How Do Gambling Bonuses Work
To give you a clear picture of what gambling bonuses are, let us break down the different components of any poker, slot, betting, or casino bonus.
For every bonus, there is a reward or form of incentive given to you. Generally, the offer applies if you become a casino's member or if you deposit money into your account. These rewards include additional money or casino credits that comes in different flavors such as deposit bonuses or free spins. When we are talking about more money, this is not just a few dollars or even 10% of the money you sent to your account. Deposit bonuses on average are half or twice the amount you sent to your account. If you deposit $300 to take advantage of a casino's bonus, you could get $150 or $300 of casino currency.
Offers are not just limited to additional credits. These can also come in the form of free spins for slots where you get to play qualified games several times free. Winnings you acquire from those free spins are considered bonus money.
Take note that bonus money is exclusive to casino games. For the punters, there are free bets that you can use on qualified sports wagers offered by the sportsbooks. You can use the bets on the usual odds market such as straight bets, money line bets, and total line bets. For operators, bonuses or free bets are a way to draw paying customers.
Free spins, bonus money, extra bets, and other casino bonuses are rarely, if ever, given away without any strings attached. To become eligible for them, you need to meet various conditions first. One of these conditions is the easiest: simply sign up for the online casino. Doing so entitles you to a bonus that does not require any further deposits.
For a majority of bonuses, you are required to deposit at least the minimum amount. Let us use a welcome bonus package that gives you a 100% deposit bonus and 50 free spins when you deposit at least $50 as an example. If you deposit $49 or the casino's minimum deposit, you miss out on these bonuses.
The Terms & Constraints
As generous as these bonuses may seem, there are strings attached to each $200 bonus, 40 free spins, and $100 fee bets. Below are the common terms and conditions for your average casino bonuses.
- Free casino and sportsbook bonuses must be wagered a specific number of times before you can withdraw them.
- Free spins apply only to qualifying slots.
- Every free spin has pre-set wagers and open paylines.
- Sportsbook currencies can only be used to specific sports odds market such as football matches.
- All bonuses are non-transferable.
- Winnings from free spins must be wagered before they can be withdrawn.
Different Types of Bonuses
Casinos offer a wide range of bonuses to give any patrons an incentive to play on their website. Let us break down each of these bonuses to give you a good glimpse of what rewards you can earn.
Welcome bonuses are the first promos you will encounter when you visit most online casinos. Sign-up bonuses are the first promos certain casino players encounter via referral banners or promotional ads.
For each signup bonus, you can expect three different rewards after you created an account.
Deposit bonuses are rewards you get upon loading your account with real money or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Your sign-up bonus often depends on the amount you deposited such as half the total money you place on your account.
A good example of this is Pure Casino's Welcome Package Bonus where you can get half of your deposit amount of at least $10. There is a limit to this bonus, which is $400 on your first deposit. Let us say you deposited $900. Instead of $450 or half of the amount you deposited, you will only receive $400 or the limit.
No-deposit bonuses are one of the attention-grabbing rewards in any online casino. By simply signing up, you immediately get casino credits that you can use on all games within the website or the ones an operator selects. In addition, you can withdraw this bonus when you meet the requirements in certain casinos.
888 Casino's $88 No Deposit Bonus is one of these kinds of welcome bonuses where you get FreePlay credits after signing up. Your FreePlay credits are available for 14 days after receiving them, giving you two weeks to use them before they are removed from your account.
100% Match Bonus
100% match bonus is where you receive casino currency that has the same amount you deposit to your account. If you deposited $400 for example, you receive $400 of credits you can use for select games. There are other variations of these bonuses such as 200% and 1000%.
Casino Cruise's welcome package offers a 100% match bonus along with other incredible offers. Registering entitles you to 55 free spins on Starburst. You also receive 200 free spins on qualifying games.
Reload bonuses are recurring incentives where you receive a certain number of in-house credits when you deposit on specific days. This is similar to deposit bonuses where you can receive half of the amount you deposited. Certain casinos can be more generous with their reload bonus by matching the money you sent to your account.
One of these kinds of bonuses can be found in Shambala Casino where they have the Monday Reload Bonus. You receive 50% of your deposit amount up to €300.
No-wagering bonuses take away the requirement of betting any free spins winnings a specific number of times before you can withdraw them. Any money you win on specific games using your no-wagering bonus is yours to keep.
Paddy Power Games offer 200 free spins on any daily jackpot game. You only need to spend €10 to get these free spins. Each of these free spins has a €0.10 bet for each game and will expire 7 days after receiving it.
Free Spin Bonus
Free spins bonuses are rewards that let you play qualified games a set number of times. Each free spin has a set bet value, which you cannot change. If the free games are for titles with adjustable paylines, each spin will also have a specific number of paylines open that cannot be changed as well. All winnings you get from your free spins will be subjected to the terms and conditions a casino set on their bonus, such as their wagering requirement.
Kerching's welcome package comes with 150 free spins on qualifying slots. You will also receive a deposit bonus that can reach up to £500.
Free Bet Bonus
Free bet bonuses are credits you can wager on various sports matches. These are almost the same as casino bonus credits where your deposits influence the number of free bets you can receive. Like casino bonuses, you need to wager these bets several times before you can withdraw them. Certain criteria for where you can wagers your bets include that is more than 1.50.
Betfred is where you can find £30 of free bets after betting £10 worth of real money. This offer is exclusive to new customers who use the promo code 'SPORTS60'.
High Roller Bonus
High roller bonuses are incentives for those who play high limit games or spends more money than an average casino guest spends. These rewards come in the form of match bonuses or deposit bonuses when a high roller deposits more than the specified amount. What differentiates high roller bonuses from regular ones is the large limit. An average bonus usually has a limit of $300 to $500 while high roller bonuses can break the $1000 limit.
Bitkingz Casino's high roller bonus is one example of this type of incentive where your deposits are 125% matched up to €1000.
Game-specific bonuses are rewards you can use on casino games. Free spins are the most common kind of game-specific bonus where you get several free games with preset bets and active paylines. Other forms of this type of bonus include live dealer credits. These credits are usually for live dealer games from the same software provider while other casinos only allow a game-specific bonus for one live dealer game.
Fairway Casino has a game-specific bonus of 1000 virtual tokens for Visionary iGaming's live dealer games. These games include Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, and Live Baccarat.
Cashback bonuses are a way to encourage guests to keep playing by giving back a portion of what they wagered. An average of cashback bonuses usually gives you 5% to 20% of the total money loss. Cashback bonuses are often a regular promotion for certain days of the week or are seasonal rewards for guests who participate on a specific date.
One example of a cashback bonus is the one offered by Yako Casino with their Always 10% Cashback promo. This bonus is available to any players who deposited at least £20.
Loyalty programs are reasons for players to keep coming back to one casino. These programs involve collecting points through various casinos games such as slots or online blackjack. Once you accumulated a significant amount of points, you can exchange them for casino credits, free spins, and other perks.
Casimba provides its members with a solid loyalty program where you receive a point for every €10 you bet. You even earn points when betting €10 worth of bonus money. You can exchange 1000 points for €5 of casino credits for their games.
A referral bonus is a reward for inviting people to a casino. When your referral signs up to a casino and completes the requirement, both you and your companion will receive various rewards such as bonus credits. These requirements usually involve entering your referral code and depositing a certain amount.
Ignition Casinos Tell-a-Friend promotion is a good example of a referral bonus where you receive a 200% match bonus up to $100 when your friend deposits at least $20. If they use cryptocurrencies, you receive an additional $25 of casino credit.
Casino bonuses come with their string or terms before you can receive them. In addition, almost every bonus you receive requires you to clear several conditions before you can claim it as your own. Below are the bonus requirements to expect when you take a casino's offer.
You need to deposit more than the minimum requirement to receive nearly any bonuses. This is a common requirement set by nearly any casino for you to take up their promotional credits or free games, except no deposit bonuses.
One example is a Wednesday Reload promotion with a bonus of up to $100 and a minimum deposit requirement of $10. You need to top off your account with $10 to receive at least $5 of casino credits.
Wagering requirements are the amount a bonus needs to be wagered for you to withdraw it. You need to bet the bonus several times to clear this requirement. In addition, certain games have different contributions to the wagering requirement amount. Slots tend to give 100% of the requirement for each bet wagered while high RTP games such as blackjack give around 40% or less to the requirement.
If a wagering requirement is 35X and you received a $100 bonus, you need to bet the credit until you reach more than $3500. If you are wagering the bonus on games that give 50% to the requirement, you need to bet up to $7000 with that game to complete the wagering requirement.
Minimum Bet Amount
For cashback and other promotions where you receive a bonus for playing certain casino games, there tends to be a minimum bet amount you need to fulfill.
Take a cashback promotion of 20% with a minimum bet of $10 for example. You need to spend more than the minimum bet to get a bonus credit of at least $2.
While incredibly rare, there are bonuses you can obtain by getting a minimum spin on qualifying slots. These bonuses are usually tied to slot tournaments where several spins give you an entry to the leaderboards.
An example would be a Microgaming Slot Tournament where you just need to play any of the software provider's games to qualify. To qualify for a spot that entitles you to the prize pool, you need to keep playing until you win more credits than other players.
Free spins are usually restricted to specific slots. These games tend to be from the software provider who owns the casino platform an operator is using.
Let us say you received 100 free spins from a casino that uses SoftGaming, a casino platform from Microgaming. Those free spins are likely playable on Microgaming's titles such as Thunderstruck or Egyptian Tombs only.
Deposit & Withdrawal Options
Casinos only allow you to withdraw your bonuses with the same deposit method you used to receive them. These options include credit card, bank transfer, or cryptocurrency transfer.
If you should deposit Bitcoin and receive a welcome package from the casino you signed up with, you can only withdraw your bonuses to a cryptocurrency wallet.
Every free spin and bonus credits have a limited time for players to redeem it once they become eligible for it. In addition, all bonuses you receive have an expiration date. Casinos usually give patrons around a week or month to use or wager their bonuses.
Welcome bonuses are good examples where new players have a deadline to make their first deposit and claim their welcome package. Upon receiving their welcome bonuses, they need to bet the
Casinos often add more steps for you to claim bonuses, which are in the form of codes. You will often see these codes on review websites, banner ads, and social media.
Promo codes usually look like this: SPORTS40 and SLOTS200. To use these codes, just look for the redeem option within your account menu.
Bonus Clearing Strategies
Wagering requirements are obstacles keeping you from taking home that massive bonus. Although the condition of wagering your casino credit or free spins winnings around 35 or 40 times its amount seems daunting, there are ways you improve your chance of clearing the requirement.
One of these methods is to play high RTP slots with low variance. These games have an incredibly low risk for you to lose your bankroll after a few spins at the cost of low payouts. Remember, your goal is to wager your bonuses until you clear the requirement while minimizing your losses.
Another method is to play your bonuses on blackjack or video poker games. These games usually have a low house edge, allowing you to immediately clear the wagering requirement. Take note that the house edge depends on how you play these games. With a concise and clear strategy, you can minimize the house edge to less than 1%.
One last factor to note. Always check the terms and conditions of a casino regarding their wagering requirements. Certain operators restrict players to spend their bonuses on high RTP slots or other casino games. If this is the case, find the list of games they allow you to wager your bonuses on. Base on that list, use your bonus on the games with the highest RTP and low house edge as possible.
Casino Bonuses: FAQ
Answers to the most common questions about bonuses for online casinos, poker sites, and sports betting apps.
What are casino bonuses?
Bonuses are incentives for people to become a member of a casino and spend money on their games. One example of these bonuses is welcome packages, giving future patrons a reason to sign up and make a deposit.
Are casino bonuses worth it?
Any bonus you earn is a good opportunity for a large payout since you are getting them free. You just need to meet the minimum requirement to obtain them such as depositing more than $30 to get the welcome package.
Can you make money from casino bonuses?
Casino credits and winnings from your free spins can be withdrawn if you meet the wagering requirement. Upon clearing the requirement, you can withdraw the bonuses to your credit card or cryptocurrency wallet.
How to use the online casino bonus effectively?
Check the terms and conditions of a casino regarding the use of their bonuses. Once you know which games take the bonuses, consider playing titles you have yet to try. Otherwise, go for low RTP games to clear the wagering requirement.
What games are casino bonuses valid for?
Gambling sites that use a specific casino platform often have their bonuses playable with games from the same software provider. If you are playing on a casino platform from Playtech for example, you are likely going to spend your bonuses on their titles such as Ugga Bugga.
Are online casino bonuses only for new players?
While welcome package bonuses are exclusive to new players, existing members are still entitled to promotional or regular bonuses. These rewards include reload and cashback bonuses.
How long will it take to receive my bonus?
You will receive your bonus once the platforms confirm your payment or after signing up. This process is often instantaneous or is completed in less than an hour.
Can you withdraw a casino bonus freely?
Unless your bonus comes with a no-wagering incentive, you need to wager your casino credit or free spin winnings on various games.
Why do online casinos offer big welcome bonuses?
From massive matching bonuses to hundreds of free spins, these welcome bonuses allow a casino to stand out and make most visitors paying customers.
How are casino bonuses calculated?
Simply check on what is on offer. If the bonus says "up to $100" for example, your bonus is half the amount you deposited. 100% match promotions mean your bonus credit is the same amount as you deposited.
What is a wagering requirement?
Wagering requirements are what you need to clear before you can turn your bonus into actual money. This requirement can be cleared by wagering your bonus several times on qualifying games.