Best Blackjack Casino Bonus

The best blackjack casino bonus is going to offer players the ability to clear a wagering requirement by playing blackjack and its variants. Many online casinos don't give blackjack and video poker players that chance, because the house edge on those two games is so low. Because the math behind the welcome bonus has to work out for the casino operator, many of the site owners prefer to stipulate that blackjack play doesn't qualify to meet the playthrough requirements of the deposit bonus offer. Some sites go so far as to restrict play to the slot machines, or the slots and a handful of other games, like keno and specialty games. Before I delve too far into this discussion, new players might need to know how welcome bonuses work.

Best Blakjack Bonuses Ranked by Easiest to Clear


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How Casino Bonuses Work

Most online casinos offer some sort of welcome bonus (also called a "match bonus" or "deposit bonus") as a promotional incentive to draw in new players. These bonuses tend to match whatever funds a player deposits into the casino in their first payment. Matching bonuses might be worth a few hundred dollars or even a few thousand dollars, but they're dependent on matching whatever funds the player decides to deposit. A standard offer might be a "$500, 100% bonus", which means that the casino will match up to $500 in deposited money on a 1-to-1 basis. If you put in $100, you get $100 in bonus cash. If you deposit $250, you receive $250. If you max out the bonus offer and pay in $500, this payment is doubled and your account shows $1,000.

This sounds like free money and it is, but it's only bankroll money. One major stipulation is always a part of these welcome bonuses: the "wagering requirement". This requires you to wager the amount of the bonus you received a certain number of times before you can withdraw those funds. The wagering requirement is sometimes referred to as the "playthrough"--which seems to be a proper word only in the video game and online gambling communities.

Let's go back to that $500 bonus. Now let's stipulate that the welcome bonus has a 40x wagering requirement. To be able to cash out that $500 in free cash, you'll need to play through that amount 40 times. In other words, you'll have to wager $10,000 before you can make a withdrawal (though the money you deposited can be taken out at any time).

House Edge and Wagering Requirements

That might sound like a horrible stipulation, since $10,000 sounds like a lot of money. This is where the house edge comes into play. The house edge is the percentage of the money you wager that the casino expects to win from you. Most casino games have a house edge of as low as 0.50% for games like blackjack or as much as 10% (or more) for games like slots. If you played a game with a house edge of 1%, then you would be expected to lose $1 for every $100 you bet on that game.

If an online casino only allows players to clear the wagering requirement by playing slots, then let's say you find a game with a 5% house edge. For every $100 you wager, you'll lose $5. If you were to wager $10,000, you would expect to lose $500. So if you were given a $500 and you would be expected to lose $500 on the playthrough, the average player would never cash out the bonus money. That's why an Internet casino can afford to be so generous. Sure, players get lucky and do walk out of the casino with their bonus money intact, but not enough of them do to hurt the casino's bottom line. 

Blackjack and Wagering Requirements

That's why blackjack is barred from the wager requirements so often. If you're playing a game where you only lose 1/10th of what slots loses, players would expect to walk away with $450 in that above scenario. If casinos allowed blackjack to count the way keno or slots does, those casinos would be out of business pretty soon.

Some casino split the difference. I've noticed that a number of the RealTime Gaming casinos allow blackjack to quality, but at an 8% ratio. That means for every $1 you wager on blackjack, it's like you wagered $0.08 towards that playthrough requirement. Yes, they stipulate 8 cents on the dollar--but at least blackjack players don't have to play slot machines the first ten grand they bet.

Best Blackjack Casino Rules

Blackjack players shouldn't despair, though. Some of the casinos have remarkably liberal wager requirements. Some of the Playtech casinos will have a separate slots bonus and "casino games bonus". In these cases, the slots bonus is usually for $4000 or $5000 at 100%, while the blackjack bonus is worth $1000. Those numbers are still better than the 8% deal. Alternately, a site might offer a sizable bonus, but at 25% or 50% of the rate that they would match the slots bonus. I've ever seen several which offer 300% or 400% matching funds on slot machines and keno, while offering either 50% or 100% on video poker, blackjack, and other table games.

Online Casino Blackjack Bonuses

The upshot is this: you can find casinos which offer good blackjack casinos bonuses. What you have to keep in mind is you're getting a much better offer than the people feeding the slot machines anyway. Casino management understands that, because they see the numbers every day. It's natural they're going to protect their revenues by limiting blackjack players' ability to get bonus money. So vote with your cash and frequent the casinos which offer the best blackjack bonuses, because the online casinos which offer bonus promotions to blackjack players deserve to be rewarded. Blackjack players who don't go to these sites should also remember one thing. The bonus offers on slots are still free money to take a long shot on winning a jackpot, so don't turn up your nose at the slot machine bonuses when that's the only welcome offer you receive. Play through the requirement as soon as possible and be happy with your winnings, if you're lucky enough to get any.