Some call them sign up offers, while others call them new player bonuses, but most online casinos offer some sort of welcome bonus to entice you to register with them. When you’re spoiled for choice, it helps to have some way to compare!
While it’s always fun to play casino games with free money, what happens if you win? Can you withdraw the winnings? How much money do you have to deposit to get the welcome bonus and do you get it all in one lump sum, or split over multiple deposits?
It is the answers to questions like these that separate the good bonuses from the great ones. Not all bonuses are created equal and some are much more player friendly than others. Biggest is not always best, and sometimes a small welcome bonus can actually be much better value than a large one.
We’ll outline the different types of welcome bonuses for you so you can choose one that suits your needs.
Types Of Welcome Bonuses
New-player welcome bonuses can be categorized in a couple of different ways. First, you have deposit bonuses and no-deposit bonuses. The former is also known as match bonuses and these are awarded by a casino when you make your first deposit. The amount awarded will be a fixed percentage of your deposit. For example, if there is a 50% deposit bonus and you deposit $500, then you’ll receive an extra $250, giving you $750 to play with. This is why a casino that offers a modest $200 welcome bonus, but gives it as a 100% deposit match, is better value than the seemingly bigger bonus of $500 offered as a 50% match.
No-deposit bonuses, as the name suggests, are awarded without you having to make a deposit. These are less common and tend to be much smaller. They can be a good way to try a casino out without having to risk any of your own money. If you like what you find, then you can go ahead and make a deposit.
Bonuses can also be categorized as sticky or non-sticky. A sticky bonus cannot be withdrawn; it’s for wagering purposes only. You’ll be able to withdraw any winnings you make using it, once you have met the wagering requirements, but it will “stick” to your account until you have lost it. A non-sticky bonus is much better for a player. Once you have completed the wagering requirements you’ll be able to withdraw it, along with any winnings you have made.
There’s another type too: the phantom bonus. This is also for wagering purposes only but is automatically removed from your account when you make a withdrawal. You’ll be able to withdraw any winnings you make from playing with it, providing you meet the wagering requirements.
In addition to a welcome bonus for new customers, most online casinos provide plenty of extra value for their existing customers. This can be done using additional bonuses, promotions, and other rewards and VIP schemes.
Why Do Online Casinos Offer Welcome Bonuses?
Why do online casinos offer such generous welcome bonuses? Online casino is an extremely competitive industry and casino sites are constantly undercutting each other, or giving away more and more free spins or casino bonuses to attract new players. That’s great news for you, because it gives you so many choices.
Benefits Of Welcome Bonuses
If you fancy a flutter, online casinos have certain advantages over their land-based counterparts. The bonuses a player will have access to can be extremely lucrative. If you’re going to risk your hard-earned cash anyway, why not sign up for a bonus and get a bit more money to play around with. With more chips to bet, you’ll always have a better chance of winning.
Terms & Conditions
There aren’t many downsides to claiming online casino bonuses but it is really important to check the playthrough requirements! A reputable online casino will usually have a reasonably player-friendly welcome bonus, but you don’t want to be surprised when time comes to withdraw your winnings and you are not allowed to because you haven’t met the wagering requirements.
Casinos impose wagering requirements to deter people from just depositing, claiming their bonus, and then withdrawing the cash immediately. There would be absolutely no benefit to the casino if they’re allowing players to do this, so they include wagering requirements to ensure that they’re offering this extra value to genuine players.
Usually, you’ll have to wager the bonus you have claimed a certain amount of times. Here’s an example; if the playthrough requirements are 30x the bonus, and you claim $200, then you would need to bet a total of $6,000 before you’re able to make a withdrawal. Many casinos also include what are known as game weightings. These mean that certain games only count towards a percentage of the wagering requirements. Typically these are low house edge games such as blackjack and baccarat. At some casinos, a bonus can’t be used to play low house edge games at all.
Finding the Best Casino Bonus
Once you understand the different types of bonuses and how they work, you can then start looking into what’s available at the various online casinos and try to find the welcome bonus that suits you the best. Just remember to check the terms and conditions to make sure you can use it for the games you enjoy playing.
Of course, you may not want to spend your time comparing different bonuses to see which ones are best, and you don’t have to. We have compiled a list of the online casinos that are best for bonuses, so you can start playing at the best casinos and enjoying the best bonuses!