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It doesn’t seem to matter where we look in an online casino, there is always another bonus just waiting to be cashed in. We delve into all the different types of bonuses and which will benefit you most.
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Most online casinos have more games to offer today than the brick-and-mortar casinos ever had back in the day. Still, many of them seem to treat the bonuses like the stars of the show and the games like the backup dancers.
How a Casino Bonus Works
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good bonus. Without bonuses, we would have way less fun while we’re out and about on the online casino scene. There is no such feeling as gambling and winning with free credits. The only thing we need to look out for is decent terms and conditions (T&Cs). As a wise man once said: Always read the contract.
In this article, we go through the casino bonus essentials. We bring up the background of casino bonuses, what the T&Cs look like, and the different types of casino bonuses. After reading our article, you will have all the tools you need to navigate the casino bonus world. So sit down and relax – school is in session.
There are various ways a player can claim a casino bonus. Some bonuses are automatically given to a player such as a sign-up bonus. Other bonuses need to be claimed by clicking on a button or a link and others a player needs to enter a specific code for. But all of these specific ins and outs will be discussed in depths later when we delve into all the different types of bonuses.
Why Do Casinos Offer a Casino Bonus?
The short answer is that it promotes gaming. The one wonderful thing we gamblers have in common with casinos is that we like it when the gaming can go on for a little bit longer. Long-term gaming is mutually beneficial to us and the casinos.
The house edge is an important aspect of this. See, casinos basically work by having a lot of people lose a little bit of money for a long period of time. All those losses add up to a lot of cash at the end of the month, and that is how they make a living. Refer to our article on the house edge to learn more about how it works.
Casinos have always been pushing bonuses in various forms and for various reasons. They want players to either start playing or keep on playing. This is best achieved by giving players an incentive to do so, and to be blunt: nothing beats free money.
We are pretty sure that the first-ever casino had a slick-looking casino manager that gave customers some extra chips with their first deposit. The second casino to open most likely tried to one-up the first one with a better offer. The third one probably came up with an even more attractive bonus, and so the bonus games began.
This is the growing grounds for the excessive amounts of bonuses we see at casinos today. However, as with everything else, the terms are much different in the online world. The marketing pace is higher, the logistics simpler, and the customer base larger. Everyone tries to give players the absolute best casino bonus they could possibly imagine, and after a couple of decades of this, we are drowning in bonuses and other promotions.
One advantage for both casino and player is that the bonuses offered aren’t loaded with real money. In brick-and-mortar casinos, most promotions and bonuses need to be somewhat physically real, and it’s hard to enforce wagering requirements. At online casinos, on the other hand, every move you make is traced, which is a good thing. This creates security and makes it possible for casinos to impose wagering requirements, and with it, more generous bonuses.
As a side note: nowadays, the brick-and-mortar casinos don’t usually work with free chips or extra money. Their rewards programs mostly orbit around comps. Comps are non-cash rewards, like cheaper drinks, a free buffet, or even a free night or two at the casino hotel. These are earned by spending money and gambling at the casino, just like most online bonuses.
This is a term players will hear often when it comes to bonuses. It is also the one thing that will inevitably decide whether you see any of your winnings. Wagering requirements can sneak up on a player.
Many don’t really understand what a wagering requirement is in the first place and then simply ignore it only to find out how important it is later on when it bites them in the bonus bum. A wagering requirement is a certain amount of money that gamers need to wager before they can withdraw their bonus winnings.
This can get tricky sometimes since this wagering amount can pertain to either the bonus amount, the winnings or both. In most cases, it refers to the bonus amount, which means that if a player receives a ₹200 cash bonus that has a wagering requirement of x30, a player will have to play through ₹200 30 times before the winnings from the money translate into real money a player can withdraw.
But wagering requirements are only the start of certain bonus loopholes that can be hidden within a casino’s terms and conditions.
We are true believers in eating the boring vegetables first and the tasty chicken nuggets last. That’s why our first stop is at the T&C’s section to give everyone the low-down to avoid a run-down at the casino.
Getting handed a great bonus is all fun and games ‘till we get to the strings attached. Unfortunately, casinos also need to have some sort of safety net in the bonus world. This net is called the Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions, or T&Cs for short. Here we find the strings attached to the offers we get, and there are enough strings here to knit a sweater.
The T&Cs tells us what we can and can’t do to get the benefits of the bonuses. For the most part, they tend to just address common sense, like wagering requirements, designated games, and time limits. It’s no fun being restricted, we know, but if T&Cs wouldn’t be in place, it would quickly drive casinos (and us) to financial ruin.
The Terms and Conditions That Matter the Most
Wagering requirements and time limits are the parts that we are usually most interested in. These vary the most between casinos, and it’s between these that we find the true winners amongst the casino bonuses. We want to find a casino that strikes a balance between low wagering requirements, high bonus value, and long time limits. Most casinos try to focus on one or two of these since honing in on all/all three of them isn’t profitable for them, but there are some that manage to strike the perfect balance between them all.
Low wagering requirements constitute anything up to 20 times the bonus amount. Anything between 20 and 40 times is decent. Any place that requires us to play through our bonus more than 50 times is most likely employing predatory T&Cs.
Predatory T&Cs include things like:
Capped winnings from bonuses that are disproportionate to the wagering requirements, e.g., high wagering requirements and a very low winning cap.
High wagering requirements that are impossible to reach.
Roll-over wagering requirements that will make it impossible to withdraw anything because of continuous, overlapping bonuses.
Small maximum withdrawal amounts that will make it a pain if you ever win big.
Heavy game restrictions that may limit your play to just a couple of games and automatically forfeit your bonus if you play on anything else.
These are all made to either discourage you from withdrawing funds or make it nearly impossible to reach the point where you can make a withdrawal. These don’t always come together, and any one of them individually doesn’t mean that the casino is preying on you. These just need to be taken into consideration whenever you are choosing a casino bonus.
The T&Cs is also a safety net for players since it gives them a solid foundation in case of a dispute. That is why it is important to have a look at what they say about payments and withdrawals. Look for casinos that offer fair terms when it comes to these two aspects – they will ultimately be most important if you hit the big jackpot.
Some casinos are a part of the same casino group, and you might not be able to claim certain bonuses from different casinos within the same group. It’s good to check the T&Cs in this regard too.
One last thing, before you even check any terms and conditions, the most important aspect of a casino is whether it is legit. Our casino reviews are a good source of information, but you can also do your own research by looking up player reviews and confirming that they’re officially registered and licensed.
This is the absolute star of the show when it comes to online casino bonuses. In Las Vegas, the equivalent of a welcome bonus would most likely be a cocktail given to us at the door. Anything to loosen up the inhibitions. After all, they did just give us something for free, without asking for anything in return. Now that’s a friend.
In general, the welcome bonus works more or less the same way. Regardless of whether it is a deposit bonus or a freebie, we are most likely going to be able to claim a welcome bonus when we sign up to the casino.
Cynical players will be wary of anything given to them, and the welcome bonus is no exception. But a new place is the right place to be a little bit extra cautious. However, peace of mind shouldn’t be harder than reading up on the casino and reading through the bonus T&Cs. More often than not, as long as it is a trustworthy casino, the convenient truth is that there is nothing wrong at all with a generous welcome bonus. Even if it has a few terms, it will still prolong your gambling experience without you having to put in more money.
The welcome bonus is the first bonus you get when signing up for a new online casino. It is the bonus that will help start you off and hopefully even get you to try some new and exciting games. It can consist of either free bonus cash, free spins, or some Bingo tickets.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one welcome bonus that fits everyone, but we have listed some of our favourites below, with an emphasis on different aspects.
Casoola – Good for slots
Royal Panda – Good for Roulette
Lucky Days – Good for Blackjack
There is no such thing as a free lunch, right? In most cases, this is the truth. When we are scouting for a good bonus deal, we never really care much for the freebies. See, when it comes to online gambling, we already know that we’re going to spend money, so we don’t mind making a deposit to get a good deal.
A deposit bonus is an umbrella term used for any bonus that requires you to put money into the casino account to get an extra treat. This is the most common bonus you will come across in a gambling setting. It’s the “good old fashioned” online casino bonus that has been proven to be the most reliable while also being the perfect middle ground for casinos and players.
When we make a deposit, we guarantee that we will be spending money on their games. In return, they make sure that we get some added value by giving us free spins, Bingo tickets, and/or a cash bonus. Different casinos offer different bonuses. That’s why it’s important to find the one bonus and casino that suits you best.
Really good deposit bonuses typically match more than 150% of the deposit and have wagering requirements of up to x10. Anything with a higher wagering requirement and a lower deposit matching is heading towards the “not so good”-section of the casino isle. It doesn’t mean that it’s automatically bad. Just make sure that the “not so good” bonuses are complemented by great games and customer care.
Before you make a deposit into a casino, always check how payments are made in and out of the casino. Make sure that you can use a payment method you’re comfortable with and trust. There is no need to dive into a new payment method or currency just to get a good offer. Rather go with something you’re already familiar with and gamble with peace of mind.
Since we are hardened veterans in the online casino game, we have already tried most of these bonuses and games and know what suits us best. If you don’t want to put in the effort, you can check out the casinos in our list below for some enticing bonus offers:
Royal Vegas Casino – Plenty of free spins
Mr Luck Casino – Exceptional bonus cash offers
Royal Panda – Generous welcome bonus
This is the elusive free lunch that we so rarely get. Nothing says happiness like being rewarded for the bare minimum. In this case, the bare minimum is often just clicking the “claim” button or signing up to a casino. It’s the most appreciated type of bonus online, for obvious reasons.
No deposit bonuses (or “free bonuses”) are often a part of a loyalty bonus or a VIP program. It’s a way for the establishment to hand us a well-earned digital cocktail for our hard work at the games. They do this since we are spending our money on their gambling site, and they really want us to keep up the good work. But how do they benefit from giving us free things?
Most of the free casino bonuses are restricted to one or a few selected games. This means that we will definitely take the bonus (because it’s free), but we need to deposit money if we want to play any other game.
But what if we win big and the casino ends up losing money? That rarely happens. The T&Cs for any free bonus is usually way more restrictive than for the ones that require a deposit. The wagering requirements are much higher, and the winning cap is usually pretty low. The odds of us withdrawing a huge jackpot are often taken away by restricting games or held back through capping winnings.
We could be upset that they impose heavy restrictions, high wagering requirements and low payouts, but we’re not. We get free stuff and a chance to win real money. We have absolutely no right to be upset about anything that would normally upset us with a deposit bonus. Especially if it is a free welcome bonus.
Welcome bonuses are meant to get us to sign up and start playing. Naturally, someone thought it would be a great idea to have free welcome bonuses, and they were 100% correct. Nothing is more convincing than receiving free bonus spins or cash to play with when signing up for a casino.
We have gathered some good casino options for free bonuses below:
Royal Vegas Casino
All Slots Casino
Sloto Cash Casino
Being on a losing streak is never fun. We all know this, and casinos do as well. Even though they would conceptually love that we are on a losing streak, what they want the most is to keep their customers happy. This is how the cashback bonus came to life.
From time to time, we see this bonus being flaunted on various sites for various reasons. This is a type of no deposit bonus and is, therefore, often a part of a loyalty program. It is in its essence, a reward to you for losing money at a particular casino site.
The big (wo)man at the top of the casino will give you some of the cash back to keep you playing. Since you now know that you will be getting some of your money back when you lose, it suddenly doesn’t hurt as much to lose anymore. This is good for the casino in a few ways:
The cash they just gave back to you is most likely going to be lost anew and is therefore a safe bet for them.
Since you feel like you’re getting money back when you lose, it is emotionally easier to make another deposit and lose that too.
When losing doesn’t mean that much anymore, we’re more likely to take risks and lose even more. It’s simply human nature.
However, this is also good for us gamblers in certain ways:
We get cash back! It means that we can enjoy the games for longer, even if we know that the money will probably disappear.
Regardless of the casino’s ulterior motives, losing money doesn’t hurt as much when we know that some of that money will come back to us.
The cashback sometimes comes with T&Cs that state that we have to have made a deposit in the last week or so to receive a cashback. Whenever this is the case, the cashback bonus should be treated as a deposit bonus, and the T&Cs should correspond to what we talked about under that heading.
This is a type of deposit bonus that we use when we’ve run out of the welcome bonus and need an extra boost. Since the most prominent casino bonus is the welcome bonus, this type of bonus is, unfortunately, kind of left in the shadows.
It’s in a way like a deposit cashback bonus, just worded differently and may give you other things than cash. Whenever we don’t have any money left on our gambling account and we want to keep on playing, we naturally add more money. Some casinos will offer to give you a little something extra when we do so.
These will more often than not be subject to you making a deposit on a specific day of the week or within a specific period of time after an event. This is rarely an inconvenience, but it’s good to keep in mind.
This is the shaming corner of the casino bonuses. It’s technically not really a type of bonus, but for all intents and purposes, we will treat this as a real type of casino bonus.
This section is for all the casinos that boast about their great bonuses that promise free things or incredibly high-value bonuses. All of this for seemingly no effort or money at all from our side. We just need to sign up and receive all the good things these casinos have to offer.
Obviously, the overwhelming majority of these promises come with big “ifs” and “buts”. The “ifs” and “buts” are often only disclosed in the fine print in the smallest font possible. These bonuses are often backed up by predatory T&Cs that require us to jump through a million hoops before we end up with a bonus. Therefore, we are extra careful whenever a casino offers us the bonus of our dreams.
The “ifs and “buts” come in various shapes and sizes. Sometimes they can be very blunt in their actions to withhold whatever money we could get out of a bonus. But these are mostly first encountered when we want to make a withdrawal, and it turns out that we need to go through a long and painful process to verify an account. Then we might be faced with verifying the payment option, which is another long process with emails, Skype calls and documents sent left and right.
Other times they will advertise a bonus and entice us with “log in or create an account to claim your bonus”. Only to realise that it’s only available on the final level of the VIP ladder that will take us months and a buttload of cash to climb.
The last “ifs” and “buts” we’re going to address is the ever-so-present predatory T&Cs. There is no use in claiming a bonus if it will be impossible to play through the wagering requirements. The same goes if you continuously receive bonuses and the wagering requirements just keep rolling over to the next bonus.
The most common questions and answers about a casino bonus
Any extra or free stuff that a casino offers you to use on their site.
Anyone who is of legal age to gamble is eligible for a casino bonus.
You find the bonus you want and follow the required steps on the casino site.
Yes. No casino will allow you to claim a bonus without an account.
Any bonus that doesn’t have predatory T’s & C’s and contains the bonus aspects that suits you best. A good casino bonus is subjective to whoever claims it.
They will vary with every bonus, but generally, they cover how to use the bonus and on which games. They will also cover what is needed for you to claim a bonus and withdraw any winnings.
The best casino bonus depends on what you want. You typically want to look for a bonus with a high bonus value, low wagering requirements, and a long time limit.
No, but most casinos offer free spins with their bonuses.
So, what do we think of receiving bonuses left and right when we’re out and about? We don’t really mind it, to be honest.
Most casino bonuses are there to serve the purpose of keeping the gambling going. Even though we think that everyone should be careful with their money and keep their guard up to a certain extent, bonuses are not evil. For any serious casino, the bonus is a way to keep customers happy without any tricks or ulterior motives.
A healthy relationship between a casino and its customers is defined by both parties being content and benefitting. If a casino can keep a thousand customers happy and gambling without hurting anyone, they will get a good reputation. A good reputation will inspire trust and attract more customers. This, in turn, will get them more customers, which provides more income. And so, the mutually beneficial online gaming life cycle continues.
Ruining a reputation or building a bad reputation will not be beneficial to any casino in the long run. This entails them being upfront, fair, and honest with their bonuses and their accompanying T&Cs. Everything after that is in the hands of the customer. We also have a responsibility to be completely aware of what we are doing with our money. We are all adults, after all.
So, as we weed out all the malicious, unlicensed, and predatory casinos, our objective view on casino bonuses is that they are a positive influence. They make it possible for us to keep playing and enjoying ourselves for a bit longer without compromising our wallets. Sometimes we might even get free bonuses for no other reason than choosing a specific casino.
Don’t be afraid of bonuses. Rather make it a habit to read through the boring T&Cs to make sure that you know what you are doing. Follow our advice in this article and treat casinos like paid entertainment, and everything will be just fine.
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