You have probably noticed that many online casinos offer some kind of bonus or free money to lure you into playing. You can’t get anything for free.
You might first ask: Why do online casinos offer “free” money?
It’s part their marketing and differentiation strategy. Online casinos are often “skins”, which means they have the same software provider behind them. There isn’t much difference between all Microgaming powered casinos and all Playtech powered ones.
Even though they may look almost identical, there must be something to make you choose to play at “X”, not “Y”. You can also pitch potential players by offering them something. In this instance, a bonus.
Now that you have all of this out of the way, your next question might be: Ok Casino X is offering $5,000 for free. Perhaps I’ll sign up, get my $5,000, and then play them out at Casino Y.
It’s quite simple. Online casinos require you to make a deposit to be eligible for bonuses.
Before we dive into the details of the various bonuses available at online casinos, let’s review some terms and conditions.
1. Wagering conditions: The majority of bonuses have wagering and playthrough requirements. You must play a certain sum before you can withdraw any winnings. On average, wagering requirements range from 15 to 40 times. But be aware of what wagering you need to do. It may be the bonus amount + the deposit amount, but in some cases it could be only the bonus. These are more common.
One more thing you need to know about wagering requirements: Most online casinos require that withdrawals be requested before the wagering requirements are met. This means that all of your winnings will be null. It’s not fair, but this is the truth.
2. Games played: Be sure to read the T&Cs. Online casinos are most successful with slots games. Many bonuses can only be used for slots games. This rule applies to keno and scratch cards.
You can play your bonus in other cases. However, not all games will count 100% towards playthrough requirements. You can play slots 100% and roulette 30%. To clear wagering requirements, you will need wager more than three times to withdraw your winnings.
3. Minimum deposit: You will usually need to deposit a minimum amount to receive a bonus. However, this can vary. This is generally a small amount that you will most likely deposit anyway. It usually doesn’t exceed $50.
Now that we are all on the exact same page and speak the same language, let’s take a look at the most common bonuses offered by online casinos.
1. Match bonuses are the most common type. Each $ you deposit will result in a credit of X% on the amount that you have deposited to the casino. If casino Z offers a 100% match bonus on deposits, deposit $100 to receive $100 extra in bonus money. This means that you can start playing at the casino starting with $200. Most match bonuses have a limit on the maximum amount you can claim. A match bonus may be an individual bonus, or part of a promotion. This is more common in US friendly online casinos.
2. New players sign up at online casinos and make their first deposit. Most, if not all of them, offer a welcome bonus. The welcome bonus is the sum all of the match bonuses you are able to accumulate at the casino as a new player. It can be either the maximum amount that you can get with each deposit bonus, 1st deposit bonus or monthly bonus. The welcome bonus will not be awarded if you deposit less money than you need to receive the maximum bonus for each stage. In fact, the advertised welcome bonus is the MAXIMUM amount of bonus money you can claim during your first period at the casino.