Almost every online casino will offer a welcome bonus when you register, and many keep dishing out the bonuses as you play. In fact, there are so many bonus offers out there that if you wanted to, you could quite possibly never play without one.
For slots players, this gets even sweeter too, as the humble slot bonus tends to have the highest match percentage and the lowest wagering requirements of all the games at the casino. You can read more on wagering requirements and other terms later in the page, but first let’s get straight to the good stuff as we’ve compiled a list of the best bonuses for playing slots.
Note: Seeing as we’re dedicated solely to slots on this site the terms and WR listed are specifically for slots. They may vary for other games such as blackjack or roulette.
What Do I Need to Know About Bonuses?
One of the most common forms of promotion that you will find when registering with a new casino is that of a new player bonus. The bonus usually comes as a match on your opening deposit, and then you will be required to work through the bonus amount in order to clear it.
You see, each bonus comes with its own set of terms and conditions that people need to take note of. We’ve spoken previously about how free spins work and the things you need to look out for, well casino bonuses are no different; in fact, they can be more intricate.
The key to getting the most from your bonus is knowing exactly how it works and what’s needed from you to clear the bonus. You should work out exactly what you need to do in order for the bonus to be cleared and then decide if you’re going to be able to clear it.
|BONUS||WAGERING||TOTAL NEEDED||AVERAGE STAKED PER MONTH||RESULT|
|£500||x20||£10,000||£1,500||Not cleared, bonus lost|
|£250||x20||£5,000||£1,500||Not cleared, bonus lost|
|£50||x20||£1,000||£1,500||Cleared, bonus winnings converted|
For example, a £500 sounds amazing right? But the reality is that due to terms such as wagering requirements (more on this later) and the stakes that you are going to be playing at, there is no way that you could clear this amount in time. In this case, it could be that a £50 bonus would be more suitable as even though the amount is considerably less, you’re at least able to clear it.
There are plenty of things to discuss and plenty to take note of with each casino bonus. So, let’s jump straight in.
The first thing that you will be able to note is the bonus match. This is how much bonus you are going to get based on the amount of money that you decide to deposit.
The match percentage can vary dramatically. We’ve seen some as low as 20% whilst others have been up to 1000% or even more for some high roller offers that have had limited running time.
|DEPOSIT||MATCH||BONUS AWARDED||TOTAL FUNDS|
You’d be right in thinking that you’re looking to get as big a match as possible, but you need to make sure that all the other points regarding your bonus fall into line as well.
There can also be a large number of bonuses that will offer some sort of reload bonus as well. The reload bonus is where you get an additional bonus after claiming the initial promotion.
The amount that you can claim for these will vary once again, and whilst it’s often pretty easy to get several reload bonuses, they are likely going to be less than the initial bonus. Most casinos will offer you these in order to keep you playing there, so if you are a regular player then make sure you keep an eye out for potential re-load offers.
The wager requirements are probably going to be the most important section for any casino bonus. They can literally make or break any potential returns that you might get from your bonus.
These wagering requirements are set up to stop people from simply signing up to a casino, claiming their casino bonus, and then withdrawing the free money.
You must meet the requirements in order to make your bonus winnings withdrawable. They will be displayed as a multiplication of the bonus, eg. 30x wagering. So you would have to place bets to the value of 30x your bonus
The degree of difficulty with which each bonus can be cleared will vary. What we will say is that regardless of the amount, you will always be best hunting out bonuses that have the lowest wagering requirements. Let’s run through a quick example of how this might work.
Let’s say that the casino you are about to sign up to is offering a 100% match on your first deposit of £100 or more. The casino sets a wagering requirement of 30x the bonus amount. So, if we deposit £100 and got £100 in casino bonus, we would need to place 30x the bonus amount to clear the money and be able to withdraw it. In this case, 30 x £100 bonus would equal £3,000.
This may seem high, but this is a very typical number that you will get from a lot of casinos. As you can see, you are going to need to really work hard to get your money.
Another thing to look out for is that many casinos actually include both your deposit and the bonus amount into the equation, which makes a huge difference. If our deposit was £100 and our bonus £100, combined that would be £200. If we had to wager through 30x of both deposit and bonus (£200), then the total spend would need to be £6,000.
This is why we advise that it’s not always best to just go with the biggest bonus on offer, as these often come with the biggest wager requirements. You need to make sure that you are going to be able to wager through the amount needed to clear your bonus, otherwise you might actually be better off not claiming the bonus at all (opting out is an option), or you can find another promotion that better suits your bankroll and staking habits.
Cashable v non-cashable
There are usually two types of bonuses that you can claim; cashable and non-cashable.
A cashable bonus is where you are allowed to withdraw the bonus amount after you have been able to satisfy the wagering requirements. So, if you deposit £100, got a £100 bonus and hit your wagering requirements, you would be able to withdraw both your deposit, your bonus, and any winnings from that bonus.
A non-cashable bonus, sometimes referred to as a stick bonus, is where you are able to use the bonus money to bet, but you can’t withdraw the money later, even after satisfying the wagering requirements. For example, you deposit £100, get £100 bonus, but you can only withdraw your original stake plus any winnings you’ve racked up using the bonus, not the bonus itself.
|WITHDRAW STAKE AMOUNT?||WITHDRAW BONUS AMOUNT?||WITHDRAW BONUS WINNINGS?|
Obviously, it’s best to hunt out the cashable bonus as it means that you are getting more from the casino in terms of actual cash, rather than what would technically just be a free-play pass if there were no winnings.
The reason that casinos offer non-cashable bonuses is to limit their losses. Cashable bonuses are rarer than non-cashable ones, unsurprisingly, and many players wouldn’t know that a cashable bonus existed in the first place, so you get ahead if you keep your eyes peeled.
Other key rules to be aware of
The terms and conditions for some casino bonuses can be vast, but all generally have a core set of terms that are pretty much industry standard.
The more familiar you are with them, the better your chances of getting the right bonus for you.
The most popular is the maximum and minimum you can bet with your bonus. As we’ve spoken about already, all bonuses come with some sort of wagering requirements.
In order to stop people just placing a single bet that covers the wagering amount, casinos often limit the amount that you can bet. Well, they won’t actually limit the amount you can bet, but they will limit how much of that bet contributes to the wagering requirements.
For example, you need to place £2,000 worth of wagers with the casino to clear your bonus. The casino has a maximum bet contribution of £10. This means that you would need to place at least 200 bets of £10 each. You can of course bet more than this, but only £10 of the stake amount will be counted towards clearing your bonus.
The number of games that are going to contribute towards clearing your bonus will be limited as well. They are usually limited in terms of type. So, the bonus might be limited to just slots, with money spent table games, live casino games, side games etc. excluded from clearing your bonus.
The reason they do this is that the house edge is drastically lower on some games than on others. For example, you could go and bet on red/black on a roulette table to clear through your bonus pretty quickly, as it’s almost 50/50 odds. This would be good for the punter, but no so good for the casino.
The idea behind all of these bonus terms is to keep the customer playing at the casino.
You will only have a set amount of time to clear your bonus. This will range from each casino and could be anywhere from 7 days up to 60 days, although usually somewhere in the middle of that.
If you fail to clear the full bonus within that time then your bonus will be removed. What’s worse, the casino may state that any winnings from the bonus money will also be removed from your account.
This is another factor to weigh up when looking at percentages and wagering requirements – do you have the sort of budget that allows you to get through the wagering requirement for bonus you are considering in the time allowed?
A lot of casinos will limit the amount you can win with your bonus, setting it to a maximum net win of £500, for example. Again, this number will range and it’s one of the few downsides to claiming these sorts of promotions.
For example, it could happen that you win a jackpot on one of the slots worth tens of thousands of pounds. However, if you’re playing with bonus money then it’s likely the casino will have a cap on the amount you can win using bonus funds, severely reducing this amount and potentially voiding it all together.
If you are a player that likes to bonus hunt and chase for the big prizes, then using bonus money to do this, or opting into a bonus just before you go on the hunt might not be the best route for you.
Knowledge is power
The fact that you’ve got this far in the article shows that you are looking to learn more about how casino bonuses work. This is a really good thing.
The more you can learn about the intricacies of casino bonuses, the better equipped you will be in choosing the right bonus for you. As a casino player, you’re in an incredibly strong position in terms of being able to shop around for the best offers.
There are a plethora of casino bonuses available and each will suit some players better than others. Therefore, the more you know about the bonus and what to look for, the more money you can potentially make.
High rollers command better bonuses
There’s little arguing that the casino loves a high roller. Just as much as people love the thrill of the chase with a jackpot, the casino loves the ability to take vast sums of money from wealthy people.
If you are a high roller and then our advice would be to contact a potential casino first before signing up with them. If you can prove that you are going to be playing for high stakes and over a long period of time, most of the larger online casinos will offer you a welcome package that far exceeds the promotions that are available for most players.
Most places have dedicated members of staff to look after high value customers, so you need to be talking to them to get the sort of treatment you deserve as a high roller.