Playing real money online casino games can be an exhilarating experience. But playing consistently with your own cash can be quite costly, especially if you’re down on your luck. This is where casino promotions come in.
Bonuses can make the exciting activity of gambling even more engaging and stack your account with valuable bonus credits and real money bonus funds.
But casino sites don’t just give away bonuses. You have to earn them. And to earn a casino bonus you must first understand the type of bonus and its specific requirements. And this is where we come in!
This article will give you the 4-1-1 on that most common and desirable of bonuses found at virtually every casino site – the welcome bonus.
What Are Welcome Bonuses?
A welcome bonus, also called signup or a new player bonus, is a standard casino promotion offered to new players upon registration. A signup bonus can come in the form of bonus funds or other casino credits, like free spins, offered to newcomers.
Some of the best casino bonuses are the new player bonus promotions. Welcome offers can take on different forms. Besides bonus cash, you can come across welcome free spins on select slots, welcome cashback bonuses, and extra play money, among many other offers.
New player bonuses usually require a minimum deposit for the player to qualify, but web-based casinos also provide so-called no-deposits where bonus credits are automatically added to a player’s account once they register.
The Difference Between A Welcome Bonus and Other Casino Bonuses
There is one underlying difference between welcome offers and existing player bonuses. Sign-up bonuses, as the name suggests, are offered to new players only. Existing players who have already claimed a sign-up bonus are not eligible for such offers in the future.
It is also highly likely you won’t get another chance at a casino welcome bonus if you decline the offer when you sign up and consequently fail to claim the bonus within the designated period.
Besides this obvious difference, welcome promotions are often of greater value and more comprehensive than promos for regular players and exclusive bonuses. They can include both no deposit free spins on top of cash bonus funds. However, this is not always the case and many casinos provide signup offers considerably smaller than regular player promotions.
Types of Welcome Bonus Offers
There are at least half a dozen types of new player bonuses. They can be match bonus offers, cashback offers, tiered or just first-deposit welcome offers, bonus spins, no deposit bonuses, free play funds, and so on.
There can be separate welcome offers for live casino games and for slots, or a blend of the two, where playing both slots and table games count toward meeting the bonus rules and wagering requirements
Note that separate online casino bonuses are offered for both casino gamblers and sports punters. Here we will speak only of casino welcome promotions, though in many cases the two seem indistinguishable from one another.
Sign Up Bonus on Registration
A registration signup bonus offer is one you receive immediately after you create a new player account. This is an umbrella term that incorporates all types of signup offers, but mostly includes matched deposit bonuses and bonus spins on select slot games.
The key element of the registration signup bonus, and any welcome promo for that matter, is that it requires a valid player account. Before you claim a signup bonus, first and foremost you must be a registered member of a certain casino.
Furthermore, unless otherwise stated, and unless it is a no deposit offer, almost all registration bonuses require a minimum first deposit before they are credited.
Bonus Codes for Free Spins
Certain internet casino operators who have many different, but in some regards similar bonuses use promo codes for bonus activation. A bonus code helps players quickly identify and claim a particular promotion after they register.
This significantly eases the activation of welcome offers for players who are new to the process. It should be noted that some signup offers besides a code, also require a minimum deposit to be made. Promotional codes will always be visibly displayed within the bonus description.
No Deposit Bonus for New Casino Games
We mentioned that besides the first deposit bonus offers and free spins, zero-deposit spins and/or no deposit bonus funds can likewise be featured as welcome promotions.
No deposits are considerably smaller compared to other cash bonuses and bonus spins. They are intended for inexperienced users or skeptical players who need assurance the casino is on the level.
Online casino sites may have no deposits for their latest games
The best time to check for no deposit welcome promos is when a casino releases new games. Non-deposit bonus funds usually cannot be withdrawn and can only be used as casino credits to play some of their latest games.
How to Claim A Welcome Bonus
Redeeming a new player casino offer is easy if players follow the bonus terms closely. Note, bonus terms are fixed and even the smallest deviation from the rules can make the bonus invalid.
Claiming any casino bonus at any site begins with the same process – signing up. After players sign up, they should be able to easily navigate the site and find bonus instructions and promotional codes to activate the desired offer.
However, there could be minor inconsistencies in the processes of claiming different welcome offers.
How to Claim Bonuses for Extra Plays
Online casino bonus funds that are promoted as extra play credits are often smaller in comparison to matched first deposit bonuses. They can be bonus spins, casino chips, or bonus funds and are typically non-withdrawable, i.e. are only intended as gambling credits on slot games or specific table games.
Because they are usually small, extra play promotions are easy to collect. Just make the minimum deposit, enter a bonus code (if required) and the bonus funds or free spins should be instantly credited.
How to Claim 20 Free Spins
This is about the lowest number of bonus free spins you can come across at any casino.
If the casino offers 20 bonus spins, they will be credited only after you’ve created a new account and followed the bonus activation steps. This, as we already mentioned, can include making a small minimum deposit into your newly created account or using a bonus code.
How to Claim 50 Free Spins
First, do a quick research of known casino sites to see if any offers 50 spins as a welcome bonus.
If you find such a promo follow the same steps as you would for the 20 free spins promo. First, become a registered member of that casino. During the registration, check the relevant boxes to confirm that you want to receive promotional material from the site.
Next, see if the 50 bonus spins require a bonus code and a minimum deposit. Some 50 free spins offers may be automatically credited to your account balance without you having to make a deposit or enter a bonus code. Once you complete the initial steps you can start playing.
How to Claim 100 Free Spins
Any bonus that provides more than 100 or 150 free spins usually requires a deposit. Some may even require a promotional code.
Before you activate the bonus see what are the rules that apply. Depending on the casino, 100 bonus spins can be credited all at once or in segments over the course of several days.
If the spins are part of a bigger welcome package they will be credited automatically after you complete the terms and conditions for the main bonus.
How to Claim 200 Free Spins
Similar rules that apply to 100 free spins bonuses also apply to bigger promotional packages, such as 200 spins deals.
When you successfully register, deposit the minimum required amount (or more) stated in the bonus rules and, if there are codes, use them to redeem the spins.
Depending on the terms, the 200 spins will be credited in their entirety or in chunks of 10 or 20 over the course of several days.
If the 200 spins are part of a welcome package they will be credited automatically after the main bonus terms are fulfilled. The spins are likely to be subject to specified terms like expiration period or wagering requirements.
Advantages of Claiming a Welcome Bonus From Online Casinos
Welcome bonuses have a laundry list of benefits for players.
A smaller welcome offer with low or no wagering requirements, for instance, would be perfect for newcomers. It allows the player to get to know how the casino works, the betting range of different game categories, their payout percentage, and their features.
While playing through the wagering requirements, players will also learn to better navigate the site
Welcome bonuses also give players a sense of purpose for playing, and though not always easy to claim, they offer a great opportunity to start building your account balance.
Also, once the last wagering requirement is complete, the player can choose to either cash out or use the bonus funds to keep playing without depositing more of their money.
What is Bonus Abuse?
Bonus abuse is the illicit behavior of some players who look for loopholes and try to bypass the casino’s security to receive a bonus multiple times.
There are multiple forms of bonus abuse where fraudsters completely bypass all casino terms and restrictions for personal gain.
Examples of Bonus Abuse
The best example of bonus abuse is impersonation, i.e. when one individual creates multiple fake accounts pretending to be someone they are not.
The end goal here is to get access to the same bonus from as many different accounts as possible.
When the casino detects this illicit activity, and it will detect it, it can confiscate any bonus winnings or money the player may have and suspend their account.
Another example of bonus abuse is placing large stakes in hopes of quickly reducing the bonus wagering requirements. Usually, casino sites allow bets no larger than CA$5 or CA$10 when playing through the wagering requirements. Some players, however, place two, three, five, even ten times these amounts, despite the bonus wagering limits.
Welcome Bonus Terms and Conditions
At first look, new player casino promotions are very similar to sports welcome offers. However, there are significant differences between the two, particularly in regards to the bonuses’ terms and conditions.
Regardless of the type of welcome bonus, the player must complete a series of wagering requirements and meet other criteria to be able to withdraw any winnings or bonus funds.
Below we take a quick look at four main bonus terms every player should consider before accepting any sign-up offer.
Time Limit to Play Your No Deposit Bonus
All bonus credits expire after a given period. For instance, if a no deposit bonus is offered, the non-withdrawable funds and bonus spins are available to use between one and three days, on average.
When you get no deposit spins or bonus funds, they are usually available for use for no more than 72 hours, though it does not necessarily have to be so. Sometimes they can last longer, while sometimes they may expire within a day after being issued.
Bonus Availability Until It Disappears
New player bonuses as a whole are also available only for a limited period after registration.
A gambling site can have multiple welcome offers at a time, but almost in every instance, only one such offer can be used per player and within a specific timeframe.
The expiration date for the bonus money or spins can be up to 30 days after the bonus has been activated. If the bonus has many terms and wagering requirements to be met it should be expected to last longer. Small bonuses may be valid for as little as a day after activation.
Maximum Conversion Rules
One downside of casino bonuses is that they have so-called ‘conversion’ terms that apply to them.
Conversion rules set limits on how much bonus amount that players can withdraw. If the bonus amount is small, you should be able to withdraw the entire bonus. If the amount is bigger than the casino’s maximum bonus payout limit, the casino will pay out the bonus in at least two transactions.
The minimum deposit is a requirement that applies to pretty much every online casino bonus, except perhaps no deposit bonuses.
It is the minimum amount of money the player must deposit to their new account to qualify for the bonus. The minimum deposit amount is usually around CA$10, CA$20, or CA$30, but it can be as high as CA$50.
Wagering requirements refer to the number of times a player must wager the deposit amount or the bonus amount (or both) before the bonus and any winnings from it become withdrawable funds.
So, if a certain bonus has a 35x wagering requirements, and the player deposits, say CA$40, that amount should be wagered 35 times.
Real money bonuses and bonus spins are almost always linked to specific games.
This basically means you need to play select games specified in the bonus rules to reduce the bonus wagering requirements.
For free spins bonuses, the number of games that qualify can be limited to one or two popular slot games such as Starburst, Book of Dead, or Gonzo’s Quest Megaways.
FAQs About Welcome Bonus and No Deposit Bonus
Is a bonus credit similar to a bonus code?
Similar but different. Bonus credits are typically real money funds or spins awarded as a bonus. These credits may or may not require codes for activation.
Is a welcome bonus the same as bonus money or bonus funds?
Yes. The ‘welcome bonus’ designation can also refer to bonus funds or bonus spins. But if the ‘welcome’ qualifier is missing from the bonus’ description it could mean the offer is available only to existing players.
How many free spins can I get from a welcome bonus?
That depends wholly on the casino operator. On average, welcome offers provide between 10 to up to 200, or even more free spins.
Do I need a new account to claim a welcome bonus or no deposit bonus?
Registration is a must if you want to claim a casino welcome bonus. Most welcome bonuses are only available for new players. However, sometimes you don’t need a new account. If you’re having trouble logging in or have forgotten your password, either reset your password or contact the casino’s customer support department for assistance.