Casino bonuses for beginners
Casino bonuses are incentives that online casinos hand out to their players. In its essence, it is a marketing tool used by casinos to make it more lucrative and worthwhile for players to sign up and play at their exact casino site. At the same time, it is a large perk for players, as it can result in winnings from free game rounds.
Most of the casinos in our database hand out bonuses to both new and active players. It normally starts with a welcome bonus. From there, some casinos offer weekly promotions and loyalty schemes while others just hand out the odd bonus here and there.
In order for you to find a casino that offers bonuses you will enjoy, you first need to know what to look for. We are here to help with that! In this guide, we will take a look at how online casino bonuses work and how you can find the best deals for your liking.
Different online casino bonuses
There is an abundance of different casino bonuses, and some bonuses are also known by different names. Therefore, it can be confusing for new players to know what the different bonuses actually include. Here we break down and give a quick introduction to some of the most common casino bonuses you can end up meeting.
- Welcome bonus
- No deposit bonus
- Deposit bonus
- Free spins
- Casino promotions
- Loyalty schemes
A welcome bonus is the first bonus that you will meet at a casino. This is, as the name suggests, a bonus that casinos hand out to welcome new players. Some casinos might also use the terms "sign-up bonus" or "registration bonus".
Welcome bonuses are normally given either directly upon sign-up, as a no deposit bonus, or when you make your first deposit. Exactly what you get as your welcome present, and the terms attached, will vary a lot from one casino to the next. Most often, a welcome bonus will consist of free spins and a deposit bonus.
Welcome bonus example: 100% up to $100 + 50 free spins on Starburst
What the example above means is that the casino will match your deposit up to $100. If you deposit $100, the casino will credit your account with $100 in bonus funds and you will have a total of $200 to play for. In addition, you get 50 free spins that can be played on Starburst.
No Deposit Bonus
A no deposit bonus is a bonus that is given to players without the requirement of any minimum deposit. Normally it is given as a welcome bonus when a player first signs up at a casino, but it can also be given to active players from various campaigns. A no deposit bonus normally consists of a few free spins or a small amount of cash, such as $5.
A deposit bonus is normally part of the welcome bonus to new players, but such bonuses can also be handed out after that. Some casinos will then call it a reload bonus, to reactivate seasoned players. Most deposit bonuses work the same: the casino matches a percentage of your deposit up to a certain amount.
Free spins are free game rounds that can be used at online slot games. This is another bonus that is given to both new and active players. Normally the casino will give the spins on a specific slot, such as Starburst, but sometimes you can use them on any slot you like.
Another bonus to keep an eye out for is cashback. This is an incentive where casinos give back a percentage of your losses. If a casino for example offers a 10% cashback and you play for $100 without winning anything, the casino credits $10 back to your account.
Casino promotions, tournaments, and loyalty schemes
Casinos that offer a lot of bonuses to players normally do this in the form of different promotions, tournaments, and/or loyalty schemes.
Casino promotions are simply another term for casino bonuses. Promotions are often used to describe offers that are given to all players on a weekly basis (such as weekly free spins) or to celebrate a specific event. For example, you might come across Christmas promotions or offers when a new slot is released.
Some casinos also offer tournaments and loyalty schemes. These are ways to engage players through gamification by offering tournaments with prizes and leaderboards where you can keep track of your place in the tournament. Loyalty schemes normally award you with points every time you play for a certain amount, deposit money, or complete other actions. The more points you collect, the higher up in the scheme you climb.
Where to find and how to claim bonuses
In most cases, you can find out a lot about the bonuses offered at a casino even before signing up. In our casino reviews, we always list the bonuses offered and their terms. Most casinos also have a "promotions" page where you can see their offering.
Once you have found your preferred casino and bonus, it is very easy to get started. For the welcome bonus, you normally just need to sign up and complete your first deposit. Sometimes you have to opt-in for the bonus or include a bonus code. This will all be clearly stated in the terms and conditions.
After the welcome bonus is done and dusted, you can keep an eye on the promotions page of the casino to keep up-to-date with their offers. In addition, you can sometimes opt-in for marketing emails or text messages. Often it is a good idea to do so as you might end up getting exclusive bonuses.
Important terms and conditions
Before accepting a casino bonus, it is very important that you read through the terms and conditions attached. Here are some important terms you will probably meet:
- Minimum deposit: This is the minimum amount you have to deposit in order to get the bonus. Normally, this is $10 or $20. If you deposit less, you won't be eligible for the bonus.
- Win limit: Some bonuses come with a limit on how much you can win. If you win more than this, you won't be able to claim it.
- Restrictions: There might be restrictions on which games the bonus can/can not be used on, which payment methods are excluded/eligible from claiming the bonus, and players from which countries are excluded/eligible.
- Wagering requirement: If you win anything from your bonus, this tells you how many times you will have to wager the deposit amount, bonus amount, and/or won amount before you can withdraw your winnings.
Frequently asked questions related to online casino bonuses
Are casino bonuses free?
Most online casino bonuses will require a minimum deposit in order for you to get the bonus, but there are some bonuses that are given for free upon sign-up. Note that even free no deposit bonuses normally come with a wagering requirement and are therefore not 100% free.
What is a wagering requirement?
A wagering requirement is a common casino bonus term that will apply to most bonuses. It tells you how many times you have to play through an amount (the deposit amount, bonus amount, and/or how much you won) before you can claim and cash out your winnings. The wagering requirement can be anything from 0-100 or more. If there is no wagering requirement, it means you can claim and withdraw your winnings right away.
What is the best casino bonus?
This will largely depend on your personal preference and budget. Some players prefer free spins while others prefer deposit bonuses. Some things to look out for, though, is a bonus with low (or no) wagering requirements and generally fair terms.