Eligible Games & Game Contribution for Online Casino Bonuses

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When claiming an online casino bonus, you should always note the eligible games and the contribution rates of these games. If the offer doesn’t include your favorite games, you might want to choose a different offer – or skip the bonus altogether. A game contribution can also increase playthrough requirements to a degree that also makes the bonus worth skipping. Here’s what to consider when it comes to eligible games and their contribution rate.

What Are Eligible Games?

Eligible Games

You can always earn and use your bonus funds on casino bonus-eligible games. When you see the eligible games listed in the terms and conditions, know that you can play these games to take advantage of the bonus.

Any game not in the eligible games list, or expressly prohibited, will contribute 0% to the playthrough requirements and cannot be played with bonus money.

Contribution Rate

The contribution rate is how much an eligible game contributes to earning or playing through bonus funds. To create an even playing field, many online casinos give games with better odds lower contribution rates than games with longer odds. For example, slots usually have a 100% contribution rate while table games contribute 10% to 50%. However, some online casino bonuses make all games eligible with 100% contribution rate.

Casino Game Bonus Contribution Rates

As mentioned above, eligible games often hold different contribution rates. Below, we’ll cover a common example of how these contribution rates shake out. Keep in mind, however, that rates may differ depending on the online casino and the bonus. In fact, some online casinos set the contribution rates of all games equally. Our advice is to read the terms and conditions thoroughly before diving into any bonus.

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1. Slots & Keno – 100% Contribution Rate

Slots and keno often hold 100% contribution rates. This is because they generally have a lower RTP than other online casino games. Many slots have average RTP percentages of around 96%, while table games’ RTP can often sit at 98% or even 99%. For that reason, most slots contribute fully to your bonus to take the lower odds into account.

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2. Video Poker – 50% Contribution Rate

Video poker contribution rates typically sit around 50%, meaning if you wager $100 on video poker, it will count as $50 toward your bonus playthrough. This lower contribution rate accounts for video poker’s excellent RTP, which can sit around 99.5% in Jacks or Better variations, for example. Because of this, if video poker is included as an eligible game, it’s generally a great option for playing through a bonus.

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3. Most Table Games – 20% Contribution Rate

Table games generally sit around a 20% contribution rate for a couple of reasons. First, online casinos must take into account the relatively high RTP that table games offer. Second, the RTP and volatility of various table games may differ greatly. For those reasons, a 20% contribution rate is generally considered a catch-all amount for playing through a bonus. That being said, this makes table games a generally poor option for playing through a bonus, as you’d have to wager $100 just to get $20 of playthrough, for example.

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4. Blackjack – 10% to 20% Contribution Rate

Even lower than the general table game contribution rate is the percentage for blackjack. In some cases, blackjack may sit with other table games, but in other cases, it may be split out on its own with a contribution rate as low as 10%. This is because blackjack, especially single-deck blackjack, has arguably the best odds in the casino. This low rate makes blackjack a poor choice for playing through a bonus unless you’re willing to expose yourself to the volatility and time commitment of playing many, many hands.

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5. Excluded Games – 0% Contribution Rate

Many casinos, especially those that don’t deal with separate contribution rates, will exclude some games from bonus eligibility entirely. Generally, these are games that feature excellent odds, a high level of strategy, favorable RTP, or progressive jackpot win potential. BetMGM, for example, lets only certain slots be eligible for bonus play. Slots with high RTP percentages are excluded, such as Apollo Pays, Butterfly Staxx, and White Rabbit. As another example, Caesars Palace Online Casino completely excludes craps. Excluded games are on a casino-by-casino basis. Check the available and unavailable games before claiming any bonus.

What Is an Online Casino Bonus Game Contribution Rate?

We’ve covered the basics, but let’s go into a little bit more detail as to what an online casino bonus game contribution rate actually is. At its core, every online casino bonus is beholden to a set of terms and conditions. These are the requirements for claiming the bonus and converting it into withdrawable cash.

One of those terms is the game contribution rate, which essentially levels the playing field for how much games contribute to the conversion of your bonus after you’ve claimed it. By taking into consideration the RTP (return to player) percentages of various games, the game contribution rate effectively weighs the theoretical value of each game. The casino seeks to even out high RTP games, such as blackjack, with low RTP games, such as some slots.

Let’s say you’ve claimed a signup bonus where slots contribute 100% (because slot RTP is around 96%), but table games contribute 25% (because their RTP is around 99%). This means that every $10 wagered on slots will contribute $10 toward your playthrough requirement, while every $10 wagered on table games will contribute only $2.50 toward your playthrough requirement. Thus, it’s your choice whether you want to play a high-RTP game with a low contribution rate or a low-RTP game with a high contribution rate.

Examples of Online Casino Bonus Game Contribution Rates

Now that you fully understand what a game contribution rate is, let’s look at some real examples.

CasinoSignup BonusGame Contribution Rates
BetMGM Casino$25 Freeplay® + 100% Deposit Match up to $1,000Select slots at 100%, all other games excluded (1x playthrough on Freeplay®, 15x playthrough on match).
Caesars Palace Online Casino100% Deposit Match up to $2,500 + 2,500 Reward Credits on $25+ WagerSlots at 100% (15x playthrough), all other games excluded.
BetRivers Casino100% of Losses in First 24-Hours up to $500 Back as 1x Bonus Money (100% Deposit Match up to $250 in Bonus Money in PA)All casino games at 100% (1x playthrough).
DraftKings Casino$35 Casino Credits + Play $5 and Get $50 Back in Casino Credits InstantlyAll casino games at 100% (1x playthrough). Live dealer games excluded in PA.
FanDuel CasinoDeposit $10, Get $20 Bonus + Up to $1,000 Play it AgainAll casino games at 100% (1x playthrough).

Do All Online Casino Bonuses Have Game Contribution Rates?

No. As you can see from some of the examples above, not all online casino bonuses have game contribution rates. Some bonuses hold no restrictions, allowing all available casino games to contribute fully to the playthrough requirement. However, even then, some games may be excluded entirely, so make sure to read the terms and conditions before claiming any bonus.

Claiming an Online Casino Signup Bonus

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Find an Online Casino

Of course, the first step in claiming an online casino signup bonus is finding an online casino. You can start by looking at our full guide to online casinos to find our top-rated options. When looking to claim the signup bonus, make sure to click through our exclusive links and/or utilize the promo codes mentioned on the page. Otherwise, you may not receive the bonus at all.

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Register an Account

Next, it’s time to register. All of the legal online casino options mentioned on this website are licensed and regulated by state governments, ensuring safety and security. You’ll be asked to enter some personal information, such as name, address, and date of birth, to verify your identity.

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Read the Terms and Conditions

You’ve completed registration, and you may have earned a no deposit bonus just for doing so. Beyond that, there’s most likely a signup bonus that requires a deposit and some wagering to claim. Before claiming any such bonuses, fully read the terms and conditions to familiarize yourself with game contribution rates, playthrough requirements, time limits, and more. Basically, make sure that the bonus is worth claiming at all.

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Fulfill Requirements To Claim the Signup Bonus

If you decide to claim the bonus, now is the time to fulfill any requirements. These requirements, outside of no deposit bonuses, always start with making a deposit. Beyond that, they may also include wagering.

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Fulfill Requirements To Convert the Signup Bonus

You’ve fulfilled all the requirements to claim, and the bonus is yours. Now is when game contribution rates and playthrough requirements come into play. If you’ve followed Step 3 and read the terms and conditions, you’ll know whether these conditions are fair and attainable. If so, now is the time to fulfill them and convert your bonus funds to withdrawable cash.

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Enjoy!

That’s it! If you’ve earned any withdrawable cash, you can decide to withdraw or keep playing. Of course, you should also keep an eye out for more bonuses down the road to enhance your playing experience.

How To Calculate Your Bonus Value

As you could probably surmise from all of the above, calculating an actual bonus value and playthrough requirements can be complicated. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with an online casino bonus calculator. Here, you can enter the details of your deposit or no deposit bonus to find information such as the free bonus money you’ll be awarded, the total play money you’ll have, and the amount you need to bet to convert bonus funds to cash.

To find this information, note your deposit amount, any deposit match percentage, wagering requirements, and the game contribution rate for the games you plan on playing.

Getting the Most Out of Your Bonus Game Contribution Rate

Of course, deciding which games to play based on contribution rate requires some strategy. Table games offer great RTP percentages but may not contribute as much, while slots often have middling RTP percentages but may contribute fully.

Ultimately, the choice is yours on what you’d like to play, but keep in mind that the purpose of contribution rates is to level the playing field, so it may just be best to play games you like. However, keep in mind that playing table games may increase the time required to clear the bonus, so be wary of bonus expiration dates. For more information, you can check out our casino bonus tips.

What To Do If the Bonus Game Contribution Rate Is Too Low

Now, if you’ve followed our guide, you’ll have avoided claiming a bonus that features excessively low game contribution rates or excludes games that you’re comfortable playing.

However, if you find out too late that the game contribution rates make a bonus unattainable for you, read our guide on how to cancel an online casino bonus and recoup your funds before losses get out of hand.

Final Thoughts on Eligible Games & Game Contribution

Considering the eligible games is one of the most important factors in claiming any online casino bonus. Failing to do so can result in wasted time, wasted money, misunderstandings, and even urges to stray from responsible gambling. For example, say you’re a table game fan who decided to claim a bonus and then discovered you could play the bonus only on slots. You may then feel like you’re being forced to play games outside your comfort zone. But if you don’t play, perhaps you feel that you risk wasting your time and money. This is not a situation conducive to responsible gaming.

Keep in mind that even if you fail to understand eligible and excluded games and contribution rates before you claim a bonus, there is almost always an opportunity to cancel an online casino bonus. That being said, the best course of action is to understand casino bonus eligible games from the start.

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About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for Bonus.com. He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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