Online casinos draw many players with their games alone. Gamblers love spinning slots reels and/or playing table games.

But casinos know that they attract even more customers and retain their loyalty by offering bonuses. The majority of these rewards revolve around slots and blackjack, because they’re both highly popular games.

Slots rule both land-based and online casinos. Meanwhile, blackjack is the biggest draw among table games.

It’s great that online casinos offer so many chances to win free money with slots and blackjack. But what if you’re torn between chasing a bonus through one game versus the other?

I’m going to compare slots and blackjack bonuses to see which one pays the best. But first, I’ll go over the basics ofinternet casino offers and how they work.

What Kind of Slots and Blackjack Bonuses Do Online Casinos Feature?

Internet casinos offer many different rewards to players. These include free spins, match deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, referral rewards, and VIP rewards.

All of these are great offers that can earn you free cash. But for the purposes of this discussion, I’ll stick with bonuses that relate specifically to slots and blackjack.

This category includes free spins, match bonuses, and no deposit rewards.

Free spins give you the opportunity to play real money slots without betting anything. You can either get free spins through a no-deposit offer or a deposit bonus.

Free games see you receive a set number of spins. You use free spins to generate winnings that can be cashed out if/when you meet playthrough (a.k.a. wagering requirements).

Slots bonuses score a win in this category right away, because you can’t get free blackjack spins. Instead, these rewards are only available through online slots.

A match deposit bonus sees you receive a match percentage amount based on your deposit size.

  • A casino is offering a 200% match bonus up to $500
  • You deposit $200
  • 200 x 2 (200%) = 400
  • You qualify for a $400 bonus

Match deposit bonuses are available for both slots and blackjack. The latter is often packaged under a “table games” reward that can be used with baccarat, craps, roulette, and more.

Regardless of whether you play slots or blackjack, the key element of a match deposit bonuses is that you must deposit funds into your account. Gaming sites also cap the total amount of money that you qualify for, such as $500 in the above example.

A no-deposit bonus is just like the name sounds in that you receive a reward without depositing. You only need to complete account registration at a casino that has a no-deposit offer.

No deposit bonuses are another freebie that both blackjack and slots players can take advantage of. But it’s more common to find no-deposit promotions that are specifically for slots.

Terms and Conditions on Online Casino Bonuses

Internet casinos love drawing players with gaudy match deposit bonusand free spin offers. But when you look past the surface, you’ll find that these rewards are far from free.

Casinos attach terms and conditions to every one of their bonuses. These terms ensure that players have to satisfy certain qualifications before withdrawing free casino deals.

Every internet casino offers their own version of terms and conditions. But the following requirements are found at most sites.

Country Restrictions

Gaming sites have problems with certain countries abusing their bonus policies. Bonus abuse refers to players using loopholes to improve their chances of earning a profit.

Casinos will ban entire countries from being eligible for their offers when they notice a pattern of abuse.

This practice may be unfair to players from specific nations that play by the rules. But it eliminates a number of headaches for online casinos.

Wagering Requirements

Gambling sites expect players to earn their bonuses by meeting wagering requirements. Playthrough refers to a multiple of the bonus amount.

Here’s an example of wagering requirements:

  • You qualify for a $250 bonus.
  • Wagering requirements are 40x the bonus.
  • 40 x 250 = $10,000 to unlock funds.

You can see above that playthrough is expressed as a multiple of the reward in the above scenario. But some casinos express wagering requirements through a multiple of the bonus plus deposit amount.

Here’s an example:

  • You deposit $250.
  • You qualify for a $250 bonus.
  • Playthrough is 20x the bonus plus deposit.
  • (250 + 250) x 20 = $10,000 to unlock funds.

How playthrough requirements are expressed doesn’t affect the value of the bonus in either example. But it’s still good to know the different ways that wagering requirements are listed so you can do proper comparisons.

For instance, one bonus offer might have 40x requirements on the reward value. Another offer could have 25x wagering requirements on the bonus plus deposit amount.

The latter essentially means that you must meet 50x playthrough to unlock your reward. Therefore, the first offer (40x) is easier to earn and more valuable on a per-dollar basis.

Playthrough Time Limit

Internet casinos don’t give you forever to meet wagering requirements. Instead, they require that you reach playthrough within a certain number of days.

This time limit can range anywhere from 15 to 180 days. Bonus deals with lower playthrough are usually closer to 15 days, while rewards with higher wagering requirements give youlonger to earn the reward.

Most players shouldn’t have trouble meeting playthrough within 15-30 days. Therefore, we don’t recommend that you overvalue a bonus deal just because it gives you 90-180 days to release the funds.

Game Contributions

The ideal bonus strategy would involve meeting wagering requirements through games with the lowest house edges. After all, this results in fewer theoretical losses on the way to earning your bonus.

Of course, casino sites are too smart to let players do this. They use varied game contributions to minimize the effectiveness of playing games with low house advantages.

Game contribution refers to how much a specific casino game contributes to playthrough. Here are few examples (Game = contribution to wagering requirements):

  • Slots = 100%
  • Scratch cards = 100%
  • Caribbean stud poker = 35%
  • Casino hold’em = 35%
  • Let ‘Em Ride = 35%
  • Red Dog = 35%
  • American roulette = 10%
  • Baccarat = 10%
  • Blackjack = 10%
  • European roulette = 10%
  • Video poker = 10%
  • Craps = 0%

You can see a pattern here in that games with high house edges contribute 100% towards playthrough, while games with low house advantages deliver a smaller percentage.

It pays to do the math by calculating both a game’s house edge and playthrough contributions. Doing so helps you compare the effectiveness of using each game to reach wagering requirements.

Restricted Games

Another common practice among internet casinos is to exclude certain games from bonuses altogether.

This measure is harsher than simply lowering playthrough contribution. Furthermore, those who enjoy blackjack and other table games won’t appreciate having their casino favorites stricken from bonus deals.

Online blackjack players should check terms and conditions before depositing to ensure that this game qualifies for rewards. If not, you can find plenty of other gaming sites that do feature blackjack bonuses.

Bonus Code

Casinos commonly used bonus codes to keep track of various promotions. In these cases, you need to use the correct code during account registration to get the desired reward.

Here’s an example:

  • You’re registering for an account at an online casino.
  • The site features an optional field for a bonus code.
  • Code “Play200” is listed on the casino’s homepage.
  • This code qualifies you for a 200% match bonus.

You can find these codes either directly on casino websites or through affiliates. An affiliate is sometimes allowed to offer special deals to help with their promotional efforts.

For instance, an affiliates site could have permission to feature a 150% match bonus up to $600. In contrast, those who visit the casino in question directly might only receive a 100% match bonus up to $400.

You’ll also see plenty of gaming sites that don’t require bonus codes. These casinos may offer the same deals to every player, regardless of whether they come to the site via an affiliate or visit directly.

In other cases, you need to come through a specific affiliate link to receive the best promotions.

Max Bets

You can meet wagering requirements on some bonus offers with a single bet or a series of large wagers. Here’s an example:

  • You’re eligible for a $50 bonus
  • Playthrough is 40x the bonus
  • 50 x 40 = $2,000 to unlock funds
  • Max bet is $500 per round
  • 2,000 / 500 = Four total bets to unlock funds

Casinos typically offer bonuses to keep customers playing and entertained. The ultimate goal is for gamblers to like the site enough to where they continue depositing and playing there.

Allowing giant wagers that are used just to meet playthrough goes directly against this goal. Therefore, casinos often impose maximum betting requirements on bonus offers.

For example, you might only be allowed to wager a max of $20. This stipulation ensures that you must place a reasonable number of wagers before reaching playthrough.

Max Cashout on Winnings

Winnings from both free spins and freeplay commonly have restrictions placed on how much you can cash out. This practice prevents a scenario where casinos get burned when a player wins a huge jackpot through free bonuses.

Here’s an example on max winnings:

  • A casino restricts freeplay winnings to $150.
  • You win $500.
  • You’ll only be eligible for $150 of this amount.

How much you win only matters up until a certain point. You’re unable to win any more beyond $150 in this situation, making extra winnings irrelevant.

Blackjack Bonus Wagering Requirements

Earlier, I covered how blackjack and other table games normally have lower playthrough contributions. This situation effectively raises wagering requirements on blackjack bonuses.
The following example shows how playthrough increases when game contributions are lowered:

  • You’re eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Wagering requirements are 50x (for slots).
  • Blackjack only contributes 20% to playthrough.
  • 50 / 0.2 = 250x requirements
  • 250 x 100 = $25,000 to unlock funds

Wagering $25,000 to unlock a $100 bonus sounds like an incredible amount of money. But you also have to consider that many online blackjack variations have low house edges.

Considering that your theoretical losses are lower in these cases, casinos reduce how much blackjack contributes to unlocking bonuses.

Here’s an example on theoretical losses when meeting blackjack bonus playthrough:

  • You qualify for a $50 bonus.
  • Blackjack playthrough is 200x.
  • 200 x 50 = $10,000 to unlock funds
  • Blackjack house edge is 0.5%.
  • 10,000 x 0.005 = $50 in theoretical losses
  • 50 losses – 50 bonus = Even

The blackjack house advantage is so generous that you’ll theoretically break even in this scenario.

Slots Bonus Wagering Requirements

Online slots usually have higher house advantages than blackjack games. Therefore, the average slot machine contributes 100% towards meeting playthrough requirements.

Here’s an example that shows theoretical losses when chasing slots rewards:

  • You qualify for a $100 bonus.
  • Slots wagering requirements are 40x.
  • 100 x 40 = $4,000 to unlock funds
  • Slots house edge is 5%.
  • 4,000 x 0.05 = $200 in theoretical losses
  • 200 losses – 100 bonus = $100 loss

Keep in mind that not all slots contribute the full amount towards wagering requirements. Some high-paying games only contribute 10-20% or are excluded entirely.

This practice is common among online slots that have 97% payback or higher. You can see the impact of high payback combined with lower contributions:

  • You need to wager $5,000 to release a $100 bonus.
  • Slots house edge is 2% (98% payback).
  • 5,000 x 0.02 = $100 in theoretical losses
  • Game only contributes 10% to playthrough.
  • 100 / 0.1 = $1,000 in theoretical losses.

Which Type of Bonus Should You Choose?

Taking everything into account, there’s no clear-cut answer on whether slots or blackjack bonuses are better. This matter depends upon multiple aspects, including terms and conditions, bonus size, and which game you prefer.

One slots bonus may only feature 35x wagering requirements and allow slots with 97% payback to have 100% playthrough contribution. This reward is better than a blackjack bonus with 10% contribution and a 1% house edge.

But what if the slots bonus has 50x wagering requirements and only allows95% payback games (or lower) to offer 100% contribution? Now, you’re looking at a situation where the same blackjack bonus is superior.

The key is to never discount a reward until you’ve performed the calculations. What may look like a bad blackjack or slots bonus could be advantageous when looking deeper into the matter.

You’ll find good slots and blackjack rewards throughout the online gaming industry. And your chances of picking up a great deal increase as you shop around more casinos.

A Few Final Thoughts

The first step to getting top slots and blackjack bonuses is finding them. I recommend checking out a variety of resources to ensure that you receive great deals.

Subscribing to casino newsletters, reading gaming news, and visiting casinos directly are all good ways to keep updated on the latest offers.

Gaming sites list their deals in the promotions section. Most casinos offer slots deposit bonuses, table games bonuses, free spins, and VIP rewards among their promos.

Before you take advantage of these offers, be sure to read the terms and conditions. Doing this ensures that you’re actually getting a good deal, rather than a bonus that’s too difficult to earn.

The more time you spend researching casino rewards, the better you’ll learn the industry and what constitutes a quality offer.

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