Online Casino Bonuses Explained

Casino bonuses can be a profitable and generous freebie but in my experience the best casino bonuses are offered by casinos powered by the 'big 3 casino software companies' (Microgaming, Playtech, Cryptologic). Click here to find out more about these software providers.

However, you'll find some subtle differences in the bonus offers from casino to casino (so make sure you pick the one suited to your gaming and experience). And remember that if a bonus offer seems too good to be true it usually is and could be an indication of an unsafe casino, so be careful!

Bonus Tip

Many online gamers split their budget between several casinos, meaning they can benefit from multiple bonus offers. I personally have accounts with Casumo Casino, LeoVegas Casino and Betsafe Casino in addition to a few more which I occasionally play if they have good offers or new games not available at my core casinos.

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When you factor in all the sign-up bonuses, monthly bonuses and loyalty bonuses this strategy has real kudos. Just split your gaming budget between each casino to make sure you get x3 the action without extra expense.

Casino bonus review

Depending on your choice of casino, you'll find several key bonus offers and features. Scroll down to check them out before you jump straight in to bank the free cash!

'Deposit' Bonuses

Deposit casino bonuses offer gamers free cash based 100% on their deposits (such as 'deposit up to 100 with your first deposit and get 100 free'). The best deposit bonuses have a 'tiered' style meaning you can continue to get an array of bonus spins and free cash with multiple deposits.

Advantages of 'deposit bonuses'

- Instant bonus cash winnings (great for experienced gamers or gamers who know they will be playing regularly)
- High, guaranteed bonus reward levels (no need to win to bank up to 1000 in free bonus money)

Disadvantages of deposit bonuses

- No free 'real money' gaming session

'No-deposit' Bonuses

No deposit casino bonuses offer you a risk-free trial of genuine casino games, complete with a free bonus credit bank and usually an 'against the clock' style gaming sessions. With luck and skill you get the the chance to convert your credits into real winnings (often between 20 and 100).

Advantages of 'no-deposit' bonuses

- Zero risk for new gamers (great for trialling the casino before you deposit)
- No deposit needed to start the bonus
- Only deposit if you win
- Good for novice gamers/anyone new to online casinos

Disadvantages of no-deposit bonuses

- You must win during the bonus session to receive the full bonus
- You need to make a deposit to access your winnings after the bonus session

Bonus Wagering requirements

All online casino bonus offers have inbuilt wagering requirements. Essentially, these bonus features are not designed to trick you out of money, instead, they are simply there to make sure both the casino and gamer has a chance to win.

In-game bonus wagering requirements

- Casino bonus gaming sessions frequently contain a 'minimum bet' limit. For example, the terms of the bonus offer may be, 'Place over 500 bets during the bonus session to activate your winnings'. Essentially the minimum bet limit simply prevents gamers from placing big bets on Red or Black at roulette, which would almost guarantee success every time!

Bonus winning withdrawal requirements

- Once you've banked the bonus cash (with a little luck, strategy or skill) you can't simply click 'withdraw' and scoop the cash! In an ideal world maybe but this would mean you could literally win 100 whenever you liked, with zero risk! Instead, you'll usually be required to meet one or two requirements:
- Make a deposit (for example, deposit 50). Once you've made the required deposit amount, your bonus winnings will be credited to your account.
- Play your bonus cash through a certain volume of bets (for example, x30 your bonus winnings). So, if you won 50 during the bonus session, you'd need to wager 30 x 50 = 1500 in bets. This may sound like a lot, but most gamers place up to 100 bets per session, meaning you can quickly achieve the target. With a little luck, strategy and logic you'll be able to cash out your deposit and game risk-free with the casino bonus cash.

Bonus Gaming limitations

Most casino bonuses have certain restrictions concerning both the games available, the maximum amount you can win and the volume and wagering level playable.

Max bet value
- Many casinos limit the max bet amount playable with bonus cash. Essentially, this prevents players from getting lucky with a single bet!

Betting volume
- Most free-play casino bonuses require you to place a certain volume of bets with the bonus cash, before you can claim your winnings.

Game availability
- Bonus sessions are often played in mini-casinos, offering a smaller selection of games than the full casino lounge (note: a good casino bonus will offer you real games available in the main casino and a range of table games, video slots and fruit machines)

Game restrictions
- Bonus winnings are not limitless and you can not strike huge jackpot wins. Check the small print on casino bonuses to see the max available win amount.

Play-through limit
- Whether you opt for a deposit bonus or free bonus gaming sessions when you sign-up to a casino you're not allowed to simply scoop the cash and withdraw instantly. Most casinos require you to play your bonus winnings through a pre-defined volume of gaming (known as 'play throughs'). Note: some games have higher play-through values than others, so check the terms and conditions whenever you snap up a new casino bonus.

Max bonus win levels

Thus far I'm yet to find an online casino with a bonus reward that is 'unlimited'. For example, the biggest payout restriction is with the progressive jackpots, which aren't available to bonus gamers! However, most reputable casinos offer the chance to win up to 100 during timed bonus sessions, and cumulative deposit bonuses which can be worth anything from 100.00 to 1000.00.

Top Raking Bonus Recommendations

£ 100 bonus on first deposit 120 bonus spins. 18+ New Customers only. 20 no deposit free spins available on Book of Dead game only. Must be claimed on the 'My Offers' page within 14 days of sign-up. Free Spins have a £0.10 value each and expire 7 days from claim. 35x wagering requirement on eligible slots before winnings are converted to cash. Select Casino offer on sign-up and deposit. 4 deposits of £10, £20, £50, £100 matched with a bonus cash offer of same value (14 day expiry). 35x real money cash wagering (within 30 days) on eligible games before bonus cash is credited. Spins credited upon deposits; under £50 =10 Spins, £50 or over =25 Spins; on Book of Dead only (3 day expiry, winnings paid in cash).
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200 no wagering free spins on first deposit. New UK players only. Spins only available on Starburst. Deposit and play £25 on selected games and get 25 spins OR; Deposit and play £100 on selected games and get 100 spins OR; Deposit and play £200 on selected games and get 200 spins. Spins expire after 3 days. 14 days from registration to claim offer. Players may withdraw their cash deposit or any remaining cash deposit and any cash winnings. If this is withdrawn, the spins and any winnings will be forfeited. All winnings from the spins will be paid out in cash.
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