A Guide To Welcome Bonuses
There are so many online casinos around today, all looking to get their hands on the same player pool. But how do top Internet casinos attract players ready to dump their hard-earned bankrolls on the roulette table or straight in the slots slot?
Attractive promo offers like welcome bonuses entice new customers to gaming sites - and more importantly, keep them there. Hunt around and do your homework, however, and you can take advantage of the competing casinos.
What are Welcome Bonuses?
As the name suggests, welcome bonuses - also known as first-time deposits - are applied to customers making their first real-money account deposit after signing up to a casino. When making your deposit you will have to enter a special bonus code specific to the welcome offer. Once you've done that and made a deposit you will start to 'play through' the bonus. There will normally be a minimum deposit amount required in order to activate the bonus - say, $10 - so for those wanting to dump $5 may be left disappointed.
How Do They Work?
Welcome bonus offers vary massively from casino to casino, but a standard offer may be 100% up to $500. That means if you deposit any amount up to $500 you can earn the same amount back from the casino absolutely free as long you meet the wagering requirements. So, what are the wagering requirements? Typically you will need to bet at least 20 times your funds PLUS the bonus amount. Here's an example: let's say you loaded up $150 at this particular casino you would have to 'play through' an amount worth ($150+$150) x 20 = $6,000. You will also have a time limit on triggering the cash - say, 30-60 days - but for regular players this can often be seen as easy, free cash.
What Casino Games Trigger Bonuses?
OK, so you've found an online casino that offers a juicy welcome bonus, but you're a keen roulette player betting on Red and Black - will your casino accept those bets? Well, perhaps not. Casinos employ strict rules on which games qualify towards your bonus, and most casinos vary so always check the sites' Ts & Cs before you punch in that bonus code.
For example, video slots (pokies) may contribute 100% towards your bonus (e.g if you bet $200 on slots all of that will qualify) but another casino may prohibit jackpot slots. Meanwhile, a casino may count blackjack bets towards just 20% of your bonus amount but a different site will restrict all blackjack bets to 15%. Video Poker players can often see the biggest discrepancies - 20% of Video Poker bets will be counted at one casino while only 5% of plays are counted at another site.
And then there are, of course, the games that contribute NOTHING towards your play-through amount: some versions of online roulette are particularly prone to these restrictions. Generally speaking, the lower the risk of the game, the lower the contribution to your bonus - casinos aren't just giving this cash up, you know! As with the actual bonus amount, it's worth really investigating what games qualify before you even join up to a casino.
Are There Any Other Kinds?
Welcome bonuses are just the start of casinos' promo offers, of course. Depending on the individual site, you could be entitled to all sorts of ongoing bonuses if you're a loyal player.
Daily or monthly 'loyalty' deposit bonuses are commonplace at the best casinos in 2016, with special offers for regulars, and free competitions and player/comp points up for grabs too. For example, you may be able to earn a quick $50 on a given day if a new game is out to try - these are good ways of getting some free cash, and for the casino a good way for their customers to try out new things.
Sign Up For a Welcome Bonus Now
Welcome bonuses can be a great way of earning some free cash from the casino (and at the end of the day, we all love bringing down the house, right?). But real-money bonuses can vary wildly from site to site, and from qualifying game to game. So - do your homework, choose your games carefully, and then use our own guide to find yourself a great exclusive sign-up bonus. Let's take down the house together!