Scoring an online casino bonus is one of the best reasons to play online rather than at a bricks and mortar casino.
When is the last time you walked into a casino and were handed free cash to play with, and free spins on slot machines? It doesn’t work like that in the real world – but it does online.
Yet casino bonuses are a little more complex than you might first think. There are different types. There are things to understand. You need to know how to tell if the offer is worth taking.
In this guide to online casino bonuses we will tell you all you need to know. We will also make some suggestions as to what bonuses are worth taking a closer look at.
Online Casino Bonuses – The Different Types
There are more than a few types of casino bonus online. Casinos are always finding new ways to try to beat the competition. Here are some of the most popular kinds:
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses give you free cash to play at the casino with. You won’t have to make a deposit, and the bonus amount will usually be a token amount. Don’t expect hundreds, but ￡10 or ￡20 is possible.
These should always be snapped up when you encounter them. They are a great way to try the casino with no strings attached. They are also pretty rare as compared to other bonuses and you won’t find them every day.
First Deposit Bonuses
These bonuses are the kind which state ‘100% up to ￡500 on your first deposit’ or something similar. We’re sure you have seen them before. Virtually every casino on the web offers them.
In short, you will need to make a deposit, and the casino will double it. The bonus amount isn’t always 100%, but that’s the most common kind.
First deposit bonuses give you double the chance to win. Whether you choose to use them on slots or card games like blackjack, they are worth taking provided the terms and conditions are fair. We will outline how to assess that below.
Reload bonuses go a step further than first deposit bonuses. They reward multiple deposits. Sometimes casinos offer weekly or monthly reload bonuses on an ongoing basis.
Reload bonuses can be part and parcel of a casino welcome bonus, or entirely separate from it. They can be 100%, but more commonly are a lesser percentage like 50%.
The best online casinos offer multiple reload bonuses as well as a first deposit bonus to get you started. If you see an offer over ￡1,000 it is likely a first deposit bonus and multiple reload bonuses.
Free Spins on Slots
The vast majority of online casino players are out to spin slots. There are thousands of titles online for this reason. Casinos know this, and free spins are a great way to get you in the door.
Free spins deals give you a chance to check out the games risk-free. There are a couple of different types of free spins bonus deals.
The first kind are no deposit spins. These require no money transfer from you. All you have to do is sign up and accept them. You will likely be offered 20 or 30, and not many more.
The second kind are free spins as part of an overall welcome bonus or other promotion. You will usually be required to make a deposit and play with it to activate these. You can sometimes get hundreds of free spins. Plenty of people have won jackpots using free spins bonuses.
Depending on the casino, the games you can play might be restricted. Some casinos pick a specific game, while others give you a choice. Still, these are basically free lottery tickets, so take them whenever you can.
We will explain a little more about the terms and conditions of free spins in a section below.
Cashback bonuses are sometimes known as second chance bonuses. They offer you a percentage of what you have lost back. Usually you can’t directly withdraw it, but can play again with it.
Cashback bonuses are usually found in live dealer casinos. They are also usually a weekly thing, rather than a one-time deal. Bonuses can be 10,15, or even 20%.
These are specifically designed to appeal to those who enjoy live casino games. If you fit that profile, you might as well take full advantage.
Payment Method Bonuses
These are still quite rare, but we have encountered a few of them while reviewing online casinos. They offer you an extra bonus to use a specific payment method the casino prefers. Usually they encourage you to use e-wallets like Neteller or Skrill.
Payment method bonuses can be 15-20% on top of the deposit. They are usually a one-time deal and can’t be claimed on every deposit. These are quite hard to find, but we thought we would include them here to make this guide comprehensive.
Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions
Every casino bonus has terms and conditions attached. Casinos can’t just let you take the money and walk. They wouldn’t be around for long if they did.
So how do you know if a bonus is worth taking? Take a look at the following when deciding which is the best bonus for you.
1 – Minimum Deposits
Every bonus will have both a minimum and maximum deposit. For most first deposit bonuses the minimum will be ￡10 or ￡20. Still, it’s always worth checking out just to be sure.
There will also be a maximum deposit, of course. This will be whatever the casino advertises as the total bonus amount. So, if the deal is 100% up to ￡300 then the maximum deposit will be ￡300.
2 – Wagering Requirements
This is a casino term for the number of times you need to stake the bonus before you can withdraw it. A fair deal will be x20 or x30 and anything above that is a little excessive.
Wagering requirements put lots of players off. They shouldn’t, since they will be pretty easy to make if you win a progressive jackpot playing slots. Wagering requirements protect the casino from abuse.
If the deal is a free spins bonus, the wagering terms will be a multiple of the value of the free spins. So, if each spin is worth ￡0.25 and you get 20 free spins, the bonus is worth ￡5. Multiply that by the wagering terms to find out what you need to bet.
3 – Maximum Payout Limits
Not every casino bonus has maximum payout limits. Some do, though, so it’s worth being aware of. These set limits on how much you can with using bonus cash, period.
Definitely check for these. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to win ￡10,000 and find out you can only withdraw ￡100? That would be a real bummer, which is why we always look for these before diving in.
4 – Eligibility Restrictions
Some casino bonuses aren’t open to players from certain countries. Just because you can play at the casino doesn’t mean you can get every bonus available.
If there are restrictions they will be listed in the terms and conditions. Be sure to check them out to avoid disappointment. If you are restricted, there is probably a legal reason, rather than the casino wanting to exclude you.
5 – Period of Validity
Most bonuses will have an expiry date. This can be just a few days after you register as a new player. It’s best to get the deposits as soon as you sign up to avoid missing out.
If you don’t want to claim right away, be sure you check when the bonus expires.
With free spins offers, the bonuses can be issued in ‘chunks’ over a certain number of days. For example, 100 free spins could be distributed at 10 per day for 10 days. If you miss logging in to play on one day, you will likely not be able to get those spins again.
The Best Casino Bonuses Online
Check out the following casino bonuses. These are the best according to our experts, who have used the criteria above to rank them. These casinos have all been vetted and are some of the top casino gaming destination on the web.