In-Depth Guide to Casino Welcome Bonuses
Is there a better greeting than a generous welcome bonus offer?
We don’t think so.
Yet before you jump into the first available offer, it’s good to know what’s really behind those attractive promotions.
Casino players often end their sessions in disappointment caused by unrealistic expectations or a lack of general knowledge.
On this page, we’ll properly introduce you to casino welcome bonuses in online casinos. You’ll get to know different casino promotional offers so that you might pick the best one for your playstyle. Then, perhaps the most important part, we’ll explain the wagering requirements associated with welcome offers.
So, if you want to skip the stress of the search and get the most out of casino welcome bonuses, make sure to understand the content below.
What Is a Casino Welcome Bonus?
Welcome bonuses are prizes that online casinos give new players once they sign-up or make the first deposit. This is an offer you can claim only once. More importantly, it’s often the most generous casino bonus type.
Welcome bonuses are beneficial to both sides – casinos and players.
First, online casinos will attract new players with irresistible offers, including free spins, match deposit bonuses, and so on (more on different types of welcome bonuses later). It makes them stand out from competitors, which is extremely important if we’re talking about a less-reputable or fresh casino on the market.
On the other hand, even well-established brands need to keep up with the market, which is excellent for players. Casinos are competing with each other to give the best deals out there, and it’s up to you to properly utilise that fact.
The second direct benefit applies to players. This one is obvious – as you claim the bonus, you’ll have more money to play with or have some extra boosts resulting in bigger potential profit. This makes the beginning of the journey easier, as you’ll have more room for error.
For example, let’s say you’re just getting started with casino games or even table and card games such as poker and blackjack. You certainly need to learn how those games work, what the potential winning strategy is, and so on.
So the good thing is that casino welcome bonuses aren’t a one-way street. Both parties will get something out of them. On this page, though, we’ll mainly focus on the players’ side of things.
Types of Welcome Bonuses
Welcome bonuses might seem extremely confusing to novice gamers. They don’t follow the same form, and it’s up to a casino to tailor the custom offer for new players.
One provider might multiply your deposit, while the other awards players with free spins. Some even combine these two.
The majority of casinos will ask you to make a deposit first, while others call their offers “no deposit bonuses”. And when you add cash back bonuses, reload bonuses and VIP packages, the story gets even more confusing.
However, it’s not that complicated at all.
Once you get to know the basic terms, you’ll quickly understand everything.
So let’s begin.
Matched Deposit Bonuses
Matched deposit bonus (or matched deposit bonus) is the most common welcome offer. You’ll see it in the vast majority of online casinos.
Sometimes it’s named “deposit bonus” only, and either way, all these variations have the same meaning.
Matched deposit bonus matches your deposit (pretty self-explanatory), for a certain percentage and up to the given limit. In most cases, the casino will provide you with the exact amount of your deposit as a bonus. In other words, you’ll have double the amount on your account.
Now, let’s add the fixed limit amount, so you know what the bonus looks like, for real.
Let’s say the cap is $300. So, if you deposit $300, you will get $300 as a bonus, leaving you with $600 on your casino account.
If you exceed the cap amount and deposit $500, you’ll still get $300 extra, as this is the upper limit. Now, you’ll have $800 on your account.
Of course, if you deposit anything less than $300, you’ll get the same amount as a bonus.
For example, deposit $130, the bonus is $130, and now you have $260.
For this particular case, the matched deposit bonus would be stated like this:
- 100% match deposit bonus up to $300
- 100% matched deposit up to $300
- $300 welcome bonus (in this case, you’ll have only the cap amount, and you should look further for an exact percentage/multiplier)
Free spins are another common type of welcome offer. They are often combined with matched deposit bonuses or you have the chance to pick one of those two.
If you’re familiar with slot games in general, there’s no need for a further explanation of this one.
If not, here’s how it works.
Slot games consist of reels that you can spin to get the desired, winning combination of symbols. Each spin is considered as one take, and each take costs some money. The cost can be as little as $0.01 or as high as $50. As you spike up the spin amount, the possible rewards go up as well.
Now, with free spins, you don’t need to pay for each spin.
As a part of the welcome deal, you might get 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 500 free spins (some call them bonus spins).
The value of those free spins is often on the lower scale and rarely exceeds $1 per spin.
Anyways, free spins are a great introduction to different slot games. As there are thousands of different slot games in each online casino, you might want to explore them in detail. Of course, you don’t have to try each one, as there are many common features. Often, the only different feature is the theme.
Take a look at these examples of free spins in welcome bonus offers:
- 100 Free Spins
- 100 FS
- 100% up to $300 + 500 Free Spins
- 100% up to $600 + 300 Bonus Spins
- 200 Free Spins + 100 Free Spins for Mega Moolah Series
- 100 BS + 1,000 for Starburst
Cashback bonuses are for those who prefer to play it safe. Instead of getting attractive offers to start your betting, right here, you minimise the losses by getting some of your (lost) cash right back to you.
Cashback bonuses cover a certain period of time when you’re getting a percentage of your net losses back to your account.
Let’s say, for example, that a cashback bonus covers one week, giving back 20% of your losses up to $100.
So, if you’ve lost $500 during that week, you’ll get $100 back. If you exceed the limit, you’ll still get that cap amount.
On the other hand, if you combine a few wins along the way, only the net losses will be covered by a cashback bonus.
Although this bonus might be present in welcome offers, it’s more frequently a bonus given to the existing players. It might be a part of a seasonal offer or the segment of a VIP or loyalty program.
Reload bonuses are almost the same as match deposit bonuses. Instead of giving you a bonus for the first deposit like a matched deposit, reload bonuses will grant you some sum for some of the future deposits.
In other words, when you reload money during the later stages, you’ll get an extra amount.
Reload bonuses often aren’t a part of the welcome bonus deals, yet they can be seen sometimes.
If they are a part of a welcome offer, they probably won’t be activated during the first deposit. Instead, you’ll get the bonus when you reload money, often during or after the second deposit.
Cashback bonuses aren’t as high as match deposits in terms of a percentage value or fixed cap. Yet what’s good about cash back bonuses is that they are not limited to one deposit only. A casino might give you a cashback bonus on two, three, or even five subsequent deposits.
Deposit vs. No Deposit Bonuses
The vast majority of welcome bonus offers are deposit bonuses. On the other hand, a no deposit bonus is a gem that’s hard to find, and even if you find one, the offer is not as good as it seems.
But what’s the main difference?
This one is also obvious. Deposit bonuses require you to make some deposit, and then, once you fund your account, you get rewarded.
No deposit bonuses activate as soon as you sign up and claim the prize.
Matched deposit bonuses, cashback bonuses and reload bonuses belong to the deposit bonuses category.
Now we’re left with free spins, and they happen to be included in no deposit bonus offers.
However, no deposit bonuses are not limited to free spins. A casino might give players a certain amount of money to test a few games as a part of a no deposit deal.
For example, you might get $1, $5, $10, or even $20 as a no deposit bonus. This offer is rare and comes with a set of requirements, yet it’s smart to try it out once you find it.
Here are some other examples of no deposit bonuses:
- 10 Free Spins No Deposit
- 20 No Deposit Free Spins
- $10 No Deposit Bonus
Wagering Requirements for Welcome Bonuses
Now, this is the part we’ve been talking about. This is easily the most important part of the welcome bonus deal, which players often forget.
Wagering requirements, rollovers, and bonus terms and conditions are more important than the amount of money given as a bonus. They are even more important than the type of bonus itself.
So, what’s the deal with wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are the terms and conditions under which you can or cannot withdraw your winnings.
In other words, before you’re eligible to claim the money from your casino account, you’ll have to fulfil a few of those rules.
What Are the Most Common Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements differ in each casino, and each bonus has a unique set of terms you need to fulfil.
However, there is some pattern and a standard set of rules that you can expect in online gambling.
- Rollover requirement
The wagering requirement will often ask you to roll over the bonus amount 20, 30 or 40 times before you can withdraw money. This is often associated with matched deposit bonuses and cash back bonuses.
Also, some casinos might require you to roll over the bonus + deposit amount.
For example, if your deposit is $100, and the bonus amount is $100, with a 20 rollover requirement, you’ll need to bet $4000 ($200 x 20) before withdrawing any money.
- Free spins wagering requirements
The wagering requirement associated with free spins is a little different. Here, you’ll need to roll over the winnings awarded from those free spins. The rest is the same as the previous one.
Simply make a calculation of your winnings, see how many times you need to bet the amount and proceed to the action.
NOTE: Wagering requirement also comes with a time frame or deadline. In most cases, you’ll have only a week or month to meet the terms. If you fail to do so, the bonus and the winnings will be deducted from your account balance.
How to Get a Casino Welcome Bonus
Most casino welcome bonuses are activated automatically after the sign-up. If this is not the case, you’ll be asked to pick a preferred welcome offer (or no offer at all) once you sign up or before/after the deposit.
Yet the better question is how to get decent casino welcome bonuses?
On top of this page, we listed a few featured casinos with outstanding promotions. Also, in our casino reviews, you can check some of the best-rated casinos and their generous offers.
As we already mentioned, don’t only look at the figure next to the bonus offer. Instead, try to dig deeper into detail and check the wagering requirements, as they are essential for one’s gaming journey.
Casino welcome bonuses are a great marketing trick done by online casinos. However, this isn’t beneficial only for casinos.
Bonuses are an excellent way for players to get extra room to try the game or explore different casino features.
You’ll mostly need to deposit some money to claim the welcome bonus offer, yet this isn’t always the case. We spoke about no deposit bonuses, and although they are rare, they can still be found. Once you find them, don’t hesitate to claim those and try casino games entirely for free.
In the end, before you get thrilled by the free money, remember to check the wagering requirement. Once you open those terms and conditions, you’ll see that the money isn’t free.
Before being able to withdraw, you’ll have to fulfil a set of requirements – you’ll need to bet some more money, and only when you’re done, you actually can make a withdrawal.