An Idiot’s Guide to Online Casino Bonuses: Learning The Basics!

Online casinos bonuses seldom work exactly as they’re made out to be on their respective marketing material. When you visit a gambling site, you might see a welcome banner flashing in a catchy and prominent font – “Get a 500% bonus on your first deposit”. But, if you look closely, you’ll see an asterisk symbol at the end of that sentence which entails that there are terms and conditions which need to be fulfilled.

If you ask an experienced player about how to claim a bonus successfully and maximize casino profits, they will likely tell you to read the terms and conditions with unwavering focus. The reality of the matter is that the fine print hides a lot of details about a bonus. It dictates how long the bonus is valid for, how you can qualify for the bonus, how much you must wager to cashout the bonus, what games you are allowed to play with the bonus and various other restrictions.

Today, we’re going to simplify a lot of these T&Cs particularly for new players who might be overwhelmed by the copious amounts of fine print and casino bonus nomenclature.

Why Do Casinos Offer Bonuses?

There are no two ways about it – bonuses attract players!

At the end of the day, an online casino is a business. In order to increase revenue, these gambling sites need players to spend money. So how do they lure players in? Well, one effective way is to offer hard-to-resist freebies in the form of welcome bonuses.

Welcome bonuses get a player’s foot through the door, but in order to get the player to actively participate frequently, the casino will promote various other types of offers. For players, these offers are tempting and good opportunities to make some money. Let’s take look at the most common types of bonuses.

The Common Types of Casino Bonuses 

Welcome Bonus: Welcome bonuses are meant to attract new players. In some cases, casinos will offer some reward to a new player just for signing up. This is called a sign-up bonus or a no deposit bonus. Basically, the new player need not spend a dime to receive this bonus. More commonly, casinos will offer rewards when a new player makes their first deposit. Some will stretch this to the initial 4 or 5 deposits too.

Match Bonus: A match bonus is one where the casino “matches” a certain percentage of the deposit made by the player. For example: 50% bonus on deposits above $100. In this case, if you make a deposit of $200, you will receive an extra $100 as bonus.

Free Spins Bonus: To play slot machines and have a chance of winning real money, players need to spend money on each spin. However, if a player has 10 free spins, for instance, then they can play any eligible slot 10 times without spending their own money. Casinos give away free spins through various bonus offers.

VIP Bonuses: In order to incentivize frequent and loyal players, casinos will have tiered VIP programs with increasing exclusivity and perks. The more one wagers, the more they benefit. VIP programs treat VIP players to exclusive bonuses, dedicated personal VIP managers, exclusive tournaments and much more.

Cashback Bonus: Cashback offers reduce the burden of loss experienced by a player. For instance, as part of the cashback bonus, a player may receive 10% of their net losses for the week back the successive week when they make a deposit.

The Common Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions

Of course, knowing the ins and outs of maximizing a great casino bonus is one thing, but knowing exactly where to look is quite a different story! It’s all well and good to do the right amount of research – actually we recommend it – but it’s even better if other people have done the work for you. Enter NoDepositExplorer – a site that does exactly that. Not only does it try and test reputable and trustworthy operators, it also conveniently categorizes entire lists of top-ranking providers. What’s more, they even make sure to negotiate exclusive deals just for you!

Now, let’s consider the most common bonus terms and conditions:

Minimum deposit: This refers to the minimum amount of money one needs to deposit to qualify for a bonus.

Wagering requirements: These define how much money a player needs to wager in order to convert bonus funds to real funds and then withdraw it. This allows the casino to prevent any bonus abuse.

Game weighting percentage: Games with a lower house edge will contribute at lower rates towards the completion of wagering requirements when compared to games with a higher house edge. The contribution rates of different types of games are published in the bonus terms and conditions under “game weighting percentages”.

Bonus Validity: The validity period of a bonus can reflect until when the bonus is available to claim. Furthermore, there could also be a validity period that kicks in after the bonus is claimed. This tells you how long you have to use the bonus and also how long you have to complete the wagering requirements.

Max Cashout: The max cashout is quite straightforward. This is the maximum amount of bonus winnings you can withdraw from the bonus.

Max Bet: This is a limit on how much you can money you can put down in a single wager when wagering with bonus funds.