1 Bingo sites pay out the same amount regardless of how much bonus money
they give away.
Most sites pay out close to 70% on real cash.
This just means, that on a card-by-card basis, the more bonus money in
play, the lower the average effective payout per card.
Since you can buy more cards, this doesn't hurt you, assuming that you get
the same bonus that everyone else does. This isn't 100% true. The
bingo bonuses help and harm. I will explain later.
2 Bonus money is never redeemable as cash.*
Deposits, winnings and bonus money are always treated separately.
Winnings are always spent first; deposits second and bonus last.
On many bingo sites deposits are also not redeemable.
3 You can lose some or all of your bonus when you redeem your
winnings.Many sites either penalize your bonus money or reset it to $0 when you
redeem your winnings.
Although this serves the evil purpose of discouraging cash-outs, it also
helps to lower the average bonus money in play thus improving everyone else's
average effective payout per card. More on this later.
4 Bonuses can expire.
Some sites expire bonuses -- including deposit bonuses and chat game bonuses.
Usually in about 30 days.
5 Bonus money is a scam with positive side effects.
Bingo bonus schemes are a scam. You can't redeem it and the sites are going to have
the same % payout regardless of the bonuses, so most of the added value of a
large deposit bonus is an illusion. To add injury to insult, the bonuses
are usually structured to encourage you not to cash out your winnings, to spend your deposit and winnings before your bonuses expire and they
are sometimes structured to encourage you to make larger deposits. Another
important negative side effect is that since winnings do not generally come with a bonus,
it is more expensive to play with winnings than deposits.
The bingo bonus structure has one great side effect though. Whenever
players don't redeem their bonus points. When they take a hit to their
bonus for redeeming cash, let their bonus money expire, or cash it in on other
promotions -- they decrease the bonus money in play which makes all other money
in play - bonus or real - more valuable. Big winners take their bonus out
of play and that gives everyone else a higher effective payout per card.
Of course the true payout never changes. The net effect is a slight
increase in the odds that there will be more winners dipping into the actual
When does my bingo bonus work in my favor?
When your bingo bonus is larger than the average bonus money in play on the site.
If you manage to get more bonus money than the average
player then bonus money is helpful to you. The payout, let's assume
that it is 70%, is spread out over the real money and bonus money. So if
the average bonus among all the players is 50% then the net payout is 70% /
(1.5) = 47%. That is 47% of $75, which is $35, the same $35.00 that is 70%
If you get 100% bonus on a $50 deposit and the average bonus is 50% then more of
the payout potential is in your court. The net payout is applied to your
deposit + bonus = $100. What this means is that your payout on real money
for you is $47 on $50, that is 94%! This doesn't mean that you have a 94%
chance of winning, just that you are effectively paying less for more.
This increase in payout is actually just reflected in your ability to buy more
There is still more to consider. A factor in your favor is that the
average bonus will generally be a little lower due to unused bonus money. On the
other hand there are negative factors such as players that spend their deposit
on slots or scratch cards and only use their bingo bonus on bingo cards. This
should have a negative effect on the net payout, since their is less real money
In a nutshell.
The bingo bonus is a scam with the positive side effect of encouraging greater
distribution of winnings. Bonus money is an illusion unless you get a
larger bonus then the net average bonus in play. If you win a tidy sum,
redeem your money. Playing with winnings is more expensive than playing
with your deposit or bonus money.
*Some sites use a bingo bonus point system that can be redeemed for chances to win a large prize or order gifts from a catalogue. This article focuses on the typical bingo bonus that is used to buy cards.
You can view sites with seemingly high signup deposit ratios (the signup ratio seems much higher than the daily deposit bonuses) on our Bingo Advantage Bingo Comparison Chart.