What is a Welcome Bonus?
Most online casinos offer a welcome bonus, aka a sign up bonus. These are deals with extra credit for new players who sign up at the casino. Some places will also offer a free signup bonus. These are given before you put in any money – they are usually a small sum that you can play with to decide if you like the place or not. Then there are welcome packages, which include bonuses for the first few deposits, along with some free spins for good measure.
Casinos offer these deals to try to stand out from the hundreds of other out there – they know promotions are important to attract and keep players. So use it.
How does a Casino Welcome Bonus Work?
- Choose an online casino. This should include reading at least a review. You need to watch out for casinos that offer superb sounding bonuses, but then fall short on actual payouts.
- Sign up at the casino. No kidding.
- If there is a no-deposit bonus, it is normally automatically credited to your account. Sometimes, you may need a bonus code (which we will list on our site), or contact customer service. Once you find it in your account, you can start playing
- With your first deposit, you’re almost guaranteed a bonus. Again, this is usually automatically credited, although sometimes you have to check a box that says you want the first bonus. Don’t miss it – because the first one is usually at a much better rate. It will get you a lot of credit to try all the games, and maybe even take some cash home. If there is a bonus code necessary, you will also find it listed on our site.
- If it’s a welcome package that comes with free spins, the spins may be spread over a couple of days. So keep your eyes open for them.
T&C’s apply to each of the offers below, click “Claim Now” for more details
100% up to £100, plus 100 free spins. Award-winning, with best games and solid bonuses with very fair terms. One of the most popular casinos for UK and European players.
£10 free on sign up, then £32 for every £20 deposited. Start with a free sign up bonus at this popular Microgaming hotspot, followed by the equivalent of a 160% bonus. This first deposit bonus goes all the way up to £160 free. We’ve done the maths for you – deposit £100 to max out on this deal.
100% up to £400. Another super-hot choice for UK players. Great games from NetEnt, Playtech and live dealers. Lots of regular promos including Blackjack specials. For those who know what they want, make sure you double down now and get some of this free stuff.
£500 Welcome Package plus 50 free spins. 100% up to £250, then 25% up to £150, and 50% to £100, plus 50 free spins. We always appreciate a few extra chances to tap into extra cash, especially when there are Microgaming progressive jackpots.
It’s All About the Maths- How Much Will You Get?
Let’s take a look at some examples to see how bonuses work.
|Bonus Offer||Deposit||Bonus received||Total credit to play with|
|Example 1||100% bonus up to £100||£50||£50||£100|
|Example 2||200% bonus up to £50||£40||£80||£120|
|Example 3||£50 for every £30 deposited||£30||£50||£80|
Percentage matching is the standard model for welcome bonuses. In general, the higher the matching rate, the better the deal. At first sight, Example 2 looks smaller because it only goes up to £50. However, because it is 200% instead of 100%, you can put in less money and still get more to play. Players on a tight budget should really look out for these.
Example 3 is a less common sign up bonus structure, but you will come across it at casinos such as 32Red. This example is basically a 167% bonus, which is very good. The trick here is that it goes up in increments of £30: if you put in £40, you will still only get £50, which brings the rate down to 125%. Make sure you move in the defined increments (in this case the next one would be a £60 deposit), otherwise you’re just wasting money.
Editor’s Tip: Look for the Extras
Beyond bonus money, online casinos may also throw in a no deposit bonus on sign up, free spins, new player raffles and more. These extras give you extra value, plus a feel of the general promotions for regular players. The more prizes and gifts there are at this stage, the more likely you’ll enjoy a plethora of regular promos once you’ve settled in.
Welcome Bonus – Terms & Conditions Explained
- What does ‘first deposit bonus’ mean?
This is the bonus you will receive with your very first deposit with real money. This is also known as a sign up bonus or a welcome bonus. This bonus is typically around 100%, and is probably the highest bonus rate you will get from the casino.
- What is a second and third deposit bonus?
If it’s a welcome package, you can also get bonuses on the second and third time you put money into the account. However, the bonus rate usually drops with the second bonus – the drop varies with each casino, but it may go down from 100% to 50%.
- What are Wagering Requirements?
This the amount you need to bet with real money before you can withdraw wins from bonus money. Usually it’s expressed as a multiple of the bonus money, e.g. 10x bonus. If you have a £100 with a 10x wagering requirement, it means you have to bet £1,000 before you can withdraw that win. Sometimes, it’s also called a playthrough requirement.
- Game Contributions
Not all games contribute equally to the wagering requirement. Slots usually contribute 100%, which means every real money bet you make will count towards meeting the requirement. Table games usually contribute less – if a game has a 50% contribution, only have half of your bet will count.
- Bonus Money vs. Real Money
Some casinos will separate your bonus money from your real money, with your real money being played first. If you get lucky and win with your real money, you can withdraw your winnings right away, without having to worry about wagering requirements.
It’s definitely a plus when your bonus money and real money separate, and you can play with your real money first.
Editor’s Tip: The Largest Bonus Isn’t Always the Best One
Keep an eye out for wagering requirements – they determine how much real money you need to bet before you can withdraw your winnings. Really big bonuses often have higher wagering requirements, which lower the actual worth of the deal.