Online bingo enthusiasts should always familiarize themselves with the concept of a promotional bonus and any special terms that may apply, before they make a deposit.
Most online bingo rooms offer bonuses in the form of free chips or credits, with the purpose of attracting new players and retaining them. There are many bingo sites vying for the same players' business, so they use bonuses as a tool to make their sites more attractive. Bonuses take different forms and players should make sure they understand the workings of a specific bonus, as the terms and conditions related to bonuses may vary between sites.
Types of Bingo Bonuses
Bingo rooms generally offer two types of bonuses: new player signup bonuses and "reload" bonuses.
New player sign up bonuses typically match your deposit up to a set maximum, for example 100% match up to $ 100. This example would give you $ 200 to play with. Bonuses like these apply only to new players, and can not be reclaimed. The amounts and percentages vary very between bingo sites, but the principle generally holds the same. Some bingo sites will add special bonuses to celebrate special events so look out for those.
Reload (or retention) bonuses are offered to existing real money players. These are generally aimed at getting you to deposit more money. These bonuses take on different forms, although they all generally match your deposit up to a maximum amount. Some bingo rooms offer you one bonus per month, while other will reward multiple deposits up to a set maximum. These bonuses are a form of loyalty rewards, thank you for your business.
What's Expected From The Player?
Players have a responsibility when it comes to bingo bonuses and, unfortunately, this is where some players get it wrong. Bingo sites will not just give you free credits / money for nothing. You are expected to hang around for a while before you can cash out wins (assuming you have the bonus. This is where the play through requirements comes in. Generally, play through requirements will state that you have to wager a certain amount before you can cash out. For example, some bingo rooms will require you to wager through your deposit plus bonus a certain number of times, eg 10 times. This means that if you take the bonus, you have to wager through ($ 100 + $ 100) * 10 = $ 2000 in wagers. Some require you to only wager through the bonus, and not your deposit. Make sure you understand bonus terms and conditions before you make any deposit at a bingo room.
What's Expected From The Bingo Operator?
It is only fair to expect a bingo site operator to pay out winning in a timely manner. That is an obvious requirement. To me, there is an equally important criteria: clarity of communication, and specifically terms and conditions. I use a very simple yardstick. If either I find it difficult to find the terms on their site, and / or I do not understand them clearly the first time I read them, I simply do not play there. It's like the features of any product or service you buy: Clear communication of what you are getting, and any restrictions which may apply. If a bingo site changes their terms and condition and do not communicate changes, I just leave, and I recommend you do the same.
Bingo bonuses are a great way to increase your bingo bankroll, but you have to make sure you understand how they work at every bingo room you visit.