If you’re new to the online casino world, you may find the phrase Welcome Bonus a little confusing. Because they vary depending on the casino or location, they can seem confusing at first. But they are well worth taking the time to understand for one important reason:
Bonuses often mean free money for new players!
A welcome bonus is essentially the way an online casino says “thank you for joining”, and it comes in the form of free money or free spins you can use to play. There are a few types of Welcome Bonuses offered by online casinos with different conditions, advantages and disadvantages.
Different Types of Casino Bonuses: A Quick Overview
There are three main types of casino bonuses you can choose from and they are usually referred to as:
Deposit Match Bonuses
No Deposit Bonuses
What Does a Deposit Match Bonus Include?
A deposit match bonus is when the online casino offers to chip in a certain percentage of whatever you deposit for the first time. The percentage can be anything from 25% up to 200%, and they are triggered as soon as you complete your first payment.
Some important factors to consider before accepting a deposit match bonus is to check the minimum deposit requirement, the maximum cashout and wagering requirements. For more information on deposit match bonuses click here.
What Are No Deposit Bonuses?
A no deposit bonus works a little differently than deposit match bonuses. Basically you do not need to pay any cash to claim these bonuses, they are automatically added to your account as soon as you finish registering or entering a bonus code!
Be wary of wagering requirements for such bonuses, which tend to be higher, and make sure you use the correct bonus codes. You can find a filtered list and guide to no deposit bonuses here.
How Do Free Spins Work?
Free spins are a very specific type of bonus that allow you to play slots with preset bets for free. The spins are usually have a designated value set, and can be a part of a deposit bonus that is triggered once you top up your account, or can come as a no deposit bonus!
Find out more about free spins bonuses and where you can find the best deals on our free spins guide here.
The Best Online Casino Bonuses in 2018:
Below you will find the best deposit match bonuses, no deposit bonuses and free spins offers of the year, some of which can only be found here on CasinoSmash. Be sure to use the right bonus codes, and if you want to read more about each casino just click on the link to the review!
18+ New Customers only. Registration required. Free Spins on Book of Dead are subject to change and expire 7 days from activation. 35x wagering requirement before any winnings can be withdrawn. For eligibility see full T&C's.
18+. New depositors only. UK residents only. Minimum deposit £10. 10x wagering on free spin winnings. Free Spins are valid only on Starburst and expire in 7 days. Excludes deposits made via Skrill, Entropay and Neteller.
New Casino customers only. Deposit min. £10. Applies to first deposit to Casino only. Max. bonus £100. 15x wagering (game weighting applies) on deposit and bonus to make the bonus balance withdrawable. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Casino welcome bonuses may serve many purposes. Not only do they allow you to essentially play for free, but you can also try out different games, minimize your losses and maximize your wins. Nearly every online casino has a welcome offer to motivate players to join.
And you should not miss out on them!
While casino bonuses are great, beaware of picking just any bonus. Most of them look nice but you have to dig a little deeper to really know if it’s really a good deal, or just a well-dressed trick to dropping your cash.
Online casino bonuses differ in size, wagering requirements, time limit to meet these requirements and additional offers that come with the bonus. Sometimes it’s free spins, an entry to a raffle, while other times there’s nothing.
That’s why we will cover all the aspects of a casino bonus below and tell you exactly what you should look out for when choosing a casino bonus.
How to Choose the Perfect Casino Bonus
There are few universal factors that make a casino bonus good or bad, but the specific criteria depend on what kind of casino bonus you want to go for.
Deposit Match Bonuses: Size and Percentage Matter!
Even though nearly all casinos offer a welcome bonus, they differ a lot in the maximum amount you may get.
Some differ in multipliers while others differ in size, and keep in mind that multipliers apply only to deposit match bonuses. For example, you may see a bonus of 100% up to $600. In this case any deposit up to a maximum $600 will be equally matched as your bonus.
Contrary to what you may have heard, size does matter; at least as far as online casino bonuses go. In most cases, deposit bonuses will have “up to” written next to the amount. Whether it is $100 or $4,000, it’s the maximum you may get as a bonus.
And guess what?
If you make a deposit of $110 at an online casino that offers 100% up to $100 deposit bonus, you will get $100. Bottom line: watch out for the requirements to avoid any big disappointments later on!
Free Cash & No Deposit Free Spins: Pay Attention to the Conditions!
Occasionally casinos have fixed offers, and it may be something like a $20 no deposit bonus, 15 no deposit free spins, or varying amounts of either case. In such cases you may not need to deposit any amount, but there are other requirements to fulfill.
Register and your account will be credited with the sum that the online casino offers. Usually registration is the only condition of receiving the bonus, but sometimes you may need to use a specific bonus code. The trick with these bonuses, and with all bonuses, is cashing out.
How Withdraw Your Casino Bonus Cash
Naturally, an online casino can’t just give money away. They would be out of business in a few days. So, to be able to withdraw the free money they give you, you have to fulfill some requirements. Of course, if you keep an eye out for the terms you can bypass these requirements.
Simply put, there are three criteria you should pay attention to in order to be able to withdraw that sweet bonus cash: time, wagering requirement and game limits.
Pay Attention to the Bonus’ Time Limit
Time limit is the limit of days you get to fulfill the requirements set by an online casino. It can be anywhere from 15 days to 60 or sometimes even 90 days. If the time period is very short and requirements complicated, it may be inherently impossible to take out your cash!
Take the time limite of the bonus as a deadline of sorts, and only if you think the deadline is reasonable based on the other terms and conditions should you go ahead and take the offer!
Meet the Bonus’ Wagering Requirement
Wagering requirement is possibly the most important factor separating a good bonus from a bad one. While some bonuses have absolutely no requirement, others have insane ones that are impossible to meet.
And what’s the point of a bonus that is nearly impossible to claim?
Yes, you will get the bonus as soon as you make a deposit (or register in a case of a no deposit bonus). But some bonuses that look good, have incredibly high wagering requirements making in nearly impossible to ever be able to use withdraw the money.
Wagering requirements determine the amount of times you have to wager your bonus, to be able to withdraw that. For example, if you get a $50 bonus and the requirement is x10, you will be able to withdraw any winnings as soon as you have wagered $500.
Sometimes, the amount is as small as 10 or 20. But quite a number of nice looking bonuses actually exceed 40. But there’s another important criteria, closely related to wagering requirements; game limits.
When Cashing Your Bonus Look Out for Game Limits
This is very similar to wagering requirements we just talked about. The amount you have to wager to use the bonus also may differ with games you play. It’s easiest to explain this concept using an example.
Let’s say you only play on slots:
You have two similar looking online casino bonuses available. The first is $100 bonus with x20 wagering requirement, and the other is $100 with x10 wagering requirement but a few game limits (like 20% contribution from slots).
You will complete wagering requirements of the first bonus after you wager $2,000 but the second will not be available for withdrawal until you have wagered $5,000. See how wagering requirements relate to game limits?
Some more skill-based games (like baccarat) may be excluded altogether. That means that whatever you play on it, the amount doesn’t count to your bonus wagering requirements.
Other games may have different contribution (weight) set towards clearing a bonus. Ideally, an online casino will have no restrictions but almost all of them do.
As a general rule, the more skill based the game is, the less weight it will carry towards wagering requirements. For example, $50 wagered on slots may all apply to bonus wagering requirement but only 20% of same $50 wagered would apply if it would have been wagered on blackjack.
Game limits and contribution (weight) differ from casino to casino, so make sure to check Terms and Conditions for all the details.
Always Check Out Additional Bonus Offers!
When an online casino offers you a bonus, make sure to look out for anything else they add to that. Only on rare occasions your welcome offer starts and ends with a deposit bonus. So keep an eye out for various promotions, second (third) deposit bonuses or reload bonuses, free spins, giveaways, raffles and more.
There’s an array of options available and if you plan to make the most out of an online casino, you have to know what else they offer. These additional offers may carry less value than the deposit bonus but can still be rather generous.
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