Why bother with bonuses anymore?


Dormant Account
Apr 24, 2005
I've been playing online for about 4 years now, and maybe it's just me, but there seems to be more restrictions (and fine print) on all bonuses. After getting through all wording, playing through all of the restrictions (like trying to beat the game itself isn't enough), hiring a lawyer to figure out what I can and cannot do, working numbers that would make any SABERMETRIC proud, I've decided to take another route altogether.

Why bother with bonuses anymore? It seems to give the casino's TOO many advantages over the player, and it really hinders the player's ability to go in and win money.

PlayTech and RTG offer all of these wonderful bonuses at first glance, but they really aren't so wonderful.

If you've been playing at PlayTech for as long as I have, and as frequently as I have (I think of been breathing and dreaming of PlayTech for the past 3 years now... should talk to psychologist about that one), one can't get this funny feeling that the outcome of the cards are FAR worse (and too controlled/hardly random) when playing through a bonus. I've played at every PlayTech casino (multiple deposits... and I've never touched BlackWidow... originally because of the name which can't be good... and because of THE worst gossip going around about them) listed on bonusrating.com, and I've done far too poorly. I've lost $40,000 USD over that time, with likely $37,000 going directly to BJ use. I play a very tight game, and have done so since early '04, and almost all of those times a bonus had been attached.

Those bonuses (in my mind) ALWAYS seem to turn the gameplay into the greatest dogfight of all time. It's like the computer's making fun of you, coming up with too many ridiculous card variations, and destroying any sort of run you should have. It's insane.

So, the VERY few times that I played (and the times I'd asked them to remove the bonus), it was playing without migraine for the first time in years. It was as if the dealers kindly removed the handcuffs from my wrists, and said, "Now, you can jump into the ocean and swim wherever you would like to go". Exaggeration of course, but the gameplay was MUCH different. While PlayTech STILL doesn't seem to play a random/fair game of blackjack, there seemed to be the odd chance that I could actually GAIN money from playing. I won't play at PlayTech casino's anymore (though I must say that Kiwi and Diamond Club feel like the old GREAT PlayTech's from long ago, which is why I elected to dump so much money into that software to begin with).

RTG dealers gets stupid whenever I've EVER increased my bets, and the gameplay seems to get faster (too fast), so it's seems all too clear that the player may dump the grind-it-out Joey Knish style, and recklessly move towards the Mikey McDermott 3 stakes-of-high-society "I'm all in" on Teddy KGB's bluff. The speed-up should be "the Oreo-tell", but we all have to take that lousy morning route for 9 months to figure-out what went wrong. Whoops, back to what I was talking about...

RTG's give out the most insane bonuses around, so you know something's not right. I've done slightly better there, I suppose because I at least got some money back. One of the 3 withdrawals accomplished over the past two years was from Destination Poker of all places... of the no deposit offer (first and last time this will happen to me).

Getting back to my original point, I feel that I've done much better as of late, at some of the more reputable casino's around (namely MicroGaming casino's), but I specifically ask not to include any bonuses. At least when I know I make it up to $300 on a $100 deposit, I know it's all mine. No BS included, and I wonder if there's any other PRO's (not that I'm one, based on my losses) who's decided to give up on the bonuses route altogether.

It just seems that the gameplay is more fair, there's nothing to worry about on withdrawals, basically there's no rings to go through. Am I looking at this wrongly, and should I ALWAYS be looking only play with bonuses? Because the way I see it, it gives the casino's all the power that the player thinks he/she might have.
johnsteed said:
Why bother with bonuses anymore? It seems to give the casino's TOO many advantages over the player, and it really hinders the player's ability to go in and win money.

You have it backwards. Bonuses are the only thing that can give the player an advantage over the casino.

If you're playing for entertainment value, then by all means, skip the bonuses. But if you're trying to make a profit ... they're the only way to go.

Especially at Playtech. Those phantom bonuses kick ass.
The mighty bonus

The bonus is good. But the wagering you have to do for the bonus and then your deposit is getting to be way to unfair. I remember when you made a deposit of 100 and got a bonus of 100 and only had to wager each like 5x or 8x. Now it's what 20x? Online casinos have made it very hard to keep these bonuses that they give you these days..... :eek:
every once in a great while I'll play with a bonus but I don't like jumping through all kinds of hoops to meet wagering requirements. I am more relaxed when playing without a bonus and I sure can't be labeled a bonus abuser. :thumbsup:
to afraid

I am to afraid to play with my own money. Will only play at casinos that people aren't having any problems with. This site helps with that. I use to like getting a bonus but your right it's to easy to be labeled a bonus abuser :(

Poker is my game these days. Love tourneys :notworthy
I love poker too, but ring games. I dont play too much casino games any more.
Playing poker is +ev, casino games -ev IMO.
Bonus' are really the only way for a casino to differentiate itself from eachother and generate new clientell. The industry seems to be cleaning itself up for the most part and many casinos offer relatively the same level of customer service.

That being said, bonus' when set up correctly and not used as a means to cause misunderstandings can be positive. For example, the Belle Rock group offers bonus' that only include slot play and the terms are very clear, which in my mind is the way to go for a casino with the amount of advantaged players out there.
bpb said:
Especially at Playtech. Those phantom bonuses kick ass.
Are you joking?
If not, please explain!

I have been playing only with bonuses for 4-years and have done 'very nicely thank you' ;)
But I rarely touch sticky bonuses and never go near phantom ones. To me they are not a bonus at all. If you can't cash it out, what use is it? The only thing you can gain from it, is a last-ditch attempt to win your 'real' cash back after a terrible losing run.

Back to the original poster. I see three problems here.
1. I am yet to be convinced that Playtech software deals a fair game. I have played very little with this platform, but when I did it seemed 'well dodgy'. (I have just started taking another look at it, and will post my findings).
2. By playing Playtech with (presumably) phantom bonuses you are committing yourself to high WR for a bonus that does not actually exist! (See above).
3. You play Blackjack. I have yet to play this with ANY software where it does not feel rigged! (Except maybe C.O.N.) Either that, or I am on the unluckiest run of all time, because 9/10 of my blackjack sessions end in ludicrous advantage to the dealer. :(
First up - is this thread in the right place?

Second to quote 'johnsteed'

It just seems that the gameplay is more fair, there's nothing to worry about on withdrawals, basically there's no rings to go through. Am I looking at this wrongly, and should I ALWAYS be looking only play with bonuses? Because the way I see it, it gives the casino's all the power that the player thinks he/she might have.

I am probably the only idiot out here who, after playing and recording the results from hundreds of thousands of hands of online BJ, played on all the most popular software around - with and without bonuses, still thinks that they play 'fair'.

As regards withdrawals, any casino around now wants to know the middle name of your next door neighbours cat for any cash-in and understandably so in todays world - believe it or not its for OUR protection as well. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to lose with extra security.

Finally as regards bonuses themselves and the T & C's attached. Well some can be advantageous and clearly others are not given the bonus awarded relative to the WR required. Many casinos have increased the WR or opted to disallow BJ play etc but thats their choice in a hunt for new business and your choice when deciding to play.

Best of luck
only way to win at casino

only way to win from a casino inthe long run is bonus or cash back you cant win with out them thats the truth the bad part of online casinos is they can forfeit your winnings becouse you won by bonus funds thats very lame if someone accept their rules and play any style aggresive or very passive and fullfills the bonus requirements they had to get paid
thats why strongly advise all people to play at big companys
alll ecash direct casinos -all webdollar and microgaming casinos -casinoonnet "sorry about my english"
worst part

The worst part with online casinos is they can pretty much do what ever the hell they want. Let's see a land based casino do that. That is the worst part for sure. :eek2:
In regards to Kasino King's views on three problems... With vgyhnji's extensive research on fair gameplay...

1. Based on the amount of money I've dumped into PlayTech software, there's no doubt in my mind that it doesn't play true-to-form. I don't mean to belittle those who've proven what I'm saying as to be wrong, but I just won't budge on that view any longer. I stuck with that software, and constantly went back to it, time and time again over a BRUTAL run that's lasted about 18 months now without one single withdrawal (not even a pending), and it's my conclusion that it's a dog (or I'm the dog... whichever way you look at it).
2. Over an 80 day period, Royal Dice loaded me up on free credits basically on a daily basis ($15-50... although generally $20), BECAUSE I was sucking so bad (because there's no other reason to think why they'd be giving me so many opportunities). I've probably deposited in the neighborhood of about $7,000 since originally going there back in '03. And I guess I didn't bitch about or negotiate any free bonuses back then in the early going because despite not cashing-out at the right time, I was consistently doing wonderful things on low deposits. Anyway, getting back to what I was saying about all of those bonuses, only once did I reach $200, and the other (I estimate 70 bonuses in total) 69 times, I likely never reached much farther than + 20%. It's not like I'm playing $5 hands of blackjack, I'm playing dimes and quarters on video poker (because the closing of '04 marked my last days of PlayTech BJ), using a system that seems to be working quite fine for me over at the more notable casino's (MicroGaming whom I used to scoff at back in '03 as being superior to PlayTech). How can that be that getting all of those bonuses, could I not getter over the hump more than once? So, these bonuses which I call "phantom" (I'm starting to think I'm using an industry term here that I wasn't quite aware of ), at least to how I see, won't let you climb into the positive zone anyway. And this just isn't my experience at Royal Dice, this spread over the New York, Casino Las Vegas, Club Dice, the Sunny Group Casino's, the recently defunct Casino Solei (and it's questionable high praise in stars over at bonusrating.com), Carnival (don't get me started on Carnival, because THEY'VE NEVER shown me anything good going back to early '03), MegaSport, you get the idea... all of 'em (Kiwi notwithstanding).
3) KasinoKing, I couldn't agree with you any more about legitimate BJ games out there, I mean (for those who've played it enough to know what feels right), I'm unsure that any of the software plays out as well as can be. It's not the percentages that get to me, as much as the way in which dealers win these days, and the ridiculous combinations that come with these losing streaks. I still think that InterCasino and Global Player are THE worst BJ games I've ever played, but I'm sure a few other posters will jump on me for that, because maybe they've cleaned up. All I can say is that I accept losing, because it happens almost all the time now (like 99% of the time, beat those odds).

I keep reading that in the long run, you're only advantage against the house is with the bonus. I guess I'm getting close minded, but until they start giving back the bonuses that they used to when I first started playing, I'm probably not bothering with them anymore. I don't need withdrawals to be "pending" more than they've already needed to in the first place. I also will never agree in the customer having to track THEM down in order to make sure that they're on top of it. Security reasons, whatever. We throw money at them, and if you're using NeTeller, it should be able to go in as fast as it was taken out. Other methods, sure better security is essential, but with NeTeller, PlayTech is only playing you.

I originally played because of BJ, and I always fancied myself as being a great BJ player based on my excellent results from '01-03, but those days are long gone.

It was mentioned in an earlier post (as well as by me) about how your personal information might be sold. While I don't know about any of this, and it's not the best of ideas to throw theories out there (because could one ever prove it anyway), but through my experiences with PlayTech, it would seem that the gameplay became tighter and tighter since starting up. Could that be that your games are not just recorded, but the way in which you play is also broken down as well? If one casino uses PlayTech, and PlayTech services so many of those casino's (well... with their software of course), why would it be so absurd to think that this information isn't spread around (in terms of how you play).

First up - is this thread in the right place?

My apologies, because I keep talking, and I'm unsure that this original posting fits any criteria other than johnsteeds bitching about (what it boils down to) PlayTech and lousy BJ and bonus restrictions on the net.

In light of what I've been reading about on your posts (and I'm really quite new to this website), I really admire your extensive research (even if I have a biased opinion against a couple of your breakdowns/outcomes). I wish that there could be a group of posters from this site that would be able to be privately funded for doing such extensive research. It takes time and lots of money to do so, but I think that for those who wish to obtain "inside information" on what casino's are most legit, there should be a fee. Personally, I would gladly pay a fee of even $100-$200 per year on what are the fairest games based on your research (or a team of researchers). Casinomeister has a great website, and I believe he works for the people, but he only has so many hours in a day to get so much work done. I have so many doubts about these online gaming commissions, that there should be an independent police team. When I think about of the people operating those gaming commissions, I think of the scene from "Boiler Room" ('99) when the characters are talking about the FCC "guy" who's supposed to be looking over everything, making sure that everythings being done correctly. The title is there, we see it on the web pages, but what does it mean to us really? How legitimate are they?

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