One of the most common issues that players face when agreeing to receive a huge welcome bonus at an online casino is whether or not they have signed up for a sticky or a non-sticky bonus. So, what usually happens is that you take your hands on that attractive bonus offer and it is not until you’re done with spinning and winning and want to withdraw your initial deposit money that you actually realise what’s going on.
In order to avoid confusion, we’ve decided to talk about the difference between sticky bonuses and non-sticky bonuses and get you all set for your next iGaming adventure.
What is a Sticky Bonus?
In a word, a sticky bonus is a bonus that can be bet, but can not be withdrawn. If the online casino’s terms and conditions state that the bonus is "for wagering only," you can be sure you’re looking at a sticky bonus. A sticky bonus can be worth just as much as a traditional bonus, if you are an experienced player and have a solid bankroll to start with, only you won’t be able to withdraw the bonus itself. The thing is, you must play a sticky bonus differently from a traditional one in order to take advantage of its full potential.
Choosing a sticky bonus gives you a chance to boost your balance before your game even begins. In fact, a sticky bonus will give you a lot more money in comparison to no sticky bonus, often providing up to 300% or 400% match deposit on top of your initial deposit. This will, of course, increase your winning chances, but you gotta be careful. Unless you have a significant amount of money to start with (and you really know the game), you may end up losing more than you plan to win.
Choosing a sticky bonus gives you a chance to boost your balance before your game begins.
Here’s an example - imagine your favourite online casino is offering you a $50 sticky bonus if you make a $50 deposit amount. So, you deposit $50 and get an additional $50 in the form of a bonus to play with and start with $100. If you decide to make a bet of $100 (which is your entire balance) you will either win an additional $100 or lose what you have which is $100.
In case you win, and then decide you want to quit, you can withdraw the entire balance from your account ($200) minus the bonus amount ($50), meaning you can withdraw $150, for a win of $100 on your $50 deposit. On the other hand, if you lost and wanted to stop playing, you’d end up losing only your deposit amount which is $50.
What is a Non Sticky Bonus?
Non sticky bonus or a traditional bonus (also known as a parachute bonus) is a cashable bonus that can be withdrawn as soon as you meet the wagering requirements, according to terms and conditions of the bonus in question.
You’ll be sure you’re dealing with non sticky bonuses should the online casino allow you to withdraw all the money you’ve earned with whatever amount you have remaining on top of your initial deposit bonus, once you’ve met your wagering requirements, of course.
Most players would rather choose this type of bonus as it is less complicated and because you can cash out your bonus money while still making a little profit.
You won’t be able to cash out the bonus before fulfilling the wagering requirements.
As an example, let’s say you’ve made a deposit of $50 and taken a non-sticky bonus of the same amount, you would have the $50 real money, plus the approved $50 bonus money to play with. Initially, you would start to play with your real money first ($50), and during that time you would be able to withdraw it at any time. Why? Well, it’s because your real money is not attached to the T&C of the bonus money that you haven’t touched yet. In case you win, you could cash out your real money right away without having to meet the wagering requirements.
Only if you’d touched that other $50 (bonus money) and started to play with it, you would then have to worry about meeting the wagering requirements.
The Difference Between Sticky Bonuses and Non-sticky Bonuses
In a nutshell, sticky bonuses are the kinds of bonuses that can’t be withdrawn from the casino, while a normal (non-sticky) bonus on the other hand can be withdrawn with no strings attached. In other words, a sticky bonus is non-cashable, whereas a non-sticky bonus is cashable.
So, before claiming a certain bonus, be sure to know whether the bonus you’re accepting is cashable or not. No matter how attractive the bonus may appear, always check the casino's terms and conditions regarding the bonus before you get it.
Different Types of Sticky Bonus
Phantom Sticky Bonus
One of the most popular types of a sticky bonus is the so-called "phantom" bonus, also known as sticky type I. Phantom sticky bonuses are added to your deposit immediately so that you can bet and play with them. Once you decide to make a withdrawal, the bonus gets subtracted from your balance. So, let’s say you received a $10 sticky bonus for your $10 deposit, then you would start your game with a $20 on your account. In case you ended playing with $25 on your balance, and wanted to make a withdrawal, you would receive $15 after the $10 bonus was deducted.
Expiring Sticky Bonus
Expiry sticky bonus is a type of a sticky bonus but with an expiration date. This sort of a bonus will remain on your account for as long as the requirements of an online casino permit. While phantom sticky bonus tends to disappear from your account the moment you withdraw the winnings, expiry date bonuses may be used for further betting.
Advantages of Sticky Bonuses
First off, sticky bonuses give you a chance to place larger bets while offering an opportunity to make some huge profit. Another advantage of this kind of a bonus is that it carries less demanding wagering requirements. Also, you don’t have to choose your favourite game as the wagering requirements for a sticky bonus may be fulfilled by any game of your choice. So, even if you set minimum bets playing online slots, or place maximum bets at table games, you will still be able to take advantage of your bonus.
Even if your bonus balance expires because you lost, you would still be able to cash out your winnings without necessarily exceeding the balance that you started with.
Disadvantages of Sticky Bonuses
The disadvantage of a sticky, non-cashable bonus is that it gives you the opportunity to play with it, but the bonus itself cannot be withdrawn. You do get free money, but only to play with, meaning you would only be able to withdraw winnings above the initial amount of the bonus.
And even though you can make some substantial profit enjoying your sticky bonuses, playing with this kind of bonus carries a certain risk. At one point, you may wish to make a bigger deposit in order to get a bigger sticky bonus, but it may lead to a substantial loss – so, do be careful not to get carried away.
However, using a sticky bonus will allow you to win a significant amount of money, at least eventually.
Where to Find Details About (Non) Sticky Bonuses?
Regardless of its type, every bonus carries its own terms and conditions. In case the bonus you’re about to accept is not cashable, it must be stated somewhere in the terms and conditions.
The only way to be sure you are using a non-sticky bonus is to read the promotional rules very carefully and pay close attention to its terms and conditions.
Look out for something like “the bonus is for wagering purposes only and cannot be withdrawn.” Also, if you see something like "real money is used first" they are referring to a non-cashable bonus. Sometimes it reads "Bonus and Cash Balance are kept separate" but in case you are not sure, contact the casino’s support agents, via live chat and ask.
You may as well check our online casino bonus guide to learn more about various types of casino bonuses and see how to claim them, or go to Spotify and listen to our podcast "All you need to know about online casino bonuses" for an extensive online bonus guide.