The most popular type of promotion in the online casino world is the wide range of deposit bonuses that are available. Casino bonuses compare to each other in different ways, and there are even no deposit bonuses that offer up opportunities to win real money prizes without having to wager anything. We're going to break down all of the terms and conditions that you'll normally run into so that you're prepared and know exactly what you're getting yourself into when you claim a popular bonus.
The fundamentals of deposit bonuses are the percentage match that you get and the maximum size of the bonus itself. This tells you the basic parameters for the bonus opportunity. For example, you might get a 100 percent match worth up to £200. If you were to deposit £75 with this offer, you'll get a £75 bonus. However, if you deposited £225, you will only get £200 since that's the maximum amount that you can earn with this deal. When it comes to promotions, online casinos compare primarily based on their approach to maximums and percentages. When one increases, the other usually decreases as a general rule.
The main way that you'll see casino bonuses compare are in their play-through requirements, also known as wagering requirements. The basic idea is that, in order to prevent certain types of players from abusing promotions without actually intending on playing, you have to play a certain amount of real money play before you're allowed to cash out after claiming a bonus.
Even no deposit bonuses have these play-through requirements. For example, if you get a £20 no deposit offer, you might have a 30x play-through, which means you'll need to play a total of £20 * 30, which comes to £600, before you can cash out your winnings.
Something that ties into wagering requirements is the level of game restrictions that you'll see on any given game. For example, online slots will normally have lower wagering requirements than those for other games, and they'll sometimes be the only game allowed to play with a bonus. If a game is not allowed, and you play it, then your bonus and winnings can be removed from your account per the terms and conditions of most offers out there. This means if you claim an offer for online slots, you should stick to that particular type of game only.
Another way that online casinos compare when it comes to general promotional policy is whether they institute maximum withdrawal amounts for players who claim bonuses. If you claim a deposit bonus, and you land a big score, this can actually cut the feet out from under your big win and take the wind out of your sails if you aren't prepared.
A maximum withdrawal works like this. You take advantage of a bonus and clear the wagering requirements. Once you're ready to cash out, there is a maximum amount of winnings that you can earn on top of the bonus itself. Anything beyond that is removed from your account once you make your withdrawal.
The final thing to know about one of these deals is if they are cashable or not. A cashable bonus is one that allows you to cash out the bonus itself after the wagering requirements are complete. The wagering requirements are usually a little higher on this type of deal since it gives you more value, but they represent the best offers out there in the industry today.
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Felicity K. - Online Gaming Expert , with 5 years content-writing
experience for online casinos and beyond