Online Casino Bonus
What You Need to Know
Before Using A Casino Bonus
Every unique online casino bonus is a promotional tool used to convince a player to try a website. A variety of bonuses exist, including the signup bonus, Freeplay bonus, and reloads. We recommend legitimate and trusted online casinos that offer the best bonus for your money. Learn about each type of bonus that online casinos offer, as well as what players need to know about each one.
An online casino bonus is similar to the plastic Freeplay slots cards handed out to customers by promotional staff at brick-and-mortar casinos these days. The idea is to get players to try out certain games and get used to playing at a casino. For that reason, the money spent is worth the investment in advertising. The Internet has thousands of websites competing for customers. That means they’ll offer house money in the form of bonuses to get you through the front door and into the online casino.
Our OUSC online casino bonus guide discusses any restrictions and obligations you might face. It also provides inside information on accessing your free cash, while discussing common problems you might face.
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What Are Casino Bonus Codes?
A casino bonus code usually looks like an online password, containing letters and numbers. Each online casino can have several different bonus codes, depending on the type of promotions it offers. We are able to provide our visitors with the best bonus codes at some of the most reputable online casinos.
Using a bonus code is very easy. Once a player logs into their casino account and goes to their personal dashboard, they’ll find a menu for making deposits, accepting bonuses, and redeeming bonus code information. Below you will find a step by step process on how to redeem any of the online casino bonus codes we provide on this page.
How to Use a Casino Bonus Code
Players who’ve never used a casino bonus code should use the steps below as a guide. The process is quick and easy. The main challenge is finding the best casino bonus code information for your situation. Use your personal dashboard or player menu to find the promo codes on the official site.
How to Use a Deposit Bonus Code
A deposit bonus code is a specific type of promotion. It is available when you make a deposit to your account. These codes are offered either as a first deposit bonus or as a reload bonus. In either case, the player receives an incentive to fund their account.
How to Use a Free Play Bonus Code
Free play bonus codes are also available. Two types of free play codes exist. One type is available when you register. This type, a no deposit bonus code, allows you to play with real money without making a deposit. The second activates when you make a deposit. The casino’s cashier adds the free play money to your account on top of any other bonuses you’re received. In either case, you’ll redeem free play promo codes on the same sub-page in your player dashboard as the codes described above.
How to Use a Reload Bonus
Online Casino Bonus Types
Before players consider claiming a bonus offer, they need to know which are the online casino bonus types that are offered. Below is a quick scorecard of what you can expect.
Casino Deposit Bonus
When players make their first deposit at an online casino, it triggers the deposit bonus. With that initial deposit and sometimes up to the first 3 payments, the online casino will add a free cash bonus to your account; they match the amount you pay. These are often referred to as a Sign-Up bonus. To find the best online casino sign up bonus, see what the match rate is and compare it to the others, using the steps below as a guide.
The match rate on a deposit bonus is very important. If the online casino bonus matches $1 to $1, that is called a 100% bonus. If a casino matches $1 to $2, that’s a 200% bonus. If you have to contribute $2 to get $1 in bonus cash, that’s a 50% bonus. One-hundred percent is fairly standard, so those which offer two-hundred percent are making a nice offer. The 50% bonus is usually for additional deposits.
Online casinos that offer multiple deposit bonuses often front-load the first payment. That is, you might receive a $500, 100% bonus offer. If you deposit $500, your account will show $1,000. If you receive cash on the second deposit, this might be $500 at 50%, meaning you would need to deposit a full $1,000 to receive $500 in bonus cash. The first deposit is usually the highest.
First Deposit Bonus
The first deposit bonus a casino offers is important to attract players. This is your first interaction with a casino. If you are test-driving a number of different brands, then the wagering requirement is vital. Although, not every welcome bonus is a first deposit bonus. Be sure to check out the details before making your first deposit.
Maxing out the Bonus
Many gamblers plan their payments to max out the deposit bonus offer. It makes sense to do so if it’s affordable. In the scenario above, a gambler who intended to fund their account with $1,000 of their own cash might only deposit $500 in the first payment. They would be able to get more bonus cash by making two deposits, instead of only one. Read the terms and conditions closely in order to know how to get the most out of the online casino bonus.
Best Deposit Bonus
No Deposit Bonus
In the last 5 to 10 years, online casinos began to offer a no deposit bonus. A player needs an account for one of these, but this offer does not require they fund that account. For that reason, it’s also called a “Freeplay bonus”.
With the freeplay option, players are allowed to use house money to make some bets and try the casino games without risking their own cash. It’s a way to play with casino’s own money, with no risk of losing personal cash, with the added perk of having no obligations.
In a survey of over 50 online casinos, the bonus ranges between $15 and $900, but that does not mean the bigger offer is the better one. You’ll need to read the wagering requirements, sometimes known as the rollover requirements, to know what the conditions are of a $900 Freeplay bonus. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Mobile Casino No Deposit Bonus
Mobile casinos offer the no deposit bonus as well. In my experience, the minimum bonus tends to be for smaller amounts of free cash. In one or two cases, the max Freeplay bonus is even bigger. In a survey of 25 mobile casinos, I found them in the range of $5 to $1,250 (for Roxy Palace).
Online Casino Free Bonus
The deposit free bonus is one of the most popular and used at online casinos. These are called either “no deposit bonus” or “instant play bonus”. In either case, a player receives a small amount of promotional cash to enjoy real money gambling at the casino. This house money is meant to encourage players to test out the games and software. They hope players enjoy the experience and make a deposit.
Free Online casino bonus deposit offers tend to be small, ranging from $5 to $50. Some sites have been known to offer much bigger payouts for sign-ups. The important thing is you don’t have to make a deposit before receiving this free cash bonus. These bonus offers come with different wagering requirements. These can be as low as 1x the bonus, but it usually involves 20x to 50x the bonus received.
For example, a $10 free bonus has a rollover of 25x the bonus amount. To withdraw this money, you would have to wager $250. The wagering requirement (or rollover) protects the casino from giving away too much cash, while it gives lucky players the chance to win real money without making a deposit.
Best No Deposit Bonus
The best no-deposit bonus lets a player bet with house money before risking their own cash. Casino gives no-deposit bonuses to players who register for a new account, offering a free bonus chip or small payment to your casino account as soon as you sign up. Cafe Casino has the best no-deposit bonus for US players: a $10 free chip with a max cashout of $125. Sloto Cash has the best international no-deposit bonus. SlotoCash gives a $100 fee chip to new signups, but players need to redeem the bonus code PERFECT100GIFT to receive this offer.
At a time, online casinos did not offer a free cash bonus for reloads. It’s becoming more common these days, and it was long overdue. A reload bonus is an ongoing offer for loyal customers who continuously make deposits into their account. The idea is that the returning players’ cash is just as valuable as the new players. Also, these members have shown loyalty and should be rewarded. Many of the same terms and conditions that apply to these bonuses are not always as large as a new customer’s bonus.
It should be mentioned the reloads are in addition to the VIP rewards program. Online casinos, as well as mobile casinos, have a rewards program for ongoing customers. This is like the slots club at a land-based casino. The more you play, the more money perks you receive. For those unfamiliar with casino club cards, it’s like the rewards program on your credit card. The reload bonus is an enhancement to these other rewards, which is one reason it’s often not as substantial as the initial casino deposit bonus.
Best Reload Bonus
A reload bonus given to continuing players for their loyalty. Several different types of reload bonus exist, including a weekly bonus, a monthly bonus, and a standalone reload bonus. BetOnline Casino has the best reload bonus of $1000 USA players who use the bonus code CASINO25. 32red Casino has a $150 reload bonus for international players.
You probably know already that slot machines have higher house edge than blackjack and video poker, and usually a higher house edge than craps and baccarat. When making an offer, a slots player would be getting a worse deal if they were offered the same size bonus as a blackjack player. For that reason, the online casino bonus for specific games are often offered to players.
These take two forms
- One, a player might be restricted to a handful of games they can play, or even slots-only requirements. For instance, you might learn you have to play the slots with your deposit bonus or Freeplay offer. If so, playing blackjack does not meet the requirement. For online casino slots, this is also commonly known as a Free Spins Bonus; as explained below.
- Two, a player might be able to play any game they want, but the play-through requirement might be different for two different games. It’s not uncommon to see slot machines fulfill the wagering requirement at 100% while blackjack fulfills the requirement at a 10% rate. In this case, you would have to wager 10 times more money on blackjack than you would on slot machines.
Free Spins Bonus
Instead of offering an online casino bonus, the player is offered free spins on video slot machines. The first site to do this was Royal Vegas Casino, which offered 1600 free spins instead of a welcome bonus.
It is easier for a player when an online casino offers a free spins bonus. Here are some of the advantages of this bonus:
Advantages of Free Spins
- Players don’t have to worry about wagering requirements and contribution rates.
- They don’t have to be concerned with whether they can cash out the bonus money and winnings, or only the winnings.
- The gambler knows whatever money they have at the end of the free spins is theirs.
As time passes, expect the free spins bonus will become an industry standard, at least for legitimate online casinos. Be sure to look for the free spins bonus at any of the best online casinos.
Best Games Bonus
A games-specific bonus targets one game or specific types of games. Categories might be slot machines, video poker, table games, or even a specific table game (like blackjack). Las Vegas USA Casino has the best games bonus for US residents. Their promotion is a $3000 table games-specific bonus table games and video poker, but you need to use the bonus codes 150BONUS and IDBLASVEGAS. No maximum winnings apply, but some table games are restricted.
What to Look for in a Bonus
Those are the broad online casino bonus types that players can receive. Deciding which are best is not a matter of finding the biggest payouts, though. Several factors need to be considered.
- Bonus Size
- Match Rate
- Wagering Requirement
- Games Selection
- Window of Time
- Free Spins Offered
- How Withdrawals Work
Read a casino’s terms and conditions, because other requirements are likely to be in effect. The devil is in the details, so a seemingly great offer might not be worth much. Avoid sites which are not up front with their bonus offers, because they likely do the same in other areas.
Size of the Bonuses
The size of a casino bonus is the hook that catches your attention. Getting the biggest bonus you can use is important. The words “you can use” are important, though.
If the wagering requirement is unrealistic, the size of the bonus doesn’t matter. If you can’t afford to max out a big bonus, then the size also doesn’t matter. In that case, the matching rate is more important.
This is the rate at which your dollar amount is matched. Deposit bonus matches dollar-for-dollar. In most cases, that means $1 you deposit is matched with $1 the casino adds to your account, like an employer matches deposits in a 401K plan.
The higher the matching rate, the better. This is given as a percentage. 100% is standard, indicating that each dollar you spend gets you a dollar in return. Higher percentages are better for all types of players. This would include low rollers, mid-stake players, and even high rollers. Everyone wants to take advantage of a free online casino bonus.
Players who receive any of the online casino bonuses needs to understand the wagering requirements at casinos. The operator is going to want to protect itself from players who shop for bonuses. A casino also can’t stay in business if it gives out tons of free money that is easy to withdraw. The wagering requirement protects the operator.
To withdraw casino bonus money (or winnings), a player must meet a wagering requirement, also called a “play-through requirement” or a “rollover”. The rollover requires a person to wager the amount of their bonus a certain number of times before cashing out. That number usually ranges between 20x and 50x. If you receive $10 as an online casino bonus and have a 30x requirement, you would have to wager the equivalent of $300 before you could withdraw the free cash given through the bonus.
Game Restrictions and Limitations
One major stipulation is the games you might be required to play. Some online casinos restrict which games you can play when offering a free cash bonus. Slot machines are usually allowed. I described this above, but I want to remind players to keep this in mind when comparing casino bonuses.
Keep a special eye on table game restrictions. Table games are not allowed most of the time. Blackjack is the game most often disallowed or restricted because it has a low house edge.
Window of Time
After a certain amount of time, an online casino bonus could time-out. There are bonus offers which are limited to 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour windows. Also, a weekend bonus which ends at 12 midnight on Monday.
Most online casinos have a 30-day or 60-day window for each bonus, but remember to satisfy these conditions, or else players could lose their chance for extra cash.
Free Spins Bonus
Some online casinos dispense with the use of money bonuses and offer a free spins bonus for their slot machines. While a majority of casinos do not offer free spins, there are some that do. A quick scan of the bonus offers in the database showed 6 online casinos that offered free spins as first deposit bonuses. 17 mobile casinos offered free spins no deposit bonuses.
These offer a wide range of spins: between 7 and 1500. When the free spins are over, you pocket whatever cash you’ve won. Although, you have to be over $0 for the total session to withdraw the winnings. In this case, getting 1500 spins is actually a disadvantage, because the house edge means it’s more likely that the total money from your total spins will be below zero.
Cashing Out: The Casino Bonus or the Winnings?
Players need to know other stipulations when it comes to cashing out an online casino bonus. Some casinos only allow people to withdraw their winnings. That is, they don’t receive the bonus money they were given, but they get the winnings from having won while wagering with the bonus. Others allow people to withdraw the bonus and their winnings. In either case, the player is not obligated to continue once the bonus rollover requirement has been met.
Read closely to see which of the two offers you’re receiving. If the online casino bonus you’re offered is $20, it might not matter to you. Comparatively, if you’re offered a $900 bonus, the difference between the two is significant.
Finding the Best Casino Bonus
Readers might have guessed by now that finding the best online casino bonus is not easy. To find the best casino bonus, you have to read more than the sales copy that the sites advertise. You’ll need to get down into the casino’s “Terms & Conditions” page for the wagering requirements. You might need to read through the FAQ for clarification, or even communicate with customer support on live chat. Get the information correct before making a decision.
It helps to have a trusted review site or two to get reliable, accessible information.
We at Online United States Casinos, recommend you make our site one of those trusted sources. The reviews include a comprehensive section on online casino bonus information for the site. We have a directory of US-friendly online casinos, as well as international casinos, so you can read reviews of any conceivable website you’re considering. To find those reviews, simply follow the link to our Casino Review Hub.
We also have an online newsletter which updates the information offered on this site. Sign up for our periodical email and/or text alerts and you’ll have the latest information about the best online casino bonus, and more. We also review mobile casinos, so any legitimate casino gaming site on the Internet is going to be reviewed.
Online Casino Bonus FAQ
Readers sometimes have questions about the casino bonus they want to use and need answers to clarify them. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Scan this FAQ for any follow-up questions you might have about online casinos bonuses.
Why would anyone give free money to players?
Online casino bonuses are a promotional tool, no different than coupons or special sales that brick-and-mortar businesses offer. A bonus drives traffic to a site and gets people to try a site’s product. It’s an investment in the business.
Online casinos have terms and conditions which protect them. This assures people cannot abuse their offer of free money. Many people who receive the house money won’t win enough to cash out the bonus, which is how so much money can be offered.
What is the minimum deposit?
A minimum deposit is the amount of money needed to collect a matching bonus. If you don’t deposit the minimum, you don’t get a bonus. Luckily, the min deposit is usually quite low.
Some sites have a minimum deposit of $5. Others set their minimum at $10 or $20. These are the common limits, but you might find outliers, given the thousands of gaming sites on the Internet.
Why should I have to scan my ID before joining a site? Is this safe?
Unlike brick-and-mortar casinos in which people are physically present, casinos have no idea who is behind the screen. They want a reasonable certainty you are who you claim to be. Verification sometimes requires a scan of your vital documents, like a driver’s license.
Not every operator is the same. Be certain you trust the operator who asks for your information. Only use the well-known, trusted sites. These companies have a long reputation of good behavior. If you choose a little-known site without much of an Internet footprint, you put your vital information and credit card information into the hands of a total stranger.
Can I use multiple payment methods?
Yes. Many sites offer dozens of deposit options exist, to make a site as accessible as possible. Sites have policies which require someone to use the same method of withdrawal as they used for a deposit. If you use a credit card to pay, you probably won’t be able to withdraw that money to a web wallet. This keeps a scam artist or identity thief from laundering your money.
Not all payment methods have the withdraw option. If so, then bank wire transfers are a common method, though these take time and require a fee.
One online casino is offering a much better bonus than the others. Why should I play anywhere else?
Some online casinos offer ludicrously high deposit bonuses. The offer often isn’t realistic for your bankroll, or it is suspiciously high. No-name casinos offer big bonuses to lure players to their sites. They can offer a huge bonus because they never intend to pay.
Only sign up on trusted websites with a known track record. If you’ve never heard of a site and can’t find much information about them, you should be suspicious.
What is a no deposit bonus?
A no deposit bonus is a one-time offer players receive for registering an account, but not making a deposit. The bonus ranges from $5 to $1,000, normally, but the size of bonuses are on the rise. These promotions have a wagering requirement, like the deposit bonus. No deposit bonuses incur no obligation.
What is the rollover or wagering requirement?
The rollover is a requirement that a player wagers their bonus a certain number of times. If you receive a $20 no deposit bonus and it has a 40x rollover, this means you have to wager $800 in order to withdraw that $20. If the house edge on the slot machine you play is 5%, then you should lose $5 for every $100 wagered.
This means the average player loses $40 before they can withdraw the $20. Since the bonus is gone after losing $20, most players would never be able to cash out their no deposit bonus, in this circumstance. Most casinos weight their rollover similarly to the rollover, meaning you have a 50/50 chance to have money after playing.
Why are some online casino bonuses tied to specific games?
Usually, the operator wants you to play the games with the higher house edge, so they restrict the games which give you a better chance to win. The question above should tell you why an online casino would want you playing a game with a high house edge.
That means games like slot machines and keno are allowed, but games like blackjack and video poker are disallowed. Some casinos are known to restrict all table games. Another tactic is to say slot machines trigger the rollover at 100%, while blackjack (and other games) trigger it at 10%. Essentially, you would increase the roller by a factor of 10 — an $800 wagering requirement would become $8,000 for blackjack.
As a general rule, you can tell the best games in a casino by looking to see which are restricted on the bonus offers.
Who is eligible for a no deposit bonus?
Anyone who signs up for an account at the online or mobile casino offering the bonus is eligible as a default. Registrants do not need to fund their account. There are other eligibility requirements. Some sites have an age requirement of 18 years. Others require a player to be 21 years old.
Also, certain countries are banned from taking no deposit bonuses. If a casino has a high number of fraudulent signups from IP addresses in a certain country, they will sometimes ban signups from that country.
I funded my account, so why didn’t I receive my bonus?
This might happen for a number of reasons. The most common one is the online casino requires a “bonus code” and you did not input it. Some casinos handle bonuses automatically, while others require a bonus code be entered. Some promo codes are case-sensitive, so make certain you added the information to the form correctly.
Another reason is you might have signed up for a sister site and received a bonus there. Gaming companies sometimes own several casinos in a network, or a site with a poker room, casino, and sportsbook.
Also, someone in your house already has collected the bonus. Casinos use technology to read your IP address and restrict bonuses to one per household. It does not matter if you use separate devices; it’s the IP address that is important.