It’s important to know that every casino bonus is different and they vary wildly from casino to casino. So we’ll say this now; we always advise you to read the terms and conditions associated with any bonuses before you pay a penny. We’ll probably reiterate that a few more times during this casino bonus article, but hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll be savvy about every type of casino bonus; you’ll know what a good bonus is and what ones aren’t and you’ll also know how to pick fair bonuses as you’ll understand fully what wagering requirements are.
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Why Do Casino Sites Have Bonuses?
Before we go into the many types so bonuses out there, many first-timers playing real money online casino games may wonder why casino bonuses exist in the first place, especially as bonuses don’t have so much of a focus in land-based casinos. As mentioned briefly above, there are hundreds of online casinos which flood the online casino market. The online gambling industry has become hugely competitive and so have the bonuses. The fundamental aim of online casinos giving bonuses out is to attract customers to the online casinos. Bluntly put – they are there to get you through the door.
How Important Is A Casino Bonus?
It’s entirely up to you if you play with any kind of bonus, they’re completely optional, however, many UK punters enjoy the perks that come with them. Online casino bonuses are a great way to boost your gameplay and allow you extra funds and extra time playing in the casino. Usually, casino bonuses are credited to your account balance automatically when you make a real money deposit. They can come in the form of cash, free/bonus spins or both and are easy to locate in your account. On rare occasions, you may be required to enter a bonus code/promo code to claim an exclusive bonus.
Often casino bonus codes will be displayed on the casino’s website or the promotional link you use. Have a look around our top casino bonus list above; sometimes there are exclusive bonuses that we have managed to get directly from talking with the casino. Exclusive bonuses can give you more percentage bonus, more free spins or both and are worth looking out for. As always – always check the terms and conditions before you play with any type of bonus.
Our Casino Bonus Tips:
- Pick the biggest bonus
- BUT….Pick the lowest wagering bonus!
- Always read the terms and conditions
- Understand the associated wagering requirements
- Check deposit methods accepted / not accepted
- Check which games you can play / cannot play
- Check time period/expiry date
- Check if you need to opt-in / use a bonus code to claim
The most satisfying thing about a casino bonus is that it’s simple to claim. All you have to do is find yourself a new casino and a bonus that you think will suit you the most, register a new player account with the casino and then make your first deposit. We’re continually adding the latest new casino sites and bonuses in our reviews section; we’re positive you will find something there!
Different Types Of Online Casino Bonuses
There are loads of different types of casino bonuses available, though the most popular casino bonus is a deposit match bonus, which is usually offered to you as part of a welcome package when you join a casino for the first time. Welcome bonuses are often boosted to attract your attention, so for UK players, it’s a great incentive to try plenty of new slot sites regularly. Think of a welcome bonus as a nice welcoming gift. Even though we know bonuses are there to garner our interest and get us to sign up – they can also work in our favour, so why not be picky about the one you’re going to take?
Have a look below and get acquainted with the many types of casino bonuses available. We’ve explained how most of them work and tips on what you should be looking out for so you don’t miss a beat when it comes to cashing out any winnings you make from a casino bonus. We’ve listed the following bonuses in order of popularity.
- Welcome Bonus or otherwise known as a “Sign-Up” Bonus
- Match Deposit Bonus
- Reload Bonus
- Free Spins/ Free Spins No Deposit
- Free Casino Bonus
- Low Wager Bonus
- No Wagering Bonus
- Cashback Bonuses
- VIP Bonuses
- Highroller Bonuses
- Refer a Friend Bonus
- Deposit £10 Get 100 Free Spins
- 200% Casino Bonus
- 100% Casino Bonus
- 500% Casino Bonus
Welcome Bonus / Sign Up Bonuses
A welcome bonus is solely reserved for new players. To claim a deposit welcome bonus, all you have to do is sign up to a casino by completing the registration process and make a real money deposit. A welcome bonus (also known as a sign-up package) is often made up of a match deposit bonus and free spins on a popular online slot game.
The most common welcome deposit bonus is a 100% match bonus and 100 free spins, often credited on a Netent slot. Here, if you deposit £200, you’ll get a 100% bonus of the amount you deposited (to a maximum amount). It’s not uncommon for welcome bonuses to be staggered and offered over a series of your first few deposits either, but most welcome bonuses are usually between £100 and £500.
Match Deposit Bonuses
A match deposit bonus is often offered to new and regular customers. How it works is simple. You deposit a certain amount, and the casino will credit you a bonus that matches the amount you deposited. The amount will vary on the bonuses %, but they will usually look something like this: 100% up to £300. This means, if you deposit £100, you will get a bonus of £100 (as you will get 100% of the amount you deposited, up to a maximum total of £300) giving you a total of £200 to play with. Watch out for generous casinos which will give you a staggered, or layered match deposit bonus.
Match deposit bonus can be advertised as a huge “up to” amount, like £1,000, but it could take more than one deposit claim it – from 2, 3, 4 and even 5 deposits. Usually, this type of bonus is regarded as a fabulous offer because you will have the option to get more than one bonus when you get started. You are not obligated to claim them all, but it is nice to know that they are there if you want them.
Reload bonuses are quite simply deposited bonuses, and can usually be claimed after you’ve claimed the initial welcome offer. Yes, it’s an incentive for you to make a further deposit and stick around playing but it will reload your account and double up your deposit if you do decide to stay. Often, reload bonuses are not quite as attractive as welcome bonuses, however, there’s usually plenty from where they came from. Reload bonuses differ from casino to casino, and can be time-sensitive, so make sure you read the associated terms and conditions.
Free Spins / No Deposit Free Spins
Free spins (or cash spins) are free rounds on an online slot. They can be given to you either on a deposit or if they’re no deposit free spins, you won’t have to deposit anything to get them. Free spins are a great bonus as they can be used to play new slots without having to dig into your own pockets first. Before the latest mandatory updates by the UK Gambling Commission on gambling advertising and marketing, free spins can only be labelled ‘free’ if they are entirely free of any wagering requirements or do not need a deposit to claim them (for example, only wager-free spins can be called free spins). The free spins which require a deposit/ have wagering requirements are usually called bonus spins or something to that degree. Our pages dedicated to Free Spins Bonuses will explain in-depth and highlight the current best free spins offers at UK online casinos.
Free Casino Bonus
Free casino bonuses in cash form are rarer to find these days, most notably due to costs that casinos incur when they offer them, to increased restrictions from the UK Gambling Commission. A casino bonus that has wagering terms, cannot be marketed as ‘free’. A bit of a catch 22 situation – a free casino bonus must have terms otherwise its wide open to abuse (and therefore could be catastrophic for the casino in terms of losses) most casino sites have done away with this type of bonus in favour of modern rewards such as a worthwhile welcome bonus, no wager bonuses and also bonuses which require a small deposit, such as the deposit £10, get 100 spins bonuses (see below for full details)
No Wager Bonuses
One of our favourite kinds of bonuses, no wager bonuses are quite simply bonuses that are free of any wagering terms, so anything you win off the bonus or free spins is yours to keep and winnings are added to your withdrawable balance. At first glance, you might be fooled into thinking that these bonuses aren’t as big or as lucrative as the amount seems smaller, but trust us – they are much better.
As an example, let’s say you have 50 free spins which are wager free and require a £10 deposit to claim. Compare those 50 to 100 regular bonus spins which also require a £10 deposit to claim, but have an x30 wagering requirement attached. Whilst you may think that the 100 free spins are a better bonus, it’s not – as you’ll have to wager through the hefty terms and cash out what money you have left at the end, whereas with the 50 wager free spins, you won’t have any withdrawal restrictions at all!
Tip: We have a dedicated section about no wager bonuses for you to get acquainted with this type of bonus and which casinos are currently offering the best bonuses with no wagering requirements.
Low Wager Bonuses
Very similar to no wager bonuses above, the only difference is low wager bonuses do have wagering terms attached to them. Only, they are on the lower side and therefore deemed much fairer as they’re easier to clear. When looking at low wager bonuses, always look for a bonus with a wagering requirement of 30x and lower. You don’t ever want to be stuck with obscene requirements like x50 which may be near on impossible to clear. Checking for a low wager bonus could be the make or break of cash out!
Cash Back Bonuses
A cashback bonus will reward players a % back of their losses from a specific time period. Casino cashback bonuses differ from casino to casino, but invariably will be a % up to a maximum amount of losses incurred in the previous 7 days. The percentage usually ranges from 10-20% and is a goodwill bonus from the casino – not all casinos will offer this type of bonus.
A solid rewards and VIP program is a sign of a top casino site. Most leading online casinos have a fully-fledged VIP program in place, to cater to higher net worth players who spend much more than the casual casino player. A VIP bonus may not be advertised directly on a casinos website, often you will have to be invited to be part of a VIP program.
VIP bonuses are usually given sporadically, but there’s plenty of them. A casino will want to show their VIP players that they mean business (and of course keep them happy) so VIP rewards, bonuses and perks often include dedicated account managers, cashback bonuses, birthday bonuses, personalised gifts, trips and holidays and invites to special events.
A high roller bonus is very similar to a VIP bonus. VIP players or ‘High Rollers’ as they’re called in the casino industry, usually need more bang for their buck than a regular welcome bonus or reload bonus. We’re talking much bigger bonuses because high rollers can deposit and play with a much bigger balance.
Some notable Highroller bonuses include 100% up to £5,000, 10% cashback up to £10,000 and so on. Often Highrollers aren’t too worried about smaller free spins bonuses – they’re looking for lucrative match deposit bonuses which will double up the large sum of money they intend to deposit into their account.
Refer A Friend Bonus
A common reward that you see many other non-casino services offering, a refer a friend bonus is quite simply a bonus for getting one of your friends or family signed up and playing at a casino for real money. If you’ve both avid casino players, these types of bonuses can be rewarding, however, make sure you are aware that they often can not be used in conjunction with any other offer and can again be time-sensitive. Your friend must make a qualifying real deposit for you to see the bonus too. Always read the full terms and conditions before you take this bonus, to ensure you meet the criteria. Not all casinos offer this bonus, but if you look at many of the new casinos, they’ll have one somewhere, although you might have to go looking for it on the casino’s website.
Deposit £10 Get £10 /100 Free Spins
A deposit of £100 gets 100 free spins (or similar like: deposit £10 get bonus ) is a nifty bonus available at most casino sites. These bonuses allow you to try out the casino for a small deposit of £10, where you get a maximum return, in this case, 100 free spins. The free spins are often credited to a popular UK slot game. A deposit of £10 get 100 free spins bonus often has wagering terms applied, but if you choose a fair and trustworthy UK casino, they should be on the fairer side, so you have a maximum chance to cash out any winnings you may make from the 100 free spins.
200% Casino Bonus
A 200% casino bonus is simply a match deposit bonus, as highlighted above, only you will get 200% of your deposit amount, up to a maximum bonus amount. Like the 100% bonuses, if you deposit £100 and you claim a 200% casino bonus, you will be credited a total of £200 for your £100 deposit. As you can see, these bonuses are high value and well worth looking out for 200% casino bonuses will have wagering terms attached, like any match deposit bonus, but if you choose to play at low wager casinos, then this will allow you a fairer chance for a payout. 200% of casino bonuses will effectively allow you to triple your deposit amount.
100% Casino Bonus
A 100% deposit bonus is the same thing as a signup bonus or welcome bonus. Simply make a deposit and the casino will credit your balance with a 100% match – this will enable you to double your deposit.
500% Casino Bonus
500% casino bonuses work in the very same way as all other match deposit bonuses, however as you would guess, 500% casino bonuses are incredibly lucrative and are hard to find. They are usually reserved for VIP players or loyal players, though there are a few large UK casinos that may offer these bonuses to new players. Because 500 casino bonuses effectively cost the casino a huge amount of capital to offer (if you deposit £100 they need to come up to £500) there are usually more conservative wagering terms applied. Have a browse and compare our latest online casinos with the best and biggest welcome bonuses above to get the best casino offer.
Wagering Requirements Explained
We’ve mentioned the term ‘wagering requirements’ a few times now, so what does this ambiguous term mean? It’s important to grasp what wagering terms are and how they work as they are an integral part of a casino bonus. Going in guns blazing and not reading bonus terms, especially wagering terms could lead to a disappointment later on down the road.
The majority of welcome bonus offers and indeed casino bonuses offered at UK casinos come with wagering requirements attached to them. They can be anything from as low as 10x up to 60x and higher. A standard wagering requirement will be between 20x and 35x. Between those figures, is what we deem to be fair and a regular casino wagering term. Anything higher is heading down the higher wager route and this is something you will want to avoid as you might have a hard time clearing the wagering requirements and cashing out your winnings.
Here comes the (slightly) complex part; as there are 2 types of wagering requirements: some bonuses you will need to wager just the bonus amount, and some you will need to wager the bonus amount plus the deposit amount. To help explain this and how wagering requirements work, we’ve set out a little example below:
Wagering The Bonus Plus Deposit Amount:
- Bonus offer: 100% up to £100
- Wagering requirement: 35x bonus plus deposit
- Your deposit: £100
- WR Calculation: £100 x 35= £3,500
- Explanation: To cash out your winnings, you will need to wager both the £100 deposit + £100 bonus 3×5 times before you can make a withdrawal. This means you’ll have to bet/play through £7,000 to cash out your winnings.
Wagering The Bonus Amount Only:
- Bonus offer: 100% up to £10
- Your deposit: £30
- Your Bonus: £30
- Wagering requirement: 45x
- WR Calculation: £30 x45 = £1350
- Explanation: To withdraw, you’ll need to wager the bonus amount (in this case, £30) x 35 times. This means that you’ll have to bet/play through £1,350 before you can withdraw your winnings.
Tip: It’s always best to look out for bonuses that are based on you wagering the bonus amount only, but on the whole, looking for bonuses with the lowest wagering terms is the way to go.
Other Important Bonus Terms & Requirements:
When looking and choosing the best casino bonus, make sure that you also look out for other requirements that may appear small but are still very important, including:
- Time limits: bonuses do often have an expiry date – usually within 7-14 days
- Minimum deposit requirements: most casino bonuses require a minimum deposit of £20 to trigger the bonus
- The maximum bet with an active bonus: sometimes you just aren’t allowed to bet big/max we’re afraid!
- Forbidden betting patterns
- Forbidden games (usually, high variance slots and some roulette and blackjack games are restricted and won’t count towards a bonus’ wagering requirements)
- Forbidden deposit methods: commonly, casino bonuses won’t be credited if you use Skrill and Neteller for example) etc.
There are many things to look out for and be savvy about, which is why we always recommend you to read every bonuses term’ every single time. You’ll always find every single rule and clause relating to the bonus casino’s general terms and conditions and bonus terms.
There are also cash out limits when you use a casino bonus, so knowing your bonus cash out limits is imperative as the casino can limit the bonus amount you can withdraw. Most casino sites have a set maximum amount you can withdraw regardless of how much you win with your bonus money. For example, if you win a jackpot of £10,000 when playing with a bonus and its cashout limit determined at £1,000, you’ll only be able to withdraw the £1,000. Becoming a loyal player or having a VIP status at a casino will often allow you higher withdrawal limits, so check that out at the casino you’re playing at or the new casino you intend to join.
Casino Bonuses FAQ's
Whilst we’ve tried to cover the most important points about casino bonuses above, for your convenience, we have added some faqs below. These are commonly asked questions and some obvious ones which people usually have on their mind about this subject.
If you feel we’ve missed anything, or have any questions about casino bonuses in general, then feel free to reach out to us, or contact the casino directly to ensure you know about the bonus you plan to use. It’s always best to know the facts before play commences. As we’ve said before, you’ll want to avoid disappointment when you want to cash out a win!
Can You Make Money From Casino Bonuses?
Depending on the casino bonus on offer, there is usually a good chance of making a profit from them, but you need to be savvy about which casino bonus you claim and how you play with it. For example, always look for low wager bonuses, as this will help you clear the playthrough requirements enough to cash out your wins.
Never play with a wagering requirement that’s over x45. You have more chance to cash out wins from a match deposit bonus than other types of bonuses, like free spins no deposit, however, we recommend opting for no wager bonuses to ensure you aren’t tied into any restrive wagering terms at all! This means whatever you win, you keep.