888 Online Casino Review

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888 Casino’s partnership with Caesars Entertainment allows it to offer legal games in the state of New Jersey. Its real-money games can be played by anyone 21 and older, as long as they are physically located inside the Garden State at the time.

888 Casino can be accessed through a browser application or a mobile app available on Apple and Android devices. 888’s game selection is very poor by New Jersey standards; however, it offers attractive promotions to new players.

No-deposit bonus

The following no-deposit bonus is available to gamblers who register their first 888 casino account:

The offer

New players receive $25 free for opening an account. No need to enter a promo code: the bonus is automatically credited.

 Players who wish to withdraw their bonus have 14 days to meet the following wagering requirements:

  • 30x for slots
  • 150x for roulette
  • 300x for video poker

While $25 is very generous by New Jersey casino standards (no casino in the state offers a better bonus), the slots wagering requirement is the worst in NJ. The majority of casinos have a playthrough requirement of 20x or less, and some casinos, such as Tropicana and SugarHouse, only require you to play through a bonus once before withdrawal.

Theoretical value

Clearing the no-deposit bonus comes at a price. Since customers must play through it 30 times before cashing out, they need to calculate how much money they can expect to lose, due to house edge, in the process of placing the required wagers.

Here’s what we find: 

To extract any positive value from the bonus while playing slots, focus on games with an RTP (Return To Player percentage) of at least 96.68 percent. Theoretically speaking, going below this RTP will causes spending more money clearing the bonus than the bonus itself.

If players focus exclusively on 97-percent RTP titles, we still can’t expect to extract more than $2.50 from the bonus. The remaining $22.50 will have been lost to house edge in the course of completing the $750 wager requirement.

Unfortunately, the theoretical expected bonus value for blackjack, roulette, and video poker wagers is negative. This means the cost of clearing the bonus playing any of 888’s table or video poker games is higher than the bonus itself. 

The data below illustrates how much of the bonus, in theory, we’ll be left with after completing the wagering requirement playing different games:

  1. Slots with 93 percent RTP: negative $27.50
  2. Slots with 95 percent RTP: negative $12.50
  3. Slots with 98 percent RTP: $15 (best-case scenario)
  4. Blackjack with highest RTP: negative $9.50
  5. Roulette with highest RTP: negative $25.62
  6. Video poker with highest RTP: negative $106.25

Overall, 888 casino’s no-deposit bonus offers the worst value in all of New Jersey.

First-deposit bonus

Here’s what we get from 888:

The offer

Receive up to $1,500 in bonus funds when making your first two deposits:

  1. A 50 percent bonus, up to $500, on your first deposit. No promo code.
  2. A 50 percent bonus, up to $1,000, on your second deposit. Promo code WELCOME888.

A minimum deposit of $10 is required to qualify.

 Each of the two bonuses carries a 30x playthrough requirement that must be met within 60 days. Again, 888 fares very poorly compared to other New Jersey casinos, most of which offer first-deposit bonuses with a wager requirement between 5x and 20x.

Theoretical value

We calculate the value of a first deposit bonus by determining the cost of clearing $1 in bonus funds. If clearing one dollar playing a certain game costs us $0.60 due to house edge, it means the value of the bonus is 40 percent ($0.40); the remaining 60 percent was spent clearing it. The tougher the bonus wagering requirements, the lower the bonus value.

As with the no-deposit bonus, clearing 888’s first- and second-deposit bonus playing slots is only profitable when wagering on games with an RTP of 96.68 percent or better. Similarly, the expected bonus value for wagers placed on blackjack, roulette, and video poker games is negative. Essentially, the only way to have a positive expected value is to clear the bonus playing slots with the above-mentioned RTP.

 Again, this puts 888 at the very bottom of the first-deposit bonus value barrel.

VIP Program

888’s VIP rewards program is extremely straightforward.

The offer

The casino awards loyal players with one Status Point for every $10 wagered, irrespective of the game. Points can then be exchanged for cash at a rate of 100 per $1. Please note the cash can be withdrawn immediately and is not restricted by a wagering requirement.

 888 Casino’s loyalty program does not offer any additional perks or discounts.

The value

The offer translates to exactly 0.10 percent cashback on wagers for all casino games. While quite a few New Jersey casinos offer a better deal, they usually require players to reach a certain account tier before that better cashback becomes available to them.

As a result, 888’s offer is below average in absolute terms, but very good from the perspective of low-volume gamblers who would be unable to meet the wagering requirements for higher cashback at competing casinos. Alternatives with similar cashback for low-volume players include Caesars and PlayMGM. 

In terms of cashback on net losses, which is how much of our theoretical casino losses will be reimbursed through exchanging Status Points for cash, this varies by game and RTP percentage, with a higher cashback for games with a higher RTP:

  1. Slots: 1 to 5 percent
  2. Blackjack: 21.74 percent
  3. Roulette: 1.90 to 7.41 percent
  4. Video poker: 5.71 percent

These numbers are quite good by industry standards, and the blackjack value in particular is very good, as most New Jersey casinos offer 10 percent or less.

Game selection overview

As of Oct. 15, 2017, 888 Casino spreads 61 games in total: 55 slots, two blackjack games, one video poker game, and four roulette games. 888 is tied with Harrah’s for the poorest game variety in all of New Jersey.

The one available video poker game is Jacks or Better, with an RTP of 98.25 percent. Roulette varieties include American, French, European, and Premium. RTP ranges from 94.74 percent for American to 98.65 percent for French. 

On the flip side, the few available games are of great quality and load in 15 seconds or fewer.

Game spotlight

Let us take a closer look at a few of 888’s more popular games:

Panda Manga

Developed by 888 Holdings and launched in 2013, Panda Manga is an Asian-themed slot. The graphics are not particularly appealing; however, animations and sound effects are crisp enough to render the game highly playable. 

Panda Manga features stereotypical symbols including lotus flowers, sushi dishes, temples, geishas, and more. A hat-wearing panda is the wild symbol and substitutes for all other symbols, except the temple scatter.

The minimum bet to cover all 25 paylines is $0.25, while the maximum allowed is $250. Landing at least three Scatters will trigger a bonus round with eight free spins. In this round, multiple symbols act as wild, including the geisha and sushi rolls. Winning additional free spins during a free spins round is also possible.

Adventures in Orbit

Another title from the 888 Holdings software development team, this space-themed video slot comes with five reels and 25 paylines. 

The graphics and animations are crisp and do a great job simulating the feel of being inside an alien spaceship cockpit. Symbols include an alien-controlled U.F.O., space rockets, an EVA suit, asteroids, and a laser gun. The accelerating rocket symbol is wild and substitutes for other symbols, except for bonus and scatter symbols. An augmented wild is also available and will double the winnings from any combination it completes.

The friendly red alien is the bonus symbol. Landing three or more bonus symbols consecutively from left to right on an active line will trigger a bonus round called the Cosmic Voyage. In this mini-game, the player is tasked with helping Aoki, the friendly alien, fix his damaged spaceship. 

The scatter is represented by an intergalactic mystery suitcase symbol. Landing three or more of these anywhere on the reels grants 10 to 30 free spins.

Irish Riches

Irish Riches is probably the most popular progressive jackpot game designed by 888 and definitely the most popular leprechaun-themed game. Symbols include card values, a leprechaun hat, a pipe, and a harp, among others.

 The game comes with 15 paylines spread out across five reels. Landing at least three leprechaun symbols anywhere will award 11 or more free spins. Lining up pot-of-gold symbols will trigger a bonus round.

An auto-spin feature is available; however, it will be automatically disabled when a free spin or bonus round is activated. The minimum bet per line is $0.01, and the maximum is $10. Total theoretical RTP here is 95.02 percent. 
As of Oct. 15, 2017, the progressive jackpot is at over $1,400,000 and grows at a rate of three percent of all bets made throughout the network.

Exclusive Games

As of Oct. 21, 2017, the only game exclusive to 888 casino seems to be 4th of July. Developed by 888 Holdings, this American holiday-themed slot includes 25 paylines, a bonus free spins round, and a wild. Symbols include the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the White House, and Washington Bridge.

Deposit and withdrawal methods

Instant deposits can be made using credit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Neteller, and ACH. Of these options, ACH has the highest success rates, while credit cards are oftentimes rejected due to bank policies.

Cash deposits can be made as well, either using PayNearMe to fund an account at 7-Eleven stores in New Jersey or by visiting a Caesars Atlantic City casino cage. The minimum deposit for most transaction methods is $10.

Withdrawals can be made via ACH bank transfer, PayPal/Neteller, check by mail, and cash at Caesars casino cage. Check by mail is, of course, the slowest of the bunch and can take up to 15 business days. The other withdrawal methods take between two and three days to process.

Value of 888 casino’s recurring promotions

Overall, due to the extremely tough wagering requirements, all of 888’s recurrent promotions rank extremely poorly.

 The bonuses are obviously nice to have and will work to offset any losses incurred while playing. Yet clearing them for withdrawal will always cost more than the bonus is worth.

Licensing

888 Casino is owned and operated by 888 Holdings. Per 2013 New Jersey laws, any online casino wishing to offer its games to players in New Jersey is required to partner with a brick-and-mortar casino licensed in the state.

To this end, 888 Holdings forged a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which allowed it to take advantage of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement license number NJIGP 15-007.

All real-money casino games offered by 888 are only accessible to players physically located within New Jersey. The casino uses Wi-Fi geo-targeting to determine the whereabouts of patrons.