Tips about casino bonuses
On this page, you’ll find:
- What are casino bonuses?
- Bonus types
- How to get them?
- How to choose them?
- Percentages & payouts
- Best casinos
- Promotions at JohnSlots
- Did you know?
If you are looking to join a new casino and extend your playing cash, then online casino bonuses are a great way to boost your gameplay. They are credited to your account upon registration and usually come in the form of cash, free/bonus spins or both.
The most popular casino bonus is a deposit match bonus that is offered to you as part of a welcome package or a special promotion. Think of it as a nice welcoming cup of tea and biscuits on arrival to the site.
The best thing about a casino bonus is that it’s easy to claim. All you have to do to receive the bonus is to find a good deal, register with the casino and make your first deposit. You can always use our up to date casino reviews page to find the best bonuses for UK players.
A casino welcome bonus is a good way for you to have a taste of what a casino has to offer along with some extra cash or spins to kick things off. The interesting thing is that it could come in many different forms, most of which we’ve covered below.
1. Bonus with deposit required
A deposit bonus is one of the most popular casino bonuses and is awarded to you when you make your first deposit. It usually looks something like this: 100% up to £100 and means that your first deposit will be doubled. Deposit £50 play with £100. Not bad, huh?
When casinos feel generous, they can give you a layered match bonus where you can claim your casino’s bonus via multiple – 1, 2, 3, 4 and even 5 – deposits. Often, that’s a great offer, because by using the first deposit, you can dip your toes in the waters of the casino to see if you like it.
Another type of deposit works by having a predefined amount of bonus cash given with free spins or bonus spins. For example, 100% up to £100 + 50 free/bonus spins. That’s a great offer because, on top of your match bonus amount, you can also use these extra spins on preselected slots.
2. No deposit bonuses
A no deposit bonus is a great bonus and does what it says – awards you a bonus without having to make a deposit. In this case, you can either claim free cash, free spins or bonus spins.
We have a great no deposit bonus page if you want to learn more about this type of casino bonus.
3. Free Spins
As we’ve briefly mentioned above, free spins or cash spins can come as a no deposit bonus or part of a casino’s welcome offer. They can be used to play slots without having to spend your own cash.
Previously all kinds of spins were called free spins whether they came with the wagering requirements on not. Today, due to strict UKGC regulations, only wager-free spins can be called free spins.
Check out our free spins page for some more in-depth information on everything you need to know about free spins bonus.
4. Bonus spins & extra spins
Just like free spins, you can use bonus spins and extra spins to play slots without spending your own money. And they too can be offered as part of a casino’s welcome deal or a no-deposit bonus offer.
What differentiates free spins from bonus spins is that bonus spins have wagering requirements attached to them. Following the UKGC guidelines, casinos are required to advertise free spins as bonus spins if they come with any wagering requirements. But, and here is the best part, once you fulfil the wagering requirements you get to keep the winnings.
Read our informative bonus spins page to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of this casino bonus type.
5. Other types of bonuses
The above are some of the most popular casino bonuses, but there are a few more types of bonuses that you might come across at online casinos.
- Cashback bonuses
- Reload bonuses
- High Roller bonuses
- VIP bonus
- Refer a friend bonus
One way to get a generous casino bonus online, if you are a new player, is to join a casino and claim their welcome bonus or no deposit bonus. But what about the returning customers?
Great news. Most online casinos have regular promotions running to satisfy their loyal players. Cashback and reload bonuses being the most popular among UK casinos. Here’s how each of the bonuses can benefit you.
Casino welcome bonus
When you come across an online casino you like, as a new player, you’ll be rewarded with a casino welcome bonus. Only a few casinos come without a welcome offer but the majority will have one that consists of a match bonus on its own or a match bonus + spins.
Each casino has its welcome bonus advertised on their homepage. It’s like their business card because it’s usually the first thing you see when you open the site.
Claiming a welcome casino bonus, just like any other bonus, is simple. To trigger the award you have to make a deposit. The minimum deposit you have to make is predetermined by the casino and usually starts at £10.
Once you’ve made your deposit, you’ll see an extra amount of credits/cash in your bankroll depending on the percentage of the bonus and the size of your deposit. So, if you deposited £10 and the offer is 100% up to £100, you get a free £10 to play with, making £20 in total. Simple, right.
Sign up casino bonus
Sometimes, a casino will have a stand-alone casino bonus for all new players. This means that all you have to do to claim the bonus is to sign up with the casino. That’s why it’s called a sign-up bonus.
Mostly, a sign-up bonus is free spins or bonus spins bonus but it can also be a free cash bonus. The best part of the sign-up bonus is that you are not required to make a deposit and get to play for free without spending any of your own cash.
However, you should always check the terms and conditions of such a bonus as it usually comes with certain constraints. These can include time limits, winning caps, wagering requirements, games restrictions etc.
Otherwise known as a deposit bonus, a reload bonus can be given to you after you’ve claimed your welcome offer. In other words, it’s an incentive for you to make a further deposit. Think of it as a deposit bonus, but smaller.
Reload bonus amounts differ from site to site and always change. To keep up with the new offers, you could either subscribe to the casino’s promotional emails or opt-in to their SMS service. That way you’ll stay up to date with the best deposit bonuses. Because, ultimately, you want to claim more bonus money. The more you have to play with, the more cash you could potentially win.
A reload bonus is here to keep you happy and loyal to the casino. But beware that it’s a time-sensitive bonus. Therefore, to claim your bonus money you’ll need to deposit within a certain time frame.
Cashback is a great way for you to win some money back on your losses. Depending on your status at the casino, you could receive a real money cashback bonus.
It’s usually based on your total losses over a certain time (i.e., a week) and determined by a fixed percentage. The average cashback percentage varies from site to site, but commonly it sits between 5% and 25%.
For example, a casino might include a 5% cashback offer on losses made on a particular day, as long as your balance is at £0. So, if you played £100 that day and lost it all, you could earn £5 cashback.
Choosing the best casino bonuses can be a little tricky at times. It’s not enough to pick a casino with the highest bonus on offer. Because the biggest bonus doesn’t always mean a good bonus.
That’s not to say that it can’t be a good deal, but it can come with lots of restrictions and risks. In most cases, if a bonus looks too good to be true it probably is. You want to look out for those casino bonuses that have reasonable terms attached and can extend your gameplay.
Here’s a quick checklist for choosing the best online casino bonuses:
- Check the bonus and general terms. You want them to be fair with reasonable wagering requirements.
- Some of the best casino bonuses that give free bonus cash and can extend your gameplay are no deposit bonuses or bonus spins.
- Check if a casino has a mix of bonuses for both budget-conscious players and high rollers.
- You want casino bonuses with a high winning cap and good time limits for longer gameplay.
- Look out for bonuses that can be used on a wide selection of slots.
Cash out limits
It’s for a good reason we keep banging on about the importance of reading the bonus terms and conditions upfront. Knowing your bonus cash out limits is important because the rules set by the casino can limit the bonus amount you can withdraw.
Most casinos will have a set maximum amount you can withdraw regardless of how much you win with your bonus cash. So, if you happen to win a jackpot of £500 when playing on bonus and the cashout limit determined is £300, you’ll only be able to withdraw the £300 and not a penny more.
Having a VIP status at a casino often involves higher withdrawal limits so you might want to check the perks and terms of becoming one.
Needless to say, casinos with higher cash out limits are the most attractive. But, at the end of the day, you need to look at the whole package.
One thing to look out for when joining a casino and making your first deposit is payment methods. Each casino will have their list of deposit and withdrawal methods which you can access via the terms and conditions or FAQs page. Some of the most popular include bank cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards and bank transfers.
Usually, you’ll be able to withdraw your bonus winnings via the same method you deposited with. But beware when claiming your match deposit bonus. In many cases, deposits with Skrill, Paypal, Neteller and Paysafecard are not eligible to claim a welcome bonus.
It’s very rare for a casino to allow you to play your bonus cash on any games you like. You’ll mostly have the titles preselected for you by the casino. The reasons for it are endless. Maybe they want to promote a new game from a certain game provider or encourage you to play games that offer a higher value per spin.
Either way, the number of games you can play with your bonus will be listed in the general terms or conditions or the bonus terms so be sure to check them out.
Let’s talk about wagering requirements. The majority of welcome bonus offers at UK casinos come with wagering requirements attached to them. It can be anything from as low as 10x up to a whopping 60x and higher.
- Typically, a standard wagering requirement will be between 20x and 35x.
- Anything above 35x would be high wagering. The higher wagering requirements will usually apply to a bigger 300%, 400% or 500% bonus.
Sometimes you’ll come across a deposit bonus with no wagering. The downside of such a bonus is that you can’t always withdraw it but it’s still a great way for you to have fun and experience the casino.
The most confusing part of the wagering requirements is the difference between wagering just the bonus vs wagering bonus + deposit. The main distinction here is that you’ll have to wager the bonus amount only or the bonus + deposit amount respectively. Have a look at the below examples.
Wagering the bonus only:
- Example offer: No deposit £10 bonus on registration
- Wagering requirement: 45x
- Your winnings: X
- Calculation: £10 (bonus money) x45 = £450
- Explanation: To withdraw your X amount of bonus money, you’ll need to wager your bonus 35 times. This means that you’ll have to bet £450 before you can withdraw your X bonus winnings.
Wagering both bonus + deposit:
- Example offer: 100% up to £100
- Wagering requirements: 35x bonus + deposit
- Your deposit: £50
- Your winnings: X
- Calculation: £100 x 35= £3,500
- Explanation: To cash out your X winnings, you’ll need to wager both £50 deposit + £50 bonus 35 times before you could make a withdrawal. This means you’ll have to bet £3,500 to collect your winnings.
Similarly to bonus funds, any winnings from bonus spins will also be tied to similar wagering requirements before you can withdraw your winnings.
Bonus spins example:
- Example offer: 30 bonus spins
- Wagering requirements: 35x
- Your deposit £10
- Your winnings from bonus spins: £60
- Calculation: £60 (winnings from spins) x 35 = £2,100
- Explanation: To withdraw your winnings from bonus spins, you’ll need to bet £2,100. It might look like a big amount to bet until you can withdraw, but remember that you keep on winning as you spin.
When choosing the best casino bonus, also look out for other requirements including time limits, minimum deposit requirements, bonus expiration date, maximum bet with an active bonus, forbidden betting patterns etc.
You’ll always find them stated in the casino’s general terms and conditions.
Let’s dive into welcome bonus percentages and payouts. A welcome bonus is an amount awarded by the casino equivalent to a set percentage of your first deposit. It might sound confusing, but it’s simple really.
Have a look at the table below where we explain how it works and what you can expect from some of the most popular casino bonuses.
|BONUS||GOOD TO KNOW|
|100% bonus||A 100% casino bonus is one of the most common deposit bonuses available to new players. It’s awarded to you as a welcome bonus on your first deposit. And, if you’re lucky, as a reload bonus when you return.|
Whenever you claim your 100% bonus, it means that your first deposit will be doubled. For example, you found a casino that offers a welcome package of a 100% bonus up to £100.
In this case, you can deposit anything up to £100. Your minimum amount is set by the casino at £10. Let’s say, you choose to deposit £20 of your own money. What you get in return is an extra £20 in bonuses. Now you have £40 to play with.
|200% bonus||A 200% casino bonus is another popular deposit bonus, but slightly more generous than the 100% bonus. What it does is it triples your initial deposit.|
Here’s a quick example of how a 200% bonus works. You want to claim a 200% up to £100 casino bonus and want to deposit £50. In return, you are awarded £100 in bonus cash and have a total of £150 to play with.
|300% bonus||A 300% casino bonus is harder to come by. These are either well-established or brand-new casinos that want to attract new players.|
To keep things simple, let’s use an easy example here. You want to claim a 300% up to £100 casino bonus by depositing £30. What you’ll receive is £90 in bonus and have a total of £120 to play.
Look out for a 300% casino bonus offered as a reload bonus to returning customers. It’s a great way to boost your bankroll. Sometimes a casino will award it to its returning customers or those who haven’t played for a long time.
|400% bonus||It’s rare to come across a casino in the UK that will offer a 400% casino bonus on your first deposit. It will most likely be a new online site looking for new players.|
Having said that, the online competition is fierce and it’s very likely we will see more and more offers like this. One thing to remember though is that a big bonus doesn’t always mean a good deal. Often large bonuses come with unrealistic wagering requirements and other restrictions, thus you should always check the bonus T&Cs upfront to keep your funds safe.
But if you do decide to claim it, you’ll be looking at five times more cash to play with. For example, you’ve come across a 400% up to £100 bonus deal and are ready to deposit £100. In return, you’ll get £400 extra bonus and will have £500 to play with.
|500% bonus||This type of casino bonus is quite rare at UK casinos. But if you come across a 500% up to £100 casino bonus, it means that if you deposited £20, you will receive £100 in bonus and a total of £120 to play with. Again, remember to check the bonus terms to avoid unpleasant surprises.|
We’ve picked top online casinos to showcase a variety of bonuses you can receive when you make a deposit.
|Temple Nile||100% bonus up to £500 + 30 bonus spins|
|mFortune||£10 on registration & 200% bonus up to £100 + 100 bonus spins|
|Fansbet||500% bonus up to £100 + 50 bonus spins|
At JohnSlots we love bonuses and keep a close eye on the best casino promotions. Whenever we find good deals, we flag them up on our latest promos page. We also love perusing the industry news to learn what’s new in the casino world.
We’ve covered a fair bit of the casino bonus specifics in this bonus page, but if you have any more questions, take a look at the below casino bonus FAQs.
Can I cancel my bonus?
You can! Simply log into your casino account and cancel from there, or contact customer support. Often your bonus will automatically be cancelled if you try to withdraw your funds without completing the wagering requirements.
As of 31st October 2018, all UK casino bonuses have to be forfeitable bonuses. You can forfeit your casino bonus and withdraw your real money deposit and winnings any time you want under this regulation.
Can I win real money with a bonus?
You can but you’ll need to complete the wagering requirements before withdrawing your winnings.
Are there any downsides using a bonus with a higher percentage?
Yes, the downside is that often a higher percentage means a smaller bonus amount. Also, possibly higher wagering requirements may apply. Be sure to check the offer terms and conditions for more details.
What is the biggest deposit bonus?
It depends on the casino, and bonuses are always changing. The biggest deposit bonuses we see are the ones with lower percentages and higher bonus amounts.
Are casinos bonuses time-based?
Often they are, and to benefit from them you’ll need to ensure you claim your bonus within the indicated time frame. The only exception would be a welcome offer, which is available on your first deposit only.
What are casino banking bonuses?
These are bonuses that you can claim only if you deposit via a certain payment method. For example, you might see these bonuses if you deposit using cryptocurrency or debit cards.
What are the bonus codes?
Some casinos require bonus codes for claiming the offer and you won’t be able to trigger the bonus without it.
Can I use my casino bonus on mobile?
Often you can, however, it is important to check bonus the terms and conditions. Some casinos offer mobile or desktop-only bonuses.
Why did my friend get a bonus and I didn’t?
It could be because your friend is at a higher level in the loyalty programme, so they received a bigger bonus. Or, your friend is new to that casino and you are not.