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Understanding Casino Bonuses
Most online casinos offer bonuses for players, which come in all shapes and sizes depending on your status as a new or returning player. Knowing precisely how to get ahold of a casino bonus, and what to look out for in the terms and conditions, can help you make the most of the hugely varied selection available online.
When considering what casino bonus to go with, there are a wealth of bonus structures to assess. Whether you are a returning player to your favourite casino or a new player looking for the best welcome bonus, all the top real money online casinos have you covered. The following describes the most popular bonus structures players come across.
What are New Player Welcome Bonuses?
If you’re new to the world of online casinos or are simply looking for a new casino to play with, it’s extremely likely you’ve seen the word “Welcome Bonus” splattered all over the web. It seems every single online casino on the market offers what they call a Welcome Bonus to their new players.
These Welcome Bonuses are used to entice potential players to join the online casino, typically including a generous matched deposit bonus and even free spins some times. The structure for these bonuses is almost always a first deposit bonus scheme but some casinos offer unique welcome bonuses that include no deposit bonuses or tokens to be used within another product like poker or bingo.
What are First Deposit Bonuses?
Most new players are greeted with a First Deposit Bonus, a matched deposit bonus on your initial deposit to the casino, that either adds an amount equal to what you’ve paid into your account, or gives you back a percentage of your deposit. A 100% first deposit bonus, for example, means that if you transfer £50 into your account, the casino will match it 100%, adding in another £50 for you to play with.
Percentages vary and the amount of money you can deposit can be limited, so look out for good deals. One site might offer a 100% first deposit bonus up to £100, while other casinos tier their deposit matching schemes: some sites may offer a 100% matched deposit up to £50, or 50% up to £100, both of which would give you an extra £50.
Do Returning Players Get Bonuses?
Yes, returning players do get to enjoy bonuses from online casinos. Most returning player bonuses are matched deposits much like first deposit bonuses, but are sometimes smaller or accompanied by additional requirements. For example, you may need to wager a set sum on an upcoming event during a specific period of time to receive your bonus.
Casinos want to reward loyal customers as well as welcome new faces. By signing up for schemes like an online casino’s newsletter, you’ll be informed of special matched deposit bonuses. These may also be announced in the promotion section of websites or on banners at the top or bottom of the screen, so keep your eyes peeled next time you head back to your favourite casino.
What are Non-Matched Deposit Bonuses?
Non-matched deposit bonuses offer a fixed reward, rather than a percentage of your deposit. It could be a simple cash reward, or it could be given in free spins, in which case the wager must usually be a specific amount. Odds may also be restricted for such bets; for example bonus sums might have to be wagered on a certain game or type of game.
In most instances, these deposit bonuses will only pay out your winnings, and not include the initial stake. So if you wagered a £25 bonus on your favourite slot title, the payout will just be the £25 win, and not include the original £25 stake.
What are Free Spins?
Some casinos offer free spins on a specific slot game. These can reward deposit bonuses for first time players, but may also reward players who reach a set spend during a month or week. With free spin bonuses, it’s important to check not just how much you must deposit to get the free spins, but also the stake on each spin, as you’ll win a lot more if you’re playing £5 spins rather than £0.30 spins. Bear in mind that winnings from the free spins are commonly capped.
What are No Deposit Bonuses?
The holy grail of online casino bonuses, these are rare incentives that tend to be seasonal or limited rewards. A no deposit bonus is exactly that: a payment into your account without any deposit on your part. You may, however, be required to input a special offer code, or to have met gambling requirements in advance. For example, you may have to bet £5 per week over a set period to be eligible.
What are VIP and Loyalty Schemes?
VIP and loyalty schemes are unlike bonuses in that they tend to be long-running and offer regular, defined rewards and payouts. Commonly advertised at online casinos, after signing up to the scheme you’ll be offered bonuses based on how much you play. Once you reach set levels of spending you’ll receive benefits like cashback or faster cashing out. Some casinos also offer exciting opportunities like access to exclusive high stakes tournaments.
Do Terms and Conditions Matter for Casino Bonuses?
Yes, the terms and conditions heavily impact the actual value of a bonus. It’s a good idea to examine some of the fine print before committing to one particular bonus scheme. The main clauses to be aware of are: wagering requirements, time limits, weighted games and bonus limits.
When it comes to wagering requirements, you may have to spend a certain amount in the casino before being able to withdraw a bonus. Players are required to meet a certain wagering requirement prior to receiving any bonus so be sure to ensure you know how quickly the bonus can be used. These wagering requirements also may have to be met in a fixed period. If the requirement isn’t met within the time, the bonus will be revoked.
In some cases, bets might not count toward wagering requirements in full. For example, a £5 bonus used to bet on a slot may count as £5, but on a low house edge game like baccarat, it may count as just £1. Be sure to consider the weight of each game towards the bonus. To prevent abuse, bonuses may be limited to one per household or one per device. If you attempt to break these limits, you will have your bonus rescinded and possibly your account closed, even if it was an honest mistake.