How Casino Bonuses Work

A casino bonus is a type of promotion given out by an online casino in order to attract more players. It’s the same idea as a sale or promotional offer from a store – but instead of offering a discount, the casino gives out some free cash that you can use to wager and play casino games.

There are several common casino bonuses out there today. We’ll go into detail more on each type below. For now, just know that there are specific things you need to do in order to access specific bonuses. For example, a deposit match bonus will give you extra money when you make a deposit.

In general, you will need to activate casino bonuses before you can use them. Meaning, they won’t just automatically apply to your account. To activate a casino bonus, head to the casino promotions page to select the bonuses you want to use.

Every casino bonus will have terms and conditions associated with them. You can access and read the terms from the casino promotions page. We strongly recommend that you always read casino bonus terms before accepting any bonuses.

Types of Casino Bonuses

  • Deposit Match Bonus: This bonus will give you a match on your deposit up to a certain amount. For example, a typical deposit match might be a 100% match up to $1,500. Meaning, if you deposit $1,500, then you’ll get an additional $1,500 from the casino for a total of $3,000 in your account. These bonuses are most often given as welcome bonuses for new casino account holders.
  • Cashback Bonus: This bonus is easy to understand – it gives you some cashback on your lost wagers up to a certain amount. There’s also a time period associated with this bonus, meaning that you’ll get cashback on your wagers in a given day or week. The other big piece of the cashback bonus is that it’s limited to a certain amount, say 10% of your lost wagers for that period. This bonus is usually available to all players.
  • Reload Bonus: This bonus is just like a deposit match bonus, but it’s given out to existing casino players when they deposit and “reload” their accounts.
  • Free Spins Bonus: This bonus is typically given out as part of a deposit match welcome bonus or reload bonus. The casino might include 50 or so free spins as a way to encourage you to play specific slots games.
  • No Deposit Bonus: This bonus will give you a small amount of cash (usually $100 or less) with no deposit required. This is also a common welcome bonus, given out to players who make new casino accounts.
  • VIP Rewards / Loyalty Program: Some online casinos also have a rewards program that will unlock extra perks for you. As you play and wager at the casino, you’ll move up in the program’s tiers and unlock more perks.

Casino Bonus Playthrough Requirements

One of the main reasons that we stress the importance of reading casino bonus terms is that they will explain the bonus wagering requirements. Also called playthrough requirements, these requirements tell you how much of your own money you need to wager before you can withdraw the bonus cash or bonus winnings.

That’s right – bonus cash isn’t completely “free” because you do need to deposit your own money. Sometimes, the wagering requirements can be very steep and make the bonus almost pointless. For this reason, it’s very important to choose the best casino bonus.

Here’s an example of a typical wagering requirement. Say you get a deposit match welcome bonus that gives you a 200% match up to $1,000 on your first deposit. If the wagering requirement is 15x, then you’ll actually need to wager an additional $15,000 of your own money in order to “clear” the bonus. Meaning, you can’t withdraw the bonus funds or any associated winnings until you satisfy the wagering requirement.

Casino Bonuses FAQ

❓ What is the best casino bonus?

This really depends on the bonus terms. The best casino bonus is the one that gives you the most free cash with the lowest wagering requirement. Check out our list of the best bonus casinos here on this page. Each one offers excellent bonuses which are some of the best we’ve found in years of casino testing and gambling.

❓ What is a wagering requirement?

A casino bonus will almost always have a wagering requirement. This tells you how much of your own money you’ll need to wager in order to unlock the “free” bonus cash. Meaning, you can’t actually withdraw the bonus cash or any associated winnings until you wager a certain amount of your own real money.

❓ What is a welcome bonus?

A welcome bonus can really be any type of casino bonus. The thing that makes it a welcome bonus is that it’s only given out to new casino players who have just made new accounts. The most common welcome bonus is the deposit match bonus, but free spins and no deposit bonuses are also common.

❓ Can I use casino bonus cash on all casino games?

Good question – and the answer is no. Most casino bonuses have very specific terms that explain which games you can use the bonus cash on. For example, free spins bonuses can typically only be used on a select few slots titles. The same goes for deposit match bonuses – you can typically only use the bonus cash on certain slots titles. In general, casino bonus cash can rarely be used on table games.