Casino Bonus Guide

Online casino environment differs from the better known brick & mortar casinos and it ends up being a question of taste, when trying to figure out which one is the best to play. We will leave that topic for another article though, as this one will be a throughout guide for online casino bonuses.

Before we get into specifics lets determine what a bonus is. It’s something on top of the standard offering. Bonuses are actually used in just about any industry as a tool of motivation or a way to reward hard effort. All land based casinos also give bonuses to their players, often in a version of free drinks when you play, meals or loyalty points that can be later exchanged for cash.

The main reason for online casino sites to offer bonuses is due to the competition. They want to give you a reason for trying out their games and with way over thousand different brands in the market, why would you choose exactly theirs? So lets start out and have a look at different bonuses that are offered on the internet.

  1. Types of Casino Bonuses

  1. Welcome Bonus (also known as a deposit bonus) is the most common type of a casino bonus and offers an amount ”x” if you deposit amount ”y”. Most of the time the bonus will be instantly credited to your account meaning if you deposit $500 and claim a 100% match bonus of the same size, your account will be instantly credited with $500, making your total account balance a cool $1,000.
  2. No Deposit Bonuses are among the most popular casino bonuses as well, simply because of the fact that they offer you a fixed amount of cash with no requirements and no real cash put on the line from your own side. However, it’s not all that easy as these kinds of offers will usually feature quite strict wagering requirements.
  3. FreePlay offers even though quite rare nowadays are still offered by a number of casino brands. Free play basically awards your account with a specific amount, usually $500 or $1,000 and gives you one hour to win as much as you possibly can by playing specific games, most of the time – slots. These offers are sweet, but they almost always have a requirement regarding the maximum win amount that can be claimed from these in total. Most of the time either $100 or $200. It’s still a pretty good deal for yourself as it’s completely risk free.
  4. Free Spins offers are somewhat similar to no deposit bonuses, but instead of giving free cash, you’ll get a specific amount of spins awarded. Most of the time at a certain slot machine too. Real money can be won during these spins, but you will likely have to go through the wagering requirements before it can be cashed out.
  1. Cashable or Non-Cashable

Before I forget, welcome bonuses are also divided in two types – cashable and non-cashable that highly differ with one important aspect.

Cashable casino bonuses can be cashed out after you have done with fulfilling the particular wagering requirements they feature while non-cashable ones cannot be withdrawn. They are offered only to increase your playing bankroll and allow you to place higher wagers. Once you are looking to withdraw, they will be deducted from your balance. Of course, any wins from them are yours to keep.

  1. Wagering Requirements

Finally we’ve gotten to one of the most important aspects of all kinds of offers and bonuses in the casino industry. Wagering requirements are pre-set terms of play that have to be fulfilled in order for the bonus cash to become real, withdrawable money. Usually the terms will state how many times the bonus has to be ”rolled over” playing qualifying games. A common practise is to set requirements between 20 and 40 times on the bonus amount. Lets take a look at an example where you claim a $500 bonus with wagering requirements of 30 times its amount. You would have to wager 500 x 30 = $15,000 at qualifying casino games, before a withdrawal of these funds can be made.

  1. Qualifying Games

You might have noticed that I reffered to qualifying games multiple times in the previous paragraph, this is because most casino bonuses are limited to only a few games. This usually includes slots, scratch cards and sometimes games like American Roulette, where the house edge is reasonably high. Other games like BlackJack are either completely excluded from play or only a small portion of the wagers made on these games is included. You’ll often see that only between 2 and 10% of your wagers at the BlackJack tables will count towards fulfilling the requirements.

  1. Game Specific Bonuses

While I said that BlackJack and other popular table games like Baccarat is almost always excluded from counting towards wagering requirements, there still are tailored bonuses for all games offered. You can either claim a special Roulette or BlackJack bonuses or alternatively choose bonuses that are offered for players of all casino table games.

One important thing though, these bonuses will always be non-cashable. They will allow you to increase your bankroll, thus also your wagers, but that’s about it. Again, any winnings will be yours to keep, but the initial bonus credited will be taken away.

  1. Final Thoughts on Casino Bonuses

Now you should be quite knowledgable about online casinos and various bonus offers that are on the offer, but don’t forget about one very important aspect. Reputation and trust in a particular brand is way more important than a good bonus deal. If you have to decide whether to lose $50 in bonus value at a very reputable casino or go with an unknown one for $50 extra, you should always go with the trusted and reputable one. Amount is actually irrelevant most of the time, unless there is a free play bonus of some sort that does not require you to risk your own funds.


March 22, 2013 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.