Casinos are always offering you ‘something for nothing' right? Whether it's adding some extra cash onto your deposits, or offering you cash back or extra spins from time to time, at most casinos there's always a way to get a little more bang for your buck. However, as the online casino market grows and grows, more and more sites are offering less conventional ways of rewarding their players.
It'd be a little premature to say that the traditional deposit match bonus is dead, yet recently we've realised that casinos have started employing new tactics to incentivize players, and to make sure they feel valued. Players may still be on the hunt for casinos which offer huge promotions, but is this really what we should be looking for? When you consider wagering requirements, hidden terms and conditions and the pressure to deposit more to reap better rewards, aren't old school casino bonuses, at best, decent and at worst, not worth the effort?
Today we're looking at four casinos who have changed the way they reward their players and working out if these new ideas actually benefit players more, or are simply just flashy and exciting.
Casumo's Reel Races
Casumo's Reel Races are, simply put, Casumo's own innovative take on a slots tournament. The site itself describes the races as ‘a fast paced ‘casino tournament’ where the goal is to win as many times as possible within a certain duration of time. The more you win, the more points you get and the player that ends up with the most points when time runs out, wins.'
Whilst it sounds like a simple concept, Reel Races really revolutionized how Casumo rewarded it's players. This is because Reel Races are so much fairer than traditional slots tournaments. A Reel Race is played with a selected slot, and a minimum bet size which is never more than 40p per spin.
This means the promotion is accessible to all players, regardless of budget size. In addition, Reel Races are played with a limited number of spins. This makes the playing field entirely level and means that, unlike classic tournaments, players can't increase their chances of winning by pumping more money into the promotion.
Reel Races are ran almost every twenty minutes, every single day of the year, and prizes vary from extra spins to huge jackpots. Points are calculated in relationship with how many times you win, and how much you win. These points are then added to the race's leaderboard and all top 50 placing players will receive some sort of reward.
What we love about Reel Races is the fact that you're rewarded for winning, not simply for playing. This means that you can be in with the same chance of taking home a prize as a high-roller player. Furthermore, the sheer number of Reel Races that Casumo run per day, means that they're far more rewarding than a daily or weekly promotion.
Mr Green's Reel Thrill Tournaments
Mr Green launched their Reel Thrill Slots Tournaments earlier this year, and they work in a similar way to Casumo's Reel Races. A Reel Thrill Tournament will be played on a selected slot and players have 20 spins to work their way up the leaderboard. The aim of the game is it earn points and improve those points to finish in first place. Points are rewarded for the biggest percentage wins, which sounds quite complicated but is fairly easy to understand when broken down.
Over the course of the player’s first 20 spins on the Reel Thrill game, the amount the player has won is divided by the amount wagered and then multiplied by 20. This total creates your first set of leaderboard points, and every spin thereafter will create a new set of 20 spins, with a chance to beat your previous score. Reel Thrill Tournaments only last 15 minutes however, so you have a limited window of time to boost your leaderboard points.
Like Casumo's Reel Races, the beauty of Mr Green's Reel Thrill Tournaments is that they're entirely accessible for all players. In general, the minimum bet on each tournament is the minimum bet of the slot, with all paylines active. So for instance, a Starburst Reel Thrill Tournament would cost players a minimum of 10p per spin. In addition, the tournaments are easy to play, require no special skills or extra deposits and are suitable for all budgets.
Moreover, whether the wagers-per-spin are big or small, every bet is equal, due to that ‘percentage win' calculation. For instance, a 10p spins that wins £5 will be worth more, in points, than a £150 spin that earns you £300. This is because the 10p spin is a win of 50x your wager, whilst the £150 spin is only giving you 2x your initial wager.
The Reel Thrill tournaments generally only feature extra spins prizes, however players can use their bonus cash to join in. Every so often Mr Green may run a special promotion which adds cash prizes to the tournaments, and when these occur the cash is completely wagering requirement free and ready to withdraw.
Power Spins' Extra Spins
Power Spins is a new casino that launched only earlier this year. It's USP is that it promises players ‘extra spins everyday', which is relatively unheard of in the casino world. The extra spins work by giving players ‘bolts'. Each player will start the day with five bolts, which is the equivalent to 5 extra spins, when they make a deposit. After this, as you place real money bets on slots, you'll power up your ‘bolt bar' to be awarded more spins.
The main benefit of this type of rewards system is that you don't need to wait around for seasonal or weekly promotions. Instead, you'll be constantly gaining extra spins as you play. Theoretically, it sounds like a very good deal for players, we just wished it worked so well in practise.
You see, once you read the terms and conditions surrounding ‘bolts', it goes from being great to being quite inconvenient. All extra spins from bolts are tied to 35x wagering requirements, and you only have three days to clear them. Furthermore, a player can only retain their bolt level if they are active, and they will lose bolts if they don't move up one bolt level per month. Of course, for regular players this shouldn't be too much of an issue, however it will impact players who don't have a consistent budget to spend playing.
Ojo Plus At Play Ojo Casino
Play Ojo is another new casino for 2017, and it's got a wealth of interesting promotions and bonuses. The one we're focusing on this article is the Ojo Plus rewards scheme, which offers players money back on every bet. The system works by rewarding players with a percentage of their wager back, every time they play. The cash is added to your account as you play, and you simply have to click collect at the end.
The advantages of Ojo Plus are that the cash you get back is real money, and it will be awarded in real time. This means after every spin, you can claim some money back. Furthermore, the cash isn't tied to any wagering requirements, so it's yours to do what you like with. You can wager it over again, withdraw it, or leave it there to rack up some extra spends for when you're budgets tight.
There are, however, some disadvantages too. Ojo Plus only rewards players a small percentage, generally 0.60% for slot games. This means for every £1 wagered, you'll receive six tenths of a penny. This sounds very minimal and that's before even considering that the percentage falls when playing other games. For example, a roulette game will reward you with 0.12% back.
Whilst this type of bonus system may take players a while to benefit from it, it remains true that the casino are giving you something for nothing every time you play. Plus, the small amounts you are granted can rack up fast. Over the course of a week, for instance, you may spend £30 at the casino playing slots. This means that by the end of the week you'll have earnt £18 of free cash. Withdraw that, and you've only actually spent £12 during the week!