One of the greatest advantages that online casinos have in comparison to brick-and-mortar casinos is the fact that they give bonuses to their players. These bonuses can usually be achieved by completing one of several different promotions that each casino offers.
Each online casino will usually list their promotions on a separate page from their main homepage, but there should be plenty of links to these promotions on that homepage. Once you find this promotions page, you might notice that there are a ton of different types of promotions to be found.
Below is a list of the different types of bonuses that an online casino might offer you throughout your online gambling journeys:
- Welcome Bonus
- Reload Bonus
- No-Deposit Bonuses
- VIP Clubs
- Free Spins
- Non-Monetary Prizes
- Leaderboard Competitions
The only catch is that nearly all these bonuses come with a playthrough requirement. This playthrough requirement states how much you need to wager before you have cleared the bonus.
Unfortunately, not every game is created equal when it comes to clearing bonuses. There is a little thing called “wagering contributions” that every casino posts in their terms and conditions.
These wagering contributions tell us exactly what percentage of our wagers count towards the bonus for each different casino game. Typically, the games that have the least skill, such as slots or keno, are the ones that have the highest contribution percentage. It is not uncommon for sites to completely exclude players from participating in games of skill, such as blackjack, during the bonus phase.
Once you have cleared the bonus, you will be able to withdraw funds from the casino. If the bonus is not cleared, and you attempt to order a withdrawal, the bonus will typically be forfeited. Any profits that were made using this bonus money will be confiscated as well. This also applies to situations where the bonus has a time limit attached to it and the time limit is reached without the bonus being cleared.
We will now explore each one of these types of bonus in detail, and hopefully shine some more light on what you can expect when receiving one.
1 – Welcome Bonus
When joining an online casino, the odds are that they will offer you a welcome bonus on your first deposit. Sometimes the life of these welcome bonuses will even extend past your 10th deposit.
An example of a welcome bonus offer would be a 100% bonus for up to $1000. This means that the casino will put 100% more into your account than you originally deposited. In this case, if you deposited $1,000 of your money to get the maximum bonus, you would have $2,000 in your online casino account to play with.
While this sounds like a ton of free money for a site to be giving away, the playthrough requirement on this bonus is usually relatively high. A typical site will charge anywhere between 25x-50x the amount of the deposit plus the bonus. For the example given above with the $1000 deposit and 100% bonus, a 25x playthrough requirement would require you to wager $50,000 before you are able to withdraw any of the bonus funds.
If you were comparing this deal to another casino that was offering a $1000 deposit with a 400% bonus, you might instantly assume that you should be taking advantage of that site, because it has a bigger bonus. The truth is that this is not always the case.
With a 25x playthrough requirement, you would need to wager through $125,000 to clear this 400% bonus. As you can see, even though the deal looks very similar, this is a huge difference from the first example, where the playthrough requirement was only $50,000.
If you plan on withdrawing money in a reasonable amount of time, you should try to avoid these bonuses that have large bonus percentages, since it inflates the playthrough requirement. We hope that the examples above have helped to illustrate this fact, and that you will choose the casino that has a deal that fits your needs.
Another thing to watch for is when some casino randomly imposes a time limit on their welcome bonus’s playthrough requirements. These time limits are sometimes as short as one or two weeks! We find these limits to be extremely absurd, and we recommend avoiding any sites where they try to put time pressure on your first gambling experience in their casino.
2 – Reload Bonus
Since welcome bonuses have a limited lifespan, many online casinos come up with a different deposit bonus that can be used by those who no longer have the option of the welcome bonus. These promotions are structured in the exact same way as the welcome bonus, since they offer a percentage of the original deposit as a bonus.
These deals are not usually as flashy as the welcome bonuses are. This is good for those who are concerned with the inflated playthrough requirements that we discussed in the previous section. All the advice that we just gave about shopping around for the right deal for you applies to any reload bonus, just as it does with any welcome bonus.
3 – No-Deposit Bonus
If you do not have the money to deposit into online casinos, you will be happy to know that some casinos offer a special promotion called a no-deposit bonus. As you probably gathered, these are bonuses that are possible to claim without having to make a deposit.
Each site has different guidelines that they require the benefactor of the no-deposit bonus to follow. Most of the time, all that you’re required to do to receive the bonus is make an account and log in.
While it is possible to win big with these bonuses, the winnings are normally limited by the casino. These limits are usually somewhere between $100 and $200. This is the only downside to these promotions, but we can’t be too picky, because it costs nothing to participate in them, and everybody loves free money!
4 – VIP Club
This is by far our favorite type of promotion to encounter while playing in an online casino. We like how these clubs give rewards to everyone from beginner to veteran, and it gives the beginners something to shoot for. These VIP clubs are generally comprised of multiple membership tiers, and each progressive tier includes bigger prizes.
The only way to move up in tiers is to earn enough points. These promotions usually reward a certain number of ‘rewards points’ or ‘loyalty points’ for every dollar that is wagered. Once you accumulate a large enough number of points, you will be moved up in tier.
Some examples of perks that these VIP Clubs give to their top tiers include a faster rate of accumulation for rewards points, priority withdrawals, deposit bonuses, cashback, and VIP trips to vacation spots or special events.
5 – Free Spins
Free spins are normally added onto deposit bonuses as an extra reward. This is not the only way to win them, but it is the most common method.
The casinos almost always specify exactly what games these free spins are good for, although some sites give free spins for any game at all. Once you finish all your free spins, the total amount that you won will be placed into your bonus account.
These bonus funds will be subject to playthrough requirements before you can withdraw them, just like with the other bonuses that we have covered so far. The good part about these bonuses is that they are much easier to clear due to the absence of a huge bonus percentage inflating the playthrough requirements.
6 – Non-Monetary Prizes
It might seem like money is all these casinos ever give away in their promotions, but we assure you that that is not the truth. These prizes that are not in the form of money will all be lumped together into a non-monetary prize category.
One group of players that these prizes are normally awarded to are those at the top levels of the VIP club. Many of these players get to receive their own personal support representative, free flights, free all-inclusive trips to vacation areas, or tickets to concerts and sporting events.
Another time that these sorts of prizes show up is when there is a leaderboard competition. The top prize for these leaderboards is sometimes of the non-monetary variety, which is usually in the form of a vacation.
7 – Leaderboard Competitions
Another very common form of promotion is the leaderboard competition. This allows all the players on the site to compete against each other to reach a certain goal in a certain amount of time. The most common frequency for the leaderboard to reset is monthly, but weekly and yearly ones exist as well.
Normally, the way to earn points on this leaderboard is simply to wager money on any of the casino’s games. The more often you wager, the more points you will earn. The higher amount you wage, the more points you will earn as well.
At the end of the leaderboard’s expiration date, each player will be paid out according to what place they finished. Fortunately, winnings from these sorts of competitions are not usually subject to playthrough requirements. This is good because this money is a lot harder to acquire when compared to just a deposit bonus.
There are a ton of different bonuses waiting to be claimed in the online casino world! All you need to do is understand what you are looking for, and then you can shop around to find the right bonus promotions for you.
To choose wisely, you must pay attention to the playthrough requirements that are attached to each bonus. It does not do any good to claim a bonus that you cannot possibly clear before the deadline.
From now on, when you see a bonus listed in our reviews, you should be able to decipher exactly what all the casino jargon means. You should also be able to decide for yourself whether each bonus is worth the effort or not, which is an invaluable skill when dealing with online casinos.