Bonus Breakdown: Key Factors for Selecting Casino Bonus Offers

Learn how to quickly select the best casino offers and promotions that suit your gambling style the most.

key factors for selecting casino bonus offers
Bonus Breakdown: Key Factors for Selecting Casino Bonus Offers

Casino bonuses come in many different forms and sizes. Some bonuses can provide fantastic opportunities for extra winnings. Other bonuses come with such restrictive conditions that the likelihood of making a profit is near zero.

It can take time for experienced players to grasp the overall structure of bonuses and whether taking a bonus or skipping it is worthwhile. In this article, we dig into the key factors to consider when selecting a bonus and how casino affiliate sites can help you compare bonus offers.

Bonus types: Understand the offer

Understanding the content of the offer is a critical starting point. Here are the most common types of bonuses at UK online casinos:

Welcome bonus:  Almost all online casinos offer welcome bonuses to incentivise players to sign up and make a deposit. It is the first deposit bonus you receive at a casino and is often the biggest. 

Deposit bonus: A deposit bonus is an umbrella term for bonuses you qualify for when you make a deposit. These bonuses are generally match bonuses, where a percentage of your deposit will be matched as bonus money.

No-deposit bonus: While rarer, casinos are known to offer bonuses without requesting the player to make a deposit in return. These bonuses are generally smaller than deposit bonuses. 

Free spins: Free spins are a form of a no-deposit bonus that takes the form of free game rounds for selected slots. Important note: according to UKGC, free spins should only be called free if they do not require a deposit, but you may come across casinos that do not follow this rule.

Bonus spins: Bonus spins, also called extra spins and various other terms, are free game rounds on selected slots you receive against a deposit. 

Cashback: Cashback is a bonus type where you can get a portion of your money back - usually calculated from your net losses. The value of an average cashback bonus can be anything between 1% and 20%.

As casinos are constantly evolving, you may encounter increasingly imaginative offers.

Understanding the offer is a primary key factor in choosing a bonus because what you want from the offer weighs the most. If you wish for freedom in what you do at the casino, the best offer for you might be a cash bonus. If you want to add a touch of mystery to the bonus, free spins might be more your thing, as there's no way of knowing what you might win.

Bonus terms and conditions: The hoops you need to jump through

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The terms and conditions of bonuses vary from casino to casino. Familiarising yourself with them before claiming a bonus is extremely important.

Things you will most likely come across when reading the T&C of bonuses include:

  • Wagering requirements
  • Maximum bonus amount
  • Minimum deposit to claim the bonus
  • Maximum bet while playing with the bonus
  • The maximum amount you can withdraw with the bonus
  • Bonus expiration date 

With the bonus T&C, casinos primarily aim to prevent the abuse of bonuses. Additionally, some of the conditions are there to ensure that players end up spending as much time at the casino as possible. 

Let's take a closer look at some of the most crucial points and how they affect the quality of the bonus.

Wagering requirements

The wagering requirement determines how many times the bonus must be played through at the casino before you can convert it into withdrawable cash. Sometimes, the wagering requirement also applies to the deposit which claimed the bonus. They can come in many sizes, though they tend to be between 25 and 60 in the UK.

Let's use the relatively common wagering requirement of 35 to explain how they work. Let's say you deposit £20 and receive a £20 bonus. The casino requires you to wager the bonus 35 times. 35 x £20 means you need to wager £700 with the bonus before you can withdraw the winnings from the bonus.

The bonus amount and value

The monetary value of a bonus only sometimes tells the whole story of whether a bonus is good or not.

In addition to the value marked in currency, paying attention to the percentage by which the bonus gets added to your deposit is always advisable. Alongside this, checking the wagering requirements and other potential limiting factors is essential.

Here's an extreme example for a better understanding:

  • Casino 1 offers you a 50% bonus up to £200.
  • Casino 2 provides the same maximum bonus of £200, but the percentage is 100%.

You could get up to £200 as a bonus from both, but for Casino 1, you would need to deposit £400 to get the maximum bonus. Casino 2's deposit must only be £200 to receive the maximum bonus.

For free spins, we can always calculate the monetary value of the offer by multiplying the number of spins by the bet value. This value will vary, but you should be able to find it in the small print.

Naturally, the wagering requirements also impact the total value of the bonus. The higher the wagering requirement is, the less valuable the bonus.

Bonus expiry

When you wish to claim a bonus from a casino, there are two deadlines you need to be aware of: the expiration dates of the offer and the bonus.

Casino bonus offers are usually valid only within a specific timeframe. For example, first deposit bonuses may only be claimable within two weeks from registration.

On the other hand, the bonus expiry date sets the deadline for completing the bonus wagering requirement and will usually only kick in once you activate the bonus. The bonus expiry will vary, often depending on the size of the offer. Anything from a week to a month is common, but you can also run into longer and shorter time frames.

Skipping the fine print: Most common mistakes

One of the most common mistakes you can make at online casinos is neglecting to read the bonus T&C. Reading and understanding them may require a bit of effort, but this step shouldn't be skipped.

Going through the terms and conditions can save you time and protect your pockets from unpleasant surprises.

A condition that many fail to check is the allowed maximum bet value when wagering a bonus. This maximum typically falls between £2 and £5, but it can vary more or less depending on the casino. The lower the max bet is, the longer it will take to meet the wagering requirements.

An even more frustrating surprise is the max win. This term specifies the maximum amount of real money you can win from a bonus and withdraw from the casino. 

Casino affiliates: Get the best view on bonuses

Casino affiliates provide a quick overview of the best bonuses available, among other features. Affiliate sites, such as Bonusfinder, Mr. Gamble, Fruityslots, and Bojoko, specialise in online casinos and can guide you through practically everything related to casino bonuses. You can read in-depth articles on different bonus types and see where you can claim them.

Comparing bonuses is especially easy on affiliate sites that allow you to filter lists, such as Bojoko. For example, say you want to see only casino welcome bonus offers exceeding £300 and want the wagering requirement to be 35x or lower. It only takes a couple of clicks or taps on Bojoko, and you immediately see the casinos with these bonuses. 

Using trusted UK affiliates also adds a layer of security as they will only feature UKGC-licensed casinos. Once you know you are choosing between safe UK casinos, you only need to use the tips from this guide to pick the best casino bonus for you.

This article was published on December 14, 2023, and last updated on December 14, 2023.