Casino Bonuses

Online casino bonuses are one of the juiciest sides to gambling online. Unlike land-based casinos that throw in an occasional $10-$20 comp or a free slap up dinner, most online casinos offer large cash bonuses on your deposit that players use on your favourite games immediately to win more cash prizes and more games.

Online casino bonuses are more focused on getting you to play more casino games and aren’t simply a treat from the casino manager. They are especially useful for new players, as these Welcome bonus packages will award you the most extra money to play with. To make their players feel at home, welcome bonuses will often match new customers’ deposit with 100% or even more to be used on all their slots games.

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Welcome / signup bonuses

As mentioned, welcome bonuses are limited to new casino players, and are intended to give new customers some extra money to get themselves acquainted with both the casino and to improve their gaming experience.

Understanding wagering requirements

Casino welcome bonuses sound awesome “on paper,” but new players need to understand that these do come with certain terms and conditions attached. The most important of these are wagering or playthrough requirements.

These are essentially rules governing what you can and can’t do with your bonus money, primarily in terms of when you’ll be allowed to cash out the bonus and any related winnings. For example, if the casino stipulates 30x wagering requirements for their welcome bonus, you’ll need to place this amount in wagers before you are allowed to cash out. E.g.

  • Deposit $100
  • Receive 100% bonus of $100
  • There is 30x wagering rule in place
  • You’ll need to place $3,000 in bets before being able to withdraw

Additionally, these playthrough requirements are calculated depending on what types of casino games you play. Usually, it breaks down something like this:

  • Majority (or all) slots: 100% (every $1 wagered counts as $1 towards wagering requirements)
  • Table games like blackjack & craps: 5% – 20%
  • Video poker: 0% – 10%

These will vary from one casino to another, and there are some casinos that offer better conditions for table games players, for example, but these values are close to correct for most online casinos.

Bonus clearing techniques

The first and most important thing to do before starting to clear your bonus is to familiarize yourself with the exact rules. Apart from already mentioned wagering requirements, this includes finding out about what the maximum allowed bet size is, what games are excluded from playing with the bonus, etc.

Once you have all this information, it is time to figure out your bonus clearing strategy. In general, you probably want to play a game that contributes 100%, which means you should stick to playing slots.

Additionally, you should look for a slot with lower variance and higher RTP (return to player). Some casinos make this information readily available, so if you can, you should look for slots with 96%+ RTP, as these will give you more frequent wins, and get you there quicker.

Cashable vs. non-cashable bonuses

One thing to be observant about welcome bonuses is what of two possible categories they belong to:

  • Cashable welcome bonuses
  • Non-cashable bonuses

Cashable bonuses will let you cash out any remaining bonus money and all the winnings once you meet the wagering requirements. Non-cashable bonuses, on the other hand, will only let you withdraw your winnings, while the bonus amount itself will be removed once you request a cashout.

In general, you should go for cashable bonuses as these give you better value overall.

Picking the right welcome bonus for you

With all this information in mind, how do you choose just the right welcome bonus?

For example, if you are there to just go for a big win or want to chase a progressive jackpot, then you shouldn’t be concerned with the fact that the bonus is non-cashable. If progressive slots are allowed, you aren’t there to squeeze a bit of bonus money –you want to have as much money at your disposal as possible.

If you are a more conservative player, you’re probably better off with a cashable bonus which will allow you to add some cash to your bankroll and let you play more. At the same time, you could still hit a big win, although someone betting bigger all the time will have a better chance of this happening.

Free spins bonuses

In addition to bonus money, many casinos will offer free spins as a part of their welcome package. These will often be given to players in a bulk or over the first few days of their stay to try their luck at one or few popular slots.

Free spins are played at a certain denomination, and any winnings you make are usually added to your bonus cash. This means that usually you’ll need to also meet wagering requirements on these winnings prior to cashing out.

No deposit bonuses

No deposit bonuses are issued to new players as a part of their marketing efforts to attract new customers. These are usually given out as soon as the player signs up, and they require no deposits. Often, these are small amounts like $10 or $20 that give you a chance to have a little taste of what the casino has to offer.

Wagering requirements on no deposit bonuses are higher than with welcome bonuses, and they can be anything from 50x to 100x. Also, the maximum amount a player can win with free money is usually limited (up to $100 or so), but they are still a nice way to try a new casino or kick-start your online gambling bankroll.

Mobile bonuses

With the development of mobile technologies and more and more players enjoying their online gambling from their handheld devices, online casinos have started to offer special mobile bonuses as well. These give players an additional reason to play from their mobile or tablet, but also show that a casino cares for their mobile customers.

For example, many online casinos will give you an extra bonus for downloading and installing their app. From their perspective, this makes sense as it makes you a more loyal customer. From a player’s perspective, this is some extra free money or free spins you can take advantage of.

Additionally, mobile players will usually have access to special offers, especially those involved with sports betting on races or other events. These will often be bonuses and promos with short expiration, geared towards players who enjoy playing on the go.

Other casino bonuses

Apart from all the bonuses, free spins, and promos already listed, different online casinos will offer other promos for their players, like:

  • Monthly re-load bonuses – where depositing at the start of a new month will be accompanied by a 50% or 100% match
  • Refer a friend bonus – get your friend to sign up and deposit, and the casino will reward you with a special bonus for your recommendation
  • Free play bonuses – free cash given by a casino to play a particular game
  • Preferred payment bonuses – additional bonuses (usually 10% or 15%) given for using a particular method to deposit with (Skrill, Neteller, a credit card, etc.)
  • High roller / VIP bonuses – casino bonuses offering big amounts for high roller customers, looking to play higher than an average player (up to $2,000 or more) makes it a point to find the best bonuses for all our readers and offer you advice on how to choose casino bonuses that fit your playing style and how to best turn this bonus cash into actual money you can withdraw to your bank.

With the basics at your fingertips, pay attention to what counts the next time you take a casino bonus.