Casino Bonus Guide

The online casino business is extremely competitive, so in order to entice new players as well as retain their current ones, online casinos offer an array of bonuses that can help both new and established players boost their bankroll. The following guide is designed to explain the different kinds of bonuses which are offered by various online casinos so that you can fully understand how casino bonuses work, and how you can take advantage of them. And of course, make sure that you fully read the terms of conditions of any bonus which you are interested in to make sure that you completely understand how the bonus works, and what you need to do in order to claim it.

Welcome Bonus

For new players that actually make a real-money deposit after registering at an online casino, the welcome bonus is a way to significantly boost your bankroll. Designed to encourage players to actually deposit money, these bonuses are granted as a percentage of a player’s initial deposit and
can be extremely generous, ranging into the thousands of pounds. Generally, the terms of how much you have to play in order to clear the bonus are quite fair and reasonable. Table game players should take note that these welcome bonuses are usually only able to be cleared by playing slots and that table games rarely, if ever, contribute to clearing a bonus.

Match Bonuses

The most frequent and common type of bonus that online casinos offer is the match bonus. With this kind of bonus, a player makes a real-money deposit with the casino, and the casino offers to give them a percentage of that bonus as free money. Online casinos like this kind of bonus because it entices players to make deposits and their chance of actually losing money is quite low. There are many different kinds of match bonuses available which are constantly changing. Match bonuses may sometimes only be available to players making their first deposits, or they could be available to long-time players to give them a bonus for reloading their account.

The following bonus schemes are some of the most common types offered by online casinos these days:

50% Match Bonus

When a casino offers a match bonus of 50%, you will receive a bonus amounting to half of the amount that you deposit. So if you deposit $500, you would receive an additional $250 (50% of $500) as a bonus from the casino operator. That means that after you make the deposit of $500, you would have a total of $750 in your account in which you can play at the casino with.

100% Match Bonus

By far, the most common type of match bonus offered is a 100% or 1-for-1 match bonus. With this kind of bonus, the casino will match your deposit dollar for dollar, so if you deposit $100, you would receive an extra $100 from the casino, absolutely free. These kinds of bonuses tend to come with a maximum amount, so that the casino doesn’t have to give away too much money. So if the capped amount is $250, even if you deposit $500, you would only receive a bonus of $250.

200%+ Match Bonus

Some casinos are willing to take bigger risks when it comes to enticing new players to make deposits at their casinos, and offer bonuses of 200%, with higher amounts seem from time to time. However, these bonuses will always come with a cap, usually one lower than with lower percentage bonuses, and they have much stricter wagering requirements in order to minimize their own risk. An example of how this bonus works is if you deposit $50, you would be given an extra $100 from the casino which you can use to play their games.

There are a few other things that you should be aware of when it comes to matching bonuses:

  • Nearly all casinos have a wagering requirement for match bonuses, which means that you have to wager the total amount of both the deposit and the bonus a certain number of times before you are allowed to withdraw the bonus money. Also, casinos may put restrictions on which games are eligible for this wagering requirement, and often times table games such as roulette will not help you clear the bonus.
  • Every bonus is offered with fairly strict terms and conditions which you should be aware of before you make a deposit. Casinos feel that it is up to you to read these terms and know them, and if you fail to follow the proper procedures in order to get the bonus, they will not make exceptions.
  • If you see a 1000% matching bonus offered, especially from an online casino which you have never heard of before, it probably doesn’t exist. Please check out the reviews of that casino first and make sure the offer is legitimate before you transfer any money to them.

No-Deposit Bonuses

Despite the risk of losing money and the opportunity for abuse by unscrupulous players, some online casinos still continue to offer no-deposit bonuses, though they are becoming much harder to come by. As the name implies, these are bonuses where the casino simply gives the player free money to play with, without requiring that they make a deposit. The goal of these bonuses is for the casino to hook people with how fun it is letting them play for real money so that they will be much more likely to make their own deposit in the future.

No-deposit bonuses are usually quite small, and carry a very high wagering requirement so most people never actually make on money off of them, but they can be a great way to try out a casino and see if real-money play is for you. In order to claim these bonuses you will have to download the casino software and register for a real money account, and then you will get a chance to play for free, at least for a little while.

Banking Bonuses

Banking bonuses are offered by casinos as a way of inducing players to make deposits through a certain method of payment. Casinos like to offer these because they have to pay commissions when they accept credit card payments or often have other issues related to the acceptance of credit cards, so when players deposit through other methods such as Neteller, they save money and have less of a hassle. Because of governmental restrictions regarding online gambling, many players will find that the first time they try to make a deposit using a standard credit or debit card; they are unable to do so. Since this also makes the casino look bad, despite not being the actual casino’s fault, they would like to encourage players to use other deposit methods.

Similar to other kinds of bonuses, banking bonuses are usually offered as a percentage of the total deposit, when the deposit is made using a specific banking method such as NETeller, Skrill (Moneybookers), or Click2Pay. So if a casino is offering a bonus of 20% for using NETeller, you would earn an extra $20 when you make a $100 deposit using that system. Often times these bonuses can stack on other bonuses, meaning that if you are also eligible for a 100% match bonus, you would get $120 as a bonus instead of $100 just for using the alternative payment method.

Of course, there are limits to banking bonuses, as you may only be able to take advantage of them a certain amount of times in a given month or year, and they usually have relatively small maximum amounts. Of course you should also review all of the rules regarding these bonuses to make sure that you actually get the bonus offered. However, these can be quite a nice little boost for players willing to try out an alternative payment method or e-wallet.

Recurring Bonuses

While casinos offer many kinds of bonuses to get players to make an initial deposit with them, they also offer all kinds of bonuses aimed at getting long-time players to make additional deposits into their accounts. One way they do this is by offering monthly or weekly recurring bonuses, where each time period you can make a deposit and receive a certain percentage of that deposit as a bonus to your bankroll. Usually you can only take advantage of these bonuses once per cycle, and they typically have similar wagering requirements to those of match bonuses. Since not all online casinos offer these kinds of bonuses, you might want to consider that when you are making an initial decision about whether to sign up for a certain casino or not.

High-Roller Bonuses

For those players willing to deposit a very large amount of money on their first deposit, casinos are willing to offer additional bonuses. While a high-roller bonus will typically be for less than the 100% match bonus offered for standard deposits, they also have higher maximum amounts. So you might only be offered 40% as a bonus, but the maximum amount of the bonus might be $2,000 instead of $200. These bonuses are only offered by some casinos, and can vary widely from casino to casino. It is best to contact the casino directly if you are interested in making a large deposit so that you can get the complete information and terms and conditions regarding these kinds of bonuses.

Referral Bonuses

Referral Bonuses, sometimes called Refer-a-friend bonuses are given by casinos to current players who recommends the casino to a friend, who then signs up at that casino. As opposed to other kinds of online casino bonuses, there are very few strings attached in order to receive these kinds of bonuses. You receive the bonus as long as the friend you refer is a new player at that casino, and he or she must deposit a certain amount of money into their new account. These bonuses range from around $20 to $100 for each person referred, depending on the casino and are granted in the form of casino credits, which often do not carry any wagering requirements.

Feature Promotions

A feature promotion is one that is offered solely in partnership with another company or website or which have a limited period of validity. The first type of feature promotion is that an online casino will partner with a website such as ours and offer the readers of that website a special deal, such as a higher match bonus, if they make a deposit at their casino. These deals may be available for a long period of time, or may be limited to just a few days.

The other kind of feature promotion is a promotion or bonus offered by an online casino to everyone, which is only available for a limited period of time. These may be special slots tournaments or promotion periods where, for example, everyone who makes a deposit this week will get an extra $5 in their account or something similar. A great way to take advantage of these deals is to visit a website like which provides up-to-date news about various feature promotions from all the top online casinos. That way, even if you miss one, you will be able to take part in the promotion the next time it comes around.

VIP Programs and Bonuses

While many of the above bonuses and promotions are aimed at bringing new players to an online casino, they casinos also make a huge effort to keep their current players satisfied and coming back for more. One of the main ways in which they do this is by offering incentives for players to continue to play over the long term in the form of a VIP or loyalty bonus scheme. They know that by spending some extra money to keep their current players happy, they will ensure a steady stream of income for years to come; and happy customers are also the best source of free advertising out there. These loyalty and VIP programs work in a similar way to those which are offered through club cards at land-based casinos, except it is much easier for the casino to keep track of play and give instant rewards.

Basically, for every dollar wagered at the casino, the player will earn a certain amount of point which, once they add up to a certain amount can be redeemed for bonus cash or other prizes. For instance, a casino might offer a system where for every $5 you wager, you receive 1 VIP point, and once you reach 500 you can redeem those points for $5 in free casino play. Or, you can save your points and use them for larger cash amounts or for merchandise which the casino might offer. Every VIP and loyalty scheme is different, so you should do some research to see which casino offers a loyalty program which is right for you.

Free-Time Bonuses

In the past couple of years, software developer Microgaming has been experimenting with a new type of bonus called free-time bonuses or free starting balance bonuses. Only available at casinos powered by Microgaming software, these bonuses work by giving players a set amount of casino credit to play with in a certain time period. If, at the end of that time period, the player has more credits than they were initially given, they get to keep that money as winnings. After that, the player has to make a deposit and then meet a wagering requirement in order to be able to cash-out those winnings. These bonuses are still not very common, and even though they are only at Microgaming casinos, they can vary widely from one casino to another. Be sure that you read all of the rules and terms of these bonuses so that you know what is required of you in order to be able to claim your winnings.

Game Bonus

Game bonuses are deposit bonuses offered only for a specific game or type of games, usually slots. They tend to be larger than standard bonuses, giving out 150% or more to players who are willing to use the bonus money only on the type of game stated. For game bonuses it is important to read
all of the terms and conditions, as some of these bonuses are invalidated if you play anything other than game specified.