Online Casino Bonuses Explained: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

If you are a casino newbie looking to step your toes in the world of online gambling, you most probably have a lot of questions before you dive into your casino experience. How do I choose the right online casino for me? What shall I look out for when I visit a casino site? Which casino bonuses would work best for me?

As a casino affiliate program representing three reputable online gambling brands, we try to answer all these questions in our blog. And while it’s impossible to give you all the answers you are looking for within a single article, we have tried to create a comprehensive guide with real examples to help you get a better understanding of casino bonuses. 

Therefore, in this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about online casino offers, such as: 

— what are the wagering requirements, and how do they work,

— which bonus types you can find across various online casino sites,

— and which terms should someone focus their attention on when they evaluate a casino offer

Let’s get to it by first clarifying what the wagering requirements are all about. Understanding this concept will make it easier for you to comprehend the various types of bonuses that players can stumble upon while looking for a casino site.

Understating the wagering requirements behind online casino bonuses

A wagering requirement refers to the amount of money that players have to bet before they are able to withdraw any of their winnings that come from a bonus. 

It is important to understand that wagering requirements occur to protect the online casinos from giving out cash prizes to players for "nothing." An online casino is a business, and, as we all know, money making is their primary goal. Therefore, no casino can afford to generously hand out bonuses here and there without securing themselves by using the protective shield of the wagering requirements. 

But what does a wagering requirement mean in practice?

Let's take the first deposit bonus at SlotV Casino as an example. You will read on SlotV's website that newly-registered players can qualify for a 150% bonus up to 500 euros and 50 free spins for their first deposit at SlotV Casino (that, if they meet the minimum deposit criteria). The bonus rules also state that you'd have to wager the bonus and the deposit 27 times for the balance to become withdrawable. 

Now let's assume that you've decided to deposit 100 euros at SlotV, and consequently, you've received 150 euros in bonus funds (150% of the deposit amount) from the casino. Therefore, you will now have 250 euros in total to play with, which consists of your deposit amount and the bonus amount that you've received from SlotV.

In this case, "wagering requirement: 27x" means that you will have to wager the total amount you're playing with twenty-seven times before your winnings become withdrawable. In practice, this means that you would have to place 6,750 euros worth of bets (250 x 27 = 6,750).

In some cases, the operator might decide to only apply the wagering requirements to the bonus amount instead of asking users to wager the bonus and the deposit sum. Therefore, if SlotV only wanted their players to wager the bonus amount twenty-seven times, you would have to place 4,050 euros worth of bets (150 x 27) to withdraw the winnings from your casino account.

Something that players will definitely need to keep in mind as they examine the wagering requirements behind each casino offer is which casino games, either online slots or live casino games, qualify for the wagering requirements. It is very common for casinos to exclude certain types of games, and therefore, if you place bets on a game that does not contribute towards the wagering requirements, you would be in for a disappointment. This information is typically specified in the relevant bonus terms or in the General Bonus Terms & Conditions available on the site.

According to the above, a bonus is a reward that you receive from the online casino when you decide to register and make your first deposit. However, as explained, players will have to place bets as defined by the wagering requirements to withdraw their winnings.

Types of Casino Bonuses: Deposit bonus, no deposit bonus, and free spins

Now that you have got to understand what the wagering requirements are all about, it is time to examine the various types of bonuses that are available on casino sites. In this article, we will walk you through the three most common types: deposit bonus, no deposit bonuses, and free spins.

  • Deposit bonuses — deposit and get a bonus

A deposit bonus is a bonus you receive when you deposit at a casino. It can refer to the first deposit that you make as a player to receive the welcome bonus on the casino site that you register on or any other bonus that the operator offers should the player make the required deposit. 

It could be that a casino offers you a 150% bonus on your first deposit. This means that if you make a qualifying deposit, the casino will give you a bonus worth 150% of the deposit amount. Therefore, if you had deposited 100 euros in total, the casino would grant you another 150 euros, and you would have a total of 250 euros to play with. 

Let's take Frank Casino's first deposit bonus as an example. Players have two options for their first deposit. They can choose to make a minimum deposit of 10 euros and opt for a 150% deposit up to 750 euros, or they can decide to make a deposit that is higher than 100 euros and get a 150% bonus and 20 free spins on top of that.

There are some things that players would need to check before making the deposit, such as what are the minimum deposit requirements to get the bonus. If the player chose to deposit 5 euros in Frank Casino, they would not qualify for the welcome offer, as the minimum threshold is set to 10 euros. They will also have to check the wagering requirements for the specific deposit bonus and decide whether they are reasonable compared to other operators. 

Other things that players will have to look at are related to the time frame that the casino gives them to wager the bonus. For instance, at Frank Casino, the welcome bonus is only available during the first thirty days upon their registration. Moreover, upon claiming the bonus, they have seven days to fulfil the wagering requirements defined in the terms and conditions. 

You should also be aware that deposit bonuses may vary depending on your country of residence. Therefore, you should always make sure that you are checking the information related to your country. Finnish players have a different welcome bonus available to them at Frank Casino, for example.

  • No deposit bonuses — yes, no deposit required!

As the title indicates, players are not required to deposit a certain amount to get a bonus from the casino that offers a no deposit bonus. Not all online casinos offer this option, but some offer free signup bonuses as a sign of appreciation. These no deposit bonuses give players the chance to “test” the casino before committing to making a deposit. 

However, this is not the only occasion where players might be offered the sought-after no deposit bonus. Some casinos offer them to the players who signed up a while ago but didn’t show any signs of activity throughout a specific time frame (depends on the casino). In this case, these deposit bonuses serve as a reminder that the user has an account at the casino in question and that they can use this bonus to remember why they had chosen this casino when they had registered.

Bear in mind that it is not necessary for the no deposit bonus to come in the form of a cash bonus. It could be that the casino chooses to hand out free spins that don’t require the user to deposit a certain amount to receive them. We will dive into the concept of free spins in our next section.

  • Free Spins — spinning it for free!

A free spin is an opportunity to play a free round in a casino slot game without having to bet your own money on it.  

Therefore, free spins allow players to test certain casino games without having to spend their own money. The best part about such free spins is that during the free rounds, players might stumble upon a bonus feature within the slot game and get even more chances to win without any charges to their player account. However, before hitting the reels, players should make sure that they check the terms and conditions that come with the free spins bonus. 

First of all, typically, these free spins would only qualify for one (or more) specific slot game only, and therefore, if you choose any other game, you will discover that the amounts you bet are taken out of your personal account. Moreover, players will have to understand that they will only be able to see the winnings (if any) on their player account when they have fulfilled all the wagering requirements. As explained above, wagering requirements are there to ensure that the casino is also protected from their end. If they just give you a certain amount of free spins, and you end up hitting a big win, it would create a situation where the casino suffers a loss.

Let’s go through an illustrative example to get a better understanding of what the free spins are all about. Suppose you received twenty (20) free spins at Mr Bit casino, and you managed to win 100 euros by playing these 20 rounds at the game chosen by Mr Bit. Suppose the wagering requirement is ten times the amount won (10x). This would mean that you would have to place bets worth one thousand euros (100x20) to be able to withdraw your winnings. 

Final thoughts

Before you opt-in to receive an online casino bonus, make sure to check the terms and conditions and find out whether the chosen casino has set some specific time limits for wagering the bonus. If the casino only gives you a particular time frame to complete the wagering requirements, and you failed to wager the bonus within the given time frame, your bonus money will be lost. 

Moreover, please remember to read beyond the line that indicates the percentage of the bonus or the number of free spins that you are about to receive. Always check the wagering requirements, the casino games you’re allowed to wager them on, and other terms that would help you decide on whether a specific bonus is a good fit.

The list of the types of casino bonuses mentioned above is by no means exhaustive. However, we hope that if you’re an individual who wants to understand more about casino bonuses before creating your account and depositing your funds at a casino, we managed to give you a more precise understanding of how casino bonuses work.

In addition to this, you can read our article on how to choose the right online casino for you, and maybe one of the casinos, SlotV, Frank Casino, and Mr Bit, that our affiliate program represents, end up being a good fit for you!