Online casino bonuses are highly popular amongst gamblers. After all, they’re a free way to play your favorite casino games or try out new titles, all without putting any of your own real money on the line.
However, not all casino bonus offers are created equal. Almost every offer comes with wagering requirements or other conditions that you need to fulfill these before withdrawing any potential winnings.
This is understandable as otherwise, casinos would be giving out free money, and that’s no way to run a business.
Still, many casinos compete to offer the most valuable and least restrictive welcome offers, free spins or other promotions.
If you study our guides, you can easily learn how to cherry-pick the best casino bonuses online without spending much time reading the fine print.
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The Main Types of Online Casino Bonuses
There are many different bonus types when playing at online casinos. The Deposit-match bonuses are by far the most common promotion. For this bonus type, the real money casino offers you a percentage of your initial deposit, sometimes split over your first three or four deposits, as a matched deposit bonus.
For example, imagine an online casino bonus promising to match “100% up to $50” (or your currency equivalent). If you put $50 in, you’d get another $50 on top in bonus cash, making for a total of $100.
However, if you put $60 in, you’d still only get $50 in bonus money as the offer states “up to $50.”
Sometimes real money casinos also add free spins on top of the matched deposit bonus offer. This is sometimes called a hybrid casino bonus. An example of a hybrid bonus would look something like this: 100% up to $500 + 200 free spins on deposit.
Deposit-match bonuses are usually the largest offers in monetary terms. They start at around $10-50 and can get as big as $1000 or more, although offers of that size are nearly always split over multiple deposits.
Any deposit bonus comes with a wagering requirement. This means you need to wager a multiplier of your bonus amount before you can withdraw any winnings (more on these later).
1st Deposit Casino Bonuses (valid for new players)
No-Deposit Casino Bonus
You should always look for no deposit bonuses when playing at the best online casino sites. While they are never as large as the biggest (or even medium-sized) deposit-match offers, no-deposit bonuses give you the opportunity to try out casino games and potentially win some money for free.
As the name suggests, you can claim a no deposit bonus without depositing your own money.
However, due to the fact that they are free, they typically come with a few restrictions, such as wagering requirements, lists of specified games, time limits, or maximum wins.
Still, there are many valuable examples out there, including some that come with barely any restrictions – or even none at all. These are understandably rare, so keep checking back with us for the latest and brightest promotions.
The most popular no deposit bonus offer on international casinos consist of no deposit free spins where you can keep what you win, or need to wager the amount before a withdrawal is possible.
Our reviewers carefully check all terms and conditions so that you can find the best casino bonus possible for your play style. For more information on no-deposit bonuses, you can check out our dedicated page on the topic.
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They are free spins on either a specified or any slot game in the real money casino’s collection. They can be part of a deposit-match bonus or a no-deposit offer.
Free spins offers range from ten spins or fewer all the way up to 500 or more. The more spins you receive, the more restrictive terms you’re likely to see.
It’s important to evaluate the size and terms of any free spins offer to determine its true worth. For example, 250 spins with a 50x wagering requirement and a maximum win of $500 are not going to hold as much potential value as 100 free spins with a 5x wagering and no maximum win clause.
To find more free spins from top online casinos, please check the free spins page linked at the beginning of this section.
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Free bets are like free spins, but instead of receiving free tries on the slots reel, you can claim a few free hands of blackjack, roulette, or another table game like Keno.
Free bets are rare, and you won’t find them at many online casinos, especially as a welcome offer.
Rewards & VIP Programs
Whether it’s a points-based system, level system, or new bonuses unlocked for frequent players, many real money casino sites feature rewards for their loyal customers.
Most offers give up to 10-20% cashback, 50 free spins, or $10 bonuses. You might receive these automatically or purchase them at an in-casino store using loyalty or reward points.
Some casinos even feature their own unique minigames, such as a spinning wheel, that give you a chance to win special prizes as you level up your account or gain points. These minigames can occasionally even give out tasty jackpots.
Lastly, there are a lot of rewards out there waiting for high-rolling players. These can get exciting at the highest levels. You can win holidays, VIP account managers, and special high-rolling tournaments. Faster withdrawal times and increased limits are also a possibility.
Tournaments & Game-Specific Bonuses
Real money casinos often want to promote the launch of a new game with an offer. Examples include free spins bonuses on the latest NetEnt slot or special bonus cards inserted into the shoe of an Evolution Gaming live blackjack table.
Such promotions let casinos get creative. As a result, they sometimes come out with extremely lucrative bonuses with fewer or no terms attached.
Make sure to watch out for these offers our pages as we’ll list them when they go live.
Next, there are slots and live casino tournaments. These are usually geared towards higher-budget players because they work based on maximum turnover in a specified period.
However, these competitions sometimes offer massive prize pools – such as $30,000 or more. Even if you’re a low-rolling player, you could still get lucky on the first few spins.
Common Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions
There are lots of possible conditions an internet casino can attach to its bonuses. Most bonus types come with some kind of terms and conditions you should be aware of. Some bonuses come with many conditions, while others only carry a few. A few extremely rare finds may even come with no conditions at all. To make things a little more clear to you before
Here are the most common bonus terms at online casinos today:
Wagering requirements (sometimes called playthrough) are the go-to way for casinos to ensure that bonuses aren’t just free money wins for their new players. They make you wager a multiplier of the bonus amount before you can count any winnings and make a withdrawal.
An example requirement would be 10x. If you got $10 in bonus cash from a deposit-match, you’d need to wager a cumulative $100 before withdrawing.
These requirements can also indirectly restrict your bonus money to specific casino games. Although the bonus might be playable on everything, only bets on select games – usually slots – count towards completing the wagering requirement.
If you’re a fan of casino games that aren’t slots, you should look for an offer in which table games or live casino titles contribute to the playthrough requirement, although such bonuses are less common.
Some casinos also limit the maximum bet you can put down while playing through any bonus. A few unscrupulous sites might even completely void your bonus offer and any winnings if you unknowingly bet over this limit.
We always point out these clauses and suggest avoiding them completely. However, if you know about it before you play, sometimes it won’t affect the bonus’s overall potential value.
Be sure to check back with us and read the T&Cs yourself before you take up any offer, no matter what bonus types or offers you choose.
Maximum wins are the one casino bonus term no-one wants to see. Lucky for you we have the information about Max wins on all our bonuses at the individual casino review pages.
These terms aren’t too common, but they do exist. Most maximum-win terms apply to no-deposit offers as a way of mitigating the risk of a massive free win for the player.
However, if you’re looking to put some free wagers on progressive jackpot slots, have no fear – many of these conditions don’t apply to multimillion progressive wins. This is because jackpot wins are paid out by the game supplier rather than the casino at which the winner played.
Maximum win clauses tend to start at $50 or less at the low end and $1000 or more at the top end. Above that, most casinos don’t bother imposing a limit at all.
Time limits require you to complete the conditions attached to any offer within a specified timeframe before your bonus cash or free spins expire, and any winnings become void.
At the low end, time limits can be 48 hours or less, and we always point these out to you in any casino or bonus offer review. On the other side of the scale, time limits on promotions can be as long as 90 days or more.
Lastly, the higher the wagering requirement, the more attention you need to pay to time limits. No-one wants to spend time gaming when they don’t feel like it, even with free money, so make sure to consider how much time you can commit to any bonus offer before taking it up.
Listed casino games only
Most online casino promotions clearly state if players can only use them on one particular game. This is mostly the case with free spin bonuses.
What isn’t always obvious is how much those casino games contribute to any wagering requirements. You might technically be able to use your bonus winnings playing live blackjack, for example, but if it contributes 0% per wager to your wagering requirements, you’ll never be able to make a withdrawal by only playing blackjack.
There may even be a subsection of slots – typically ones with high RTP or large non-progressive jackpots – that contributes smaller amounts or even zero.
Again, all of our reviewers are knowledgeable about these clauses, and we’ll always point them out when we see them.
Remember that the very best online casino bonuses display all that relevant information clearly and efficiently, and many make use of only one condition or none at all. As a casino player, you want to focus on bonuses with as few terms and conditions as possible.
For the other 10% of the time, you may need to sign up for the casinos’ mailing list to receive the code.
Choosing the Best Online Casino Bonus Offers
Casino Security and Banking
Before you even think about the offers available, you should know if the casino you’re looking at is safe, secure, and provides suitable banking methods or currencies for your needs.
Even if a casino is offering $20 in free bonus money, it’s not worth playing there if the only banking method is a foreign e-wallet you can’t access, or if they don’t provide any licensing information.
The casino may sincerely be trying to pay your winnings, but if you don’t hold the right accounts (especially in the case of Bitcoin sites), then you’re likely to go through a lot of trouble to collect your money.
Luckily, we look at all safety and security factors in our casino site reviews. If you see a bonus you like, be sure to check back with us to see our expert opinion on this and more.
Check the Casino Bonus Terms
This is where we, and hopefully you, carefully read the terms and conditions. You should be looking for all the important clauses that we explained above.
A great offer should require no deposit, impose no time limit, and carry a low wagering requirement of 10-20x or less.
A top-tier deposit-match offer should provide you with at least 100% up to $50 or more, with a wagering requirement no higher than 30-40x. Some extra free spins on top make an offer even better.
Be aware of promotions that come with maximum wins and time limits as well as high wagering requirements as these are relatively rare but represent some of the lowest value on the market.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some casinos revoke bonuses to new players using certain deposit options.
For example, a common term is not giving players depositing with Skrill or other e-wallets casino bonuses.
This is because e-wallets are very common amongst so-called “bonus abusers” and the casinos tend to lose money on giving out bonuses to that type of player. So before you deposit, make sure your preferred payment methods are not on the list of restricted options for claiming the casino bonuses you want.
Casino Game Selection
Last but not least, it’s to time to check out the games the casino provides. You don’t want to go for a promotion, only to find out there’s no live casino or that all your favorite slots are missing.
This step depends on the games you like, but we do our best to give you a complete assessment of all the casino games on offer.
A great online casino should feature all the latest big-budget, multi-million jackpot progressives. It should also offer hundreds of lesser-known slots from various providers, covering all slot styles, from effects-stuffed video bonanzas to more low-key three-reel classics.
On top of that, you should expect your fair share of table games, including at least a dozen live casino tables hosting roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and other game-show titles.
Casino Bonus FAQs
Like any business, a casino needs a way to attract new customers. Offering better bonuses or welcome offers than the competition is one of the best ways to achieve this.
Monthly promotions and reward programs can also help keep you interested after signing up and making initial deposits. The casino may lose money if you win big off the back of the bonus, but they still make a profit if they attract enough customers.
Anywhere from nothing to several million dollars. Deposit bonus amounts don’t go much higher than $1000 through the top-end deposit-match offers.
That means the biggest non-jackpot slot wins pay out up to $10,000, depending on the size of your bet.
However, many offers enable you to play and win on progressive jackpot slots like NetEnt’s Hall of Gods or Microgaming’s Mega Moolah. These give you the potential to win huge prizes, although the actual size of the pots varies throughout the year.
Bonus codes are short strings of numbers and letters you sometimes need to enter to unlock a bonus.
You can typically find these codes somewhere on the casino site or even on the page where you claim the bonus. Other times, you may need to sign up to a casino’s promotional marketing emails, but you can always unsubscribe once you’ve claimed the offer.
There’s a casino bonus out there suitable for fans of any game. However, you’re often limited to slots only.
In the case of bonus cash, you might be allowed to play live blackjack or RNG roulette. However, your wagering requirement contribution on those casino games can often only be 10% or even zero.
This means that you can play those games, but if you do, it will take a very long time (or it may be impossible) to complete the wagering requirement. Until you do that, you can’t withdraw any winnings.
In the case of no-deposit offers or free spins, you might even be limited to one or a few specific slots – or excluded from a specified list of casino games. We do our best to list all these restrictions, but you should always check the T&Cs before taking up an offer if you are unsure.
For the best table game or live casino bonuses, keep checking our always up-to-date list to find a suitable deposit bonus for you.
Most of the time, you can. Even if you take up an offer on desktop, your bonus spins or money remain the same if you switch to mobile.
However, some offers are only available for on-the-go players, especially if the casino offers a dedicated mobile application. We’ll always point out these exclusive bonuses when we see them.