Online Casino Bonuses

The internet is laden with online casino bonuses. Almost every major casino site out there has an ample supply of casino bonuses. Most bonuses will be well worth a look, but some aren’t so hot. Most casinos can deliver welcome bonuses and loyalty bonuses to players, but the other types of offers and deals you can claim really do vary from site to site.

With so many different types of online casino bonuses out there on the net, it can be quite a challenge to keep track of what is what, and how these bonuses can work in your favour. This is where our guide to online casino bonuses comes in. In this article, we’ll be looking at the most commonly offered bonuses on the internet in turn, explaining what each of them is, identifying how they work, and explaining just why you want to claim them. Let’s get started with the most commonly offered bonuses, the sign-up bonus.

Sign-Up Bonus

The sign-up bonus can be found in virtually all major casinos, unless, of course, you happen to be playing at a no bonus casino. Sign-up bonuses vary in terms of what they offer. Some will provide free cash to no players, others free spins. Whatever your casino chooses to offer you, though, it is with the intention of convincing you that you should continue to play with them.

Any new player is entitled to claim a sign-up bonus, and with this free cash or free spins deal, players will be able to play a handful of games at the site, primarily for free. The purpose of this bonus is to lure players into choosing them, potentially hand them a bit of free cash, and make them want to make a deposit. Another name for a sign-up bonus is the welcome bonus.

Casino Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonuses can be mighty in size, or somewhat dainty. In many cases, they are identical to sign-up bonuses, differing only in name. Just like the sign-up bonus, they can dish out no deposit bonuses or deposit bonuses. Welcome bonus offers typically only last a limited period before they expire. In some cases, players are going to be required to opt-in to the welcome bonus offer. This essentially means that they must explicitly state that they want to receive the bonus. In other casinos, the welcome bonus is automatically offered unless a player chooses to opt-out of the offer.
Welcome bonuses can provide players with free cash and/or spins, and this allows them to get a feel for the casino they consider joining long term. The most common of these offers is the match deposit bonus.

Deposit Match Bonus

Match deposit bonuses form the most commonly offered sign-up and welcome bonuses. They will often appear as percentages, such as 100% match bonuses, and are used to provide players with free cash when they deposit for the very first time as a new player at a casino. With a typical 100% match, players will be able to claim the equivalent of 100% of whatever they deposit as a bonus. For instance, a deposit of £100 with a 100% match means that players pocket another £100 (100% of £100) to see them start with £200 (their £100 deposit plus another £100 bonus) as a new player.
Deposit match bonuses may be available just on the first deposit a new player makes or several. It is not uncommon to find sign-up and welcome bonuses which form packages spread over the first three, five or even ten deposits a newbie makes.

Free Spins

Free spins can also commonly find their way into welcome bonus, and sign-up bonus offers at casinos. They may be included alongside a deposit match bonus or could even form no deposit bonuses. Whether you pocket them via either bonus, though, doesn’t really matter as they work the same way. With a free spins bonus, players will be invited to claim a handful of spins on a specific selection of slot games, and anything they win with those spins will be theirs to keep.

Free spin bonuses will see players get free spins which are played at the minimum stake possible. It is also worth noting that players will typically pocket more free spins when they form a part of a match deposit bonus, rather than a no deposit bonus. However, it is not uncommon to find free spin deals worked into loyalty bonus offers, too, which we will come to a bit later.

No Deposit Bonuses

As we touched on a bit earlier, no deposit bonuses are the second most commonly offered form of welcome bonuses. These deals can include a sum of free cash or even free spins. The basic idea of no deposit deals is to provide players with a bit of free money (or spins) so that they can experience a sliver of what it is like to play at a casino. The bonus aims to convince players to wager real money later down the line.

When no deposit bonuses come as free spins, the number of spins you get will typically be rather small, anything from 10 to 25 spins. Those spins are played at minimum stakes on a select few slots, and anything you win can be reinvested on other slot games at the site.

When no deposit bonuses come as cash sums, they could go one of two ways. The most common type of cash no deposit bonus is a small sum of money, which can be used to play any number of games at the site, with the potential to win real money. The second type of no deposit cash bonus is one which is worth a lot (sometimes as much as a grand) but can only be used in a short time-frame, often an hour. We’ll look at these in closer detail later, in our section on free time bonuses. Regardless of which bonus you claim, players will typically only be able to keep a certain amount of any winnings they land.

As their name implies, players do not need to deposit to claim a no deposit bonus. They must, however, register at a site. It is also worth pointing out that no deposit bonuses can also form part of loyalty bonuses, too, so they aren’t exclusive to new players. More on this later, for now, let’s look at some of the other bonuses and promotions in the casino which aren’t related to welcome offers and sign-up deals.

Cashable Casino Bonus

A cashable casino bonus is not exactly a rare find in the online casino world. Sometimes known as redeemable casino bonuses, these are offers which allow players to instantly withdraw anything they win just as soon as the standard wagering requirements have been met. Cashable casino bonuses form the clear majority of casino offers you will find online.

Let us say that you claim a £100 bonus courtesy of a 100% match on a £100 deposit. The wagering requirements of the bonus in this example at a simple 10x. This means that you must wager the total bonus amount 10 times before you can withdraw. So, in effect, as soon as you have wagered £1,000 (10 x the £100 bonus), you can cash-out your winnings. Almost all cashable casino bonuses work in this manner.

Sticky Casino Bonus

Unlike most standard online casino promotions (such as cashable casino bonuses), sticky casino bonuses merely deduct the amount you received as a bonus sum from the total you are trying to withdraw. This essentially means that the wagering requirements of this bonus are just 1x, or the total bonus amount itself. Consider the sticky casino bonus more like a loan, than an actual bonus.

For instance, if you were to make a £100 deposit with a 100% match, you will pocket a £100 bonus. Let us say that you won £400 wagering your deposit and bonus amount. Ordinarily, you would have to wager that bonus figure several times before you can take home your £400 winnings, but with a sticky bonus that isn’t the case. Instead, the £100 bonus you claimed will be dedicated from your withdrawal and remain in your account, giving you a £300 withdrawal in total.

These sticky casino bonus deals certainly sound rather nifty, but unfortunately, they are not the most common casino offers you will find on the net. Many people don’t like them at all.

Phantom Casino Bonus

Phantom casino bonuses are just another way of saying “sticky bonuses”. The reason some sources call them phantom casino bonuses is that they aren’t proper bonuses. As the name suggests, you are primarily playing with money that isn’t there and never will be withdrawable. Phantom bonuses (or sticky bonuses if you prefer) have a predefined validity date, meaning that after a period, they will disappear from your account altogether. This is not exactly the end of the world since you can’t withdraw them anyway.

The question is, why would anybody claim a bonus they can never withdraw, and what is the point of them. They can be slightly advantageous. They mainly provide you with a few extra funds to tackle more significant, more substantial stakes which are ideal for high-rollers. For instance, if you were going to use a betting strategy such as the Martingale System (whereby each loss is doubled), the extra funds would come in handy. If you’re going to be playing with small sums, you should avoid claiming sticky or phantom casino bonuses. As we’ve said, they aren’t that common anyway.

Gamification Casinos

Gamification casinos are a relatively new concept, as is gamification itself. You may not be terribly familiar with this concept, so it will need some explaining. Basically put, gamification is the combination of merging together various elements of video games and casino games. So, for instance, a slot machine may play as a traditional slot, but it will have some gamified features, such as XP (experience points), achievements or tasks for your main character to perform to win goodies. These often occur in bonus rounds. If you’ve got a bit of video game knowledge, just think of combining the features of an RPG (role-playing game) and a slot, and you’ll have some idea of how this works.

Gamification casinos are online gambling sites which specialise in these sorts of games. More importantly, they carry a range of bonuses and promotions which take full advantage of these games. For instance, there may be a range of promotions and bonuses which require players to land in-game achievements to bag bonuses and prizes. It is not uncommon for players to land achievements by bagging such things as “winning 100 times” or “landing a five-of-a-kind combo”, etc. By completing the objectives as mentioned in the promotions and bonuses, players could find themselves on the receiving end of free spins, gadget and gizmo prizes or even cash with gamification casino bonuses. If you want to add a little extra flavour to your slot gaming, gamified casino games and bonuses are the way to go.

Cashback Casino Bonus

Cashback casino bonuses could mean one of two things, depending on the casino offering them. Sometimes, when a casino refers to a cashback casino bonus, they are talking about handing you back cash based on your losses. At other times, the casino could be talking about bonuses which are offered when depositing at a casino, in a sense, the same as deposit bonuses.

Cashback Casino bonuses are typically offered at online casinos as loyalty bonuses or monthly offers. They are one of the most commonly accepted bonuses by players since they can replenish a dwindling balance with free cash, which can then be used to continue your online gaming experience. Let’s look at one form of cashback casino bonuses right now, the money back bonus.

Money Back Bonus

The money back bonus is just one of several types of cashback casino bonuses and arguably the more popular. The basic idea behind the money back bonus is that it allows players to receive a small amount of cash back based on their gambling habits. More often than not, the amount of cashback you get is based on your loyalty level, the amount you have wagered and/or the losses you have suffered.

For instance, players who have achieved a Silver loyalty level (for example) may pocket 10% weekly cashback on their losses. However, Gold loyalty level members may pocket 15%, and so on. Sometimes, the bonus may be based on the amount you have wagered, and it may be a time-limited promotion. For instance, during any given week, any player that deposits and wagers £50 on a slot will be entitled to 15% cashback on their losses, while a player who wagers £100 or more might get 25% back. On occasion, money back bonuses may be based on all your gambling activity, whether you have won or lost.

Money back bonuses are most advantageous when you do not have to plough lots of money into the casino to claim them. By that, we mean that a money back bonus which is offered irrespective of what you wager is, of course, a lot better than one which requires players to wager £100 or more. This is because, with the latter, you’re effectively risking losing money to win just a small bit back.

Payment Method Bonus

Another type of bonus you will find in the online casino world is the payment method bonus. This is part deposit bonus and part cashback bonus. In a sense, it allows players to pocket a small sum of bonus cash on top of their deposit when they choose to use one of the online casino site’s preferred payment methods. These bonuses can be claimed on their own, or can often be claimed alongside other bonuses, such as standard deposit bonuses. Let’s see how they work.

Let us say that a casino is offering a payment method bonus for players who deposit using Skrill. The bonus is set to 15%. What this implies is that if you deposit with Skrill, you will be able to claim a 15% cash bonus on whatever you choose to deposit, up to a specific figure.

As mentioned, these bonuses can also be used alongside standard deposit deals. For instance, a player who decides to claim a 100% match with a £100 VISA deposit can claim a £100 bonus, giving them £200 to play with. However, a player who claims the same offer, plus the payment method bonus by depositing with Skrill, will effectively get a 115% match on the same £100 deposit, giving them £215 to start playing with.

Payment method bonuses are very advantageous, but the payment methods these bonuses are valid on vary from site to site. You should always check just which deposit options the casino uses for their payment method bonuses before you decide to claim them. Also, keep in mind that not all casinos allow you to mix and match deposit and payment method bonuses together, even if the best sites will permit it.

Cryptocurrency Bonus

These bonuses should be rather self-explanatory, but if you aren’t in the know, we will explain them anyway. Quite simply, a cryptocurrency bonus is an offer which may be offered to players who choose to deposit using a cryptocurrency option, such as bitcoins, instead of other options. They can be offered as deposit deals, such as match deposit bonuses, or they can be offered in a similar manner to payment method bonuses. The options vary from site to site. Cryptocurrency bonuses almost always provide a percentage-based offer, just like the two bonuses we’ve just mentioned. On occasion, though other cryptocurrency bonuses may come to your attention.

These are known as faucet bonuses. Faucet bonuses provide players with a very small sum of free cash when they sign into their accounts. A faucet works leaks a small number of bitcoins, and we’re talking minute amounts here, which can be scooped up by the player when they sign in and then used as a free bonus to play games. Unlike other free cash bonuses, faucet bonuses tend to come free of wagering requirements, which makes them very advantageous, even if the amount you can bag from them is so petite that it is barely noticeable.

Cryptocurrency bonuses are mainly found in both casinos which accept bitcoin and specialist bitcoin casinos. As for faucet bonuses, you are only going to see these in true bitcoin casino sites.

Casino VIP Bonuses

Casino VIP bonuses are often confused with loyalty bonuses, but there is a subtle difference between them. We’ll discuss loyalty bonus a little further on, but VIP bonuses are primarily aimed at those players in the upper echelons of a loyalty program. VIP players tend to be high-rolling, big-spending players, so it is understandable that these are bonuses are exclusively reserved for these players.

Players will generally only have access to these promotions if they have proved that they are a VIP player. In fact, many of these offers are only available in the VIP section of a casino or can arrive via e-mail. Some of the more entrancing VIP casino bonuses include massive match deposit bonuses, quicker withdrawal times, better accumulation and exchange rates for loyalty points, invitations to exclusive tournaments and events, and other perks.

Whether or not you can claim VIP promotions and bonuses all depends on your loyalty level at casinos. If you were to slip down the loyalty ladder, you might drop out of that VIP zone which affords you these exclusive deals. This is certainly something worth keeping in mind.

High Roller Casino Bonus

High roller casino bonuses can either be a form of VIP bonus, or they can be welcome bonus deals which instantly grant you membership of the VIP program. Just like standard welcome bonus matches, these promotions offer free cash based on how much you deposit. However, unlike standard welcome bonus offers, the amount players are going to have to deposit to claim these offers is generally fixed and rather considerable.

For instance, with a standard welcome bonus, players may be required to deposit a minimum of £10 to claim a 100% match worth up to £100. However, with a high roller casino bonus, players may need to deposit at least £500 to claim a 100% match which is worth up to £1,000 or more. The sums tend to be pretty vast, and so the deposits must be, too. As mentioned, claiming a high roller bonus will also likely see players entered automatically into the VIP program.

High roller bonuses aren’t just limited to welcome offers, though. In fact, many casinos continually offer redeposit bonuses for high rolling players, although these tend to form a part of the general VIP program, as mentioned above, rather than act as individual one-off promotions.

Refer-a-friend Casino Bonus

Although not as popular as they used to be, many casinos still offer up refer-a-friend bonuses. These bonus deals basically reward a player for inviting their friends to join them at a casino. Any friend you do invite, though, must sign up for an account and make a deposit before the casino dishes out a refer-a-friend casino bonus. The bonuses themselves may be a fixed sum, or they can come in the form of a percentage-based bonus.

For instance, the former might see any player who successfully convinces their friend to join them at the casino pocket a £50 cash bonus. However, the percentage-based refer-a-friend bonus works differently. With this offer, if you were to convince your friend to open an account and deposit, you would be entitled to a bonus which is worth the equivalent of a percentage of their deposits. For instance, if the refer-a-friend bonus is fixed at 50%, and your friend joins and makes a £100 deposit, you would be entitled to claim a bonus worth 50% (£50) of their £100 deposit.

Birthday Casino Bonus

Birthday casino bonuses are also known as anniversary bonuses, and they are hugely appealing to players. Do not be surprised if you don’t see one of these offered directly at your casino, as they can often be found in the loyalty club section. The basic concept of the bonus is easy enough to grasp. Whenever your birthday happens to occur, the house will offer you a small bonus.

Anniversary bonuses may not have anything to do with your birthday at all, but they essentially work the same way. Instead of celebrating your birthday, these bonuses celebrate your anniversary of joining the casino. So, when you’ve played at the casino for 1 year (for instance), you will net a bonus celebrating that fact.

Both birthday and anniversary bonuses can offer one of three things to players. Sometimes, the bonuses will consist of a set of free spins. At other times, they may be a straight cash bonus. Lastly, the bonuses may come as match deposit bonuses when you deposit into your account. All will come with wagering requirements, and just which one you get depends on the casino you happen to be playing at.

Wager Free Casino Bonus

Arguably the most exciting bonuses out there are wager free bonuses. As their name suggests, these online casino bonuses come free of wagering requirements. This essentially means that whatever you win, you can withdraw instantly with no questions asked. It is becoming more common to find wager free bonuses forming no deposit deals when you register at sites. In many cases, the wager free bonus you can claim is often a free-spin-based offer.

Of course, because there are no wagering requirements attached to them, players may note that these bonuses may be used as loyalty deals instead, offered to already existing players at the casino as a reward for continuing to play with them. When they are, the house will generally provide you free spins as a wager free bonus.

No matter what form your wager free bonus takes, and when it is offered, they will always come without wagering requirements, allowing you to withdraw whatever you win. The downside to this is that, because of them being totally free, they are seldom worth very much. Don’t expect to find a cash match bonus as a wager free offer, for instance.

These bonuses are becoming more prevalent in the United Kingdom, where the UK Gambling Commission has made it clear that they have had enough of casinos offering “free bonuses” which come laden with wagering requirements, which basically negate the “free” part of the offer. To get around that, many UK casinos are now offering wager free bonus deals such as free spins, which are genuinely free.

Despite their instant popularity, these bonuses are still relatively new to the online casino world, so don’t expect them to appear everywhere right now. They are more than likely to go on to become the norm for casino bonuses and promotions in the future, though.

Casino Tournament Bonuses

Casino tournaments are part and parcel of the promotions package for many top online casinos. It is not uncommon to find tournaments offered as part of monthly promotions, although these aren’t the kinds of deals we’re looking at here. We’ll look at those monthly offers in a moment. Instead, we’re focusing more on exclusive casino tournaments, which are offered as bonuses.

Players may find that they have received an exclusive invitation to a casino tournament, and when this happens, it often forms a part of a loyalty bonus. These deals are hugely prevalent in casino sites which offer a poker sub-section, or one with live dealer games. With casino tournament bonuses, players will often gain entry to top-level poker tournaments (in a similar manner to competing in satellites), and they will also bag free chips to play with. Where you go from there, is down to you.

Aside from poker tournaments, free buy-ins and free rolls, casinos also offer slot tournaments. Some of these are exclusive and being able to participate in these tournaments can be a form of loyalty bonus as mentioned above.

Reload Bonus

As mentioned earlier, match deposit bonuses aren’t always offered as welcome bonus deals. Sometimes, these offers can form reload bonuses. Some online casinos provide reload bonuses on every single deposit you ever make at a casino. Others tend to reserve these offers for the first deposit you make of each month. A few casinos are more sporadic with reload bonuses. Regardless of how often they appear, reload bonuses almost always work in the same way.

The player can be offered a percentage-based bonus (just like a sign-up bonus) which they can claim when they make a deposit worth a specific amount. These offers may or may not require promotion bonus codes to be entered to claim the offer. Obviously, these bonuses prove immensely popular with online casino players, since they effectively allow them to refill their balance, allowing for extended gameplay.

Sometimes, a casino may not offer a cash match bonus with a reload offer. Instead, the reload bonus will provide free spins when a player deposits into their account. Although they sound less valuable, the wagering requirements often tend to be less with these types of free-spin-based reload bonuses, which can make them far more appealing for players in the long run.

Again, although representing some of the most commonly offered online casino bonuses on the net, don’t expect every casino site to offer them.

Monthly Casino Bonuses

“Monthly bonuses” is perhaps the wrong name for this kind of online casino offer. They should, perhaps, be more commonly referred to as monthly promotions. The main reason for this is that they are time-limited (only available during a given month). What do they consist of? Well, everything and anything, really. Monthly bonuses could potentially be anything we’ve already talked about, as well as bonuses which we are yet to mention. The overriding factor is, again, that these are time-limited bonuses and promotions.

Two of the most commonly offered monthly bonuses include slot tournaments and prize draws, although reload bonuses are also widely found at casinos, as mentioned above. We’ve already touched on slot tournaments before, but let’s take a more in-depth look.

Slot tournaments are commonly offered as a monthly bonus. These can see all players who wish to, opt-in to the offer. The most common format is one which sees players earn points, either based on how much they’ve wagered or won on a slot or a series of slots over the month. At the expiration of the tournament, the players with the most points (based on a table structure) will win cash prizes or free spins.

By contrast, prize draws are more down to luck than anything else. These monthly promotions require players to deposit and/or wager on games to earn tickets. Those tickets will then be put into a tombola at the end of the month, and several lucky winners will pocket prizes. There is no limit to the number of tickets a player can earn over the month, and the winners could pocket prizes which range from cash to free spins, holidays in the sun to the latest gizmos and gadgets.

Don’t be surprised to find that most monthly promotions are themed, such as horror slot tournaments for Halloween, Irish luck slot tournaments for St Patrick’s Day, holiday in the sun prize draws for summer, and gizmo and gadget prize draws just before Christmas.

Alongside monthly bonuses, players may also find a host of weekly or even daily promotions, too. The best way to see what your casino is currently offering in this respect is to check out a promotion and bonus calendar if they have one on display. This will tell you all about their upcoming daily, weekly or monthly promotions, as well as the rules for each bonus and promotion.

Casino Loyalty Bonus

We’ve talked about them a lot already, but now it is finally time to get a look at loyalty bonus offers. As you will have noticed if you’ve read every word this far, loyalty bonuses (much like monthly promotions) can be a spot of everything and anything. Just like VIP bonuses, loyalty bonuses are generally dished out when players earn points by playing their favourite games. The way it works is like this:

Players are automatically entered into the loyalty program (on the lowest tier) when they deposit at a casino and wager. They will earn loyalty points based on their bets, and over time, those points can be accumulated and later redeemed for goodies. Some of those goodies can include free casino cash and free spins. As well as handing out cash and spins, those points you have earned will also see you climb the loyalty ladder, to higher tiers. The higher you climb, the higher the tier you reach, the more prosperous those promos become.

As well as cash and spins, players can pocket other goodies such as the anniversary and birthday bonuses we’ve already mentioned, deposit deals, entry into slot tournaments, and refer-a-friend bonuses when they scale the ranks. Players will also note that other added perks such as Happy Hours (double loyalty points), exclusive access to new slots, faster conversion rates, higher withdrawal limits, speedier withdrawal times, access to a personal customer support assistant and account manager, and tickets to special events can also be bagged as you climb the steps of the loyalty pyramid.
Casinos offer these deals as a way of saying thank you for continuing to play with them. Not every casino has a loyalty bonus program, but since these represent an ideal way to pocket promos and bonuses – many of which are tailor-made for you based on your efforts – long after you’ve signed up, it is advantageous to play at an online casino which is prepared to offer these deals.

Free Time Bonus

This is a term which is not commonly found in the online casino world. Free time bonuses; what are they? Well, we’ve already touched on these earlier on in this article when we discussed no deposit bonuses, if you remember. These are the types of welcome bonuses which provide players with a substantial amount of free cash but a very short time frame to use them. These types of welcome bonus deals are not very common at all, anymore, and they are gradually dying out.

Most of the older, more experienced Microgaming powered casinos offer these types of welcome bonus offers. The way that they work is rather simple, as we’ve already stated.

To begin with, a player will pocket a truly staggering amount of “free cash”, often between £1,000 and £1,500. As soon as they claim the no deposit bonus offer, a timer will begin, and players have 60 minutes to spend the total bonus amount. Anything the player wins with that cash is theirs to keep, but there are a few fiddly conditions which must be met, though.

For starters, players can only win up to £100 with these offers. Secondly, they must wager the entire bonus amount, whatever it is, within an hour. Thirdly, a total of 100 bets must be made by the player, and they can only use the bonus on predetermined games, so no progressive jackpots, for instance. Free time bonuses also come with wagering requirements, so you can’t even withdraw anything you win until they have been met.
While these promotions can undoubtedly give you a good feel for the casino you’re about to join, they are now somewhat difficult to come across, and the wagering requirements can often be higher than at newer casinos with more current welcome bonus offers.

Bonuses Valid for Specific Games or Slots

Pretty much all the bonuses and promotions you will find in the online casino world are only valid for specific games or slots. In fact, almost no casino bonuses can be used to play progressive jackpot slots for instance. However, when a casino bonus is only valid on a select number of slots, that is usually because it is a free spin bonus, and some slots have vastly different wagering ranges and thus very different prizes, which complicates things. Most casinos only want you to have free spins on slots which don’t allow you to win too much.

It is not uncommon to see a casino which offers different types of welcome bonus offers. Some will carry a selection of different welcome bonuses, and you can only choose one. Those offers may be blackjack-specific, roulette-specific, table game-specific or slot-specific bonuses. But what does that mean?

Claiming a blackjack welcome bonus means that any bonus money you have can only be used on blackjack games. The same is true of roulette bonuses, poker bonuses and slot bonuses. However, table game bonuses can be used on all table games (save for those listed as an exception). Often, slot bonuses can also be used on keno, video poker and scratch card games, too. Of course, any casinos which offer these deals will also generally throw together a general “all games” welcome bonus, too.

Bonuses Valid for Specific Software

It may also be the case that any online casino you choose to play at may have specific bonuses for specific software. We’re not really thinking about slot providers here, but more the actual type of games you’re playing. For instance, you are very unlikely to come across casino bonuses which are only valid on Microgaming slots, or NetEnt slots, for example.

What you may come across are bonuses which are only valid on live dealer games, or mobile games, for instance. These offers can be anything and everything, but they will often be deposit deals. It is not uncommon to find a casino which is offering players a match deposit bonus if they choose to deposit in a live dealer for mobile casino site. Those bonuses will only be valid on live dealer and mobile casino software, not any other games.
These bonuses aren’t limited to deposit deals, though and may also include access to special live dealer tournaments, or may involve free spins on specific mobile slots, and perhaps access to special mobile tournaments.

Again, you’ll need to do a little digging in the terms and conditions section of each bonus to fully understand what each offer is and how it can be used to your advantage.

Now that we’ve covered virtually every online casino bonus you can find on the net, let us look at some of the specifics of online casino bonuses which you may need to know about.

Casino Bonus Codes

If you’ve played in the online casino world for any length of time, you should be familiar with casino bonus codes, what they are and how they work. Not every online casino requires players to enter the promotional bonus codes, but some certainly do. The primary purpose of these codes is to tell the casino which offers you’re after claiming, and to tell the casino that you do, in fact, wish to claim the offer. You are, in a sense, opting-in to the promotion by entering the promo bonus code.

Promotional bonus codes are commonly found on the promotions page of online casino sites themselves. They often tend to be rather simple, involving numbers and capital letters. For instance, a typical promo bonus code for a 100% match deposit bonus may look like this BONUS100. The important thing is to enter the code correctly. You may also wish to make a note of it, as some codes can be entered several times to claim the bonus offer in question a handful of times.

Promotional bonus codes can also be found in your e-mail. If a casino has got a special one-off promotion for you, namely one that they are not sharing with every player at their site, they will send it via e-mail. This promotional bonus code can often only be used once.

Casino bonus codes are also given to casino review sites. Many casinos will provide such sites with exclusive codes, and if you enter these when you sign up at the casino, you will get a slightly better welcome bonus deal than you would if you used the codes available on the casino itself. This is always worth checking out before you sign up to a casino site.

How to enter promo codes? That is a good question and one which is easy to answer, fortunately. First, you need to identify which promo code you need for the bonus you wish to claim. No deposit bonuses usually require players to enter the code in the account (under codes, or something similar) to claim the offer. Others may require you to contact customer support to claim the offer. Most, though, come with deposit bonuses. Therefore, players are required to enter the relevant promo code in a box provided next to the deposit option they choose.

Online Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

As well as promotional casino bonus codes, players also need to be aware of wagering requirements. These are found with virtually all online casino bonuses. As we’ve already touched on, these wagering requirements (also known as playthrough rates) require players to wager their bonus amount a specific number of times before they can withdraw any winnings they have pocketed with the offer. However, on occasion, players may also have to wager the deposit amount, too. This varies from site to site and offer to offer.

Here are our examples:

If you claim a 100% match deposit bonus with a £100 deposit and it comes with 35x bonus wagering requirements, you are going to have to wager your £100 bonus a total of 35 times before you can withdraw. This means you must stake £3,500 before withdrawals are permitted.
However, if you claim a 100% match deposit bonus with a £100 deposit and it comes with 35x bonus and deposit wagering requirements, you are going to have to wager your £100 bonus and £100 deposit 35x times before you can withdraw. This makes a far more substantial sum of £7,000 which must be staked before withdrawals go through.

Players should always try and avoid claiming bonuses which ask them to wager both the bonus and deposit figures. Always try to find bonuses which only require players to wager the bonus amount. As mentioned, there are wager free bonuses out there, too, but these are worth nothing compared to the big bonuses which do come with wagering requirements.

So, what are the ideal wagering requirements? Aside from the obvious (none, of course), most people consider wagering requirements which range from 4x up to 10x the bonus amount exceptional. Playthrough rates which stem from 15x up to 35x the total bonus amount, are considered the industry norm. You could even potentially stretch that to 40x. However, wagering requirements which are set to 45x the bonus amount, are rather extortionate and above the industry standard. As for wagering requirements which are set to 45x the bonus and deposit total, just forget about them. They aren’t worth your time.

If you’re playing in the UK, the UK Gambling Commission has stipulated that casinos must display the wagering requirements right next to the offer, in clear and easy to see text. However, if you’re playing elsewhere, you may have to travel to the terms and conditions page of an offer to see the specifics regarding wagering requirements. After all, the casino wants you to claim their offers, and you’re likely to be put off by overly sizeable wagering requirements, so they are kept neatly tucked away on the terms and conditions page.

Casino Bonus Abuse

Finally, we’re going to end on bonus abuse. This is a tricky subject and an unpleasant one. Most of the time, when we talk of bonus abuse, we’re talking about players who have claimed an offer and didn’t fully understand how it worked; thus, they give a bucketful of abuse to customer support members. However, bonus abuse can also come from the casinos, too, whereby they deliberately change the terms and conditions of an offer, such as the wagering requirements, after a player has claimed it, to deny them the right to withdraw.

Bonus abuse is a horrible thing, but it should and can be easily avoided if players do their homework. First and foremost, players need to understand that the casinos only offer bonus offers to try and get you sucked into playing at their site. At no point should a player be under the illusion that a casino is giving them free money that they can take out to their bank. Knowing this, you will know what the terms and conditions of the bonus are before you claim it. If you’ve been following along with this article, you will know by now, you cannot withdraw anything until wagering requirements have been met. Until they are, it is not your money to withdraw.

However, that won’t stop some blacklisted and rogue casinos from screwing you. These are not professional online casinos, and they will abuse their players just like players abuse customer support staff. They will deliberately change the wagering requirements on the sly so that players who have the right to withdraw suddenly don’t. It is pointless taking your case to their customer support team as you won’t win. Instead, take it to casino review sites and blacklisted casino specialist sites. They will take your case on and try to help you. Again, you can do your homework by finding out which casino sites are guilty of changing the terms and conditions of any offer you have already claimed. Simply stay away from any blacklisted and rogue casinos and, and by and large, this won’t be a problem.

Bonus abuse doesn’t have to be a problem. If you have any questions, contact customer support before you claim an offer, and get the details from them. You can then save the conversation for use later if you need to. If you choose to play at a trusted, safe and secure casino, and you read through the terms and conditions of any online casino bonuses you plan on claiming before you do so, everything should work out fine.



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