Casino bonus review - are the promotions worth it in 2023?

Casinos online use bonuses as a way of thanking new customers for joining, and also as a means of encouraging existing ones to continue playing there rather than at a rival’s site. These offers are big business for the industry, with many players using them as a way of boosting their bankrolls. However, not all deals are worth taking advantage of, with some far better than others.

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In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find information about how casino bonuses work, what terms and conditions you should look out for when claiming one, as well as details about the best offers around right now. So, let’s get going and see if these deals really are good value or not.

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(Click on one of the bonuses below to jump straight into the action.)

How Casino Bonuses Work

Online casino bonuses come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be used to encourage new players to join a particular site; they can reward existing customers for their loyalty, and can even be employed to get people to try out a new game that’s been released. Most people, however, are aware of the welcome bonus – this is the offer given to new customers when they sign up to an online casino for the first time. As part of the registration process, the player will have to supply certain pieces of information, such as name, address and date of birth, then make a deposit. It is in depositing money that a person triggers most welcome bonuses, as this is the way the majority of these promotional offers work.

There are, of course, some no deposit casino bonuses around. These are becoming less common, but still exist. As the name suggests, these don’t require any money to be claimed. Usually, they are available only to players opening new accounts, and are generally of smaller value than those handed out once a deposit has been made. Sometimes, instead of money, no deposit bonuses give players free spins that can be used on specific slot machines.

Even if a deposit or other action has triggered a bonus, terms and conditions usually have to be fulfilled before the reward can be accessed. This is known as “clearing” the bonus. There are various requirements that need to be met, such as making further deposits and/or placing wagers at the casino. More detail on the terms and conditions applied by operators can be found later in this piece.

Most bonuses are awarded as a percentage of the amount initially deposited. For example, a 100% match bonus on a $50 deposit would provide an extra $50, meaning a total bankroll of $100 – with the casino being just as invested in the partnership as the player. Sometimes, though, the proportionate match offered is lower than 100%. This could be anything from 50%, 25%, 20% or even lower percentages. Occasionally, a flat rate bonus is provided, whereby a set amount of cash or free spuits is given to the player regardless of the size of their initial deposit.

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Types of Casino Offers Available

As part of this , we thought it useful to explain the range of offers currently accessible to players. Below we have listed the types of promotions available, explaining each in turn:

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⃣ Welcome (Sign-Up) Bonuses

These are the most common type of promotion for both new and existing players. Also referred to as a , this is a sum of money given to a player who opens a new account with a casino. In most cases, this requires a deposit, although some can be claimed without having to make such an action.

A welcome bonus might be a one-off payment, but more commonly it is spread over several deposits, with the percentage match percentage reduced for subsequent payments. Some sites offer a tiered welcome package, perhaps providing a 300% match on the first deposit, followed by 200% and 100% for the second and third deposits respectively. Other casinos split things up by day, offering a specific bonus on each of the first three, five or seven days after opening an account.

The amount involved in a welcome bonus can vary greatly between operators. At some casinos, it may be a relatively meagre sum, perhaps $100 or $200, whereas at others it can be much larger, reaching $7,000, $8,000 or even bigger figures. Be sure to check our list of the to learn more about the top signup offers in the US market.

���rowning Ongoing or Reload Bonuses

Once the initial flurry of welcome bonuses has been cleared, a casino customer’s account will eventually return to being a standard one. However, this doesn’t mean the promotions have to dry up entirely. Many sites offer ongoing reload bonuses to their players as an incentive to keep returning. These can be excellent ways to increase your bankroll and explore new games.

Like welcome bonuses, these offers usually apply when a deposit is made, and involve the operator paying in a sum of money equal to a percentage match of the amount deposited. For example, if a player’s bankroll needed a $50 boost, and the reload deal was a 50% match, they would receive a further $25 into their account. They would then have $75 with which to play – with the casino and the player both having contributed $50 to this amount.

The vast majority of reload bonuses have rollover requirements attached, so it’s important to clear these before withdrawing any funds. Indeed, failure to adhere to these conditions can result in a player being unable to access their cash, or even their bonus. These offers are a great way for casinos to build long-term relationships with their patrons, so make sure you take full advantage of them.

💸 Cashback Bonuses

Cashback offers compensate players for losses they have incurred while playing real-money games on a site. The amount returned varies, depending on the terms and conditions of the offer. Sometimes it’s a simple case of receiving a fixed percentage of the amount lost – for instance, 10% cashback – while at other times certain games may contribute more or none at all. It’s vital to know exactly what is covered under the terms of a particular deal, because otherwise it will be very hard to work out accurately how much will actually be paid back.

Some bonuses are based on both wins and losses during a specified period. Such deals can often be very lucrative, particularly if a player enjoys a lot of success during the eligibility period. On the flip side, if they suffer heavy defeats, the large cash sum required to offset these may negate any advantage brought about by the promotion.

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🎰 Game-Specific or New Game Bonuses

From time to time, online casinos introduce special offers relating to newly released games. The idea behind this is to encourage players to try out the latest additions to a site’s roster of titles. Sometimes additional prizes will be available for those who achieve specific feats within the game itself. These might include entering special bonus rounds, getting big wins or reaching particular score thresholds.

Bonuses can also be linked to specific games that have been available for some time. Perhaps a higher percentage match may be applied when loading a particular slot, or extra free spins may become accessible. Check out the to see our picks for the top sites to play slots.

Such offers can be an excellent method by which to boost your bankroll, especially if the game in question has favorable RTP (Return to Player) percentages. Always remember to check whether a bonus can be used to play any game you want, or whether it must be restricted to certain titles.

🍷 High Roller Bonuses

Online casinos are always looking to attract new customers, but they also place a great deal of emphasis on pleasing their existing clientele too. Big-spending players are naturally very valuable to an operator, so special offers are sometimes created to keep them happy. These are generally known as high roller bonuses, and they can differ quite significantly from the usual offers available to all customers.

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Given that casinos want to encourage wealthy players to deposit and play as frequently as possible, the terms and conditions surrounding these promotions tend to be fairly liberal. Deposit matches can be very high indeed, wagering requirements are often fairly low and the timeframe allowed for clearing the offer can be considerable. Essentially, these deals are designed to remove as many obstacles as possible from the path of the high roller player, allowing them to enjoy their gaming experience with few worries about the technicalities of the promotion. Just keep in mind that not every casino will feature a high roller bonus, and often these deals aren’t advertised – sometimes a player has to ask if such a bonus exists.

🎉 Free Spins Bonuses

Free spins are a popular way for casinos to promote certain slot games, and they can prove highly beneficial to players. One of the best ways of picking up some extra spins is by claiming a deal that provides them as part of a welcome package when signing up to a site. Alternatively, special promotions may be sent to existing customers, giving them the chance to try out selected slots without having to pay for the privilege.

It’s essential to note the small print relating to such bonuses. The number of spins awarded can differ massively from offer to offer, with some simply providing half a dozen turns, while others may give out many dozens. It’s also important to establish which games the free plays can be used on, as well as the value of coins wagered per line and the number of lines active during each spin. Be sure to read through the terms and conditions carefully before accepting any free spins offer.

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🤑 VIP or Loyalty Bonuses

All good online casinos strive to treat their existing players with the same level of respect as they do potential new customers. One way this is done is via VIP or loyalty schemes, whereby players can accumulate points while playing their favorite games, which can then be exchanged for bonus funds. Often these points will expire if they are not collected within a certain timeframe, so it’s crucial to understand how the system works. Failure to meet the necessary targets to gain access to bonuses could also prove disastrous for loyal customers.

Loyalty schemes can prove very profitable for players, providing them with a steady stream of income in addition to any winnings gained from their regular gameplay. To gain access to these programs, a player normally has to deposit a certain minimum amount, though the exact specifications can vary widely from site to site. Our tends to be a great place to start for anyone seeking a reputable casino brand.

📧 Weekly, Monthly or Occasional Bonuses & Offers

Many casinos send targeted offers directly to their customers via email or SMS messages. These can cover a wide range of promotional ideas, including reloads, free spins, special deals on particular games and invitations to enter freeroll poker tournaments. If you don’t already receive such communications, it may be worthwhile opening yourself up to them – although make sure the casino has all your correct contact details. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a terrific opportunity because an email ended up in your spam folder!

Such offers are often very time-limited, so speed will be needed in order to claim them. A typical promotion might require a player to deposit and wager their funds within a single day in order to access the bonus. This can be tricky, as the rollover requirement may also need to be completed within a similarly short timeframe. Nevertheless, if carried out successfully, these offers can provide a quick injection to your balance.

💰 Referral or Invite Bonuses

Online casinos are constantly searching for new customers, so it stands to reason that they would reward current patrons for introducing fresh blood to their sites. These deals typically provide a sum of money in relation to the person being referred – for example, $100 for every friend who opens their account thanks to the recommendation of an existing player.

However, it’s important to remember that there are usually caps in place regarding referral bonuses. No casino would realistically expect one of their customers to refer hundreds of new players, so a limit will be imposed on the numbers permitted. Similarly, there may be restrictions on the number of invites that can be sent out by each patron. This prevents seasoned casino players bombarding their social networks with endless requests to join a particular site.

One company that does not impose any limitations on their referral scheme is . TrustDice allow their customers to invite as many friends as they wish, with a $25 bonus provided to the inviter for each successful introduction. With their huge customer base already on board, this is a highly effective method by the company of gaining many more players.

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🏆 Tournament or Competitive Bonuses

For many players, competition is an integral part of enjoying real-money casino games. Pitting their skills against other players can make the whole experience much more exciting and engaging. Thankfully, plenty of sites run tournaments and leaderboard competitions across a variety of game types.

Entry criteria for these events can differ greatly. Some may be open exclusively to VIP members, while others may only be available to players who have made a deposit in the previous week. Entry fees can also vary – some tournaments are free to enter, while others could demand buy-ins costing many dollars. What the majority of these competitions have in common is the fact that the buy-in fee is often equivalent to the buy-in for a related poker tournament – with the top players in the casino event also qualifying for a poker knockout.

Prizes are awarded to the top performers in casino tournaments, with the value of the rewards again reflecting the entry costs for the associated poker games. As well as bonus money, players may be awarded free spins or entry to another, higher-level tournament.

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🔄 Cash Back or Insurance Bonuses

Insurance offers protect players from losses when playing certain games. Should a player fail to achieve success while a deal is in effect, the casino will then step in and refund some or all of the money that has been spent. These types of bonuses are especially attractive when introduced in relation to a newer or higher stakes game, as they enable people to become familiar with the rules and mechanics without risking their own capital.

Another form of insurance is tied to specific bets or hands. If the player fails to achieve the desired outcome, the casino will give them the amount that was wagered as a bonus. This can prove especially profitable if a customer has maxed-out bets and the bonus equates to a similar amount. Of course, as with all offers, the small print needs to be understood fully before jumping in headfirst.

Cashback bonuses are similar, except that they reimburse a player for their entire loss, rather than merely compensating them for failed bets or hands. Again, the rollover requirements attached to such deals can be extremely important, as nobody wants to clear a bonus only to find they cannot access the cash. Our guide to the includes several strong contenders for this type of offer.

Which Games Can I Play With a Casino Bonus?

🎰 Slots

Online slots are hugly popular with casino players, so it stands to reason that many bonuses are specifically tailored towards these games. Indeed, some offers are completely confined to slots, meaning that 100% of the wagering will contribute toward clearing the bonus, which is nearly always the best way of achieving the rollover requirement.

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Game weighting is an important factor here. This term refers to the contribution each game makes to the wagering. A slot might fall into one of three categories concerning its weighting:

  • 100% – This means that for every dollar wagered, $1 will be counted toward clearing the offer. Many slot games have weighting attached to them.
  • Less than 100% – Popular games that are considered key assets to a casino often have a reduced contribution toward the rollover. For example, a game might only count as $0.50 for every $1 wagered – in other words, it has a weighting of 50%. This means it will take twice as long to complete the wagering requirements when playing this game compared to a title with 100% weighting.
  • Game does not contribute toward wagering. Certain titles won’t count at all. If a player puts $10 into one of these games, nothing will be added to their rollover tally. Needless to say, it’s wise to avoid playing such games while attempting to clear a bonus, as all wagers will be completely wasted.

It’s important to bear in mind that wagering max limits will be applied when playing slot games even if every cent played goes Towards the rollover. These limits can vary greatly, but typical stakes might be no more than $5-$6 per spin when playing slot games with much higher stakes normally being permitted. This is worth bearing in mind if you are a high-stakes spins player.

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Here’s a selection of slots with excellent wagering contribution rates:

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��hbälle Table Games

Table games rarely contribute toward clearing a casino bonus. When they do, the weighting applied to each dollar wagered will generally be much lower than that applicable to slots. For instance, it might be that $1 bet on a table game only contributes $0.20 (20%) toward the wagering requirements. Exceptions do exist, but these are comparatively rare.

That said, playing table games while trying to clear a rollover can still be beneficial, as any wins achieved on such games will be added to your bankroll. Just be aware that it may take considerably longer to complete the rollover when relying solely on table game wagers. Our page about the includes detailed information about the variations you can expect to find, along with plenty of top brands to test out thatbonus knowledge.

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Here’s a selection of table games with decent wagering contribution rates:

Scratch cards are another casino game that tends to have its contributions toward wagering capped. Once more, slip machine players may find it difficult to clear a bonus quickly using scratch cards, unless of course, they are fortunate enough to enjoy a great deal of success when playing the games themselves.

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🙅 Special Rules

Although games such as roulette, blackjack and video poker may only contain low weights, or not contribute at all, there are occasionally exceptions to these generalizations. Certain variations of these games may be eligible for bonus wagering, often with relatively low weights. For example, a game such as Premier Roulette may not clear wagering at all, yet a variant called American Roulette may make 20% contributions toward the rollover.

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Similarly, standard blackjack titles may not qualify, but a variation like Blackjack Plus may have a 10% contribution. It’s therefore vital to determine exactly which games are off-limits and which are still fair game. Failing to ascertain the exact details could end up costing you a cleared bonus.

Top Tips for Clearing Your Bonus Quickly

If you want to clear your casino bonus in the shortest possible time, the following tips could help you accomplish your mission:

  • Understand the Terms: Read the T&Cs thoroughly in order to appreciate exactly what is expected of you. Only by comprehending the terms and conditions can you be certain of clearing the bonus in the most efficient manner.
  • Don’t Touch Deposit: Where possible, avoid playing with your initial deposit until absolutely necessary. Instead, use bonus money to clear the offer. That way, you’ll win bonus dollars, not your original deposit.
  • Complete Rollover Sooner: While longer reload bonuses may appear more generous than shorter, more stringent offers, faster completion times mean that the latter deals can actually be more beneficial.
  • Maximum Betting Limits: Even when max stakes apply, it’s generally unwise to gamble at the highest levels, as it can take much longer to clear bonuses when maximizing bets.
  • Find Eligible Games: Some games may not contribute to the wagering of a particular bonus. Establish which titles are eligible and concentrate on playing those.
  • Eye Game Weightings: Game weightings are crucial in determining how fast you can clear a bonus. Target games with 100% weighting whenever possible. Our breakdown above shows which slots at Ignition Casino carry 100% weighting.
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Advantages of Claiming a Deal

So, are online casino bonuses worth it? Here are some benefits of claiming a promotion:

  • Free Cash: Regardless of whether it’s $10 or $1,000, a bonus is cold, hard cash that can really help bolster your bankroll.
  • More Time: When funds are tight, it can be all too easy to blow through your balance in the twinkling of an eye. A bonus gives you more time to play, since you won’t be constantly checking your balance.
  • Try Out New Titles: With a bonus in your account, you’ve got scope to explore new games without the pressure of having to win – you’re already winning, thanks to the bonus.
  • Faster Progression: By using a bonus to climb the tables of a multi-tier tournament, you can shoot through the levels in record time.
  • Fun and Entertainment: Let’s not forget the main reason many of us play casino games: they’re tremendous fun. Thanks to a bonus, you can enjoy even greater entertainment.
  • Improve Your Skills: When funds are tight, it can focus the mind superbly. Put a small bonus to good use and improve your gaming skills to reap maximum rewards.
  • Hit Smaller Targets: While a bonus balance won’t help you climb a leaderboard if you’re millions of points behind first place, it could assist you in overcoming smaller challenges.

Disadvantages of Claiming a Deal

Although online casino bonuses look good on paper, you should consider the following drawbacks:

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  • Time-Limited: Nearly all bonuses have strict time constraints. Unlike a regular deposit, which can be played in your own time, a bonus needs to be cleared at a rapid rate.
  • Low Game Contributions: Slots typically weighted 100% but some table games might contribute just 5% or 10% towards wagering.
  • Big Play-through Multiples: Bonuses with high rollover requirements can leave you feeling overwhelmed. For example, a $30 bonus carrying a 60x rollover would require $1,800 in wagers – a daunting prospect.
  • Only Paytable Hits Count: When clearing a bonus, you won’t be hitting big jackpots. All you’ll be doing is hitting the lowest-level payouts over and over again – and this can get tiresome pretty quickly.
  • May Not Suit High Stakes Players: Maximum bet restrictions mean high stakes players may struggle to clear bonuses before expiry.
  • Hard to Clear on Mobile: Clearing a bonus on a mobile device can be tough due to the smaller screen size – and the fact that time seems to pass more slowly when playing on a phone.
  • Not Easy to Clear: Bonuses aren’t easily cleared – and some players find the experience frustrating and time-consuming.
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Do Online Casino Bonuses Actually Add Value?

So far in our online casino bonus review, we’ve discussed the ins and outs of these promotions. Now, we’d like to stand back and examine the bigger picture: do these deals actually add value, or should we view them with suspicion?

Let’s imagine you’ve received a 100% match on a $50 deposit, giving you a balance of $100. Your bankroll has doubled, so you’ve certainly gained in value, right? Well, yes and no.

To withdraw your bonus cash, you’ll need to clear it in accordance with the rollover requirements. Imagine the play-through multiple is 30x. That means you’ll need to wager $3,000 (€2,500 / £2,000) before your bonus can be withdrawn.

During the time it takes you to reach the rollover target, you’ll almost certainly have used up all of your original $50 deposit. Yes, you’ve won $50 in free cash but, as we’ve mentioned earlier, when clearing a bonus, all you’ll be doing is hitting the smallest-level payouts over and over again. In other words, you won’t have experienced the thrill of a big win.

When you take into account the time it takes to clear a bonus, the fact only small wins will come your way and maximum bets might be limited, it’s easy to conclude that these deals don’t hold much value. However, everyone’s situation is different, and some players may prefer to work through the rollover and enjoy the extended playing time a bonus affords them.

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How do you view online casino bonuses? Do they seem appealing or are they a trap to be avoided? We’d love to know your thoughts so why not leave a comment below?

Soft Launch vs. Hard Launch: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever come across a reference to a “soft launch” when it comes to online casino bonuses? It’s less common to see mentions of soft launches than references to the hard launches we discussed earlier. Although these two related concepts share many characteristics with the hard launch of a new land-based venue, there are some differences.

When a bricks-and-mortar casino has been built or an existing one has been refurbished, it may choose to open quietly and invite local VIPs, media representatives and existing patrons to sample the venue before going live in a blaze of publicity. This is known as a soft launch. Equivalent to this are the online promotions described here, which are issued selectively to existing customers before broader-reach hard-launch promotions are rolled out.

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Soft-launch bonuses are designed to get feedback from trusted sources about the effectiveness of the promotion. If recipients report mainly positive outcomes, the offer may be expanded to include more patrons. Another benefit of soft-launch bonuses is that they raise awareness among the recipients that they are valued customers. This can foster brand loyalty and lead to increased custom in the future.

We hope our casino bonus explanation has provided you with a solid grounding in the principles behind these promotions. Although the small print can be confusing, if you take the time to study the terms and conditions, you’ll be able to recognize whether a particular offer represents good value for you. Remember, the best way to ensure strong value is by finding a welcome bonus when you join a site.

Can online casino bonuses be worth it? Absolutely. Just remember to consider the pros and cons, and take note of those all-important terms and conditions. Good luck!


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