Online casino bonuses provide players with a great additional way of making money at an online casino. The different kinds of bonuses on offer include no-deposit bonuses, loyalty bonuses and welcome bonuses. However, these bonuses often come with conditions attached. This is why it is important to be aware of all your bonus options, and how you can take advantage of them, before you choose where to play.
One of the most publicised bonuses at an online casino is the welcome bonus. This is the bonus payout that a new player will receive when they make their first deposit at a new site. These bonuses can make a huge difference to your bank role before you even start playing. The welcome bonus can be anything from 50% up to 500%, but normally sits around the 100% mark. This 100% bonus is called a match bonus, meaning the casino will match whatever deposit you make, in effect, doubling your money. With a match bonus, if you deposit £100 the casino will give you another £100 in bonus cash. So your total bank roll will be £200.
No Deposit Bonuses
One very attractive bonus for new players which often comes as a form of welcome bonus is the no deposit bonus. This is a small bonus designed to bring new players to a site by giving them free money to play with before they make any deposit. Because this is entirely the casino’s money, the bonuses here are normally small, say £5 or £10. These bonuses are the best kind because they are simply free money – however, they are usually only quite small and may have some restrictions place on them, such as certain wagering requirements, meaning that players must wager the bonus a certain number of times before they are able to cash it out.
The sign up bonus is certainly one of the most attractive bonuses the casino has to offer because it is normally the biggest. However, there are a few things to be aware of when signing up at a new casino solely because of a large welcome bonus. One of the most important points to consider is how you will claim your cash, as not all bonuses will be applied automatically. Sometimes players have to click on a special link on the bonus or promotions page, while other times you might need to e-mail the support team directly.
Casinos also sometimes put a time limit on a sign-up bonus that needs to be claimed. This could even be as little as 24 hours, meaning you need to claim your bonus within 24 hours of signing up at the site or else you will forfeit it. On many occasions having to actually claim the bonus can work out to be more profitable for the player because this can mean that there are no wagering requirements, whereas with an automatically applied bonus the money nearly always has to be played through a certain number of times before you are able to cash it out.
Other important bonuses existing at online casinos which will certainly keep you playing are the loyalty bonuses. These are bonuses are available to regular players at a site who have reached a certain status level of play. Loyalty bonuses can come in the form of reload bonuses, which give a certain bonus on top of every top up. Other loyalty bonuses are monthly match bonuses, which reward players every month with a 100% bonus. They can also be one-off bonuses given out to players who have wagered over a certain amount in one month – these can be either advertised or handed out at the casino’s discretion. Of course these discretionary, unadvertised bonuses can come as a welcome surprise for players.
The loyalty schemes at an online casino works by grading players, putting them into tiers according to how much they wager at the site. Players will find themselves in a bronze, silver and gold VIP tiered system, with the higher VIPs receiving bigger bonuses. Loyalty bonuses can also sometimes carry a wagering requirement, so players need to look at the terms of a bonus to see how they can collect it. The more you play at a certain site, the higher up the loyalty levels you will climb – and the bigger the bonuses you will be able to enjoy. This is how casinos keep players at their site and stop them from jumping ship to another casino with a hearty welcome bonus.
In any case, when players find a casino they like, they will normally keep returning to play at familiar tables, as long as they stay lucky. Loyalty bonuses are just a further way of keeping a player’s interest in a certain site by giving regular rewards. Of course these bonuses are heavily advertised when you become a member of a certain casino, with e-mails updating members on the bonuses they are entitled to, in order to convince you to visit the casino again and deposit just a little more.
Fixed Rate Bonuses
Another kind of bonus that can entice new players to a site is the fixed rate bonus. With these bonuses, if you deposit a minimum amount, the casino will give you a set amount on top in bonus cash. Often, these bonuses encourage you to deposit more than you would normally in order to get the biggest bonus. For example, a £20 deposit may receive a 50% bonus, but a £50 deposit could receive a 100% bonus. In this case, it is worth thinking about upping your deposit to take advantage of the free money on offer.
Watch out for Bonus Conditions!
Although casinos can be generous with the bonuses they offer, they usually come with additional catches. One of the main conditions to be aware of is that bonuses are usually ‘sticky’, that is, cannot be withdrawn straight away. Normally, players have to wager the bonus a certain number of times before they can cash it out. This is so that the casino has a chance to get its money back and ensures that you do actually play at the site and don’t simply withdraw your free cash and move along to the next casino to take advantage of a new bonus elsewhere.
The way the sticky bonuses work is that you will have a wagering requirement stipulated in the bonus conditions. So you might need to wager your deposit plus bonus amount 10, 20, 30 or more times before you are allowed to cash it out. This means that if you deposit £50 and receive a match bonus of £50 you have £100 in total to play with, but you will then need to wager your £100 a total of 20 times before you can cash out any winnings. So you will need to make £2000 worth of bets. Sometimes an online casino will only require you to wager your bonus cash 20 times before cashing out, so that you only need to wager the £50 bonus 20 times and so make £1000 worth of bets.
Another point to consider is that many casinos exclude certain games or bets from counting towards your wagering requirements. Often these casinos disallow games or bets with a low risk for the player. This means that games with a lower house edge are out of bounds, for example, blackjack is often a disallowed game, as are even chance bets on roulette. The requirements and conditions are always different depending on where you play, so it is crucial to check the rules on wagering requirements or you may find yourself in the situation where you cannot cash out your money.
Winners might also be surprised to find that their bonus comes along with a maximum cashout condition. This means that you may only be able to cash out 10 times the bonus amount. So if you hit the big progressive jackpot only a fraction of the win will be available to you and you will be made to continue playing with the rest.
Casino bonuses are certainly one of the major plus points of playing casino games online. There are many things to be aware of when looking to take advantage of online casino bonuses and, with careful planning, players can reap the rewards of healthy welcome bonuses and generous loyalty bonuses. Just make sure to check the terms and conditions for wagering requirements, cashout maximums and any other conditions that might make claiming your money more difficult. Be sure to do your research – and then enjoy all the free cash on offer with online casino bonuses!