Virtually every online casino on the internet offers a welcome bonus or sign-up bonus to new customers who open an account. These come in the form of free chips to gamble with, and they represent a major advantage of playing online rather than playing at a mainland location. It may seem too good to be true that you can get what is essentially free money, but the fact is you can.
When you play at online casinos, you should try to take advantage of these bonuses whenever you can, as they are a great way to get more bang for your buck. However, you also need to understand exactly how they work. Not all bonuses are created equal, and some are much more player-friendly than others. The biggest is not always the best, and sometimes a small bonus can be a much better value than a big one.
This is because they always have certain requirements that must be met, and they vary quite a bit from place to place. On this page we explain how casino welcome bonuses work, and we recommend that you take the time to read through this information.
Why Do Online Casinos Offer Welcome Bonuses?
You may be wondering why online casinos offer these welcome bonuses. After all, they are there to make money, not to give it away. The explanation is actually quite simple; they basically think of them as marketing costs. The online gambling industry is extremely competitive and there are hundreds of internet-based casinos all wanting you to sign up with them. Offering an attractive bonus is one way they can encourage you to do just that.
It makes sense when you think about it. They know that, in the long run, they are more likely to win money from a customer than the other way around. That’s why it’s worth giving a new customer an incentive to sign up with them, as they will likely get their money back and more over time. However, this does not mean that the bonuses are worthless, as they still add value to the player.
Welcome to Bonus Benefits
If you plan to deposit at an online casino and risk a certain amount, getting a bonus is, of course, positive. You only risk the money that you would risk anyway, and you just get some more money to play with. With more chips to play with, you always have a higher chance of winning.
Losing is far from guaranteed in a casino, and with a little luck on your side, you could easily take the lead. With the benefit of extra chips to play with as well, that simply becomes more likely. Even if you eventually lose, you’ll be able to play longer than you would without the bonus, so you’ll still have some extra value.
For the most part, there is absolutely no downside to claiming bonuses, but as we mentioned earlier, they come with specific requirements that must be met. At the best online casinos, these are usually fairly player-friendly, but in some places the demands are so much in favour of the house that there isn’t really much value being offered. It is also possible that you can sometimes only use the extra chips in certain games, so if you don’t like playing those games, then such a bonus is not really of any use.
You should always read the terms and conditions of any welcome bonus before claiming it. In particular, you should check what the wagering requirements are and which games are eligible.
Casinos add wagering requirements to prevent people from simply depositing money, claiming a bonus, and then immediately withdrawing. There is clearly no benefit to the casino if they allow players to do this, so they include wagering requirements to ensure they only give the extra value to real players. These basically tell you how much you need to play before you can make a recording.
Usually, you have to wager the bonus you have claimed a set number of times. For example, if the wagering requirements are 20x the bonus and you claim $200, then you must wager a total of $4,000 before you can make a withdrawal. Many casinos also contain so-called game weights. This means that certain games only count towards a percentage of the wagering requirements. Usually, these are games with a low house edge, such as blackjack and baccarat. At some casinos, a bonus cannot be used at all to play games with a low house edge.
Types of sign-up bonuses
Sign-up bonuses can be classified in different ways. First, you have deposit bonuses and no deposit bonuses. The former are also known as match bonuses and are awarded by a casino when you make your first deposit. The amount awarded is a fixed percentage of your deposit. For example, if there is a 50% deposit bonus and you deposit $500, you will receive an additional $250, giving you $750 to play with.
No-deposit bonuses, as the name suggests, are awarded without your having to make a deposit. These are less common and often much smaller, but they still have added value. They can be a great way to try out a casino without risking your own money. If you like what you find, you can go ahead and make a deposit.
Bonuses can also be categorised as sticky or non-sticky. A sticky bonus cannot be withdrawn; it is for betting purposes only. Once you have met the wagering requirements, you can withdraw any winnings you make from it, but it will “stick” to your account until you lose it. A non-sticky bonus is much better for a player. Once you’ve met the wagering requirements, you’ll be able to withdraw them along with any winnings you’ve made.
There is also another type: the ghost bonus. This is also for betting purposes only, and it will be automatically removed from your account when you make a withdrawal. You can withdraw any winnings you make by playing with them, provided you meet the wagering requirements.
In addition to a welcome bonus for new customers, most online casinos offer a lot of extra value for their existing customers. This can be done with the help of additional bonuses, promotions, and other rewards and VIP schemes.
Finding the Best Casino Bonus
Once you understand the different types of bonuses and how they work, you can start looking at what’s available at the different online casinos and try to find the welcome bonus that’s best for you. Don’t forget to check the terms and conditions to make sure you can use them for the games you enjoy playing.
Of course, you may not want to spend your time comparing different bonuses to see which ones are the best, and you don’t have to. We’ve put together a list of the best online casinos for bonuses, so you can just look at those and make your choice.