Some casinos give you a loan or a magic chip, rather than an actual bonus, how do you deal with that?
The "sticky" bonus is becoming more common. Casinos will offer you a 100% match, but will deduct the bonus from the first withdrawal you make (most will simply keep the bonus amount, but some revert it back to your account).
These bonuses can be pretty lucrative… IF you know how to play them.
The most common type of sticky bonus is the loan. The casino will give you "free" chips when you deposit, and then rudely rip them away when you withdraw. The normal strategy (deposit, play a lot of blackjack and or video poker, withdraw) will result in you making a loss (on average).
So, how do you play with a loan? Simple, you bet it all on a coin toss right off the bat (since most casinos don't have a "coin toss" game, I usually play my whole bankroll "don't pass" on craps, or Pai Gow until I get a result (the ties in Paigow mean that you might get a jump on the wagering requirements but the payout isn't quite 1-1).
Either way, you'll either be sitting on double your initial balance (deposit plus bonus) or $0. If it's zero, then wipe your tears away and move on (you were only playing with money you could afford to lose, right?). If you're ahead, then grind through the wagering requirements and cashout.
Recently, more and more people have been using this strategy, and some casinos flag your account if you are too blatantly doubling and grinding. It hasn't happened to me yet, but I have heard rumours of account freezes.
If you're scared of being frozen for "bonus abuse" (don't worry too much – you almost always get your money back, and often the bonus too) then you could do this system in reverse (grind most of the way then go crazy with a few big bets to finish).
The "magic chip" type of bonus (where the bonus amount stays in your account and can't be withdrawn, but doesn't dissapear, is totally different. What you do with these is grind through the playthrough requirements then cashout all of your cash that is left (usually just cashout the whole balance, and they'll send the bonus amount back to your account). You then have some "free" money to play with.
The easiest thing to do now is simply bet it all on a coin toss, cashout if you win, and keep betting the magic chip (cashing out the winnings) on 2-1 shots until you lose.
The alternative is to go to Roulette (a sucker game) and cover as many options as you can (for example, bet black and as many of the red numbers as it allows you to). I've never done this, but the idea is to get a small profit out of as many numbers as possible to increase the chance of getting something out of your magic chip.
OK? Clear as mud?
Thought so. I usually explain in the reviews what to do with each bonus, but if I don't, just remember – bet it all first with loans, and last with magic chips.