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Casino Online - If you haven’t yet tried playing online casino games, you don’t know what you’re missing. Playing the latest slots and table games from the comfort of your own home or trying your hand at casino games on the go via your phone or tablet is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have. You don’t have to be loaded to play your favourite games online, either. casino bonuses represent a great opportunity for you to snap up cash which you can then use to play games online. However, bonuses aren’t free, and they come with terms and conditions. There are also several different types of bonuses out there which can be claimed, and each one brings something new to the table. Before you dive into the world of online gambling, it helps to get yourself better acquainted with what the online casino world can offer. Over the coming sections, we will look at why you may wish to consider signing up at an casino online, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about casino bonuses, too.
First and foremost, why would you gamble online, instead of, say, a land-based and brick and mortar casino? Obviously, with online casinos, you don’t have to move a muscle. You can play from your own home, you aren’t under any time restrictions (online casinos are available around the clock) and you can walk away from a table or game whenever you feel like it. You can also claim a wealth of promotions and bonuses which just aren’t available in land-based casinos and arcades. The choice of games in an casino online is often far more than what you would find in a brick and mortar casino. You’ve got all your classics, such as roulette, table poker, blackjack, baccarat, slots and video poker, but also many different variants of those games from several developers, as well as sports betting, bingo, live dealer casino games, mobile games, online scratch cards and many more.
Of course, safety is of paramount importance to online casinos. We’re living in the digital age, and there are many viruses and hackers out there set to spoil your fun. However, online casinos are amongst the most secure websites you can visit. They have top-notch licenses from respectable gambling jurisdictions, feature SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption and firewalls and are regularly audited to ensure fair play (which we will come to in just a moment). They also feature custom-designed software, and language and currency options tailor-made for your needs, with players able to deposit, wager and withdraw via many top secure internet payment methods.
Players should note that gambling online is an easy affair. However, how can you be sure that your casino isn’t going to cheat you out of your winnings? The answer to that is rather simple. All respectable online casinos feature licenses from top licensing jurisdictions, bad casinos don’t have such certifications. The license grantors keep tabs on which casinos they have licensed and regularly audit and check the casinos, to ensure that they are offering fair games and that they match the latest industry standards in terms of security, safety and fair play. Any casino which misbehaves, doesn’t pay out its players, or starts acting suspiciously will likely be blacklisted. Blacklisted casinos are to be avoided at all costs. Another type of dodgy casino is a rogue casino. These are casinos which are not officially licensed at all, and solely exist to take you to the cleaners. None of the casinos we feature here are blacklisted or rogue, and are, therefore, safe to play at.
Online casinos usually come in one of two formats. First, there are instant play casinos. These are played in your laptop, desktop computer, phone or tablet’s web browser. They do not require any software to be downloaded. The second type is the downloadable casino, and there are specific software packages which players must download to play the casino’s games. Downloadable casinos can exist as Windows-friendly downloads which need installing, or Android and iOS-friendly apps. Each type of casino has its own perks and its downsides, so it is up to you to choose which one suits you best.
Unlike land-based casinos – which may carry the odd welcome offer for players or the odd special deal for VIPs – online casinos are jam-packed full of promotions and bonuses. Many of these bonuses are short-term offers and tournaments, and so they change like the wind and players will need to act fast to claim them. Others are more long-term deals, operating as welcome bonuses or VIP deals to players who play regularly at the casino site. Although some bonuses may be advertised as “free” very few of them are, so you need to pay attention to each type of bonus, how it works, what it can give you, and what the casino expects in return. Fortunately, we’ve laid out this bag of snakes for you below. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the more common types of casino online bonuses you can claim when playing at an online or mobile casino.
The most commonly found online casino bonus is the welcome bonus offer. It varies greatly from site to site, sometimes appearing as a double-your-money kind of cash bonus, and at other times appearing as a succession of deposit bonuses.
A standard one-off welcome bonus offer will exist as a fixed percentage; for the sake of argument, let’s use the most common offer, a 100% match. This 100% match essentially means that the casino is prepared to offer players the equivalent of 100% of their deposit back as a bonus. So, in our example, if a player deposits €100 into their account, and claims a 100% match, they will receive another €100 (100% of their first deposit) as a bonus, giving them €200 to start playing with.
These types of bonuses aren’t just limited to the first deposit at some online casinos, though. As mentioned, the welcome bonus offers can sometimes form a welcome package, which may be a multi-pronged deal, spanning the first several deposits a player makes a casino. In this scenario, the size of the bonus percentage usually dips and rises between deposits, and promotional bonus codes may need to be entered alongside deposits to claim the deal. If you do need to enter a “code” to claim an offer, the code is usually displayed on the promotions page at the online casino. So play your favourite slots or scratchcards online
Registration bonuses are another type of welcome bonus offer, although they work a little differently. Some registration bonuses are designed to offer players a handful of free spins, and others provide them with a sum of cash which is time-limited. Registration bonuses seldom require a deposit to be made by the new player, although there are often caps on what players can win with their bonus cash. Fortunately, registration bonuses are non-binding, meaning that a player can choose to claim them and then walk away with no strings attached if they are unhappy with the experience they have had at a casino.
One type of registration bonus may see new players invited to claim 100 free spins on top slots at a casino. They can play those 100 free spins on select slot games and anything they win with those spins is theirs to keep up to a certain amount. Players will, however, be getting free spins with the minimum stake set in most cases.
The other type of registration bonus is barely seen anymore. It involves received a large sum of cash (sometimes as high as €1,500) which can be used for just an hour (or another short-time period) to play games and win money. Again, anything a player wins will be capped, and there are strict terms and conditions on what a player can or cannot do with this bonus cash.
The no deposit bonus is an online casino classic. It is offered to new players (most of the time) who register, and no deposit is required to claim the deal. With this offer, players may receive either a very small sum of cash or free spins (usually no more than €20 or 50 free spins) and they can use those goodies on select games. Again, anything a player wins is theirs to keep up to a certain amount. The basic idea of a no deposit bonus is to give players a “taste” of what playing at the casino is like before they deposit.
Deposit bonuses are, in many ways, identical to welcome bonuses. Although not as vast in terms of what they offer, deposit bonuses work in much the same way. Often, these bonuses are available once per month, on the first deposit a player makes each month. However, sometimes, casinos offer deposit bonuses on every deposit a player makes, or sometimes just the first deposit of the week. The terms and conditions vary from offer to offer, but the basic principle is still the same. Players will be able to claim a percentage-based bonus based on whatever they deposit, up to a specific limit.
These bonuses often exist as welcome deals for whales, big-spenders and high-rollers. Known as VIP bonuses or high-roller bonuses, they offer a much larger sum of cash to depositing players, although players are required to deposit a much larger sum in return. These bonuses may also be available for subsequent deposits and not just for first-time players.
VIP/High-roller bonuses are also available as part of loyalty deals. The more you wager; the more loyalty points you can acquire. Players can work their way up the loyalty ladder by wagering on games, and the higher the tier your reach, the more prosperous the VIP rewards will be.
Promotions (also known as periodical bonuses) often differ from casino to casino, and they are time-limited. These bonuses could involve slot tournaments, they might involve special deposit deals, cash back offers, free spins or anything in-between. Promotional bonuses can last anything from a day to a week, even a month, and may be tied-in with special events such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween or anything else. The only way you can know just what promotional/periodical bonuses a casino is offering (and what terms they have) is to visit the promotions page of your online casino.
Online casinos also come with a handful of free spin offers. These may be a part of the registration/no deposit bonus, could form a part of a deposit bonus, or they may be a part of a periodical/promotional bonus or VIP/loyalty club offer. They all work the same way, though. Players will receive a handful of free spins (usually on select games) and anything they win with those spins is theirs to keep, subject to wagering requirements, which we will come to shortly. Again, free spin offers are usually played out with the minimum stake a slot offers.
Cashback bonuses are normally part of the VIP/loyalty suite of bonuses and promotions. Like many in the online casino world, you will probably go through a period where you lose money. This is where cashback bonuses come into play. Cashback bonuses essentially allow players to recoup some of their losses via a promotional. Sometimes, these bonuses are offered freely, and sometimes players are required to deposit to claim cashback bonuses. Either way, the way they work is similar: players will pocket a percentage of cash back (often no more than 20%) based either on how much they wagered or lost the week prior.
Almost every online casino promotion comes with terms and conditions. These vary from offer to offer. Sometimes (and this is rare) you can find progressive bonuses, which are unlocked gradually when you wager, so there will be no wagering requirements whatsoever. However, most of the time, offers do require players to fulfill conditions known as wagering requirements. But what are wagering requirements? Let’s have a look at them.
A casino online is not going to give players money for free. If they did, what would stop players just taking hundreds of euros in free cash and withdrawing it to their banks? To ensure that this does not happen, casinos put “wagering requirements” on their bonuses. In short, this means that before a player can withdraw their winnings, they must wager the bonus figure a certain number of times. Wagering requirements (also known as playthrough rates, or turnovers) are often expressed as a number followed by “x”, with the “x” representing “times”. They work like this.
If you claim a bonus which is valued at €100, and it has 20x wagering requirements, it means that you must wager that €100 a total of 20 times before you can withdraw your winnings. In short, this means that after claiming a €100 bonus, you must wager €2,000 before you can withdraw. This might seem rather harsh, but almost all casino online bonuses and promotions come with wagering requirements, and 20x is on the lower-end of the scale. If you see a promotional with wagering requirements of 40x or greater, it is best to avoid it. The lower the wagering requirements, the quicker you can withdraw your winnings.
When trying to fulfil wagering requirements, it is important to note that not all games contribute to the fulfilment of wagering requirements evenly. After all, you’ve got a better chance of winning on some games than others. Typically, wagering €1 on slots will see you knock 100% of that bet (€1) off your wagering requirements. However, the same is not true for all other games. The same €1 wagered on video poker, and table games such as blackjack, roulette, etc, may only knock 50% off your wagering requirements (so, €0.50), or less. Check these betting contributions out before you claim any offer.
It also helps to have a look at other terms and conditions which casino bonuses may have attached to them. For instance, players may find that they can only use a bonus on specific games, or that they may have a betting cap with their bonus. For instance, a €100 bonus may have a requirement that players bet no more than €10 per spin. Other useful terms and conditions to keep an eye out for include eligibility (not all bonuses are available to players in all countries), timescales (some bonuses expire after a certain time), and validity (some cash/free spin bonuses can be used on progressive jackpots).