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What is a Casino Bonus?

Online casinos and other gambling sites give free offers to players in return for signing up or depositing money. These casino bonuses come in many forms and have different terms and conditions attached to suit every player and bankroll.

This may sound too good to be true, and the online gambling sites do benefit from these promotions. Online casinos use bonuses to entice you away from their competitors or encourage you to try new games.

Don't dismiss casino bonuses as a scam though. With some savvy tactics and know-how, you can use these promotions to your advantage.

How Do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

Online casino bonuses act as free credit that gambling operators deposit into a player's account once they meet the terms of the promotion.

Generally, online casino bonuses can be split into two camps:

Free Promotions

No deposit bonuses and free spins require players to create an account, but they do not have to deposit any cash. These promotions are normally smaller than wager bonuses, but useful for trialing a new casino or for beginner players that want risk-free fun.

Wager Bonuses

Wager bonuses can reach thousands of dollars and offer players considerably more free play without risking their bankroll. This makes them an essential part of any bettor's strategy to win money with online casinos.

However, they do come with more detailed terms and conditions. Players must deposit money in their accounts, and casino sites will differ on the amount and frequency they set for their bonuses. Learn how deposit requirements work so you can redeem the biggest bonuses from the online casino.

Many bettors think they can outsmart the casino by simply making the minimum deposit and then withdrawing the casino bonus as real money. Unfortunately, online casinos are not that naive. They enforce wagering requirements on their promotions to stop players from manipulating their offers. We've covered wagering requirement essentials farther below so our players can avoid these common pitfalls with casino bonuses.

How to Claim a Casino Bonus

Online casinos want you playing with them (and not their competitors) as quickly as possible. This works to the player's benefit, as it means they can enjoy their favorite casino games using free credit in minutes. These short steps work on any casino site and bonus you choose:

  • 1
    Navigate to your chosen online casino and click 'sign up'.
  • 2
    Enter the required personal information*.
  • 3
    Choose which casino bonus you want.
  • 4
    Review the terms and conditions; ensure you can meet the deposit and wagering or playthrough requirements.
  • 5
    Choose your preferred banking method (if needed) and enter the amount of money you want to deposit.
  • 6
    Enter the bonus code (if required), and then finalize the payment.
  • 7
    Enjoy your favorite casino games!
  • 8
    Once you have met the casino bonus's wagering requirements, withdraw your winnings.

After signing up to a new casino and claiming a bonus, check its 'promotions' section for more offers. The best online casinos offer recurring weekly promotions, such as free spins or cashback bonuses, to reward their loyal players. Some won't notify players of these offers, so a quick search can mean big returns for smart bettors.

*Some online casinos' gambling licenses will require players to submit ID documents to run additional security checks. Players should provide this information during the sign-up process to avoid any delays in getting their accounts approved.

How are Casino Bonuses Calculated?

Many online casinos mention the phrase 'up to 100%' or similar wording in their match bonuses and welcome offers. These promotions usually have a cap on the amount a player can deposit and still receive the free credit.

Let's say Gold Mine Casino offers a 100% match bonus, up to $200. Player A deposits $50 and the casino matches it with another $50, giving Player A $100 in their account. Player B deposits $300, but because Gold Mine will only match it up to $200, Player B has $500 instead of the $600 they assumed they would get.

As the example shows, it always pays to check the terms of a casino bonus. Otherwise, you may lose out.

Alternatively, there are plenty of tools available online that will do the hard work for you. Our Bonus Calculator tool scans your deposit and recommends the best promotions available. Simply enter your preferred amount and explore your bonuses.

Casino Bonus Types

With so many casino bonuses available, it can be easy for players to fall into the trap of chasing every single promotion available. Simply put, some bonuses give better value to certain bankroll sizes or casino games than others.

Save your money and check out our list of the most popular casino bonuses. Our mini-guide will help you find the best promotions for your bankroll and preferred casino games.

  • No Deposit Bonus

    Whether you're a newbie to casino games or want to try a new casino, no deposit bonuses are perfect for players that want minimal commitment. Just sign up to the casino, add the bonus to your account, and you're ready to play!

    As the name hints, no deposit is required from players, but the amounts are usually small. No deposit bonuses rarely exceed $50. Some casinos will also place restrictions on which games qualify for no deposit bonuses; slots and new titles are the most common.

    If this promotion sounds perfect for your gameplay style, we've found topno deposit bonus codes online for June 2022.

  • Welcome Bonus

    Only new sign-ups can snag this popular casino bonus from gambling sites. Players must deposit funds to earn a welcome bonus, along with any special requirements.

    Welcome bonuses can vary from ten dollars to thousands in free credit. Remember that the biggest welcome bonuses will usually have higher wagering requirements. Some of our players have found sign-up bonuses reaching $12,000 with a 70x wagering requirement.

    When it comes to welcome bonuses, compare the deposit and wagering requirements to your bankroll and betting style. High rollers can meet the terms of the bigger welcome bonuses, whereas other bettors will find more value in smaller bonuses with lower wagering requirements.

  • Free Spins

    If you love giving slots a spin, then this casino bonus was made for you. Casino sites give free spins as a no deposit bonus to new sign-ups or as a weekly promotion to loyal bettors. Players must register with an online casino to redeem this bonus, and the bigger free spins offers will usually require a deposit, too.

    Free spins bonuses can only be played on slot games, and some casinos will restrict them to specific titles. Casinos will usually add shorter expiry dates to free spins and set a maximum cashout. Wagering requirements are common with free spins, so even if you win some money on this bonus, expect to wager more before you can make a withdrawal.

    Despite these restrictions, free spins are useful for testing new titles and are essential to any strategy when it comes to winning at slots. Discover more tips and tricks to beating the reels with our guide to real money slots.

  • Poker Freerolls

    When it comes to online poker, freerolls act like casino bonuses. A freeroll is a tournament that costs no money for players to enter, but they can still win huge cash prizes. Freeroll tournaments require players to be members of a poker site or use their bonus points to join, so technically they're not free. Given there's no cash fee to enter though, poker freerolls still give players the chance to win real money for free play.

    Almost all online poker rooms offer freeroll bonuses. Poker sites use these tournaments to attract new sign-ups, showcase new features, or offer them as an incentive for partaking in their loyalty schemes. Unsurprisingly, newbie players usually flood freerolls, so expect big crowds and long games in these tournaments.

  • High Roller

    To grab this bonus, you need a bank account and betting style worthy of a VIP. Online casinos bestow high roller bonuses on their 'whales' or 'cheetahs', aka their biggest spenders. If you always bet the maximum limit, make hefty first deposits, and regularly hit the high stakes tables like it's nothing, then you are a high roller. Online casinos should give you bonuses that match your big spending.

    High roller bonuses include bigger cashback or match bonuses, invitations to exclusive casino tables and events, and even prizes like cards. LeoVegas' VIP scheme is lauded by players and our experts, with prizes and bonuses increasing in value depending on players' spending — something for us paupers, at least.

  • 100% Match Bonus

    Often advertised as a welcome bonus, online casinos offer match bonuses to new and regular players. Match bonuses are one of the most valuable promotions casino sites offer. They greatly increase your bankroll and are accepted on all online casino games.

    Match bonuses can have complex terms and conditions, so check these before depositing any cash. Common terms include multiple deposits within a specified time frame, wagering requirements, minimum deposit limits, potential withdrawal caps, and restricted countries.

    Some casinos require players to first enter a code to redeem match bonuses. Double-check before making any deposits, so you can redeem the full match bonus.

  • Cashback Bonus

    For players that have already found an online casino they love, cashback bonuses offer a rare opportunity to receive forfeited cash. Essentially, a cashback bonus is a return of a percentage of lost bets across a specific time frame. Casino sites usually return 5-25% of a player's losses in cashback bonuses, which can make a big difference if you're on a cold streak.

    Online casinos grant cashback bonuses to loyal players who bet huge money, but it's not a guarantee. They also give this bonus as credit to encourage bettors to play more.

    Players looking to add cashback bonuses to their betting strategies should check the fine print. Some casinos require players to keep a minimum amount of cash in their account to qualify, and others place caps on winnings with this promotion. Terms and conditions aside, cashback bonuses can extend bankrolls and give regular bettors more chances to win real money from the online casinos.

  • Mobile Casino Bonus

    Online casinos want returns on new features, payment methods, or games they add to their mobile sites and apps. To entice players to try these shiny additions, gambling sites offer mobile casino bonuses. These perks give mobile gamblers credit to try new add-ons, without betting their bankroll.

    Like no deposit promotions, mobile bonuses are usually small and can only be redeemed on certain games. This perk is also time-sensitive, and will sometimes apply to specific operating systems, i.e. iOS or Windows.

    Mobile bonuses are one of the most versatile promotions online casinos offer. Players of all bankrolls and abilities can use them, so we've compiled the top mobile bonuses for Apple and Android phones for our readers.

Understanding Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions

With thousands of online casino bonuses available, bettors have loads of opportunities to win real money for free play. For many gamblers though, it can be hard to decide whether a promotion is giving them the best value. This is where bonus terms and conditions (T&Cs) come into play.

T&Cs can help bettors distinguish between the bonuses that will simply extend their initial deposit and the promotions that give players an advantage over the online casino. Taking a few minutes to read a bonus's terms will also prevent bettors from missing crucial clauses that may also void their bonus or winnings.

Use our list below to unpack a casino bonus's terms and conditions. This will help you make the most of these freebies, and discover which bonus offers the best deal for your bankroll.

  • 1

    Deposit requirements:

    Gambling sites often attach minimum deposit amounts to bonuses. These can be one-off payments or multiple deposits across a specific time frame.

  • 2

    Playthrough/wagering requirements:

    Players may have to bet their bonus amount several times over before an online casino will let them withdraw winnings.

  • 3

    Wagering contributions:

    Online casinos assign a percentage that a game's bets can contribute towards a bonus's wagering requirements. Finding which casinos give the best contributions towards your preferred games is essential to beat wagering requirements.

  • 4

    Time restrictions:

    Casino sites set deadlines by which players must spend their casino bonuses.

  • 5

    Winning caps:

    Mostly found on no deposit and free spins bonuses, online casinos place caps on how much money players can win from their promotions.

  • 6

    Restricted currency/payment methods:

    Some casinos restrict the payment methods used on casino bonuses or the currencies they accept.

  • 7

    Country restrictions:

    Depending on the gambling site's license or your country of residence, you may not legally qualify for some casino bonuses.

Those are the most common terms and conditions players should look out for with casino bonuses. Most are straightforward, but two terms and conditions in particular cause confusion for bettors: deposit requirements and wagering requirements. Our simple guides below will help you navigate these tricky T&Cs like a pro.

Casino Bonus Deposit Requirements

When it comes to bonuses, online casinos want to get the most value possible out of players. Otherwise, they could go bust. By attaching deposit requirements to their promotions, casino sites can better manage their cash flow and reduce their risk.

That's all good and well for the casino, but what about the bettors? While it's impossible to avoid deposit requirements, a few smart choices will help you get more value out of casino bonuses.

1. Check the deposit type.

First off, identify what type of deposit your chosen casino bonus requires. We can divide these into three groups:

  • 'No Deposit Required' Bonus: The credit automatically enters the bettor's account, without any initial deposits. Online casinos might require players to deposit before they can withdraw any winnings with this bonus, though.
  • 'Single Deposit' Bonus: Players make one deposit and receive a set bonus in return. These casino bonuses are usually smaller, but simpler to understand.
  • 'Multi Deposit' Bonus: The biggest bonuses have the most complicated deposit requirements. When it comes to four-figure bonuses, casinos will drip-feed these to players for weeks in return for multiple deposits that gradually increase in amount.

Compare these deposit requirements to your bankroll and the amount of time you spend gambling. Are there any bonuses outside of your budget? Which deposit requirements promise the most value for your gameplay?

2. Is it a 'normal' or 'sticky' bonus?

When a casino offers a huge bonus, they do everything to prevent bettors from simply withdrawing it. Many gambling sites will simply block any withdrawal requests on these promotions, giving them their 'sticky' moniker.

'Normal' casino bonuses allow players to withdraw funds after the wagering requirement has been met, even any remaining credit from promotions.

This isn't to say players should avoid stick bonuses. Generally, they're bigger and can easily double or triple a bankroll. They do require bigger deposits though, and better suit players focused on long-term betting strategies.

3. Ensure your deposits adhere to the casino's special T&Cs.

In the past, bettors have manipulated bonus T&Cs so one payment could qualify for multiple casino bonuses. Gambling sites have since cottoned on, and many have added extra restrictions to prevent bonus abuse.

Many casinos now list specific behaviors as evidence of bonus abuse in their T&Cs. For instance, players found making a pattern of cashing out on one bonus and immediately depositing funds for a second promotion will be banned. In these circumstances though, online casinos are looking for patterns of bonus abuse or uncharacteristic behavior. Casual players will be fine.

Some online casinos automatically add promotions to a player's account. Depending on the casino site, you may have to opt-out of some bonuses. Otherwise, you might find your deposits qualifying for the wrong promotions.

Making smarter deposits on casino bonuses will also affect your wagering requirements. Simple errors can result in costly mistakes, but luckily there are a few steps you can take to save yourself a lot of cash and ultimately win more from the casino.

Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

Almost all casino sites have wagering or playthrough requirements attached to their bonuses. Wagering requirements can come in several forms, but generally stipulate the amount of money a player must wager before they can withdraw any winnings from their casino bonus.

How Do Online Casino Wagering Requirements Work?

Wagering requirements vary between the type of bonus a player accepts. However, players can generally break them down into two camps:

  • Cash bonus: These promotions (i.e. welcome bonus or match bonus) require players to bet a specific multiplier before they can withdraw any winnings. A casino bonus with a 10X wagering requirement for instance means a player would have to wager the bonus amount 10 times over before they could cash out any jackpots.
  • Free bonus: Offers like free spins or no deposit bonuses have wagering requirements but in different forms. Some casinos may require players to deposit cash in their account before they can withdraw winnings, others may place maximum cashout limits on these bonuses.

How to Calculate Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements may sound complicated, but some basic equations can quickly determine your minimum betting amount for you.

(Bonus Amount) X (Wagering Requirement) = Total Bet Required

This formula works for most casino bonuses, including welcome or match promotions. Let's say you claim a 100% match bonus of $50, with a 30X wagering requirement. Using the equation above, you plug the numbers in [($50) X (30)] and find you would have to wager $1,500 before you could withdraw any winnings from the casino.

Some online casinos will require players to include their initial deposit in the wagering requirements. We can still find our total bet amount for this sticky bonus, by including our first deposit in the formula above:

(Bonus Amount) + (Initial Deposit) X (Wagering Requirement) = Total Bet Required

Using our earlier example, we find that by adding our bonus amount and initial deposit and then multiplying that by our wagering requirement, we'll have to wager $3,000. Or: $50 + $50 = $100, $100 X 30 = $3,000.

If a casino bonus has more complicated stipulations, we recommend using a wagering requirement calculator. There are loads available online for free that can do the sums for you.

These amounts may seem steep, but remember bets made using winnings also contribute towards the total amount.

Wagering requirements can feel like the online casinos have manipulated bonuses to be stacked in their favor. However shrewd bettors know that by understanding the function of a wagering requirement, they too can manipulate the terms to their benefit.

Beat Wagering Requirements — Make the Casino's Terms Work for You

The best way to beat wagering requirements is through smarts. By understanding how an online casino wants its wagering requirements to function, bettors can spot tricks to make the terms work more in their favor. To give our players the upper hand, we've compiled a short guide to finding opportunity in wagering requirements:

  • 1

    Check Terms and Conditions.

    This is where casino sites list their wagering requirements. Read these carefully and look for terms like time restrictions and minimum deposit requirements that will affect your total bet amount.

  • 2

    Compare Similar Bonuses.

    Can't decide between two promotions? Compare their wagering requirements, deposit amounts, and qualifying games.

  • 3

    Look at Wagering Contributions.

    Some online casinos prefer bettors play certain games over others. To encourage this, they'll reduce the percentage of wagers specific games contribute towards the wagering requirements. Again, comparing casinos' conditions can help you find which gambling site offers the best bonus for your gameplay.

    Pro tip

    Slots almost always have 100% contribution, but card and table games can have as little as 0-25%.

  • 4

    Choose Casinos with a High Payout Percentage.

    Give yourself the best chance of winning real money by playing with the casinos that dish out winnings most often. You can easily find this information in casino reviews and on the casino's site.

  • 5

    Be Flexible with Your Payment Method.

    Some online casinos will only dish out bonuses for certain payment methods. Players should look for this info in the terms and conditions, else they risk losing their casino bonus or spending more on processing fees.

What About No Wager Casinos?

These online gambling sites offer casino bonuses with few or no wagering requirements. Players may seek them out in the hopes of free bonuses, big jackpots, and zero conditions, but there are some factors to consider.

Players can potentially collect winnings without meeting a total bet amount, but no wager casinos still require them to make deposits. Bonuses for no wager casinos are usually much smaller in comparison to bonuses from gambling sites that add wagering requirements. Free credit is still valuable though, and you can still turn a profit with a legit no wager casino.

Now you know the basics, you're ready to bet. Check out our list of the best casino bonuses available and get playing straight away.


  • How can you make money from online casino bonuses?

    Players must use casino bonuses on games if they want to make any cash, but these promotions also include terms that can affect how much players collect. Always check for wagering requirements before depositing money; the lower, the better. Casino bonuses usually have game contributions attached to wagering requirements, i.e, blackjack has a 50% contribution, while slots have 100%. That means blackjack players would have to bet double the amount compared to slot players to meet the wagering requirements of the casino bonus. Ultimately, these terms will influence how much money players win.

  • Are casino bonuses worth it?

    Casino bonuses essentially offer free credit, giving players more chances to win money. This enables players to test new casinos or games, or try strategies, without risking their cash. These benefits make casino bonuses a valuable perk for all bettors.

  • What is a casino bonus code?

    Casinos will issue specific codes to players to give them free credit or discounts on their gameplay on the site. Bettors can add these to their accounts and use them on a variety of games.

  • Can you make money from casino bonuses?

    Casino bonuses give players free funds to use on games with an online casino. The gameplay and chances of winning with these promotions are the same as playing for real money, meaning players can walk away with a profit without risking their bankroll.

  • How can I take advantage of online casino bonuses?

    Taking a tactical approach when choosing casino bonuses will help you win money the smarter way. Consider what games you want to play, and how much of your bankroll you're willing to deposit. Then, compare casino bonuses to determine which one offers the best deal for your money — our recommended casinos list is an easy place to start. If you're new to online casinos, try no deposit bonuses or free spins first.

  • What does 'wager bonus' mean?

    This term usually refers to casino bonuses that have wagering requirements attached. Most promotions have them and basically, they represent the number of times a bettor must play through the casino bonus amount before they can withdraw any winnings.