Casino bonuses are simply free funds which casinos give players for them to enjoy free gaming. Interestingly, this is not free gaming just for fun, but free gaming with a chance of winning real money. Thus, casino bonuses allow players chase casino prizes without having to risk their own money.
Everyone like the idea of free funds for free online casino gaming, and especially of being able to win real money without risking any personal funds. Also, the gameplay and gaming experience are not diminished when using bonus funds. As a result, when choosing an online casino, one of the things players look out for is bonuses.
Types of Online Casino Bonus
The most popular types of online casino bonuses are:
1. Match Bonus
This is a percentage of your deposit amount that is credited to you on top of your deposit amount. It is called a “match” bonus because your deposit amount is matched by the casino according to the advertised percentage.
If an online casino advertises a 50% match bonus, you’ll receive 50% of your deposit amount as free bonus money. That is:
- If you deposit $50, $50 will be credited to your real money account, and $25 will be credited to your bonus account
- If you deposit $100, $100 will be credited to your real money account, an $50 will be credited to your bonus account
However, most of the match bonus offers you’ll find will be capped. An offer of a “50% match bonus” as above is uncapped, because it means you can easily deposit $1,000 to get a $500 bonus. While a few online casinos have uncapped match bonuses, the majority of the online casinos out there cap their match bonus offers. The reason? They want to limit how much they give away. So, you’re more likely to find match bonuses like: 50% match bonus up to $200.
The “up to” part is an upper limit – the maximum amount of bonus money you can get from the offer. With the “up to $200” part added to the 50% match bonus offer, you cannot get bonus money of more than $200 from the offer. Thus:
- If you deposit $200, $200 will be credited to your real money account, and $100 will be credited to your bonus account
- If you deposit $400, $400 will be credited to your real money account, and $200 will be credited to your bonus account
- If you deposit $1,000, $1,000 will be credited to your real money account, and $200 will be credited to your bonus account
Know that, match bonuses are often referred to as Deposit Bonuses; and some platforms even use them interchangeably. True, a match bonus is a deposit bonus. This is because you have to make a deposit to get the bonus. However, not all deposit bonuses are match bonuses. This is because, sometimes, what the casino offers for making a deposit is not a match bonus.
2. No deposit Bonus
This is a bonus that online casino players receive without having to make deposits. Thus, for the true definition of free money, look at the no deposit bonuses. When an online casino offers no deposit bonuses, you only have to have an account with the casino to claim the bonus, you will not have to deposit before you can get the bonus. The only thing better than free funds is not putting in anything at all to get it. Thus, the no deposit bonuses are players’ favourite online casino bonuses. In fact, the no deposit bonuses are the most sought-after bonuses in the online casino world.
3. Free Spins
In the online casino world, spin is fast becoming synonymous with slot gaming. Thus, as a bonus offer, free spins are simply some free rounds of slot gaming. When given a free spin on a particular slot machine, the game play will cost you $0. Yes, it is not just spinning for fun, you’ll have the same chance of lining up the symbols in winning combinations on the slot reels as when spinning using real money.
Because Online Slots are some of the most popular online casino games, Free Spins are very popular online casino bonuses.
When Free Spins are offered, it is the number of free spins (game rounds) that is advertised, while the worth of each spin is tucked away in the Bonus Terms.
For example, you’ll find a free spin bonus offer like this: 50 Free Spins on the “Book of Dead” Slot. Most times, the Free Spins bonus are combined with match bonuses. You’ll see such an offer like this: 100% bonus up to $200 + 50 Free Spins on the “Cash Bandit” Slot.
These offers mean that you can play 50 free game rounds on the slot. However, it does not mean that you can set your bet to the maximum bet amount for each spin. The bonus terms will usually specify the worth of each Free Spin claimed. Thus, where the Free Spins are worth $0.40 each, a bonus offer of 50 Free Spins is worth $20.
4. Free Bet
An online casino free bet bonus is an amount of money offered to players to play certain games (usually non slot games) for free. The Free Bet bonus is arguably the most straight forward online casino bonus. You’ll find Free Bet bonus like this: $10 free bet
As the name of this bonus offer suggests, it is an offer that will give you your cash back if you play in an online casino, and lose your money. A cashback is a percentage of a player’s net losses over a period of time that is credited back to the player’s account.
Thus, cashbacks are not credited upon making a deposit. To qualify for a cashback, you’ll have to play online casino games using deposited funds, and then go on to lose funds. Because of this nature of cashbacks, some players do not favour them, reasoning that finding cashbacks is tantamount to preparing oneself for failure.
Cashback offers come in two ways – a cashback credited either to the real money balance or a cashback credited to the bonus balance. True cashbacks are those credited to the real money balance because they are credited as real cash that is instantly withdrawable (that is, wagering requirements do not apply). However, when credited to the bonus balance, it is simply a “bonus back” because you’ll have to meet specified wagering requirement before the funds (or any winnings obtained using it) is withdrawable.
Forms of Online Casino Bonuses
You cannot take a peek into online casino spheres without hearing of bonuses like sign-up bonuses, reload bonuses, or VIP bonuses. There are some gambling platforms that list these as “types” of casino bonuses, but that will be saying breakfast, lunch and dinner are “types” of food.
Just as a particular type of food or a combination of food types can be made into breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on when it is taken, so a particular type of casino bonus or a combination of bonus types can be made into a welcome bonus, a reload bonus, or a VIP bonus depending on when it is offered. Thus, the sign-up bonus, reload bonus, and VIP bonus are the different “forms” in which the different types of casino bonuses can come in.
Which of these forms of online casino bonus you find will depend on whether you are a newbie, a returning player, or a veteran.
1. Sign Up Bonus
Often called a welcome bonus, the sign-up bonus is a bonus given to new players who register and join an online casino. It is like a “thank you” gift that an online casino gives its new players for choosing the casino over the competition.
Since online casinos are always seeking to get new players, they try to outdo each other with their sign-up bonuses. The sign-up bonus takes different shapes. That is, a casino’s sign-up bonus can be created using one or a combination of the different types of online casino bonuses.
Example of Sign up/ welcome bonus:
|S/N||Welcome Bonus||Type of Casino Bonus Used|
|1||100% bonus up to $200||Match bonus only|
|2||100% bonus up to $200 + 50 Free Spins||Match bonus + Free Spins|
|3||10 Free Spin upon sign-up + 50% first deposit bonus up to $200||No deposit bonus + match bonus|
To attract new players, online casino wants to be seen as being the most rewarding for new players. One way of doing this is to offer bigger and more attractive welcome bonuses. In doing this, many online casinos now offer welcome bonuses that go beyond the first deposit. They offer a huge package and stagger it to cover multiple deposits.
An example of this will be: get $1,000 + 500 Free Spins in 5 deposits as follows
- First deposit: 100% match bonus up to $200 + 100 Free Spins
- Second deposit: 50% match bonus up to $200 + 100 Free Spins
- Third deposit: 10% match bonus up to $200 + 100 Free Spins
- Fourth deposit: 50% match bonus up to $200 + 100 Free Spins
- Fifth deposit: 100% match bonus up to $200 + 100 Free Spins
2. Reload Bonus
It is not only online casino newbies that get bonuses. If the Sign-up bonus is to get new players, there should be bonuses to get players to return, and this is the role of the Reload Bonuses.
After you have enjoyed the sign-up bonus, a really rewarding online casino will not leave you empty. Rather, it will ensure that you get something (free funds) as you continue to deposit and play in the house. The Reload Bonus is bonuses for returning players. Any bonus that returning players can claim any time they make a deposit is a reload bonus.
Reload Bonus offers can be created using the different types of online casino bonuses. That is, an online casino can choose to offer its returning players who make a deposit a match bonus, a number of free spins, free bets, cashback, or a combination of any of these.
3. VIP Bonus
As its name suggests, this is an online casino bonus for VIPs (or the casino veterans). The VIP bonus is designed to reward loyalty (having been and played very well in the particular online casino). Thus, they are often called Loyalty Bonuses.
To attain the VIP status and qualify for VIP bonuses, you’ll need to reach particular wager requirements. That is, you’ll need to have spent up to a particular amount in the casino. Interestingly, online casino loyalty programs are tiered to allow for more players to enjoy loyalty benefits.
The more you play in the casino, the more loyalty points you’ll earn to move to higher VIP tier levels; and the higher up the ladder you climb, the more VIP benefits you’ll enjoy.
Loyalty programs will look like this:
|VIP Levels||Entry Requirement (VIP Points)||Benefits|
|Level 1 (Bronze)||0||20 Free Spins|
|Level 2 (Silver)||200 points||50 Free Spins|
|Level 3 (Gold)||1,000 points||$50 + 50 Free Spins|
|Level 4 (Diamond)||5,000 points||$100 + 100 Free Spins|
*1 VIP Point is earned for every $10 wagered
Online Casino Bonus Code or Promo Code
It is just not possible to end a discussion of online casino bonuses without mentioning bonus codes or promo codes. If online casino bonus are free funds, the bonus codes or promo codes is the ticket that puts the free funds into your account.
Online casinos offer their bonuses using specific bonus codes. To claim the bonus, you’ll have to find and apply the bonus code. With a no deposit promo code, you can claim a no deposit bonus and enjoy free gaming without having to deposit. With a promo code for a match bonus, you can proceed to make a deposit and get a percentage of the deposited funds as a bonus for free gaming. Applying a bonus code/ promo code is fairly easy; you simply have to enter the bonus code into the appropriate textbox and hit enter.
However, many online casinos now make the process of claiming bonuses easy by removing the aspect of finding and applying bonus codes. The bonus pages advertising their bonus offers hold links; and all you need to claim a desired bonus is click on the appropriate link.