Casino bonuses

Tips about casino bonuses

Table of Contents:

Welcome bonuses for new players

A casino welcome bonus is often the first step to your casino experience. It’s a way for you to get a small taste of what the casino has to offer, along with giving you something extra to play with to kick things off. It could come in the form of a single welcome bonus, or a welcome package over several deposits – and at JohnSlots, we’ve gone through all the top online casinos to bring you all the best welcome bonuses.

Claiming your casino welcome bonus or package is generally pretty straightforward, since the online casino wants to make the experience as smooth as possible for you. Sometimes it’s a matter of simply registering to the site, and often you’ll receive your welcome bonus once you’ve made your first deposit. Our comprehensive online casino reviews will always outline what you need to do claim your welcome bonus, so you won’t miss out.

The best thing about online casino bonuses is that they’re not there to trick you. Casinos offer welcome bonuses and packages to differentiate themselves from other online casinos, and help encourage players to play with them. The best way to look at it is like a reward that the casino is giving you for choosing them over another online casino.

We’ll go through the different types of welcome offers below so you can get an idea of what to look out for.

Sign up bonuses

Also known as no deposit bonuses, a sign up bonus is given when you register as a new player at an online casino. There are two common types of casino sign up bonuses to look out for:

  • Bonus spins or Extra Spins: These give you the chance to play for real money on a slot without having made a deposit. You will need to wager any winnings from the spins before you can make a withdrawal
  • Free spins: This is the best sign up bonus, since any winnings from the spins are wager-free and can be played with as you like

Sign up bonuses are fairly common for UK players, however, you might find the amount to be quite small. This is because the no deposit bonus is intended as a taster of the casino experience, in the hopes you’ll make a deposit and keep playing.

Claiming your sign up bonus is generally very simple, since it just requires registration on the casino site. Here, you’ll need to fill out your correct details including full name, address, date of birth and more. Once you’re registered, you’ll often be taken straight to the game to play with your sign up bonus.

First deposit bonuses

Once registered, a first deposit bonus is often awarded when you first deposit funds. This is an amount of bonus money that the casino will give you to add to your initial deposit and give you more money to play for. Generally, there will be a minimum deposit amount needed to claim your first deposit casino bonus, along with a maximum amount of bonus money you can claim.

Once you’ve claimed your new player bonus, you’ll be able to use your funds to play on some of the best slots the casino has to offer. Not all slots and games will be available to use with bonus funds, but generally, a large selection of new and classic slots will be eligible for play.

The size of your first deposit bonus varies across different online casinos, but generally, it’s a 100% bonus, or what some casinos call a “match bonus”. This means your first deposit of between certain amounts will be doubled. At JohnSlots we see this amount vary greatly, from as low as £50 to as high as £500. You can easily compare the offers here to make sure you’re getting the best new player bonus possible.

Reload bonuses – the deposit bonuses for all players

Otherwise known as a deposit bonus, a reload bonus is an offer given to players who have already claimed their welcome offer, to incentivise them to make a further deposit. It works much the same as the initial deposit bonus, though it may sometimes be a smaller amount and not always a match bonus.

Online casinos will often offer a reload bonus (or sometimes bonus spins, but we’ll go into that later) to reward player loyalty, or to help keep players happy and wanting to come back and play. A reload bonus will often be offered for a limited time only, so to claim your bonus money you’ll need to make a deposit within a certain time frame.

The amount of reload bonuses you can get depends on the casino – but the best way to learn about new offers is to make sure you’re subscribed to the emails or SMS from your casino. That way you’ll see any communication about their best deposit bonuses, and you’ll be able to give your deposits the biggest advantage. Ultimately, the more bonus money you can claim, the more you have to play with, and the more cash you could potentially win.

Reload bonuses, unless they’re 100% matching bonuses, are always shown in percentages. If you’re a new casino player this might not be so clear, so we’ll explain each of the different bonus percentages below in more detail.

100% deposit bonus

100% Casino bonus

A 100% casino bonus is probably the most common deposit bonus available. It’s often given out as the welcome bonus on your first deposit, and, if you’re lucky, as a reload bonus once you’ve claimed the sign up bonus.

This type of deposit bonus is the easiest to work out, since it’s basically double your deposit.

For example, with a 100% bonus of up to £100, if you deposit £100, you’ll receive a bonus of £100, giving you a total of £200 to play with. You don’t always need to deposit the full amount to receive the bonus, and often the casino will specify a minimum amount to claim it – for example, deposit £20 to receive a £20 bonus and a total of £40 to play with.

The “up to” section in the term means that, in this example, £100 is the maximum amount of bonus money you can claim. So even if you deposit £150, you would still only receive £100 in bonus money, giving you £250 to play for in total.

200% casino bonus

200% Casino bonus

A 200% casino bonus is a slightly more generous deposit bonus, but one still commonly given to regular casino players. You’re less likely to receive 200% as a welcome bonus – but if an online casino really wants to make waves, they may choose to offer this as an upgraded welcome bonus.

This deposit bonus is easy enough to work out too since it’s basically double the amount of your deposit in bonus money on top of your deposit.

For example, a 200% up to £100 casino bonus means if you deposit £50, you’ll receive £100 in bonus money and £150 in total to play for. Typically the amount may be smaller here than a 100% bonus, but the casino will always clearly specify the maximum bonus amount you can receive.

300% Casino bonus

300% Casino bonus

The higher the percentage amount goes, the less common it is to find. Occasionally, however, an extremely generous casino comes along and may offer a 300% casino bonus as a welcome bonus to really entice players.

In addition to a welcome bonus, some casinos may also choose to offer a 300% deposit bonus to loyal players or those that haven’t played in a while, since it’s a great way to reload your playing funds.

To keep things in simple figures, we’ll use an easy example to work this bonus out. If you were given a 300% up to £100 casino bonus, you could deposit £30 to receive £90 in bonus money, and £120 to play with in total.

500% Casino bonus

500% Casino bonus

Similarly to the previous deposit bonus, a 500% casino bonus isn’t as common, but it can be a great way for the casino to incentivise new players with a welcome bonus, or players who haven’t come back for a while. And whether or not it’s your welcome bonus or a reload bonus, this is the ultimate way to make the most of your deposit since you’ll get quite a hefty sum for a small amount.

A 500% casino bonus up to £100 would mean that if you deposited £20, you would receive £100 in bonus money, giving you a total of £120 to play for. That’s literally five times what you deposited, meaning you’ll be able to play for much longer than you would have without the bonus.

Where can I use my casino bonus?

Once you’ve claimed your casino bonus, you’ll be able to use your funds across a wide selection of games. When playing with bonus funds, however, you will be limited to playing a number of specified deposit bonus slots and welcome bonus slots. This is because your deposit bonus will often have a wagering requirement placed on it. This means you need to bet a certain amount of money over a number of spins before you’ll be able to make a withdrawal.

Some online slots, particularly low volatility slots, make it easier to complete your wagering requirements since you’ll see more frequent wins come in, allowing you to retain most of your winnings. For this reason, a casino might limit these games to playing with only real money funds. Similarly, some higher volatility slots may pay out quite hefty prizes, and casinos might restrict these too, so that you can only win the higher prizes using real money.

To find out which online slots are available for play using your bonus funds, the best place to look is the casino’s bonus terms and conditions, as there will be a list of all restricted games. Sometimes a casino will make it easier to see which slots are available by adding a banner to it, or by making your bonus funds “disappear” momentarily when you enter a restricted game.

There can be a difference in the games you can play depending on the bonus type you have claimed, and the main difference is whether you’re playing with a welcome bonus or reload bonus. If there is a difference, the list of sign up bonus slots will also be made available in the bonus terms and conditions, so it’s best to check here before you get started.

Where can I use my casino bonus?

Online slots

As mentioned, most casino bonuses can usually be used to play online slots. It all depends on the casino and their offer, and all information regarding deposit bonus slots and welcome bonus slots can be found in the bonus terms and conditions.

Online slots are generally the best way to wager your bonus money and bonus spin winnings, since every spin you play will count towards the requirements. 100% game weighting usually applies to a casino bonus, but it’s best to check the fine print to confirm. You can also often see how much of the bonus requirements you have met in your online casino account.

Table games: Blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat

Some online casinos will also allow you to play with your bonus funds across a selection of table games too. This includes traditional casino games like blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat. For example, casinos such as Mr Green, LeoVegas and CasinoJoy offer this option, so if you prefer table games, you’ll be able to play and complete your wagering requirements here.

The wagering requirements are often based on the amount you have wagered and not the number of times you’ve placed a bet. So, bets placed in table games can also count towards completing your requirement, and help make you eligible for withdrawal sooner.

Live casino bonuses

Live casino bonuses are sometimes offered separately to a casino welcome bonus – however, you’ll need to first read the terms and conditions. Some casinos only allow a live casino welcome bonus if you haven’t already claimed your casino bonus.

These bonuses often come in the form of a deposit bonus, for which the funds will only be able to be played on live casino games. If you want to play across a range of slots and live casino games, make sure to check the fine print on any regular deposit bonus. Each casino’s rules will differ, and some will allow you to use your funds across both, while others will not.


Similarly to the above, bingo bonuses may be offered separately to casino bonuses, like at online casinos such as Unibet and JackpotJoy. These bonuses may be in the form of extra tickets, since bingo works a little differently to other casino games.

Again, it’s a matter of checking the bonus terms at each casino to see if you can use your deposit bonus across both bingo and casino games. Not all casinos will allow it, but some may as long as you complete the wagering requirements.

What is a good casino bonus?

A good casino bonus can be determined by a number of factors, but the main thing to note is that a big bonus isn’t always better. In our books, the best casino bonus is one that gives your playing funds a boost or gives you extra chances to win, with fair and clear wagering requirements.

The best way to know if the terms and conditions are fair or not are to compare them by reading our casino reviews here at JohnSlots. We go through everything in detail to make sure you have all the information you need before making a deposit. Additionally, any casino you make a deposit at should have all relevant information displayed clearly, so you don’t have to hunt through to find the information you need.

We’ll go through a few things to look out for below to give you a better understanding of what makes a good casino bonus.

What is a good casino bonus?

Bonus percentage

You might see a big bonus percentage and get excited – but it doesn’t always mean it’s the best bonus. Often the higher the bonus percentage, the smaller the actual bonus amount will be. You might also find that a higher bonus percentage will require different wagering requirements and other terms and conditions.

The most common bonus percentages are 50% to 100% for reload bonuses, and 100% for first deposit bonuses. In rare occasions, you may also see 150% to 200% for reload bonuses, or even higher. At JohnSlots we’ve seen bonus percentages as high as 300% or 500%, so it really depends on the casino.

A great rule of thumb is to think about how much money you want to deposit and how much you’re willing to risk. High roller players may prefer a smaller bonus percentage with a larger amount, since they can end up with more bonus funds. A new, low-risk player may prefer a higher bonus percentage since they’re happy to start with a bonus that gives them the best run for their smaller deposit.

Maximum bonus

When you see a bonus written something like, “100% up to £250”, this indicates that £250 is the maximum bonus money you can receive from this bonus. Even if you deposit more than £250 in this instance, you won’t receive more bonus funds.

In the example, if you deposited £250, you would receive £250 in bonus funds and £500 in total to play with. But if you deposited £350, you would still receive £250 in bonus funds.

Wagering requirements

The most casino offers come tied to wagering requirements, which is basically a way for the casino to ensure they’re not just handing out free money. You might sometimes see a casino promote a no wagering bonus or low wagering, as this is an added incentive to claim their offer. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to casino bonuses, but JohnSlots has all wagering requirements explained, right here.

Unless you’ve claimed a no wager deposit bonus, your bonus funds will be typically tied to wagering requirements of 35x the amount claimed. This is what we notice to be the average amount across top casinos, and anything lower than 35x would be low wagering; anything higher would be high wagering. Similarly to bonus funds, any winnings from bonus spins will also be tied to similar requirements before you can keep what you win.

Some casinos will tie the wagering requirements to only the bonus funds, while others will place it on both bonus funds and your deposited funds. For example, if you claimed a full 100% up to £100 bonus (and had £100 + £100 bonus funds to play with) with 35x wagering requirements across both your bonus and deposit, you would need to wager the entire £200 at least 35x before you could make a withdrawal. The higher the requirements, the more you need to wager – so 50x would require your funds to be wagered at least 50x.

If you do happen to receive free spins or a deposit bonus with no wagering requirements, that means you can keep your winnings from the get-go. These kinds of offers are quite common upon sign up, since it’s a great way for new players to test the casino with a small number of free spins to see if they like it.

Wagering requirements of casino bonuses

Winning cap

If you receive a bonus with a winning cap, this means there’s a limit to how much money you can win with that particular bonus. Once you’ve reached the cap, you won’t be able to collect the rest of the winnings. A winning cap is often placed on no deposit free spins or bonus spins offers. For example, you might receive 10 wager-free spins with a £100 winning cap, which means the maximum you can keep is £100, unless you start playing with real money.

Winning caps are becoming more common with an increasing amount of casinos offering no deposit offers. It’s a way to make sure they’re not giving out too much for free. You’ll easily be able to see if there’s a winning cap in the terms and conditions of an offer. If you happen to win more than the cap, you’ll simply collect the maximum and stop playing with the remainder of the bonus.

Time limits

Time limits are often placed on bonuses to ensure you play it as soon as possible. This time limit can range depending on the casino, but is often within a week of claiming the offer. If wagering requirements apply to the bonus, these will often also need to be completed within the time limit.

If you don’t use your bonus or complete the wagering requirements in time, your bonus funds or spins will simply disappear.

Bonus terms and conditions

The bonus terms and conditions are extremely important to read since these outly any applicable bonus requirements, bonus rules, time-based bonus restrictions and more. You’ll also find information about responsible gambling and casino policies, which is helpful to keep you on track.

If you act against the terms and conditions, the casino has the right to cancel any bonuses or even your account. It’s important to play all games by the rules, particularly when there’s money involved. A fair set of terms and conditions will outline everything clearly and simply for everyone to understand, and you should be able to find it easily via a link on any casino page.

Something special for the high rollers

A high roller bonus is a special kind of deposit bonus given to players who tend to deposit higher amounts at a time. It’s quite common for casinos to offer these to their VIP players, and often they’ll be a smaller bonus percentage with a much higher bonus amount. For example, a typical high roller bonus might be 25% up to £2,000.

Some casinos that offer high roller bonuses are HighRoller, LeoVegas and Genting Casino – so if you’re after a bigger bonus amount, it’s well worth checking these out.

Take advantage of casino campaigns, promotions and VIP programmes

The best way to benefit from a casino’s offerings are by signing up to their emails and keeping an eye on your inbox. Casinos will often run network promotions to win leaderboard-style cash prizes, or individual reload bonus, bonus spin campaigns and more. If you’re subscribed to emails, you’ll ensure you’ll receive any and all relevant information.

The more you play and engage with a casino, the higher up the VIP ladder you’ll climb – and many online casinos do offer a VIP programme that rewards loyalty in the form of more offers. We’ll go through all the types of offers you can receive below, and why you should definitely subscribe to casinos’ emails.

Take advantage of casino campaigns, promotions and VIP programmes

Cashback offers

Some casinos offer cashback, which is a way to receive part of your losses back. These offers are often run on a weekly basis at a casino, and might include a 5% cashback offer on losses made on a particular day, as long as your balance is at £0. For example, if you played £100 that day and lost it all, you could earn £5 cashback.

Competitions and prize draws

These promotions might not be so common, as often casinos will wait until they have a decent prize to give away. It could be a monthly promotion, or even rarer – and generally, the idea is that you’ll have time to make a certain amount of deposits or play a certain slot for real money to enter. Typical prizes could be an all-inclusive holiday, a car, or a prize of your choice up to a certain value.

Loyalty bonuses

Loyalty bonuses are a way for casinos to give back to their most loyal players, by giving them extra reload bonuses. It depends on the casino you’re playing at, but most online casinos will specify in their loyalty programme how much you need to play before reaching a certain level, and what kind of bonuses you can receive.

Typically, the more you play at a casino, the better the bonuses become, along with better to no wagering requirements. You don’t necessarily need to be a VIP or high roller, but simply a regular player.

Stay up to date with JohnSlots

From our casino bonus blog to bonus news, daily deals, social media promos and more, the JohnSlots team is always bringing you the latest online casino news. Make sure to read our promo articles and news for the best casino bonus offers, since these are frequently updated with the latest bonus offers and promotions.

Our casino reviews and top lists are also kept up to date, allowing you to discover the best of slots, promotion bonuses and everything in between. Check it out and start playing your best casino experience!

Frequently asked about casino bonuses

Frequently asked about casino bonuses

At JohnSlots, we’re here to bring you all and everything you need to know about casino bonuses. We’ve had plenty of feedback from our readers to help make our articles as informative as possible – and here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

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 also be cancelled if you try to withdraw your funds without completing the wagering requirements.

Can I win real money with a bonus?

You can, however, you’ll need to complete the wagering requirements before requesting a withdrawal.

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, higher wagering requirements may apply – check the terms and conditions for more details.

What is the biggest deposit bonus?

It really 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 you’ll need to ensure you claim your bonus within the time period to benefit from it. The only exception would be a welcome offer, which is available on your first deposit.

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 with cryptocurrency or credit card.

What are bonus codes?

Some casinos require bonus codes to be entered to claim the offer. Without the code, the bonus will not apply.

Can I use my casino bonus on mobile?

Often you can, however, it’s important to check the terms and conditions. Some casinos offer mobile or desktop-only bonuses.

Why didn’t I get the bonus my friend got?

It could be because your friend is at a higher level in the loyalty programme, so they received a higher bonus.