Most online gaming platforms use a welcome bingo bonus to attract new players, and bingo sites are rarely different. Some will provide you with a few free tickets just for taking the time to register, while most reward you handsomely for your first deposit. It’s always tempting to simply look at the amount you receive when choosing between different deals. But your assessment process should include other considerations too. We’ll take a look at some of them in this article.
What Are Bingo Bonuses?
Bingo bonuses tend to follow a similar format. Sites will award either free cash or free tickets to new players so they can play some games for free. The bonus has a dual purpose. Firstly, it will encourage you to register so you can take advantage of a chance to play for free. Secondly, the bonus provides you with the perfect opportunity to have a look around and settle in before you risk any significant money of your own. Those who operate the platforms hope that you fall in love with the site during this period and keep returning to spend your own cash.
Types of Bingo Bonus
The concept of the ‘no deposit bonus’ exists in online bingo, but it isn’t as prevalent as it is in other forms of gambling, especially online casino. This is a bonus awarded without any obligation to deposit or spend money. Typically, a player will receive it when they register with a bingo site but before he or she makes a first deposit.
Most bonuses are provided when you make your first deposit though (see our Wink Bingo reviews for an example). A lot of sites will insist on a minimum deposit amount to trigger the bonus; £10 is a common standard. Your bonus will tend to consist of free tickets or free cash. The two are broadly similar, effectively providing you with the means to play games for free. However, cash tends to give you the freedom to choose your game, while tickets limit you to specified games.
Although I’ve already told you that you shouldn’t just look at the size of a bingo bonus, I’m not in any way claiming that size doesn’t matter at all. Of course it does. The bigger your bonus, the longer it will last. If you have more tickets (or more cash to buy tickets), you have more chances to win. It’s simple maths. Bonuses can vary significantly in size so it’s worth shopping around if you’re after the highest value bonus you can get your mitts on.
Bingo Bonus Wagering Requirements
We’d recommend that you prioritise the size of the wagering requirements attached to a bonus as highly as you value the size of the bonus itself. Wagering requirements are a key component of numerous online bingo bonuses and they effectively limit access to your winnings until you’ve fulfilled certain ‘playthrough’ requirements.
This means that you need to bet the value of the bonus (and sometimes your deposit too) several times over before you can withdraw any additional cash generated from it. To take an example, let’s say you have a £10 bonus with x4 wagering requirements. You use up your bonus and win £20 in the process. You can’t convert that £20 into real cash until you play another £40 worth of bingo games (£10 x 4), and if you lose the winnings while doing so, they are gone for good.
Maximum Win Limits
Understanding wagering requirements is crucial if you want to assess the true worth of any bingo bonus. It’s shouldn’t be the only consideration though. Some sites also impose a maximum win ceiling upon any bonus to reduce their exposure to significant losses. Limits of £100 or £200 are regular features of bonuses, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of any bonus so you know what you’re getting.
Online bingo tends to be attached to other forms of gaming. The games often form part of a wider online casino and can be attached to sports betting too. This multi-platform approach gives you the opportunity to pick up other types of bonus when you register as a bingo player. Take Bingo Minions, for example. Despite its name, the site’s welcome offer provides free spins to use on slot games in the online casino.
The Bottom Line on Bingo Bonuses
Bingo Bonuses are great, but it’s important that you judge them on more than just size. Sites (perhaps understandably) reduce their exposure to risk by imposing certain terms and conditions like wagering requirements and maximum win ceilings. These terms reduce your chances of winning significant sums with your bonus.
We never view bonuses as a chance to win big. It’s not their core purpose. They do, however, let you try out new sites for free and see whether you like them while risking little or none of your own cash. That said, you are playing ‘for real’ when you use a bonus so there is always a chance that you could end up winning some funds. Any win is a true ‘bonus’ though, so don’t expect it to happen and just enjoy the chance to play for free.