A casino bonus is free money - but how do you know which one is the right one for you? Not all players or bonuses are alike. This article will guide you towards the right casino bonuses for your needs and playing habits.
Types of Casino Bonuses Explained
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 prizes without having to wager anything (more on that later).
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% match worth up to £200. If you were to deposit £75 with this offer, you'd 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.
You can use our chart to find the best deposit bonus for you - but be sure to read those T&Cs first.
No Deposit Bonuses
Of all of the types of online casino bonus offered today, few are more sought after than the free casino bonus with no deposit required at all - and with good reason. After all, who doesn't appreciate free money?
That said, even the most seemingly generous no deposit casino bonus doesn't allow you to just sign up for an account, help yourself to the offer and then just cash out - the terms and conditions still require you to play through the site's actual casino games.
Aren't No Deposit Bonuses Too Good to Be True?
They definitely might seem that way, as giving away free money doesn't normally make sense for any business, but the situation's a bit different when it comes to no deposit casino bonuses.
For one thing, as aforementioned, these bonuses do have their terms and conditions attached - you may only be able to use yours on certain games on the given casino site, for example, while it's also customary for what is known as a 'wagering requirement' to be attached.
But it's also important to remember that offering a no deposit casino bonus enables an online casino to attract new players to sign up who then start becoming serious, committed players. A good no deposit bonus can therefore be a 'win-win' for both the casino and its players.
Types of No Deposit Bonuses
You may be offered an online casino no deposit bonus in either of two forms - the 'classic' no deposit bonus or free spins.
The former type involves you being given free playing money when registering with a casino - for example, £10 or £20 that goes straight into your account with no need to contribute a penny of your own money to start playing. However, such bonuses can also take the form of free spins on a popular slot game such as Starburst.
Whichever type you are presented with, however, you should always pay close attention to the terms and conditions before deciding which is the best no deposit bonus. For example, if your free casino bonus is £10 and there's a wagering requirement of 30, you will need to wager a total of £300 before you will be permitted to cash out any winnings.
Bonus Terms & Conditions
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.
Basic Format of the Terms
The basic format of the terms for deposit bonuses and no deposit bonuses alike are as follows. You start with the bonus itself that you'll be getting, and you have wagering requirements (or play-through requirements) that have to be met before you can cash out. The idea is that the casino wants to make sure you're actually going to play instead of just leaving with the bonus funds. These two items are the main ways that casino bonuses compare. Note that different casino games can clear the play-through requirements at different rates, so take note of that for the specific games you want to play.
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 some of the best no deposit casino 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 x 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.
Compare the Best Bonuses with Us
Ready to find a great offer to add to your bankroll? Check out our recommended casinos for exclusive bonuses we’ve negotiated. You can also read our online casino reviews to see how we rank some of the top online casinos and their bonuses.
Gavin writes on a wide range of subjects, including articles and reviews about online casinos, slots, bingo, poker, and sportsbooks. He has considerable expertise in the games, customer service, and other aspects of today’s leading gambling and betting portals.