Everything you need to know about online casino bonuses

If you’re new to playing casino and poker games online, here’s everything that you need to know about online casino bonuses

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Last Updated: September 22, 2023

Online casino bonuses can be money-saving offers

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If you’re new to the world of playing casino and poker games online, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of bonuses and new player promotions that today’s leading casinos are offering. From free spins and games to free cash, most casinos offer a vast array of bonuses in order to stay competitive in an increasingly-expanding market.

As a new player, navigating the world of bonuses can be tricky, especially when it comes to understanding casino lingo. So, to ensure you get the most out of your online casino experience, here’s everything that you need to know about online casino bonuses.

To deposit or not to deposit?

The majority of the casino bonuses that you’ll likely encounter as a new player can be grouped under two different categories: Deposit and No Deposit bonuses. There are also a few other bonuses and promotions that certain casinos offer, but we’ll cover those a bit later in the article. Determining which of these two types of bonuses will be valuable to you depends on what your plans are as far as playing casino games online goes. If you are just trying out a certain platform or gaming room, then stick with no-deposit bonuses. However, if you know you’ll be spending some time playing in a particular online casino, deposit bonuses could pay off in the long run.

Bonuses can be a great way to try out different games at a casino

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So, what’s the difference between the two? Well, there’s a huge clue in their names:

  • No Deposit Bonus – This type of bonus is the most simple and straightforward. Essentially, a casino will give you a set amount of ‘free funds’ that you can use to try out games without having to lay down a deposit first. When you sign up with your chosen casino, they will immediately deposit the value of the bonus into your account, so it’s yours to use as you see fit. Different platforms will have their own T&Cs about how long you’ll be able to sit on your bonus for before it expires, so always remember to check the small print.
  • Deposit Bonus – In short, this category includes every other type of cash or monetary bonus that doesn’t explicitly say it’s ‘no deposit’. They can be credited to your account at any time when you sign up, provided that you are depositing, or have deposited, some of your own money into your account as well.

The most common types of bonuses that require a deposit are:

Match bonuses

This type of bonus is the most common and is offered by casinos when a new player signs up and makes an immediate deposit. Match bonuses are designed to give you, as a new player, an extra incentive to spend time in the casino. Essentially, the casino will match whatever the amount your first deposit is, typically ranging between 100% to 500%. So, if you deposit $100 and the match bonus is 200%, the casino will credit your account with $200, provided that you follow the terms and conditions and its specific wagering requirements.

Although match bonuses (particularly those that are 400% and 500%) seem at first glance to be like you’re getting free money, you won’t be able to withdraw this amount. Instead, you’ll have to play it, but only under certain wagering requirements; some wagering requirements are so high that it’s really not worth your time going for the bonus in the first place. If you want to stand a good chance of being able to play your bonus, look for 100% to 200% offers with low wagering bonus requirements that are less than 30x.

Instant bonus

Instant bonuses are offered by online casinos to customers who have already signed up and are playing games. An instant bonus works by offering in-game points on certain games, which can then be converted into real money to spend in the same game. They can vary in value from provider to provider, but they’re worth taking advantage of if you develop favourite games, such as a jackpot slots or roulette.


These bonuses are cashable; however, you’ll need to place wagers aggregating to as much as ten or twenty times the amount of the bonus before you are eligible to do so. For example, if a casino offers a $50 bonus with a playthrough requirement of 15x, you’ll need to wager a total of $750 (15 x $50) before you can withdraw the bonus itself.

Non-monetary bonuses

The third, most common, type of bonus is a non-monetary bonus. For new players, they can take the form of free-play offers, giving you access to things like free spins or a free poker game, etc. Whatever money you do win during these games will be yours to keep. These types of bonuses are relatively straightforward and can be granted when you sign up to a casino, but most of the leading casinos will also offer periodic bonuses and promotions to existing customers to give them rewards and incentives. Out of all the bonuses available, free-play bonuses are usually the ones that are involve the least amount of risk, and they’re a good way to try out new games that you may not have encountered before.

Is bonus hunting a good idea?

‘Bonus hunting’ is the practice of signing up with multiple casinos at the same time to try and hunt down and claim as many bonuses as you can. This is usually a method employed by slots players, since online poker players are more likely to stay loyal to a room, particularly if they’ve got a good community of players to play against.

Whether or not it’s a good idea is entirely up to the individual. Some casino players may see it as unfair, but casinos are offering these bonuses in order to secure new customers. Provided that you adhere to each platform’s individual regulations, you aren’t doing anything wrong by joining multiple casinos and taking advantage of their bonuses.

Just remember to be extra vigilant when it comes to things like playing within your limits and managing your bankroll. It’s easier to overspend in multiple casinos than it is by just playing in one.

About the Author

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Dave is a gambling enthusiast who boasts 25+ years of experience. His writings not only unravel the intricacies of online casino games but also explore the psychology behind betting. Dave's commitment to responsible gambling shines through, making every wager a mindful choice for players seeking a thrilling yet balanced gaming experience.