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The Wild and Wonderful World of Online Casino Bonuses

Generally, casino bonuses give you great value for money, but they can be daunting and difficult to understand.
Some third-party platforms give casino reviews and bonus codes that can be an incredible trove of information.

If you’ve ever visited an online casino, you should have noticed a myriad of bonuses and promotions. This is a core component of the marketing strategies of online casinos, and they aim to draw new customers in and keep existing customers loyal.

Generally, casino bonuses give you great value for money, but they can be daunting and difficult to understand. Some third-party platforms give casino reviews and bonus codes that can be an incredible trove of information.

In a recent article for CasinoTopsOnline, Matthew Gover (an online casino expert with a focus on player security and safety) reviews and evaluates the best online casinos in the UK, crowning Mr Vegas as king and stating “Mr Vegas brought its A-game with factors such as a great 100% bonus, up to €200, a games lobby focused intently on giving their players the strongest variety, and a list of secure and efficient payment methods.”—read more at

It can be easy to miss these types of offers, especially for more niche sites, which is why we encourage people to always check a trusted review site before signing up to a new platform.

However, to get you started, casino bonuses, their common types, and terms like wagering requirements are explained below.

What are the Most Popular Types of Casino Bonuses?

Casino bonuses come in many shapes and sizes and are usually available to claim regardless of the payment method you use. Some bonuses also apply only to specific payment methods, like VISA, MasterCard, or eWallets. The most popular bonus types are listed below, together with examples.

Free Spins

Free spins are offered as single promotions, or as part of a welcome package for new customers. For example, you could be given 25 free spins on Thunderstruck II by Yggdrasil. There are some key pointers for free spin promotions

  • The game(s) you can use the spins on is pre-selected
  • The spin value is usually the lowest (typically $0.10–0.25 per spin)
  • Winnings can be capped for the free spins
  • Wagering requirements sometimes apply for any winnings

Deposit Match Bonus

Deposit match bonuses are most common for welcome bonuses when you register an account with the casino. An example could be a 100% deposit match bonus of up to $500. This means that whatever you deposit, you gain equal bonus funds, up to a maximum of $500. So, if you deposited $200, you would receive $200 in bonus funds (or $400 total to play with).

The bonus funds usually have wagering requirements, which are explained in more detail below. These promotions are a great way to boost your initial deposit and have more funds to enjoy the casino game selection with.


Cashback bonuses give you a percentage of your losses back as bonus funds. For example, a platform might give you 25% cashback on your weekly losses. The cashback funds are usually non-withdrawable. However, they typically have no wagering requirements, and you can use them on any games you wish.

No Deposit Bonus

No deposit bonuses could be free spins or bonus cash. The key point is that all you have to do to claim the promo is register an account with the casino. These promotions are usually much smaller in value compared to standard bonuses, but they are great because you don’t have to spend a dime to claim them!

What Terms and Conditions Must You be Aware of?

These promotions might seem simple from the outside, but you must understand the terms and conditions. Usually, promos have a set of complicated T&Cs that affect how you use the bonus funds or free spins. 

If you miss any of these terms, you could potentially void your bonus and have the funds taken from your account. The most important bonus T&Cs are explained below.

Wagering Requirements

When you see that a promo has a wagering requirement of 10x, this means you must spend 10x the bonus funds value before you can withdraw them. For example, if you claimed a deposit match bonus worth $100 and the wagering requirements were 5x, you’d have to spend $500 (5x $100), before withdrawing that $100.

Wagering requirements (also known as playthrough requirements) are also usually applied to any winnings you make from free spin promotions.

Expiration Periods

Most bonuses don’t last forever! Instead, you typically have to use the bonus funds or free spins within a set timeframe. This is most commonly 7–14 days, although some online casinos extend this to 30 days. There are also usually time limits that you have to meet any wagering requirements within.

The casinos do this to put pressure on players and potentially force them to make poor gambling decisions. Try to avoid this. It is possible to use your bonus within the timeframe but still get great entertainment value.

Game Limitations

Usually, you can’t use your bonus funds or free spins on any casino game in the platform’s catalog. Free spin bonuses are often limited to one pre-chosen game, such as Starburst or Gonzo’s Quest. 

Additionally, bonus funds often can’t be used on live dealer games, and there are different contribution factors for the wagering requirements for different games. For example, video slots usually have a 100% contribution factor, whereas blackjack and roulette are often lower because of the higher RTP.

Maximum Cashout Limits

This is most common with free spin promotions. The casino might impose a maximum cashout limit from the free spins. For example, there could be a cap of $2,500. If you happened to strike lucky and make a big jackpot win higher than $2,500, unfortunately, you would only be able to claim $2,500!

Get Better Value for Money With Top Online Casino Bonuses

If you decide to register an account with an online casino, it’s a great idea to look at what promotions are available first. Ideally, you want to select an online casino that features a welcome bonus. 

You should then look for things like cashback, tournaments, and weekly promotions for existing customers. Most importantly, always read the T&Cs fully so you understand how the bonus works!