A Beginner’s Guide to Online Casino Bonuses

Anyone planning to give online casino gaming a go should first learn the basics of bonuses. Introductory bonuses have become a standard feature in pretty much every online casino worldwide. Some of which appear to be more generous than others, but aren’t always quite as profitable as they appear to be.

Casino bonuses come in many shapes and forms, which in all instances are governed by various terms and conditions. This is where things get slightly tricky, as the initial value of the bonus needs to be considered in context with things like wagering requirements, withdrawal limitations and so on.

Hence, you always need to read the terms and conditions in full, before accepting any bonus offer available.

Can You Make Money from Casino Bonuses, and Are They Worth It?

The short to both questions is yes. However, it’s not quite as simple as banking a bunch of bonuses and withdrawing free cash. Where online casino gaming is concerned, there’s really no such thing as ‘free’ money. 

Instead, the funds you receive are a form of bonus credit. This credit can be used to play games in the normal way, but major restrictions will be placed on how much you can win. It’s technically possible to win money with bonus funds, and perhaps even withdraw a small amount.

Having realistic expectations is essential, as you can’t expect to be handed much money for nothing. Casino bonuses are worth it because they give you bonus credit to play with, along with the potential to win modest cash prizes.

But if you’re scouring the web for bonuses with the hope of pocketing a packet, you’re setting yourself up for a disappointment. Even the best online casino bonuses are more about pleasure than prizes. 

What is a Deposit Bonus?

Deposit bonuses are the most common type of bonuses you’ll find. They always require you to make a deposit in order to gain something in return. In most cases, this means a matched deposit bonus, where the casino matches your deposit or a specific percentage of it up to a certain amount. 

For example, a typical matched deposit promo would be a 100% bonus of up to £500. Basically, this means that if you deposit £100, you’ll actually end up with £200 in your casino account. This is by far the most common type of bonus available, handed out in percentages from 50% right up to 500% or more. 

What Are No Deposit Bonuses?

These are pretty much the only online casino promotions that don’t involve depositing funds into your account. As the name suggests, a no-deposit bonus is a promo you can take advantage of without handing over a penny of your own money. 

However, this also means that the bonus is very small — usually only £10 or so and rarely more than £80. Alternatively, a no deposit bonus can come in the shape of a few free spins, typically 10 or 20. What’s more, these offers always have strict terms and conditions.

They’re not the most profitable of bonus offers, but are still fantastic in the sense that they are free.

How About Free Spins?

Bonuses that comprise free spins can take deposit or no-deposit forms. The same general rules apply, with regard to terms, conditions and wagering requirements.  Free spins are usually handed out for specific games only, as opposed to being free to use on any slot of your choosing. 

You’ll find these promotions all over the place, but they usually come as part of a welcome bonus or as a reload bonus you can claim on a specific day of the week. 

What Are Loyalty Bonuses?

VIP programs and loyalty bonuses are generally of modest value only to casual gamers. This is because such systems involve the gradual accumulation of loyalty points, in accordance with how much the player spends. And in most instances, you need to spend a small fortune to claim anything lucrative in return.

You may accrue 1 loyalty point for every £10 you spend, after which you can cash in 100 loyalty points for a prize. Spend enough and you could score anything from free holidays to entry to major poker tournaments to random gifts and incentives throughout the year.

What Are Cashback Bonuses?

This is one of the most popular casino bonuses available, for the reason that it is also one of the simplest. Cashback bonuses allow you to recover some of the losses you’ve incurred while playing casino games. This is usually a percentage of the sum you’ve spent – typically between 5% and 30%.

You play, you inevitably lose money as you go and you’re handed a token amount of this money back in the form of a bonus. After which, you can play more games with it or withdraw it if preferred.

Wagering Requirements and Bonus Terms Explained

Rounding things off, it’s essential to know how the terms, conditions and wagering requirements that apply to casino bonuses work. General terms and conditions are usually easy to understand, which include things like maximum withdrawal amounts, time limitations applicable to the bonus and so on.

With wagering requirements, you get an instant indication of whether or not a casino bonus is worth bothering with. These play-through requirements, as they are often called, represent the specific number of times players need to wager the bonus funds before they can withdraw them. 

For instance, if you claim a bonus of £100 with wagering requirements of 30x, this means you’ll have to wager those funds 30 times before withdrawing. Therefore, you’ll have to wager £3,000 before you get a chance to make a withdrawal. 

Unless you consider yourself a high roller, this really isn’t the kind of money you’re going to be spending.

Final Word…

As previously touched upon, the importance of having realistic expectations cannot be overstated. Making the most of casino bonuses means understanding and acknowledging the fact that what you are actually receiving is bonus ‘credit’ – not free cash. 

Casino bonuses can help you make the most of your bankroll and ensure you get serious value for money. Sadly, they’re by no means a short-cut to guaranteed profits – irrespective of how generous they appear on the surface!


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