When youre first getting started with online gambling, youll be bombarded with all manner of exciting and generous welcome bonuses. Theres so much to find that its easy to get overwhelmed and pick the wrong one.
A bad welcome bonus could have unreasonable terms and conditions or arent as generous as the marketing made them sound. To help you avoid these disappointments, weve compiled a list of tips to help you pick the right online casino welcome bonus.
Once you've read this article, check out our page on the Best Real Money Casino Sites and Bonuses in the US; click here to learn more.
1. Understand the different types of casino welcome bonuses
Welcome bonuses arent all the same, with plenty of different offers up for grabs, so it helps to understand each one. Also, note that these welcome bonuses often come packaged together.
The most common welcome bonuses are:
Deposit Match Bonuses
This is the most common welcome bonus offered at online casinos. With this deal, the casino will match your first deposit by a percentage up to a certain amount. For example, you might get a match bonus of 100% up to $1000 so the casino will double your deposit with bonus funds up to a limit of $1000. You can find a bonus like this on our Caesars Casino bonuses page.
Not only can the max bonus fluctuate, but sometimes the match percentage changes too. It can be as much as 200-500%, but also less, with 75% and 50% being common. This also isnt limited to your first deposit, with some welcome packages covering up to your fifth deposit and beyond.
Free Spins Bonuses
The welcome bonus for fans of slots! Free spins bonuses are self-explanatory; they grant free spins on slot games. These bonuses tend to be limited to one or a handful of popular slot games at the online casino, so you should check out the T&Cs to find out where you can use them. While youre there, its worth noting the wagering requirement, as theyre often significantly higher than funds from a match bonus.
No Deposit Bonuses
This one is a little rarer but very attractive for new players. No deposit bonuses are exactly that: bonuses you can claim without having to make a deposit. You can claim them immediately after registering sometimes; theyll be credited to your account automatically upon sign-up!
No Deposit bonuses usually come in smaller amounts than other bonuses, around $10-$30, but are a great way to explore the casino youre on before committing any real money.
If this is a promotion that interests you check out our article on the best no deposit bonuses in the US by clicking this link.
2. Consider your own gambling style and preferences
When looking for a suitable casino welcome bonus, you should consider the way you plan to play. High rollers might care more about the maximum bonus funds they can redeem, regardless of wagering requirements. On the other hand, a player on a budget would accept smaller maximums in exchange for easier playthrough goals and lower deposit minimums.
Also, think about the games youre planning to play. If youre a fan of slots, you might prefer a bonus that includes free spins. But if youre a card game lover, you might shop around for bonuses that can be wagered on table games, as that isnt a universal feature.
3. Read the terms and conditions carefully
We and others say this a lot, and were aware that most people dont bother with it, but you really should look at the terms and conditions before accepting bonuses. Casino bonuses have a lot of little stipulations and catch-outs that you want to be aware of before parting with your money. Some are more important than others.
Most significantly, you need to know the wagering requirement, also called the playthrough requirement. This is the number of times you need to wager your bonus before youre allowed to cash out your winnings. For example, a $10 bonus with a 20x playthrough requires you to make $200 of wagers with that bonus.
Related to that, you want to know the time limits and eligible games. There are multiple time limits on any given bonus, most importantly, the time you have to meet the wagering requirement. And not all games contribute to the wagering goal equally, or at all sometimes. This will vary between casinos and is usually dependent on RTP.
All of this information and more is listed in the terms and conditions, so be sure to at least scan over the essential parts.
4. Compare different casino welcome bonuses
Once youve shopped around and found some welcome bonuses that take your fancy, its time to compare them. You want to make sure youre getting the most bang for your buck, after all.
Here are some things to consider when making this decision:
How much are you receiving?
What are the wagering requirements?
Whats the maximum and minimum deposit?
Which games will the bonus work with?
How reputable is the online casino?
5. Choose a legitimate casino
While many online casinos are well regarded and completely above board, the world of online gambling can be a real Wild West at times. To avoid being scammed or having your personal information put into the wrong hands, you should make sure youre playing at a reputable website.
You can read through player reviews and sites like ours to learn about a casinos reputation. Your site should also carry some form of casino licensing, which you can usually find at the foot of an online casinos website. Some of the best casino regulators include the KGC, MGA and UKGC. These sites should also use encryption and fair play data.
Here are a few additional tips to help you out:
Keep an eye on the expiration date for bonuses this is particularly important if you learn about the promotion through an article instead of on the site. You cant claim a bonus that isnt running anymore.
Stay aware of game restrictions. More than just not contributing to the wagering requirement, you cant use bonus funds on some games at all.
Register with a casino that offers good promotions after the welcome bonus is up. The generosity shouldnt come to a screeching halt after those first few weeks.
With these tips, you should be able to find the casino welcome bonus thats best for you. The ideal welcome bonus will help you start your online casino journey with a bang, using up your funds and not falling victim to hidden flaws and tricky T&Cs. Remember to always understand the essential parts of the terms and conditions and play at a fully licensed, reputable casino.
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