Everyone loves a bonus, and we presume that everyone reading this loves bingo, so why would we want to spend our bingo bonus on anything other than bingo tickets?
It’s a valid enough question, but lots of people enjoy bingo as part of a mixed bag when it comes to playing online games, and even if you hardly ever play anything other than bingo, the flexibility to be able to spend your bonus in any way you like would be nice, right?
As you will already know if you have read any other bonus related pages on this site, bingo bonuses are not all made equal, and this rings true when it comes to what they can be used for too.
Some sites will let you spend your bonus on any game they offer, others might restrict it to bingo only or even specific bingo rooms depending on the bonus in question.
It’s an overly complicated digital world out there isn’t it, but we are here to help you map it out.
Types of Bingo Bonus & Side Games
No one likes reading terms and conditions, we get it, it’s dull. However, you need to know the ins and outs of any bonus you are thinking of claiming or you might end up disappointed or having your time wasted.
All offers and bonuses should have the basic terms written in small letters on the advert banner somewhere – you can see examples on our Bonuses page – so you can get the overall picture from that, but you can also learn to spot different kinds of bonuses just by how they are described.
For example, a bingo bonus that also comes with free spins is almost always going to be useable on bingo tickets only. The free spins are there for a reason.
The offer might look like this:
- £10 bonus and 100 free spins
So you can be pretty sure that you will get £10 worth of bingo tickets and 100 free spins. Sometimes the spins will be for selected games only, and they will always be worth a low amount per spin; 10p or 20p mostly.
There will usually be wagering requirements to meet too, and you can find out more about them here.
Another offer type may simply say:
- Spend £10 and play with £60
Which is the same as giving a £50 bonus for a £10 deposit. However, a bonus that just states the size of the bonus given needs a bit more investigation because that money might be split up. For example, that £50 total bonus money might be split into a £30 bingo bonus with 1x wagering and a £20 slots or games bonus with 20x wagering.
The easiest type of offer to figure out though is one that talks about free tickets. These bonuses might say something like:
- Deposit £20 and get 200 free tickets
Which obviously means that the bonus is for bingo games only, and the value of those tickets can be pre-decided too, as can the rooms/games they are valid for.
If your bonus can be spent on all games on site, then just make sure to check for the wagering terms. Often, playing one type of game will count more towards clearing wagering than another, so it is better to spend bonuses on whatever gets it cleared fastest.
Why are Side Games not Always Included in Bingo Bonuses?
It’s all about the way the company has structured the promotional campaign they are running.
They will have forecast how many signups they think they will get, how many of those people will stick around long term, how much the bonuses will cost them in the short term, how much players are likely to win, etc.
They also tie their bonuses in with the sort of players they are trying to attract; so if they want to tempt bingo players into playing more side games they might build their bonus to get players spinning the reels in the hope that they enjoy it and come back for more.
There are as many reasons as there are bingo sites – and there are a lot of online bingo sites!
From a more technical point of view, bingo sites can make a lot more money from side games than they can from bingo, but they can also lose more too. Most bingo games are designed to pay out an amount relative to the number of tickets bought, so the house always takes it’s cut.
With side games the software is licensed from the game developer, and a player could win hundreds or thousands on a single spin, so the company will want to control how many of these valuable spins they give away in bonus money to limit their risk. That’s why the wagering requirements are also higher for bonuses on side games than they are for bingo.
If this is all sounding a bit too complicated then don’t worry; basically, side games have the potential to cost bingo sites more than bingo games if their customers win.