An undeniable incentive for new players to try their luck at the best online casinos is the excellent welcome bonuses they deploy. Who can honestly say they’re not tempted by the thought of free cash to splash on playing their favourite online slots? We get that, and sniff out the best offers we can find like French pigs rooting out the finest truffles. We also get that understanding these promotions to wring the maximum value from them is not always straightforward, so here’s our guide to the essentials you ought to know.
Casinos with Best Online Slots Bonuses
Welcome sign up bonuses
These are the most common incentives offered to new players at online casinos such as those recommended on this site. They operate to match a first deposit, or series of deposits, with a specified percentage of bonus cash up to a fixed limit. For example, a 100% match up to $100 would double any deposit under $100 with bonus cash. Naturally there are a few limitations to how that bonus money can be used – online casinos aren’t charities after all – but these are usually reasonable. So what are these limitations?
Wagering Requirement – Sometimes also called the ‘playthrough’, this is a requirement that means the bonus money must be wagered through the casino’s games a fixed number of times before the player can consider it free to withdraw. A typical requirement is between 30x and 50x the bonus paid.
Wagering Example – Say you are paid $10 in bonus money, subject to a 30x wagering requirement. You cannot cash out all or any of that $10 until you’ve wagered $300 on eligible games (of which more below). Now ‘wagering’ is not the same as ‘spending’ so don’t freak out! Remember some wagers will win, so with luck that $10 may return more than $10 in winnings letting you cycle it through again. In this ways it’s possible to meet a wagering requirement, but if not you will still be enjoying more value-for-money from your initial deposit.
Eligible Games – It’s worth noting that not all a casino’s games will contribute the same amount of each wager towards the wagering requirement attached to a bonus. The good news for online slots players is that these games almost invariably contribute 100%, so slots and bonuses work really well together. Table games are less generous – contributing between 20% and 10% is usual – but this may not concern you if your mission is simply to play slots, slots and more slots.
Cashable vs Non Cashable Bonuses – Not all bonuses are created equal, and some will never be free of the casino that gifted them! If that sounds harsh, wait a minute. The difference between a cashable and non-cashable bonus is that with the former the original sum of money paid as a bonus can be cashed out if the wagering requirement attached to it is met. With the latter, it can’t be cashed out, however any winnings it generates will become money that can be cashed out if the wagering requirement is met.
Bonus Clearing Techniques – If ‘clearing’ the bonus to cash it out is your aim, be prepared to read the issuing casinos terms and conditions carefully. The devil is in the detail, but one vital tip we can offer is to understand the wagering requirement – a seemingly low wagering requirement might be a multiplier of the bonus AND deposit paid making it seem more favourable than it is. Also be sure to lavish your bonus money only on those games that the casino has advertised as contributing 100% to the wagering requirement.
other typical casino bonus offers
No Deposit Bonuses – No longer as common as they once were, these are exactly what they say they are; gifts of a bundle of bonus cash without requiring that the player makes a deposit to trigger that bonus. Lovely! Naturally the terms and conditions of all free casino bonus money apply (wagering requirements etc.) and the amounts involved aren’t huge, however it’s a great way to have some free fun on the house and explore what the casino can offer.
Reload Bonuses – These are ongoing bonus promotions routinely offered to players at the best online casinos to reward their continued custom. They are match bonuses, like a Welcome Bonus, applied to deposits made on specified days, within a specified period or made with a one-off promotion code.
Refer a Friend Bonus – If you like the cut of a casino’s jib, some will drop you a little bonus cash if you recruit your friends to its site. For instance, Casino.com offer $50 for each new player you bring in, up to a maximum number of twenty invites.
Free Play / Tournament Bonuses – A very popular promotion with online slots players, this is a chance to spin a selected slot with a fixed free credit total in competition with other players. Those that rank with the highest balances showing on their slot at the end of the tournament get to share a fixed prize pot according to their final position on the leader board.
Free Spins Bonuses – Another popular promotion with slots players, this is a specific bonus of free spins to be used on specific games. All winnings become bonus money paid to the player’s account.
Preferred Payment Bonus – A slightly curious promotion this one, but keep your eyes open for it. Some online casinos will favour certain payment services over another and will apply a little match bonus to all deposits made with that service. A good example of particular interest to Canadian players is that Casino.com offer a 10% match bonus on deposits made via InstaDebit.
High Roller / VIP Bonuses – OK, so this probably isn’t going to be a bonus many of us will get to enjoy, but online casinos (like any casino) are rather keen to attract and retain players who really do wager with serious wads of cash. Pretty much every casino we’ve every reviewed awards Loyalty Points (or some version of them) to members for every wager they make. The more points a player accrues in a month the more likely they’ll pass a threshold which entitles them to certain perks and exclusive promotions as part of an advertised ‘Players Club’. At a certain level, players really get the VIP treatment, and this is usually by invitation only. Should you find yourself in this privileged position you can expect some very liberal bonuses to come your way . . . but don’t be in any doubt; you’ll need to be wagering some serious wedge to get your hands on those!
There can be no doubt that canny Canadian players should really keep track of the latest casino bonuses if they want to get the very best value for money from their online gaming. Online slots players seem to get the best bang for buck too, since free spin offers are becoming commonplace promotions now and, as mentioned earlier, slots are one of the best ways to meet wagering requirements and maximise the potential of deposit and no deposit bonuses alike.
We hope you’ve found this guide a useful dip into the wagering waters of casino bonuses and keep us bookmarked to stay up to date with the latest deals at our recommended casinos.