker don’t count at all or contribute in a tiny amount. A quick look at a casino's Terms and Conditions are usually enough to help you tell which games you should play when trying to meet wagering requirements. This is a bit of a shady trick online casinos pull on us, but it can be avoided if you know about it. 

Carry Over Bonuses

Carry Over Bonuses

Okay, nothing riles me up as these types of online casino bonuses. To put it in other words, I hate them. They are a trap that many unwitting players often fall for. Imagine that you’ve been playing at a casino for quite some time now. You’ve already deposited several times before. This time, seeing a new and generous casino bonus, you decide to put a bigger deposit and start playing. After a while, you check the bonus requirements to see how far you’ve progressed through meeting them for the newest bonus, only to find out that the requirements have been carried over from the previous bonus you’ve played. This is as frustrating as it gets. Not all casinos have this, but it's still a thing to be careful for. But, it's not that gloomy, because no matter how bad of a trap this is and how unfair it may seem, it can be avoided by doing one simple thing. And I’ll share it with you. This carry-over bonus can only happen to you if you have some cash left from your previous deposit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a thousand dollars, one dollar or a penny, if you have something left in your balance and the casino has this rule, you will be subjected to the carryover bonus terms. So, next time when you’re on a losing session and know that you’ll make future deposits and continue playing at the casino, always play until your account levels out at zero. This also counts when it comes to free spins. If you’ve received any free spins, no matter if in the form of a bonus or in-game prize, make sure you play through all of them, because the next time you deposit, the remaining bonus requirements will automatically stick to your new deposit.

Bonuses With Unfavorable Max Cashout Rules

Let me make it clear from the start when it comes to this bonus. If you’re a high roller and want to play for money, you should not only look if a casino has unfavourable cashout bonus rules but try and look for one that actually doesn't have any. Why? Because these types of bonuses can be a buzzkill, especially if you’re in a row and starting to win some nice money with the bonus you’ve obtained. It states that, no matter how much money you win, you won't be able to withdraw past a certain amount. It hurts even writing about it. Imagine being on a hot streak, winning thousands of dollars during your evening playthrough and when you try and cash out the bonus money you’ve obtained, you get the message that there’s a maximum cashout limit for this bonus set at $200. Instantaneous cold shower and the evening is ruined. Watch out for bonuses with these types of rules attached to them and try and avoid them at all costs. Check and if necessary double check the terms and make sure that any winnings you can potentially get aren’t caped, or have a really high cashout limit.

Bonuses with the No Consecutive No Deposit Bonus Rule


This is not a rule I've found in many casinos, but some online gambling houses and bookmakers included it in their Terms and Conditions. This rule says that if you happen to take more than one no deposit bonus at their platform, all of your winnings from the bonuses will be voided. This is another secret thing online casinos tend to do, as they are the ones that offer all of these bonuses. If you break this bonus rule, you risk of losing all of the money you’ve won, and also will be ineligible for future playthrough sessions. Many experienced gamblers I know usually try and avoid this bonus, as it is just not worth the risk. The long Terms and Conditions pages can hide many rules and caveats that can cost them all of their money, so they prefer depositing their own money and playing with it. That way, the rules are simple, and there aren’t any hidden rules or terms you have to watch out for.

Bonus Comp Points

To be clear, I'm not saying bonus comp points are a bad thing, only that sometimes they have bad terms attached to them. Try and avoid comp points and loyalty points that have any additional rules or requirements attached to them, because it's not worth it. There are plenty of online casinos out there that offer loyalty points for playing at the casino and spending money, and they don’t come with any wagering requirements. This is the smart way to go, as comp points are generally small prizes and bonuses that aren’t worth too much hassle to obtain. Bonus comp points and loyalty points should only serve you as quick free bonuses you cash out for real money along the way.

Small Bonus Match

Admittedly, this isn’t a scam by the casino, though it can be a make or break deal when playing. This especially applies if you’re registering onto the casino platform. New player and welcome bonuses are usually the most lucrative ones, and you should try and make the best of it. Try and look for the highest percentage you can find, and check the requirements tied to it. I tend to avoid all bonuses that have less than a 100% match attached to them. If you see a 50%, 25% or even as low as 10% definitely try and avoid them because they will come with a wagering requirement that won't be worth meeting for such a small overall bonus.

A Few Tips on how to Maximize Bonuses

These were the most important types of bonuses and casino tricks you should try and avoid as much as you can. But there are a lot of things that depend on you as a player, which can help you stay safe and help you enjoy at a casino.

  • Don’t always cash out when you meet requirements – logically, and this is dumb advice from my side. Of course, you want to withdraw your money and enjoy your hard-earned cash. But if you do this often, they might decide to make you ineligible for their bonus promotions, or even ban you. Again, this seems really unfair but after all, casinos are all about making money, and some casinos wouldn’t care if they’d have to ban you in order to keep themselves profitable.
  • Don’t Make Huge Bets – By this, I mean that you shouldn’t drastically size your bets between rounds. Bet sizing works like this: you make a deposit of $100 and get the bonus match in the same amount. You set a goal of $400 and wager big until you meet it. After this, you just grind out the remaining wagers by making minimum bets on each spin until you reach your wagering requirement. Although this strategy was effective in the past, now it will only get you banned. More and more online casinos are clamping down on this, banning players who put big bets on their bonus, trying to have the edge over wagering requirements. You should definitely be careful when betting on your bonus money because it's not really worth getting banned over.
  • Deposit Money Without Expecting Bonuses – Casinos like giving their players bonuses, as it is an essential part of their business model. However, it can actually be detrimental to you if you claim too many over a short period. So, to avoid any negative consequences, my advice to you would be to mix things up. Depositing and playing with any bonuses once in a while will help you scratch the reputation of being a bonus abuser and keep you on the casino's right side. Plus, you won't have to worry about wagering, terms or any restrictions. You can just enjoy your game and have fun.

Strategize and Play Smart

Okay, to summarize all I've been talking about, I don’t think all bonuses are scams and are bad for you. These offers are by no means a trick, though you can be tricked in the end if you don’t know the exact rules. There are many great online casinos out there that offer outstanding and favourable bonuses that are easy to meet. Better yet, there are online casinos that don’t even have rules when it comes to certain bonuses, like the dreaded wagering requirements. In the end, it all depends on you. When you find a casino that you think could be good for you, read up on it, make sure it’s a reputable one and play smart. With a bit of strategy and some luck by your side, you will have no problems cashing out those tempting online casino bonuses.

Shawna Dudley

Shawna is an ambitious and free-spirited digital nomad with expertise in creating high-quality and SEO-friendly guides and reviews in the iGaming and travel industry. Follow her on Twitter or Linkedin or send her an email.