What you need to know about casino bonuses

Every online casino has its own bonus program. They do it to survive the competition and to provide additional thrill to online casino players. Of course, they still benefit despite giving out free staff because casinos set specific terms and conditions customers have to fulfill. Online casino bonus offerings can be a win win offer, but only if players are aware of costs of taking bonuses.

  • You can’t just take online casino bonus, use them and cash out. To be able to withdraw any bonus money or bonus winnings, you’ll have to fulfill wagering requirements. First thing you need to know is a playthrough. It’s a multiplier, let’s say x30, used to calculate amount players need to bet to unlock their bonus money or winnings for withdrawal.
  • You just multiply this value to the bonus or sometimes bonus+deposit amount, and that’s how much you need to bet. Having x30 playthrough requirement and $100 bonus, you’ll need your total bets equal $3,000 to clear the bonus. That’s not going to be easy and everyone taking bonuses should know it.
  • When you compare various options never select offers with the highest possible online casino bonus. Always consider wagering requirements. They are what really matters. Another important aspect of clearing bonus is a maximum bet. You might wonder why casinos would want you to bet less. That’s simple. Online casinos protect themselves from your good luck.
  • You probably were warned that if you risk too much, you can lose a lot. But from the other hand, you can also win big. The fewer bets you make, the higher chances that your results will deviate from expected when online casino always wins. The longer you play the higher the probability of casinos being ultimate winners because of the house edge.
  • Casinos can also limit amount of online casino bonus or bonus winnings you can cash out. So, even if you are able to complete wagering requirements, casino won’t pay you more than maximum amount. But that’s not the worst case. Some bonuses are non cashable. You won’t be able to withdraw bonus money or bonus winnings.
  • Contribution should also be considered. Very often online casinos say that not all games equally contribute to meeting playthrough requirements. 100% contribution is usual for slots. There are games which contribute less than %100 or don’t contribute anything at all. Read this part of bonus terms and conditions carefully since there can be specific games and even specific slots with zero contribution.
 Another thing you need to know is how online casino bonus money is spent. When receiving bonus, you first use your own money to meet wagering requirements. Only after you have no money left on your real money balance, bonus account is used to place bets. That’s a common practice, although there are some exceptions when bonus credits are used first and then players’ money. You can also have a mixed option with real money and bonus credits spent at the same time, for instance 50% of the bet is deducted from bonus account and the other 50% from real money account. 

Players might need to use special bonus codes to claim bonuses. Casino bonuses can be of different types. Below are bonuses you can be offered.

Bonus Types

Welcome Online Casino Bonus

Online casinos can’t welcome you in person and a welcome bonus is their way to say you “Hello, we are happy you joined us”. Getting welcome bonus requires registering and most often depositing. Generally, you can expect 100% to your first deposit. That’s the industry standard, but there can be smaller or bigger bonuses as well.

If deposit amount is $100, then $100 bonus will be awarded to a special bonus account. It’s a separate account. Bonus money won’t just be added to player’s real balance. In total, there will be $200 to spend on bets.

When online casinos offer unusually big welcome bonuses, you should be ready to see terms and conditions which are harder to meet.

Deposit/No Deposit Online Casino Bonus

If players are asked to deposit some money first, bonuses are called deposit bonuses. No deposit online casino bonus in contrast, does not require any payment. No deposit bonuses aren’t common. Maximum online casinos usually give without asking to deposit is a $50 bonus. That’s a generous offer considering that most no deposit bonuses aren’t bigger than $20.

That should be enough to see if you like playing at a particular online casino or not. But if you take no deposit bonus, get ready for monstrous playthrough requirements. Keep in mind that time for clearing bonus is limited. Most probably depositing would be necessary to meet playthrough requirements.

If you get no deposit bonus as a welcome offer, you’ll have to deposit anyway even if you cleared the bonus. Online casino might ask you to add some funds in order to register payment method that later could be used for withdrawing.

Monthly/Weekly Online Casino Bonus

Some online casinos offer regular deposit match bonuses once a week or a month. Usually it’s a match bonus given for every first deposit of a month or under some other circumstances. Although it’s not as common as welcome bonuses, there are a lot of gambling websites offering monthly or weekly bonuses as well.

This type of bonus isn’t only about bonus credits. Free spins are also offered quite often as monthly or weekly bonuses.

Free Time Online Casino Bonus

Free time bonus is when player is given certain time to play for free. Whatever is won on top of initial amount after time is over will belong to player. It’s a very rare type of casino bonus. Casinos won’t give unlimited credits to play for free otherwise players would make huge bets to win big. Instead, they give you certain time and credit limits.

The concept of winnings is a bit different from what we got used to. Initial bonus amount is deducted from what player has at the end. Negative results mean losses while everything above initial credits is a profit players can keep.

For example, you are given $500 and one hour to use them. When time expires your overall balance is $600. Your profit is $100 ($600-$500). Minimum number of bets might be required for you not to bet all the money at once and get lucky.

Online casino can also limit maximum amount players can receive as a free time bonus. Let’s say in the above example you’ve won $300 on top of your initial bonus credits. But bonus limit is set to $200, meaning you will only be given $200.


CashbackThe name of the bonus is self explanatory – you get back your bets. Not all of them, but some percentage share which is usually 5% or 10%. Typically, cashback bonuses are available for those players who have a net loss over a certain period of time, for example after one month. Net loss value is multiplied by cashback percentage to calculate monetary value of the bonus.

Cashback is sometimes calculated not as a share of your net losses, but from the total amount you have bet. That’s certainly a better option since the basis for calculating bonus amount will be bigger. There is also maximum cashback bonus players can receive.

Suppose your net loss over a month is $300. Casino offers a 5% cashback. In this case you get a $15 bonus ($300*5%). If casino instead considers not your net loss, but total amount of your bets, bonus will be equal to $50 considering you spent $1,000 on bets.

Your cashback will be credited to your real money account or bonus account depending on casino rules. Cashback credited directly to your money account is definitely a better option. That’s a common practice, so if you don’t like that casino offering cashback as bonus credits, feel free to leave it and look for other place to play.

Top Up Bonus

Players receive bonus on top of their winnings. It’s similar to cashback bonus, but here the basis for calculating bonus amount is winnings instead of losses. Winnings over a specified period are used to multiply them to bonus percentage. This type of bonus isn’t popular among online casinos, but does exist.

Reload Bonus

Many online casinos today give players bonuses not only for their first deposits, but for second, third, etc. to encourage customers for further play. This is called reload bonus. Reload bonuses can be offered as part of a welcome package.

Suppose match bonuses are given for first five deposits. In this case there’ll be four reload bonuses. Usually if that’s the case, percentage of reload bonus is decreasing with each new deposit, but its wagering requirements become less difficult to fulfill and bonus limits increase.

Online casinos can use reload bonuses as regular promotions for every player, or invite some particular customers. These kinds of special reload bonuses can be offered to regular players as appreciation of their loyalty or to players who aren’t active and casinos want to encourage them to play more.

As a player at online casino, you can be sent an email with invitation to participate in their reload promotion. Some casinos require special bonus codes to claim reload bonuses.

Free Spins

To try new games you don’t necessarily have to spend your own money. Online casinos can provide free spins for particular online slot or slots. Sometimes players are even allowed to choose slot to play it for free, but that’s not common.

Unlike practice mode, free spins give you real winnings that can be cashed out after fulfilling wagering requirements. Most generous free spins offers are those which don’t imply any playthrough requirements, although they typically aren’t given out to every player. You need to earn to be given such lucrative bonuses.

Free spins can be given as a no deposit bonus. Players just need to register without depositing any money. In this case there are usually fewer free spins and stricter wagering requirement. Generally, you can expect anything from 10 to 50 free spins.

Payment Method Bonus

Players having credit cards tend to deposit using this method rather than opening account with new payment system. But for online casinos credit cards can cause some problems. When players try to deposit money to their casino account, their transactions get rejected not by casinos, but by players’ banks. That makes players think there’s something wrong with casino itself and that it can be rogue.

Actually, that usually happens because some governments don’t want their citizens to play online casinos. They introduce regulations forcing banks and other financial institutions to prevent transactions related to online gambling.

To avoid negative impression rejected credit card payment can cause, online casinos encourage players use alternative banking methods. Some of them might offer increased match bonuses. Let’s say, you want to deposit $200 and receive 100% as a welcome bonus. But casino gives additional 20% match bonus if you pay using Skrill. In this case you have a chance of getting $440 to play at casino depositing just $200.

This type of bonus can be limited to some maximum amount. Terms and conditions must be carefully reviewed before accepting payment method bonus.

Referral Online Casino Bonus

Invite your friends to casino and you’ll be awarded referral bonus. That’s a sure way to earn extra credits. But just inviting your friend to visit particular online casino isn’t enough. Generally, you are eligible for referral bonus only if someone you invited makes minimum deposit.

Depending on rules, referral bonus money can be credited to your bonus account or real account. Usually this type of reward starts from $20 per friend and do not exceed $100. Carefully read the procedure of receiving referral bonus. You can’t just contact support saying that you brought a new player after your friend has already registered.

Online casinos usually require your referred friend to have no account with this casino before.

Loyalty Online Casino Bonus

The job of every online casino is to attract and retain players. Loyalty bonuses were designed to serve the second purpose. Regular gamers receive additional incentives to stay in casino for a long time. Almost every gambling website has a loyalty program based on comp points. Spending real money players accumulate comp points. Some games might be excluded from this type of promotion.

Accumulated comp points can be later exchanged to real money. Depending on how much comp points players have, they are awarded one of the loyalty program statuses. The higher the status the better exchange rates are. For instance, players with 5000 comp points exchange 10 comp points to $1, while players having up to 1000 comp points get $1 per 20 comp points, which is twice less.

Some casinos have rules saying that exchanged money are non cashable. But usually players are allowed to withdraw that money anytime they want without the need to clear them.

High Roller Online Casino Bonus

To be a high roller, players are required to deposit and play big. Every online casino sets its own high roller standards. At some casinos players transferring $1,000 at a time are considered high rollers at other casinos that requirement can be higher. Such big deposits do not fit in regular deposit match bonuses because of the bonus caps. That’s why high rollers can get special promotions.

Casinos don’t usually give 100% match deposits for high rollers. Bonus percentage is usually twice lower than that, but the amount of bonus credits high roller gets is higher. Suppose you deposit $1,000 and get 50% match bonus as a high roller and your bonus is equal to $500. If you deposit the same amount of money, but considered to be a regular player, you can be eligible for 100% bonus, but with a $300 cap.


Remember that some bonuses are right for you and some of them you better reject. There are bonuses at every online casino. So, don’t accept first offer you see. Read carefully bonus terms and conditions because that’s how you can actually understand if the bonus is worth taking.

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