Online casino bonuses are real money rewards that casino sites give to new players for signing up and depositing. There are hundreds of casino sites out there competing for your business right now, and one of the main ways they attract new players is by offering bigger and better signup bonuses than the competition.
In any industry, competition is beneficial to the customer. The more casinos there are competing for your business, the more rewards you get as a player. As nice as online casino bonuses are, there are a few things you should know before jumping right in.
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Best Online Casino Deposit Bonuses
Not all online casino bonuses were created equal. Some online casino bonuses offer more valuable than others, and some come with predatory wagering requirements you should avoid. On this page, you can see a list of the best online casino bonuses that are available now. We explore the finer details of every online casino bonus and rank them according to how beneficial they actually are to the average player.
Size does not matter when it comes to ranking the best online casino bonuses. We have seen online casino sites that offer players more than $10,000 for signing up and playing, only to find that those bonuses were next to useless. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
Always read the fine print before you sign up and claim a bonus at a gambling site. Most importantly, check the clearing requirements for any online casino bonus before you sign up and deposit.
Clearing requirements are basically insurance policies that casinos use to prevent players from claiming massive bonuses, cashing out, and never playing again. Before you can withdraw your bonus money, you are required to place a certain dollar amount of wagers at the casino, commonly referred to as rollover.
On average, casino websites use clearing requirements in the 20x range. This means that you are asked to place a total sum of wagers equal to 20 times the bonus plus deposit amount. That might sound like a lot, but remember these are only wagers and not losses. Most online casino sites have payout rates of 97% and above, so meeting these casino bonus wagering requirements is not particularly difficult.
Also look at the match rate of the bonus. This number is usually displayed as a percentage, for example, a 100% bonus means your first deposit is doubled. Deposit $200 with a 100% match rate, and you’ll get an extra $200 in bonus money.
These two factors (clearing requirement and match rate) are the most important when looking for the best casino bonuses. It is always smart to check the fine print to ensure the promotions works for the casino games you intend to play. For example, some online casinos do not count blackjack bets towards meeting deposit bonus wagering requirements.
Latest Casino Bonus Codes
Sign up for a new account at any online casino and the odds are you’ll see a place somewhere on the signup page that asks for your “bonus code” or “promo code.” When online casino sites come out with new promotions and bonuses, they often release special codes that you need to enter during the signup process in order to claim the special offer.
Some gambling sites call them “coupon codes” or “promo codes” but they are all essentially the same thing, a way to track marketing campaigns and their respective results.
After you type in your bonus code and make a deposit, you’ll get extra cash added to your first deposit. The size of casino bonus offers may depend on the code you use, but usually all players qualify for current promotions automatically with “no code needed”.
On all of our listings, you’ll see a list of the latest casino promo codes currently availabe. Make sure you grab the latest code to ensure you get the best bonus offer available.
How Casino Signup Codes Work
The inner workings of online casino bonus codes are pretty simple. Once you have a bonus code: you type in the code and get your money.
Your account will be tagged to receive the bonus after you input the code. This is how you “claim” the bonus you want. The only thing you have to do after that is make a deposit and go have fun. You’ll be able to play with your own deposit as well as the bonus cash.
In most cases, your bonus money will be listed as “pending” until you have met its clearing requirements. This means that as you place wagers at the casino, the bonus money is released to your real money account in small increments. This policy is used by nearly all online casinos to prevent bonus abuse.
Why are Casino Promo Codes Used?
Online casino promo codes serve a couple of purposes. From the player’s perspective, the purpose is simply to get a large deposit bonus. All you have to do is type in the bonus code, make a deposit and you’ll be rewarded with extra money for your bankroll.
From the operator’s perspective, promo codes are mostly a marketing gimmick.
At the same time, online casino bonus codes help online casino sites measure the success of marketing campaigns.
Advantages Of Casino Welcome Offers
The most obvious advantage of bonus offers at online casino sites is the free money they give you.
The extra cash you get from an online casino signup bonus can be considered a win in itself. Alternatively, bonus money can be wagered at the casino site and used to play more, or more accurately – lose slower.
Sign-up bonuses also come in handy if you hit a bad run of luck. If you go on a bad losing streak, an online casino bonus can help pad some of your losses. Even better, online casino bonus offers make stretches of good luck even sweeter.
Disadvantages of Casino Signup Incentives
Remember: online casinos are not in the business of giving out free money. Every game has a house advantage, and every offer you see is geared towards earning more of your business.
Casino bonus clearing requirements usually must be met before you can cash out. Many bonuses can’t even be cashed out – these “non-cashable” bonuses can only be used to place wagers and win money that you can withdraw.
Don’t ever be pressured to take a bonus offer, new bonuses are released all the time.
Expected Value of Online Casino Bonuses
You can calculate the expected value of casino bonuses by multiplying the wagering requirements by the house advantage of the games you intend to play while clearing the bonus.
Let’s say you deposit $50 and get a $50 bonus that comes with a 20x rollover, and assume that this bonus offer allows you to clear it playing roulette (not all bonuses work with all games – something to keep in mind).
The 20x rollover applied to the bonus + deposit amount ($100 x 20) means you’ll need to place a total sum of wagers equal to $2,000. Single zero roulette has a house advantage of 2.7%. Now you want to figure out how much you’ll lose, on average, if you place $2,000 worth of wagers at a 2.7% house advantage.
$2,000 x .027 = $54.
This tells us that you’re expected to lose $54 if you wager a total of $2,000 at roulette. Your actual results will vary of course because this is just the average. You might actually win or lose a lot more money than that.
However, we still learn something very important here. This bonus is actually going to cost you $4 if you clear it with roulette. You got a $50 bonus but your expected losses are $54. You should either play a different game with a lower house advantage or pass on this bonus entirely if your goal is maximize your potential earnings.
This dampens some of the allure of online casino bonuses, doesn’t it? I like to look at it this way: gambling is a negative expected value endeavor anyways. Everyone knows the casino has an advantage over the long run. If you want to make guaranteed money, you can just go to work and earn a paycheck. The point of gambling is to buck the odds, get lucky and win a bunch of cash. I just think it’s important to keep everything in perspective and understand that nothing is guaranteed – not even big bonuses.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.