What is a Casino Bonus?
A casino bonus is essentially anything that an online casino gives you over and above what you would normally expect or are owed. In terms of online casinos, a bonus is something that the customer gets in addition to the money they win or lose playing real money casino games.
Types of Casino Bonuses
Online casino bonus offers come in a wide range of forms, but they can be broken down into two basic categories:
- Deposit Bonus: This type of bonus is the most common and is triggered when a customer makes a deposit. In most cases, the size of the bonus is directly tied to the amount of the deposit.
- No-Deposit Bonus: No-deposit bonuses do not require a claimant to deposit funds. Typically, a site that offers a no-deposit bonus will give it to you for simply signing up. While no-deposit bonuses are usually smaller than deposit bonuses, they still give punters a chance to win real money without having put any of their own money on the line.
Be it a no-deposit casino bonus or a deposit bonus, you can usually expect to receive one of two things.
- Cash Bonus: Everyone likes getting free cash and online casinos serve up plenty of it. In the case of no-deposit bonuses, you may receive a certain amount in casino credits to try out a few games when you open a new account. With deposit bonuses, operators often match a percentage of your first deposit. In both instances, you will be required to satisfy some terms and conditions in order to withdraw that bonus cash. We’ll get into those pesky T&Cs further below.
- Free Spins: Free spins are a common bonus type and they are exactly what they sound like. You can get free spins through no-deposit offers and deposit bonuses. Some free spins packages allow you to use your free spins on any slot game while other offers limit claimants to playing specific games.
When you win money using free spins, you can expect the operator to credit the winnings to your bonus account. As such, your winnings are considered to be bonus cash which means you must meet some terms and conditions. Be aware that this isn’t always the case. On rare occasions, you may come across a free spins offer in which the money you win goes directly into your regular account balance and is immediately available for withdrawal.
It’s worth mentioning that a lot of casino bonus offers give you a combination of bonus money and free spins.
Other Types of Casino Bonus Offers
We will now tell you about some other types of casino bonuses. These ones fall almost exclusively under the deposit bonus category. That means you need to deposit funds in order to claim them.
- Risk-Free Play: Risk-free play offers are becoming quite popular these days. The idea is straightforward. You start by depositing funds and claiming the risk-free play bonus. You will then be given a predetermined amount of time to play real money games risk-free. In other words, the online casino will refund your money up to a certain amount if you end up losing money during that risk-free period. This risk-free play period is quite often 24 hours.
The refunded money can come in a few different forms. Some operators credit the refund to your regular account while others credit it to your bonus account. You may even find offers that refund the money in the form of free spins.
- Reload Bonuses: Unlike welcome bonuses that are only extended to new customers, reload bonuses are geared toward existing clientele. That’s the only real difference between a welcome bonus and a reload bonus. Like welcome bonuses, those who claim reload bonuses can normally expect to earn such things as free spins, bonus cash, or both.
When you receive bonus cash or win money from free spins, don’t expect the issuing operator to just let you walk away with it. It very rarely works like that.
Instead, casino bonus offers require claimants to satisfy a variety of terms and conditions. Perhaps the most important T&C you must understand is the wagering requirement which is often called the rollover. This refers to the number of times you must wager through the bonus amount before it becomes available for withdrawal.
Let’s say you claim $100 in bonus cash and there is a 20X wagering requirement attached to it. This means that you must theoretically stake that $100 a total of 20 times. That adds up to $2,000 in wagers. We use the word “theoretically” because there are exceptions which we will cover later. We’ll also delve into some of the other main T&Cs that you’re sure to encounter.
Withdrawing Bonus Cash
Whether it’s a no-deposit bonus or a deposit bonus, the goal is to convert the casino bonus into real money that you can stuff into your pockets and do with as you wish. However, you now know that you’ll have to satisfy the bonus’s terms and conditions. In addition to the wagering requirements, the T&Cs usually contain a few other key items.
Remember how we used the word “theoretically” when discussing wagering requirements. We’ll now elaborate on that. In the above example, we claimed $100 in bonus cash that we are required to wager through 20 times. This would appear to add up to $2,000. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. You see, different games contribute different amounts toward the rollover.
With most casino bonuses, every penny you wager on slots contributes to the rollover. Getting back to the example above; if you placed $2,000 in wagers on slots, you would have met the wagering requirement. However, if you wanted to satisfy the rollover by playing blackjack, you will find that, on average, only 10% to 20% of each wager counts. In other words, you would need to place $10,000 or maybe more in blackjack bets to satisfy the wagering conditions.
Game contributions vary depending on the operator. Make sure you understand what they are so that you know how much you need to stake according to the type of casino game you plan to play. You should be able to find this information in the bonus details or the site’s general bonus T&Cs.
While some casino bonus offers allow you to complete the wagering requirements by playing any game on the site’s menu, some only allow you to play specific games. For instance, the site may only allow you to reach the rollover by playing Starburst or Book of Dead. Alternatively, they may require you to play games from a certain software provider.
While most offers enable you to play other games like Keno, Roulette, scratch cards, and video poker, remember that these games contribute different percentages of each wager toward the rollover.
When you claim a casino bonus, you will inevitably be given a certain time frame in which you must meet the T&Cs. It could be a week, a month, or longer. It all depends on the online casino. Having more time to complete the task obviously works in your favor.
You will find that almost all free spins packages have a maximum win amount. Again, this will vary from site to site. For example, a 50 free spins package might allow you to win up to $100. This means that you forfeit any free spins winnings that exceed the $100 mark.
Illustrating Casino Bonuses
Now that you know about the most common types of bonuses and how they work, let’s go over a few examples.
For this example, we’ll say that we want to claim a 100% match bonus up to $500. There is a 20X rollover on the bonus amount and, to simplify things, you must meet the wagering requirements on the Narcos slot game. We claim the bonus and deposit $500 to claim the maximum bonus amount of $500. The money we deposited goes into our regular player account while the $500 in bonus cash goes into our bonus account. Let’s convert that bonus into withdrawable cash!
We know we can only meet the rollover by playing Narcos. We’ll also assume that 100% of each bet counts toward the 20X rollover. This tells us that we’ll need to stake $12,500 to cash out that $500 in bonus cash. Once we have completed this task, the operator will transfer the bonus money into our regular account allowing us to withdraw the casino bonus.
So, you’ve just received 50 free spins that you can use on any slot game you wish. According to the T&Cs, any money you win as a result of the free spins will be credited to your bonus account and is subject to a 10X rollover. The amount of money you can withdraw from this bonus is capped at $200.
You used your free spins and netted yourself a cool total of $150. Because that windfall is considered bonus cash, you must now wager the bonus amount of $150 a total of 10 times which equals $1,500 in slot wagers. Once you’ve done this, the $150 in bonus cash will be transferred to your regular account and is free of any further restrictions.
You made a qualifying deposit and your online casino has granted you 24-hours of risk-free play up to $1,000 on any slot game. So, you start pounding back those chocolate-covered coffee beans and go on a 24-hour slots spree. We’ll now consider two scenarios.
The first scenario has you coming out of the 24-hour risk-free period having won money. In this case, you can enjoy your winnings as you normally would and the bonus would be complete. Now let’s look at a scenario in which you lost $500 during the risk-free period. The operator will refund that $500. Normally, this refund would be credited as bonus cash, but you might find an offer that credits the refund to your regular account balance.
Of course, we’ll assume it’s bonus cash. As you know by now, you’ll need to satisfy the bonus T&Cs to turn that $500 in bonus cash into real money. You know the drill!
Find the Best Casino Bonus
Not all casino bonus offers are created equally. For instance, two different 100% match deposit bonus offers up to $1,000 might look the same on the surface, but you’ll likely find some significant differences once you check out their respective T&Cs. We will now give you some critical information about assessing a casino bonus.
You need to do a bit of math to find out if a bonus is worth claiming. Let’s analyze the two imaginary 100% match deposit bonus offers up to $1,000 as mentioned above. The first offer entails a 40X rollover using any slot game. So, this tells us we have to stake $40,000 to convert the $1,000 in bonus cash into real money. Now, let’s say the average RTP of the games we’ll play is 95%. This means that we can expect to lose about $2,000 in the process of staking $40,000. Bear in mind that we’re just talking about an average expected loss based on the RTP. You might win big, lose big, or break even. That’s gambling! The question you need to ask yourself is whether facing an average expected loss of $2,000 is worth it to claim $1,000.
Looking at the second offer, you discover that the rollover on the $1,000 is 10X. Like the first offer, you can satisfy the wagering requirements on any slot game. We’ll assume you want to play the same games which have an average RTP of 95%. Doing the math, you learn that you’ll need to wager $10,000 on those slots. This implies an average expected loss of $500. That’s a lot more palatable! This means you can expect to gain a total of $500 when you subtract your expected loss from the bonus amount. That sure beats the prospect of losing $1,000 in your pursuit of the bonus cash. We can’t stress enough that these are just averages, but you get a good idea of the true value of a bonus by doing the fundamental calculations.
We should also mention that a bonus should suit your needs. For instance, a player that only wants to play table games might not benefit from a free spins package. They would be better off claiming bonus cash or a risk-free play bonus. You also need to consider whether you are prepared to risk the amount of money involved in converting the maximum bonus amount. Even though a small-time recreational player could claim up to $1,000, they might be better off just claiming a portion of it.
Other things to consider when searching for the best bonus for you are:
- Maximum Winnings
- Time Limits
- Restricted Regions
- Restricted Payment Methods
- Restricted Games
By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can easily identify which casino bonuses are right for you and which ones aren’t worth your time.
5 Casino Bonus Tips for Punters
- Read the Terms and Conditions: While the size of a casino bonus should absolutely be a consideration, you can’t accurately assess a bonus’ true value until you have a full understanding of the T&Cs.
- Avoid Bonuses with High Rollovers: From our examples above, it should be abundantly clear that high wagering requirements can completely negate the value of a bonus. Be leery of bonuses that have 40X, 50X, or higher rollovers. Pay particular attention to offers in which the rollover applies to both the deposit and the bonus. That essentially doubles the advertized wagering requirement.
- You Don’t Have to Claim the Full Amount: Even though a casino bonus might be perfect, you don’t have to claim the full amount. If you see a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000 with player-friendly T&Cs, don’t feel like you have to claim the maximum amount. If you want to adhere to a $250 deposit limit, then just take the $250 in bonus cash. Don’t ever over-extend your gambling budget.
- Don’t Always Settle on the Bigger Bonus: This tutorial has shown how a bigger bonus amount doesn’t necessarily equate to a better bonus. Unreasonable terms can completely destroy a big bonus while easy conditions make some smaller bonuses look a lot more enticing.
- Abide by the T&Cs: We’ve stressed the importance of the T&Cs of any casino bonus. You have to understand that you must abide by every single term as set out in the bonus T&Cs. Failing to meet just a single requirement will result in the forfeiture of the bonus.
Summarizing Key Terms and Conditions of Casino Bonus Offers
- Wagering Requirements: Sometimes called rollover or play-through, wagering requirements refer to the number of times you need to wager the bonus amount.
- Game Contributions: When you stake $1 on a slot game, most bonus offers count the full dollar toward your wagering requirements. However, that same dollar might contribute just $0.10 or $0.20 toward the rollover if you were playing Blackjack. The game contributions differ depending on what online casino you play at.
- Time Limits: Most bonuses require claimants to satisfy the bonus terms and conditions within a specified time frame.
- Payment Methods: Be aware that some casino bonus offers exclude specific payment options from qualifying for bonuses.
- Regional Restrictions: Many offers are only extended to residents of certain countries. Make sure people in your region are eligible.
FAQ: Casino Bonuses
A casino bonus is an added perk that an online casino will give for signing up, depositing real money, or any other reason.
We’ve got all of the latest and most generous bonus offers right here.
It isn’t a question of which type of bonus is best. Instead, it’s a question of which bonus offer is best for you. It’s a matter of personal taste.
Online casinos typically only allow customers to participate in one bonus at a time. Once you have completed a bonus, you are free to move on to the next one. Also, you can claim a boatload of bonuses simultaneously by signing up at multiple sites.
The best online casinos feature non-stop bonus offers. There are bonuses for newcomers and plenty of offers for existing players.
For bonus purposes, online casinos normally place a limit on the maximum single-bet amount. This limit varies from site to site.
You will probably need to claim and use a welcome bonus within a certain amount of time. Failing to do so will result in the offer becoming void.
Pros and Cons of Casino Bonuses
- Great Way to Boost Your Bankroll
- Bonuses Allow You to Try New Games
- Almost All Online Casinos Offer Bonuses
- Some Bonuses Have Unreasonable T&Cs
- Some Payment Methods Don’t Qualify for Certain Bonuses
Where Can I Find the Best Casino Bonus Offers?
You could search the internet to find casino offers, but why bother when you can find the best ones right here. We have the latest bonuses from the most highly-regarded online casinos and we want you to take advantage of them.
Final Words: Online Casino Bonuses in Canada
Casino bonuses don’t just give you a chance to boost your bottom line. They’re fun to use too. After absorbing the information contained in this tutorial, you should be able to find your ideal casino bonus. Just remember not to get blinded by the size of the bonus. You need to thoroughly examine the terms and conditions so that you know what you’re committing to. More importantly, you have to understand them and abide by them.
Now, go get yourself a sweet casino bonus!!