When browsing casino sites you’ve probably noticed the enticing promotions promising casino bonuses that grant you 100-500% extra money to play with.
If you’re anything like us, you probably thought; so what’s the catch?
In this in-depth article, we will explain casino bonus offers in detail, the pros and cons, what makes a good bonus and things to consider when playing with a bonus.
What is a casino bonus?
In short, a casino bonus is something a casino operator gives their players, either on top of a deposit or for free as an acquisition tool.
According to the website online.casino there are four main types of casino bonuses; deposit match bonuses, no deposit bonuses, free bets and free spins.
We will explain them all below, but when talking about casino bonuses you generally talk about deposit match bonuses where the casino matches your deposit with extra bonus money, but more on that shortly.
First, we’ll explain the four most popular bonus types.
1. Deposit match bonuses
A deposit match bonus works like this; when a player deposits to their player account, the casino matches the deposit (doubles it) if the bonus is 100%. If it’s 200% the casino would triple the deposit amount and so forth.
So once again, what’s the catch?
Well, the “catch” (or the terms & conditions) for such bonuses is the wagering requirements applied to the bonus money.
To explain this in an easy way, we created the following example:
- A player visits random casino site and wants to claim the 100% up to $700 offer. The offer comes with a 15x wagering requirement for the bonus + deposit amount.
- The player creates a player account and deposits $100.
- Instantly, the casino now credits $100 extra to the player’s account.
- The player now has $200 to play for, but in order to withdraw any winning from the session, he or she needs to wager $100 (bonus amount) + $100 (deposit amount) x 15 = $3000.
In the example above the maximum bonus amount available for the bonus is $700, so if the player would deposit $700 instead of $100, he or she would get a total of $1400 to play with.
However, the wagering needed would still be 15x deposit + bonus, which would mean the player needs to wager a total of $21,000 before withdrawals of potential winnings are possible.
With this in mind, you can understand how important it is to choose an offer with a lower requirement. Ideally, you would never go for any bonuses with more than 35x in playthrough.
2. No deposit bonuses
You can probably guess what a no deposit bonus is. Yepp, you’re right – it’s a bonus you get without the need to deposit any funds to the casino player account.
In general, no deposit bonuses are free spins given upon registration, but they can also include things like bonus money (with wagering requirements) or free bets.
If the no deposit bonus offer includes free spins it’s usually 5-20 spins included, with at least 25x wagering requirement.
For bonus money, the amounts are usually $5-$10 with minimum 35x wagering attached.
There are also some offers where the casino gives you 1 hour to play with let’s say $88 (888casino used to run this offer for many years) and you could keep everything you won from that $88 dollars, depending you cleared the playthrough.
For instance, if you got $88 to play with, and after 1 hour you had a balance of $100, your account balance would be $12, but you’d have to clear the wagering before you could withdraw the money.
3. Free bets
A free bet is very straight forward. Instead of getting extra funds you get to place one free bet on any sports event you’d like.
If you win, you either get real money or bonus money you need to wager.
Wager requirements for sports bonuses are generally around 4-11x, which is much lower than the casino offers.
4. Free spins
Free spins can be part of both no deposit or deposit offers as explained above, but what are they?
In short, it’s free rounds (or spins) on a selected slot machine. The coin value is always pre-set (usually to the lowest value possible) and so is betting lines.
Why wagering (playthrough) requirements?
So what is wagering requirements? The casino and sportsbook Betfair explains it like this:
“A wagering requirement is a multiplier that represents the number of times you have to play through a bonus before you are able to withdraw any winnings.”
To understand this better, please see the above example we did under the title “1. Deposit match bonuses”.
So why do casinos use terms and conditions including playthrough?
To be frank, we would not have any gambling bonuses without them. They lower the risk of handing out free money to players, which is the last thing the casino wants to do.
It’s important that bonuses are an acquisition tool for the operator. Sure, it understands a small percentage of the players will clear the requirements and cash out their bonus amount, but most will not.
And hopefully, they will continue playing, making the casinos decision to give the player a bonus, a success, as the acquisition of active players was their main target.
With the information in this article, we hope you feel confident enough to choose a casino bonus that suits your needs, as well as knowing what kind of offers you should stay away from. Remember gambling should be a fun activity, so never gamble for the money you can’t afford to lose.