7 Aug

Mobile Slot Machine Promos: Fun but Rarely Profitable

The real value (or lack thereof) in mobile slots bonus promotions.

The Real Value (or lack thereof) in Mobile Slots Bonus Promotions

For years, online gamblers – or more often online casino affiliates – have lauded the advantages of ‘bonus whoring‘. A bonus whore is someone who joins an internet casino, redeems the welcome bonus, plays long enough to complete the wagering requirements (WR), then cashes out the profits and moves on to the next site. More often than not, they run out of credits before finishing WR, but sometimes, with enough luck, it pays off.

This technique has been taught for nearly two decades as a means of convincing players to sign up at an online casino, mostly because, in order to cash out bonus winnings, a player must make at least one deposit (see #6 below). For iGaming affiliates, that’s cash in their bank, too.

So let’s forget about all the fancy talk. Let’s forget about the car-salesman mentality thousands of previous posts were written with. Let’s talk, for once, about the real value – or lack thereof – in…

Mobile Slots Bonus Promotions

For the most part, I’ve already described how these work, but let’s examine the concept a bit closer. A slot machine bonus promo is an offer of free spins on the reels. Players could receive anywhere from 10 to 100 free spins, depending on the promotion. It’s meant as a way to try out the games for free, without making a deposit, and if a player gets seriously lucky, it could actually award them some free cash.

But of course, there’s a catch. In fact, there’s a lot of catches. Here’s a list of things you need to know before you claim an online slots bonus.

#1 Free Spins are Played at Minimum Value

The usual value of each free spin is just $0.10, mirroring the minimum bet on the slot machines you’re eligible to play. If you’re given 20 free spins, that’s only a $2.00 value. Even at 100 free spins, it’s only $10.00. Not exactly a raw deal, but not worthy of three cheers either.

#2 Slot Machine Volatility is a Killer

The slots aren’t like other games. Where you can expect to win almost half of your blackjack hands or even-money roulette bets, slots are the most volatile games on the live or virtual casino floor. Even with an RTP of 96%, no educated gambler expects to win 96% back. The majority of slots players lose their money, while a few might win large amounts. Therefore, the odds of winning any significant amount with 10-100 cheap spins is incredibly low.

#3 Those Pesky Wagering Requirements…

Any money you win off those free spins isn’t just yours to keep. You have to play through the bonus equivalent many times over, and still have money left – more than the original bonus amount – in order to keep any of it.

The WR on free spins can be extremely high, with 80x play-through being common. If you’re given 100 spins, valued at $0.10 each, that’s a $10 value, so…

80 x $10 = $800

You’ll need to have such good luck on those hundred $0.10 spins that you’re able to keep the bankroll stocked through $800 worth of wagers. Good luck, you’ll seriously need it!

#4 Did you Win too Much? The Winnings are Capped

If you do manage to get that lucky, odds are you’ve hit a nice jackpot along the way. And if that’s the case, don’t get too excited, because you won’t get to keep all that cash. Free spins bonuses cap the amount you can actually withdrawal. The typical max will be $100-$200.

#5 It’s Also Possible to Win too Little

Online casinos have a minimum withdrawal amount that varies by banking method of choice, but fluctuating anywhere from $10-$50. What happens if you only win $8? If that’s the case, you’ve actually won nothing because the original bonus amount is subtracted from your balance. Opps, back to $0.00! Don’t get excited if you end with $18 either, because once the original bonus is subtracted , you now have only $8 – less than the minimum allowed withdrawal.

#6 You’ll Have to Deposit Before you Cashout Anyway

No online casino player is permitted to cash out without verifying their identity, and to do this, you must first make a deposit, then submit ID verification documents that match the deposit method and info you signed up your account with. Troublesome, yes, but mandatory to meet regulatory / legal requirements.

If you’re thinking this will alleviate the problem with #5, think again. Once you deposit, you can’t withdraw that cash until you play-through it at least one time, which brings us to one last point worth mentioning…

#7 What About That First-time Deposit Bonus?

When you make that initial deposit into your account, you’re going to be given another bonus! This time, it will be a deposit bonus, matching your first purchase up to a certain amount (i.e. 100% up to $100). If you accept this bonus, now you have a whole new set of wagering requirements to deal with. They aren’t nearly so restrictive as free spins bonus terms, but they’ll still require a lot of luck to finish with any money left over.

Don’t get disheartened. Don’t get mad at online casinos for offering these bonuses with such strict terms. They are free, after all. You just have to realize that they really are meant for entertainment purposes. Have fun with them, and if you do happen to tap into some serious luck, all the better!

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