Casino Bonuses Explained


When you find yourself on a landing page of an online casino, you more often than not see a banner along the lines of “$500 FREE!”. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the online casino in question is willing to hand you over $500 just for signing up. You certainly will not be able to sign up for an online casino, take $500 and run.

So, how can online casinos offer you such hefty cash promises to register an account with them? Read on to find out …

Best Casino Bonuses 2015:

Rank Casino US Rating Sign Up Bonus Review
1 William Hill Casinos 4.7/5 200%% up to £500 Visit Site
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2 BetVictor Casino 4.6/5 100% up to £175 Visit Site
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3 BGO Casino 4.6/5 200% up to £200 Visit Site
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4 32Red Casino 4.6/5 160% up to $32 Visit Site
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5 Paddy Power Casino 4.6/5 100% up to £300 Visit Site
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6 InterCasino 4.6/5 100% up to £300 Visit Site
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7 LuckyRed Casino US allowed 4.5/5 400% up to $4,000 Visit Site
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8 Guts Casino 4.5/5 100% up to £200 Visit Site
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9 Betfred Casino 4.4/5 100% up to £100 Visit Site
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10 Ladbrokes 4.3/5 100% up to £500 Visit Site
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The types of bonuses offered

Different casinos will offer you different bonuses, but they all generally fall under one of three types – deposit bonuses, free spins bonuses, and no-deposit bonuses.

Deposit bonus


A deposit bonus is where you are expected to make a deposit after signing up with an online casino. As a reward, the casino will match your first deposit all the way up to a certain limit, and some will even double, triple or quadruple your deposit amount.

If you see “100% deposit bonus up to $100”, this means that if you were to deposit $50 as your initial deposit into your account, the casino will add an extra $50 as bonus funds. If you were to deposit $200, the casino would add $100, as that is the maximum amount that they offer. Some casinos will offer a “200% bonus” in which case they will add double your deposit amount as bonus funds. A “50% bonus” will add half of what you deposit, and so on.

Most casinos will only offer a deposit bonus for your first deposit, but others will spread the bonus to include your second, third or even fourth deposit as well.

Free spins bonus


A free spins bonus, or a bonus spins bonus, will offer you a number of free spins on online slots games once you sign up for a casino. These spins can either be on all slots games offered by the casino, or on a specific game or a selection of games. Usually, the free spins are spread out over a number of days, i.e. ten spins per day over your first twenty days of membership.

Some casinos will allow you to spend any winnings you obtain from free spins freely, but most will count free spins winnings as bonus cash.

No deposit bonus


This is the least common type of bonus offered. To receive this bonus, you only have to sign up for the casino and the bonus cash will be deposited into your account. No deposit bonuses are typically small and come with high wagering requirements.

Converting bonus cash into real cash

The money associated with casino bonuses is more often than not referred to as “bonus cash”. This means it is not cash you can withdraw immediately. Some casinos will not allow you to withdraw bonus cash at all – only any winnings you make while playing with the cash. Most will let you withdraw the cash once you have met what are called “wagering requirements”. These requirements are also subject to what are known as “game weightings”.

Wagering requirements

You are typically required to wager an amount of your cash at the casino before you can cashout bonus cash. Generally this is between 20x and 40x the value of the bonus, or the bonus and your deposit. So, if you receive $100 in bonus money, and the wagering requirements are 35x the bonus, you need to wager $3,500 before you can cashout. If the requirements are bonus and deposit, you would need to wager $7,000.

This is the amount you wager and not the amount you spend. If you need to wager $3,500, then 350 spins on a slot at $10 per spin is enough to meet your requirements. You may win a lot of money (or lose a lot!) during those spins, but that is immaterial – it is how much you wager that’s important.

Game weightings

When you’re meeting your wagering requirements, not all games are considered equal. You will find the conditions of what are known as ‘game weightings’ in the casino’s T&Cs. Typically, only slots, scratch cards and keno contribute 100% to game requirements. Blackjack may contribute only 10% – this means if you want to meet your wagering requirements, you would have to wager ten times more ($35,000 in the example above) if you wanted solely to play blackjack, than you would by playing slots.

Casino bonuses – are they worth it?

Yes and no. The general rule is that the more outlandish a bonus sounds (i.e. “$5,000 BONUS!”), the less worthwhile it is. Genuine casinos will give you a decent amount of “free” cash so you can see what they have to offer. When you are thinking of signing up for an online casino, you should read the reviews about them. A decent review will give details of the bonuses offered, and how worthwhile it is thought they are.

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