Explaining Casino Bonuses

Explaining Casino Bonuses

Posted on 06/07/09 - by Theodor Mavrodis

The world of online gambling is a very competitive one, not for the players but for the casinos. Every casino wants you playing there, and they all try to make their bonuses stand out from all the rest.


When the first bonus deals cropped up online they were the very best thing that could happen to the online gambling community. Just imagine going to the tracks and just by entering the gates you were entitled to a hundred bucks - just for placing your bets there. That was pretty much the case for online casino gamblers towards the end of the last century.

It didn't take an expert to spot that as a pretty good deal. But unfortunately, those days are over and since then the online casinos have spent a lot of time fine-tuning the bonus offers.

But without their customers the online casinos would cease to exist and without a decent bonus an online casino would have to close down just as quickly as a bar that lost its liquor permit.

Finding out what type of bonus will suit you the best is not the easiest thing to do. There are a huge variety of bonuses out there, and if you don't know what kind of bonus deal to expect, the offers from the casinos can be a bit confusing to say the least.

Knowing the different types of online casino bonuses will maximize your chances and help improve your bottom line.

Here are some explanations of the different bonus types that you can expect to find at an online casino.

Sign-up Bonus

Most casinos online have a 'sign-up' or 'welcome' bonus for new customers. It's basically a one-time offer to attract new players, and this is where you can expect to find the best deals.

In most cases, the sign-up offers come as match bonus offers, explained later on in this article. When you are considering a sign-up bonus you should always look at the wagering requirements stated by the casino. This is the main factor, apart from maximum bonus, to whether you have found a really good deal or not.

You can learn more about wagering requirements below.

Sometimes, when you have played through your bonus at a casino, the other offers might not be as lucrative, and this might be a good time for you to start looking at other casinos to see if you would get a better deal elsewhere.

Maximum Bonus

This one is actually a no-brainer. Maximum bonus or 'max bonus' is the maximum amount that you can expect to receive as a bonus from the casino. It is really important to understand that the biggest number does not necessarily mean the best deal.

The bonus amount that you receive often correlates to the amount you deposit. Big numbers often mean big deposits, but read the disclaimer thoroughly; you might have found yourself a really good deal.

Match Bonus

A match bonus is a bonus tied to the amount of your deposit. It is based on a percentage that tells you how big your bonus will be. If the online casino offers a 200 percent match bonus, you will get $200 for every $100 of your initial deposit, up to the maximum allowable deposit for a bonus.

If the site offers a 50 percent match bonus, you receive $50 for every $100 in your deposit, up to the max allowed. Clearly, you should be looking for the largest legitimate match bonus you can find from a reputable site.


Referral Bonus

With an online casino referral bonus, simply get a friend to sign up with an online casino the same way you did. Make sure that they put your screen name in the referral box. Once they sign up using your name as a reference, you are eligible for the bonus.

As soon as they meet the wagering requirement, if there is any, the extra money will be credited to your account.

Some online casino referral bonuses offer a flat amount, for example, $50, no matter how much your friend deposits. Others may offer a kind of match bonus, in which a certain percentage of what your friend deposits goes into your account (from the casino, not from your friend's deposit).

Some give your friend a bonus also, which many people like since it gives the friend an added incentive for signing up through the referrer.

No Deposit Bonus

A No Deposit bonus or a free bonus is just as great as it sounds. These kinds of bonus deals were a lot easier to find back in the day, but many casinos still offer these kinds of deals to their players. Sometimes you can get them if you have opened an account that has not been active for quite some time, and sometimes it's offered as a loyalty bonus or welcome bonus.

We have gathered the best No Deposit Bonus deals in one place. Take a look at our No Deposit Bonus page, and read more about this great bonus deal.


Sticky Bonus

A sticky bonus is a non cashable bonus. By non cashable we mean casino credits that can't be exchanged into real currency. The amount is 'stuck' to your casino account but you can only use the credits to play the games. If you want to make a withdrawal from the casino you can only take your winnings plus your initial deposit, never the bonus amount.

This bonus is 'for wagering only' as it often says in the disclaimer.

Exclusive Bonus

These are the special kinds of bonuses that we offer you here at Casinotoplists.com. Thanks to our strong position in the casino industry, you will find the offers presented here larger than the ones offered when signing up directly through the casino.

Several deals took some hard negotiations to settle, so hopefully you will find them really satisfying.

Loyalty Bonus

A loyalty bonus is like a sign up bonus except that you get it for continued play on a site, rather than for signing up. The loyalty bonus is typically not as large as a sign up bonus because the online casinos figure that if you start playing on a site, you are likely to stay. Still, loyalty bonuses can represent a significant addition to your expected value of play.

To be eligible for a loyalty bonus at an online casino, all you have to do is play. You will occasionally receive automatic offers when you log on to the site. The offers will often be similar to a sign up bonus offer. You will be able to receive a percentage of your next deposit as additional funds when you enter the bonus code.

Wagering Requirements

These days it's hard to find a casino bonus that just offers you straight up cash to play with - there are always some sorts of strings attached. The casinos like to refer to these strings as 'wagering requirements', and to put it simply - this is the stuff you have to do in order to clear your bonus.

Most common is the play-through bonus structure where you have to wager the bonus plus your bonus amount a specific number of times before the wagering requirements have been fulfilled.

For the best bonuses online right now, return to our casino bonus top list