Whilst there are several factors to consider when choosing which online casino to join, there’s no denying that the casino welcome bonus plays a huge part in the decision making process. With such fierce competition within the online casino industry, the welcome bonus, which is sometimes referred to as a sign-up bonus or first deposit bonus, has become an integral feature designed to catch the eye of potential new customers. Want to get the best bang for your buck? Our guide to casino welcome bonuses is sure to get you off to a flying start at your next online casino.
Everything you need to know about casino welcome bonuses
If you’ve had a look around at what’s on offer, you’ll have noticed that the majority of new customer bonuses on offer come in the form of matched deposits. A matched deposit does exactly what it says on the tin – you place your first deposit and the casino matches it in bonus funds. While many casinos offer a 100% matched deposit, it’s not uncommon to find matched deposit offers as low as 50% or as high as 200%.
Here’s a common example of a matched deposit bonus:
- 100% up to £100. Deposit £100 and get an extra £100 to play with
This offer is broken down into two parts. The first is the percentage matched. In this example, you’re essentially getting your deposit doubled. The second is the maximum amount of free cash the casino is willing to give you. Of course you can deposit more if you wish, but the bonus funds you’ll receive won’t go beyond the stated limit.
There are several promotional sign up bonuses that offer free spins to existing players, however, as a new customer, you’ll usually find free spins bundled with your deposit bonus.
Here’s a common example of a matched deposit offer with free spins:
- 100% up to £500 + 100 free spins
Getting your hands on free spins is never a bad idea. A few online casinos, such as bgo, offer a standalone free spins welcome bonus, where you receive a certain number of free spins dependent on the value of your initial deposit. In most instances, you’ll find that your free spins come packaged with your cash deposit bonus. This allows you to use your cash bonus on games away from the slots category, should you wish to! Of course, just like your bonus winnings, any winnings made using free spins will be subject to wagering requirements. Remember to keep an eye out for the terms and conditions to find out how many times you’ll have to play through your bonus winnings before they can be made available for withdrawal.
A no deposit is as straightforward as it sounds. All you need to do is create an account and the bonus is yours! The idea behind it is to give new players a taster of what the casino has to offer without the need to place a deposit, in the hope that they’ll sign up and become paying customers. While many no deposit bonuses come in the form of free spins or other game tokens, there are a few operators that dish out no deposit cash bonuses. This gives you a licence to roam the casino and take your pick from the vast selection of titles in the games collection. Of course, there are wagering requirements and winning caps to prevent any huge losses being made by the casino operator. All things considered, we think it’s an offer well worth snapping up, especially if you’re on a tight budget. It’s the perfect way to try before you buy!
There are a number of huge bonuses that may appear attractive at first, but come coupled with huge wagering requirements. This can make it quite difficult for you to get your hands on any bonus winnings, especially if you aren’t a frequent player. Over the last few years a new, player-friendly form of welcome bonus has surfaced and it’s fair to say that it’s already a firm favourite. It should come as no surprise – any winnings earned using a no wagering bonus are immediately available for withdrawal.
There are a few no wagering cash bonuses out there, but the most common offer is no wagering free spins. A good example of this is bgo’s welcome bonus which offers 1 no wager free spin for every £1 deposited (up to 50 free spins). So if you deposit £50, you’ll have that money to play with as you see fit but you’ll also receive 50 free spins courtesy of the casino.
How can I claim a casino welcome bonus?
Follow these simple steps to claim your first casino sign up bonus:
- Compare online casinos.
Welcome bonuses come in several shapes and sizes, so you need to find the right one for you. Our carefully curated list of top online casinos features the best welcome bonuses available online today. Simply compare and pick out one you fancy.
Remember not to be swayed by the big numbers. A bonus offer may seem generous on the surface, but we recommend taking a closer look. Take your time to read the terms and conditions and keep an eye out for the wagering requirements. This will give you a much better idea of the true value of a bonus offer.
- Sign up.
Once you’ve picked out a favourite, follow our link which redirects you to the casino’s registration page. From here, you’ll be able to sign up and become eligible for your exclusive welcome bonus. Creating an account takes just a few minutes, all you need to do is provide a few personal details.
- Deposit & claim.
Unless you’ve grabbed a no deposit welcome bonus, you’ll have to deposit to claim your bonus. Simply head over to the cashier page of your chosen casino to make a payment. The top online casinos offer support for a range of payment methods, from bank transfers to Skrill.
Your welcome bonus is usually credited almost instantly following your deposit, so you’ll be able to get stuck in right away. Head to the games page to browse the casino’s collection and choose a title that appeals to you. You’ll find hundreds of slots games at the best sites, as well as a number of classic casino table games such as blackjack and roulette. All that’s left for you to do is play!
What else do I need to know?
Put simply, a wagering requirement is the amount of times you’ll need to wager your bonus winnings before it can be made available for withdrawal. Casinos usually include wagering requirements in the terms and conditions of a bonus offer and state that players must meet them within a certain period of time.
Here’s an example of a matched deposit bonus with wagering requirements:
- 100% up to £200. Wagering requirements are 25x the bonus amount
In this instance, if you deposit £90, you’ll receive £90 in bonus funds from the casino. This bonus comes with a wagering requirement that will require you to play through any bonus winnings 25 times before they’re available for withdrawal. This means that you’ll have to wager £2,250 before any bonus winnings can be withdrawn. While this isn’t completely out of reach, many players might find it difficult to reach this figure, especially over a short space of time.
The importance of looking into wagering requirements when comparing sign up bonuses should now be clear. Don’t simply be swayed by the big numbers, as these often have little bearing on the true value of the bonus.
Another important feature of a welcome bonus is what, if any, limits are imposed by the casino. This information is usually found in the terms and conditions, but it’s important to take a look to ensure you don’t end up missing out on claiming any bonus winnings.
The most common limits are time constraints. You’ll want to know how much time you have to claim your welcome bonus (i.e. the time between creating an account and making your first deposit) and how long your casino welcome bonus is valid for. We’d also recommend finding out how long you have to clear any wagering requirements, to assess whether or not this would restrict your ability to cash out your bonus winnings.
If you manage to find a bonus with no wagering requirements, you may think you’ve hit the jackpot. However, there are usually caps on winnings earned using these types of bonuses. A casino could hand out 50 no deposit free spins, for example, but cap your bonus winnings at £50. Casino operators are in it to make money, after all.
Claim your bonus and play!
Now that we’ve taken you through everything you need to know about welcome bonuses, it’s time to sign up and claim your very own. We’re sure our carefully curated list of casinos will provide you with an option that caters to you. Simply check out our list, compare and sign up to become eligible for your casino welcome bonus today!