Casino Tips, online gambling

Traditional vs Sticky Bonuses: How to Maximize Your Winnings

The online gambling industry has been consistently growing since its inception.

According to analysis from Morgan Stanley, the industry was valued at $423 billion in 2014. As the market becomes more saturated, online casinos are taking new measures to bring new players to their doors; often by offering a number of different bonuses to new and existing players.

There are many different bonuses available to you, but in particular, you’ll want to be aware of the difference between traditional and sticky bonuses. This wasn’t covered in our slots terminology post, so here’s a useful guide to help you understand these bonuses and what to make of them.

Overview of Traditional and Sticky Bonuses

It’s very common for online casinos to offer bonuses to attract players. However, the logistics of these bonuses vary considerably.

Traditional bonuses are added directly to your balance. The most common are withdrawal and deposit bonuses. One major online casino, for example, offers a 100% initial deposit bonus up to $600. As long as you meet your withdrawal requirements, the funds you receive can be withdrawn with your winnings.

Some casinos, on the other hand, offer “sticky” bonuses (also referred to as “non-cashable” bonuses). These are bonuses that must be wagered. They’ll be added to your account balance, but you can’t withdraw them.

Make sure you understand how the sticky bonuses work. Some will stay in your account indefinitely until they’re wagered, so you never have to worry about losing them.

However, some casinos offer “phantom bonuses.” These are bonuses that disappear the first time that you make a withdrawal from your account. For example, if you received a $100 phantom bonus and used half of it before making a withdrawal, then you would lose the other $50. Read the terms of your sticky bonus carefully, because you don’t want to make a withdrawal until you have exhausted it.

Are Sticky or Traditional Bonuses Better?

It can be a bit difficult to choose an online casino based on the bonuses they offer. Many players don’t like sticky bonuses, since they can’t be withdrawn.

However, sticky bonuses are often higher than traditional bonuses, which can make them a better option. Many sticky bonuses are 200-400% of the amount of your initial deposit, while traditional bonuses are rarely as much as 100%. If you enjoy your experience with the casino and are planning on spending your entire bonus anyways, then it may be better to just go for a sticky bonus when choosing where to play.

Understand the Rules for Earning Bonuses

Regardless of what type of bonus you are gaming for, make sure you thoroughly understand all the rules involved. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Learn requirements for earning the bonus

You may not be aware of it, but there are different requirements for various types of bonuses. Comp bonuses may be earned for every dollar that you wager. Online casinos typically [pay about 0.2% of the value of your wagers](http://www.casinocenter.com/harrahs-total-rewards-101/) in comp points.

Referral bonuses are provided to players that encourage others to create an account. The referee may also receive a bonus, but it’s usually smaller than the bonus paid to the referrer. The referral bonus could be provided as soon as the referee makes a deposit, but most casinos will require certain wagering requirements to be met before either party receives their bonus.

Deposit bonuses are the easiest to understand. The casino offers bonus points or cash to match your initial deposit. Deposit bonuses are more likely to be sticky than are referral or comp bonuses, but the condition could be applied to any of them. Read the casino’s terms of service for more information.

Monitor Wagers of Any Phantom Bonuses

If the casino paid you any phantom bonuses, make sure you monitor them carefully. You don’t want to withdraw from your account until you’ve wagered them, unless you are in serious need of funds and can’t afford to wait. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting the remainder of your bonus.

Since phantom bonuses are added directly to your account, it may be difficult to determine if they are used up or not. The following scenario may help you understand how to track your phantom bonus:

You recently created an account and made a $200 deposit. The casino gave you a 200% phantom bonus, which amounts to $400 being added to your account. This means that your account balance is $600. You spend $50 and win back $75, so your new account balance is $625.

You may be able to make a withdrawal from your account at this point; however, you will end up losing the remaining $350 of your account balance. Only $375 in your account is available, which you may forget about until after you have initiated the deposit and find out that your phantom bonus has been forfeited.

How do you avoid losing your phantom bonus? You simply need to check the amount that you’ve spent. When you’ve wagered $400, then you know that you’ve exhausted your spending bonus. You have nothing to lose by making a withdrawal at this point (unless you’ve received any sticky comp bonuses, but these are usually paid in comp points so you wouldn’t be able to convert them into cash anyways).

Remain Rigid With Your Strategy

It’s easy to be more careless when wagering bonuses; you may feel like you haven’t really earned them, so there’s no need to be strategic with your wagers. Don’t fall into this trap.

Your number one goal should be to win as much as possible. You’ll have an easier time refining your system if you make the most of your deposit, so stick to a winning strategy.

Do you prefer traditional or sticky bonuses when gambling online? Share your preferences and your past experiences by leaving a comment below:

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