Mention ‘online casino bonuses’ to a uniformed, and you might get a range of responses as to what that means.
Is an online casino bonus something paid out to the employees of the casino? Is it extra, unexpected winnings? Money for nothing? Or does it take the form of bonus games, which had previously been hidden and only unlocked by playing above a certain level or in a certain way?
Well, all casino bonuses contain elements of the above…
OK, perhaps the first one doesn’t count – perhaps casinos do pass on some of their profits to their employees during bumper periods when they’re bringing in a lot of money from players, but we’d rather they passed this prosperity on to the player!
The point is, promotions take on a variety of different guises, not to mention differing levels of appeal to the player, and it’s easy to get nonplussed by the sheer variety out there.
However, help is at hand – read on, and we’ll shade in the gaps in your knowledge and help you find your way round the various types of bonuses, so you’ll be properly informed when choosing who to game with, as well as understanding all the latest casino bonuses announced on CasinoCrunch.
Online casino bonus types
There is a multitude of casino bonuses online, so the following is only a look at the broad sweep of them.
However, the best online casino bonuses will be a variant of one of these types (or sometimes a hybrid of more than one of them), so you’ll be able to apply this info from the general to the specific quite easily.
There are two main categories of casino bonus online.
Deposit Bonuses and Free Money
The first is those who offer ‘Free’ Money. This type of bonus does exactly what it suggests. The online casino will give you money to the game with.
Naturally, they do not give you the money to go and buy a holiday with (though if you get lucky with wins, that is one good use for them of course!).
This money, which could be seen as one of the best casino bonuses, is strictly intended for gaming, and so it comes with a few strings attached.
The most significant of these is that you have to ‘play through’ the money a set number of times before you can withdraw (otherwise people would indeed just take their money straight out and buy a holiday – the best casino bonus is generous, but they still have a business to run!).
Let’s give an example of how this works – if they money has an x25 wagering requirement; it means you have to stake it 25 times.
So if you get 200 in bonus money, you have to stake that 200 times.
That doesn’t mean you have to stake 5,000 (200 x 25) of your money of course. But say you staked ten from the bonus money, and won 100 – those 100 winnings would then be re-staked, so you’d now wagered 110 of the bonus.
If you’re playing on a slot with a low variance in particular (a technical way of saying a slot which pays out frequently, but in smaller amounts), it’s surprising how quickly you can play through the extra money.
Each time you make some winnings, you simply re-wager those winnings, and that counts towards the 5,000 in the example above.
Conversely, if you were playing a ‘high variance’ game which paid out more rarely but in higher amounts, if you won, say, 5,000, you’d simply have to re-wager that, and the wagering requirements would be met.
Any winnings over and above the extra money are yours to keep!
Common to all casino bonuses of this type is that you also need to wager a certain amount of money on slots.
You can still use it on other games such as table games, as well, but the amount of bonus money you can wager on table games will be listed as a percentage in the casino’s small print, at least if you want to play through all the money.
So if Roulette, say, counted towards 50% of wagering requirements, in the example above, 2,500 could be wagered on Roulette, and the other 2,500 would have to be wagered on the slots.
Fortunately, since online slots are interesting and playable, not to mention packed with chances of winning, it makes the whole experience a lot easier!
Some of the best casino promotions of this type are Welcome Bonuses, which are offered to new players on opening an account and making a deposit, and are expressed (usually) as a percentage up to a certain amount.
So a 100% bonus up to 200 (as above) means if you deposited up to 200 the casino would match it 100% with 200. You can, of course, deposit more than that in your first deposit; it’s just that the maximum amount of money you could claim would be 200.
Luckily casinos also offer plenty of Reload Bonuses, which are further rewards for making your 2nd or 3rd (and sometimes more) deposits.
These are often to higher amounts but as smaller percentages, say 50% up to 400 – so if you deposited 800 in your 2nd deposit that would give you the maximum 400 bonus money.
The best online casino bonus of this type is the one off promotions like this which gambling sites sometimes offer at other times as well – why should new players have all the fun?!
No Deposit Bonuses and Free Spins
The second major category is the No Deposit Bonus – where you don’t even have to make a deposit, you simply open an account and get some Free Money to play with!
Naturally, wagering requirements would apply here too.
Even more common and one of the best casino promotions of them all is the Free Spins bonus.
This gives you Free Spins (so no deposit is required) on a slot game, usually a specific game or choice of games.
These can be anything from half a dozen up to hundreds of Free Spins, so they’re well worth keeping an eye out for – any winnings you make using your Free Spins will be yours to keep!
Best online casino bonuses
The best or most popular types of bonus are in the two categories outlined above, although there are a few things to take into consideration (and which we at CasinoCrunch look into when listing a casino on our site).
The wagering requirements (see above) shouldn’t be too impossible to attain. Anything from about x15 up to x50 or so is normal; significantly more than that isn’t worth paying attention to.
The Free Spins should be on up-to-date, interesting and frequently paying-out games (though some more obscure games can often also meet this latter requirement).
Bonuses offered simply for opening an account (i.e., the No Deposit type) are the real cream of the crop.
You can add to that a few other types of casino specials which can be found.
Some casinos offer one off promos, particularly at certain times of year (e.g.,. Halloween or Valentine’s) which carry a relevant theme.
When new games are launched, they are often accompanied with Free Spins on that particular game, so it’s a great way to try out a game to see if you like it and before making a deposit.
Sometimes casinos depart from this Free Money or Free Spins model altogether, with promos like Scratchcards, Free Gifts, random draws awarding Free Money, or competitions with the chance to win trips away, iPads or even cars!
Latest casino bonuses and promotions
CasinoCrunch is the place to come to keep up to date and informed on the latest casino promotions.
We list only the cream of the crop when it comes to gaming sites, and amongst the criteria, casinos need to meet to get listed with us, is the availability of good and worthwhile bonuses.
There is a welter of sites out there, and they all compete with each other to offer the best and latest casino bonus, and sometimes it’s easy to believe the hype too much or at least get confused as to which is the best one for you.
Fortunately, we separate our casinos depending on the type of bonus they have and also explain more about how each promo works, so we take a lot of the hard work out of things!