Casino Welcome Bonus
Here are some of the crucial points of our expert guide to casino welcome bonuses:
To attract more customers, online casinos are constantly trying out different strategies. There are a lot of things that make a certain casino operator attractive to players, such as the website’s design, selection of games, mobile compatibility, overall user experience, and more. However, one thing that works on almost all players is the bonus offer.
Let’s not fool ourselves. If you were trying to choose between two or more online casinos, you would usually go for the one that has the most rewarding welcome bonus. Casino operators are well aware of this, which is why they always compete against one another by offering attractive promotions to their first-time players.
In this article, we are going to discuss every little detail about casino welcome bonuses. These casino promotions are reserved for all players who are new on a given casino website. Usually, you will only be required to fill out a registration form and make a deposit in order to get some extra cash. However, that’s not all there is to a welcome bonus.
If you want to truly understand how these promotions work and how to get the most out of them, read the following article carefully. We will talk about different kinds of casino welcome bonuses, special requirements for unlocking them, various bonus terms you need to pay attention to, and more. Enjoy!
What Is a Casino Welcome Bonus and How Does It Work?
A casino welcome bonus is a reward given to all players who register on a casino site for the first time. Apart from not having an old account on a given site, you also have to use a unique IP address, as most casino operators won’t allow you to make more than one account from the same household.
After you create a new account, you will need to make a deposit. Note that you can also run into some no deposit welcome bonuses (we will talk about those a little later). Once you make a predetermined minimum deposit, the casino operator will give you a chance to claim their welcome bonus.
In most cases, the welcome bonus will come in the form of extra cash you receive on top of your deposited money. The casino will usually double your initial deposit, but the size of the welcome bonus can vary depending on how generous the operator is.
For example, if you run into a 100% welcome bonus up to €500, that means the bonus will double your deposit, as long as you follow the rules regarding minimum and maximum deposit limits. In this particular case, if you deposit €500, you will have a total of €1,000 to play with.
Different Types of Welcome Bonuses
Casino welcome bonuses differ not only in size but also in the way they are unlocked and the type of games you can use them for. Almost every casino has match deposit bonuses for new players, but you can also find a lot of no deposit bonuses, free spins, and other types of welcome promotions.
Match Bonus (Deposit Bonus)
Match deposit promotions are the most common casino welcome bonuses. As we briefly explained earlier, once you create a casino account and make your first deposit, the casino will match that deposit 100%. ome generous casinos give 200% or even 300% match bonuses, but these are not easy to find.
The most important thing to pay attention to here is the bonus limit. By looking at our example, you can see that the limit is €1,000. That means that if you deposit over €1,000, you won’t get more in bonus money.
Deposit bonuses also have minimum deposit limits. In most cases, the minimum deposit will be €10 to €20. Note that a casino might have different rules regarding minimum deposits. For example, the minimum deposit you are allowed to make on a certain casino site can be €10, but you will still have to deposit at least €20 in order to be eligible for the bonus if the bonus rules say so.
Some match deposit bonuses won’t be released to you all at once. Let’s say you already made a deposit and earned €1,000 in bonus money. Instead of getting the full amount of the bonus right away, the operator might give you the bonus in increments of €100 for the next ten days.
Match deposits can sometimes be given to players who use specific payment methods. This is especially the case with cryptocurrency deposits that have grown popular on casino sites in the last several years.
In order to incentivize their players to use this form of payment, casinos sometimes make their crypto deposit bonus larger than their regular welcome deposit bonus.
No Deposit Bonuses
Most welcome bonuses require you to make a deposit first, but there are some promotions that reward you for merely making an account. Therefore, no deposit welcome bonuses are devoid of any risk whatsoever, as you can claim them without spending a cent.
This kind of welcome bonus is very popular among beginner players who are unsure whether they like a certain casino site or not, so they want to test it out before committing to it. Note that no deposit bonuses are rather small when compared to their match deposit counterparts. In most cases, you will get between €10 and €20.
Moreover, no deposit welcome bonuses can have unreasonably high wagering requirements that make it really difficult for you to turn your bonus funds into real money. So, even though no deposit promotions look great at first, don’t get your hopes up — you will almost always lose that bonus money rather quickly.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to have this bonus because it comes with no strings attached. You are not depositing your own money, so make the most of that situation by trying out some real-money games on the website.
All of you who enjoy playing video slots should search for casino welcome bonuses that include free spins. This kind of bonus is exclusive to video slots, although free spins can sometimes be used on casino’s video poker games as well.
In any case, once you deposit money in your account for the first time, the casino might give you a certain number of free spins for one of their slot games. Note that the free spins will not be available for all games in the casino’s video slot library. Instead, you will only get to use them on some popular titles like Book of Dead, Wheel of Fortune, Thunderstruck II, and other well-known games.
As you probably know, each spin of the reels in a video slot requires you to place a wager. With free spins, you don’t need to make a bet, so you can only increase your total balance if you get lucky. However, free spins welcome bonuses come with certain limitations. Namely, the coin value is going to be low, so even if you do get a few lucky spins in a row, you shouldn’t expect to win much.
Also, if the casino rewards you with, for example, 300 free spins, you will rarely get to use them all at once. Just like some match deposit bonuses, free spins are often released in increments.
The spins you get for the day must be used immediately after you load the game. In other words, you can’t choose which set of spins is going to be free. Also, you won’t be able to cash out your free spins winnings right away because of the wagering requirements.
Cashback bonuses are available in a variety of online casinos, and they can sometimes be part of the casino’s welcome offer.
Cashback promotions work as a refund for your net losses over a specified period. They offer you a percentage of your losses back if you hit an unlucky streak. Just like match deposit bonuses, cashback bonuses are always going to be capped.
For example, if you find an offer stating that you can get 10% cashback up to €100, that means that if you lost $1,000 or more over some time, you will get $100 back into your account.
Apart from the welcome bonus, cashbacks can be part of the casino’s recurring promotions. You will often find casinos that offer to give you a small percentage of your losses back after each week or month you spent playing on the website.
The best thing about cashback welcome bonuses is that they usually don’t have any wagering requirements. Since you already need to play and lose money in order to earn them, the casino won’t impose any further restrictions, so you can feel free to cash out right away.
All welcome bonuses we mentioned above can be used as standalone promotions. However, online casinos often include some of them in their welcome packages. This means that, as a new player on the website, you will get to use not one but several welcome bonuses at once.
The most common welcome bonus package consists of a multi-deposit offer that gives you something extra for making two, three, four, or sometimes even five deposits. This is a way for the casino to earn your loyalty and reward you for continuing to play on the website even after you’ve used the first deposit bonus.
Every deposit bonus you get in this package will usually be smaller than the previous one. For example, if the casino gives you 100% up to €200 for the first deposit, you can expect the second deposit to be only 75% up to €100 or something along those lines.
Make sure to carefully read the welcome package details before you sign up for it. Casinos sometimes advertise their offer by stating the value of all bonuses in the package. You can read something like “300% Massive Welcome Package up to €5,500” and think that you’ve found the best welcome bonus ever, only to realize that the offer represents several smaller bonuses independent from one another.
Another common casino welcome package consists of a deposit bonus and free spins. Once you make a deposit, you will get the cash bonus with some video slot free spins on top. While the size of the cash bonus will depend on how much money you deposit, the number of free spins you get will usually be fixed. You are allowed to use these two bonuses independently.
Most welcome bonuses need to be unlocked with bonus codes. These codes are a simple combination of letters and numbers that a player needs to type in while claiming the offer. Bonus codes can be found on the casino site offering the bonus, and they are usually located on the page containing all bonus terms and conditions. You can also find bonus codes on some casino affiliate sites, but make sure they haven’t expired.
Bonus codes are unique to each casino and each bonus they unlock. A typical bonus code can look something like WELCOME1000, NODEPOSIT20, SIGNUP50, etc. The casino will sometimes require you to type in the bonus code while signing up on the website. Other times, you will need to use it while claiming the offer, either through your account’s Bonus page or by contacting the customer support.
How to Sign Up and Claim a Welcome Bonus: Step-by-Step Instructions
Now that you know what kind of welcome bonuses exist, it’s time for you to learn how to actually claim them. People who are new to online casinos find it a bit hard to get into the swing of things, and a lot of them run into all sorts of issues when trying to pick up the welcome bonus.
That’s why we decided to walk you through the entire process of signing up on a casino site and using its promotions. The following instruction will teach you everything, from finding the right casino site to cashing out your potential winnings. It’s not really that complicated.
Step 1: Find a Trusted Casino Operator
As we mentioned earlier, almost all casino sites these days have welcome bonuses, so finding an operator with a solid welcome offer won’t be too difficult. However, the bonuses themselves are not the only thing that matters. The security of your money and personal data is of the utmost importance when you’re starting to gamble online.
If you have a certain online casino in your sights, you should first check whether that casino is licensed by a proper gambling authority. Some of the best and most trusted online gambling jurisdictions for European casinos include the UKGC, MGA, Isle of Man, and Gibraltar.
Each casino site should clearly state who licensed them and provide a license number so that you can check the gambling jurisdiction’s registry and find out whether that license is legit.
Another thing to consider is the cybersecurity measures provided by the casino site, and whether it has proper SSL encryption and firewalls that can effectively protect your personal data. All the games offered by a casino site must be RNG-tested and certified for fairness.
Finding all this information can be a daunting task. After all, you just want to start playing with your welcome bonus. But, don’t worry — instead of doing your own research, you can turn to legitimate review sites such as this one and scroll through the list of casino sites we consider to be the best. We thoroughly check all security measures of a given site before we include it on any list.
Step 2: Sign Up
Once you are satisfied with your selection, you can register on that casino site by filling out a simple registration form. Go to the casino’s homepage and click/tap on the Sign Up button (could also be Register or Join).
Follow the instructions and type in the required information such as your name, country of residence, address, email address, date of birth, banking details, etc. The casino will ask for these details simply because they want to confirm your identity. They must make sure you are over the gambling age limit and that your country or territory is not on the list of restricted countries.
Some registration forms will have a check-in box you need to click on in order to confirm that you want to receive the welcome bonus, so be careful not to miss it.
If everything turns out to be in order, the casino will send you an email with a link that leads back to their website. Once you click on that link, your account will be activated and you will be able to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Claim the Bonus
If the casino site you’ve selected has a no deposit welcome bonus, you can simply claim it in the Bonus tab on your account page and start playing the games. However, in the case of a deposit welcome bonus, you must first fund your account with some real money.
To do this, navigate to the website’s Cashier page. There, you will see available deposit and withdrawal options. Note that some deposit methods won’t be available in your country and that some options are excluded from the bonus. Therefore, always read the full bonus terms and conditions in order to be familiar with all the rules regarding the welcome offer.
If you are sure that the deposit method you prefer will unlock the promotion, go ahead and choose it. Type in the amount of money you wish to deposit while paying attention to minimum and maximum deposit limits.
Processing times can vary depending on the deposit method you have selected, but most deposits are processed in less than a few minutes (except for checks that can take a few days). See if the casino has any special welcome bonuses for specific payment methods. This is usually the case with cryptocurrency deposits that you can make using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and others. Cryptocurrency welcome bonuses are often bigger than regular welcome promotions.
Once the money goes through, you can claim the bonus in the Bonus section of your account. This is also where you can type in the bonus code, if needed. Other times, the casino will require you to contact the customer support team and tell them that you want to use the bonus. Different casinos have different procedures for claiming their welcome bonus, but they usually have clear instructions, so you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn.
Step 4: Start Playing
After you’ve completed the registration process, made a deposit, and claimed the welcome bonus, you can finally start having fun and play the games. Note that playing some types of games won’t count toward meeting the bonus requirements, but we will talk about that in a bit.
When it comes to the free spins welcome bonus, make sure that you are playing the right video slot. As we explained before, free spins can only be used on specific games offered on the website.
To start playing, navigate to the website’s library of games. There, you will see all sorts of different games like video slots, video poker, table and card games, live dealer games, bingo, keno, virtual scratchcards, and more. If you are focused on a specific title, simply type it in in the search bar. You can also browse the games by sorting them according to popularity, date of release, or software providers.
Click on the game and wait for it to load. If you claimed the bonus successfully, all bets you make will be deducted from your bonus balance. Your real-money balance will stay intact until you use all your bonus funds.
Step 5: Withdraw
When you win while betting with your own money, you should just go to the website’s Cashier page and choose one of the available withdrawal options. However, things are not so simple when it comes to welcome bonus withdrawals.
Namely, once you receive the cash bonus, you can’t withdraw it right away. Otherwise, the casinos would constantly get exploited. First, you must play with the bonus money for a while. How many times you need to play the bonus over will be determined by the offer’s wagering requirements. Only after you meet these wagering requirements will you be able to cash out your winnings.
Select a withdrawal method and type in the amount you wish to withdraw. You don’t have to cash out everything, but the casinos will always set minimum and maximum withdrawal limits. These limits vary from one payment method to another, so pay attention to that as well.
The casino will then process your withdrawal request, which will take between 24 and 48 hours. Most casinos will allow you to reverse your withdrawal during this time. Once your withdrawal request has been accepted, you will get your money in a few days, depending on the method you have chosen.
Understanding Welcome Bonus Terms and Conditions
The value of each welcome bonus is not only measured by its size but also the terms and conditions that surround it. Welcome bonus terms and conditions are a set of rules that each player must follow in order to make the most of the bonus.
These rules can set certain restrictions, such as on which games you are allowed to use the bonus, how much money you can win with the bonus, and when you can cash out your bonus winnings, among other things.
In the next section, we are going to talk about the most common welcome bonus terms and conditions you should pay attention to before claiming the offer.
In the case of deposit welcome bonuses, you will need to pay attention to minimum deposit limits. For example, if you want to take advantage of the casino’s 100% welcome offer, you can’t just deposit €1 and get €1 extra.
Instead, minimum deposit limits are usually set anywhere between €10 and €20. Note that minimum deposit limits for bonuses can be different than those for general deposits made on the website. Also, minimum deposit limits can sometimes vary depending on the payment methods you’re using.
Wagering requirements (also called rollover requirements or playthrough) are the most important bonus terms you should pay attention to, as they represent the difficulty of turning your welcome bonus into real money. Beginner players are often confused when trying to figure out how wagering requirements work, which is why we will try to explain them as simply as possible.
These requirements suggest how many times you need to play the bonus over before being allowed to make a withdrawal. To better explain this, we will use an example.
Let’s say that you deposited €200 in your newly created account and you got a 100% welcome bonus. That means you now have a total of €400 in your balance, €200 of which represents your bonus money.
If the wagering requirements for that particular bonus are 30x, that means you need to wager a total of €6,000 (30 x €200) before being able to cash out. Note that you don’t need to deposit or even win €6,000. It’s just that all your collective wagers made with the bonus money need to add up to that amount.
When it comes to free spins welcome bonuses, the wagering requirements won’t be multiplied by the number of spins, but rather the amount of money you win from those spins. For example, if you get 20 free spins with the wagering requirements of 30x and win €100, you will need to wager at least €3,000 before requesting a withdrawal, regardless of how many spins you need to get there.
Of course, wagering requirements make it really difficult to turn the bonus into withdrawable money. By setting wagering requirements, casinos make sure they don’t give away any free cash to their players and make the players work for it instead.
The rollover requirements are usually set between 30x and 60x on most casino sites. Their size will also depend on the bonus type. No deposit bonuses have higher wagering requirements, while cashback promotions usually have none. Some other bonuses can also come with no wagering requirements, but they are very rare and extremely small.
Not all casino games contribute toward meeting the wagering requirements in the same way. Most video slots contribute 100%, while some table games only contribute 10% or less.
Another welcome bonus setback comes in the form of win limits. These limits can also make the bonus look less valuable than what you originally thought, so make sure to know how much money you can potentially win with your bonus before claiming it. Even if you get extremely lucky and hit the jackpot, you won’t be able to cash it out in full. Some win limits can even be smaller than the size of the bonus.
Win limits can either be fixed or relative to the size of your deposit. For example, a welcome bonus can have a win limit that’s 20 times the amount of your initial deposit. If you deposited €100, you will be allowed to win up to €2,000. On the other hand, fixed win limits are set regardless of the size of your first deposit, which is why they’re usually smaller.
As soon as you claim the welcome offer, the clock will start ticking. Most welcome bonuses must be used within a week or two, although some casinos might give you a full month. Not only do you need to use the bonus in this timeframe, but you also have to meet the wagering requirements. If the time runs out before you do, all bonus money will go to the casino.
That’s why you need to be careful when claiming the welcome bonus. Once you start playing, there’s no going back, and you must commit yourself to the bonus since you won’t have much time to make the most of it.
Other Terms and Conditions
There are plenty of other welcome bonus terms and conditions you might run into. The full list of these terms can be found on the website’s Bonus page.
One example is geographical restrictions. Namely, due to various legal reasons, some casino sites can’t offer their welcome bonuses to players coming from certain countries and territories. Even though you might be allowed to set up an account as a resident of a particular country, you can still be restricted from using the site’s bonuses.
If the welcome bonus you’re signing up for requires a deposit, make sure that the deposit method you want to use can unlock it. Some deposit methods can be excluded from the bonus. This is usually the case with online banking services like Skrill and Neteller.
Welcome Bonuses and Other Promotions
The information about the welcome bonus will be one of the first things you see when you enter any casino site. However, casinos can have many other bonuses and promotions you can use as a regular customer later on.
These recurring promotions can sometimes be even more valuable than the welcome offer, so you should definitely pay attention to them as well. After all, you must make an account in order to use the welcome bonus anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt to check what else the casino has in store for you if you decide to stick around.
As the name suggests, reload bonuses are promotions you can use after you are done using your initial deposit bonus. They are usually smaller in size, but they can sometimes be as valuable as the original welcome bonus. Casino sites offer reload bonuses to encourage you to keep playing on their website.
Weekly and Monthly Bonuses
Some casino sites will reward you with bonuses after a certain period you spend on their website. Regardless of whether you are a new customer or a regular player, you will be eligible for these bonuses once a week or month.
Periodic bonuses can be in the form of match deposit promotions, free spins, no deposit bonuses, reloads, and more. They are usually smaller than the site’s welcome bonus, but some can be pretty rewarding nonetheless.
VIP Clubs and Loyalty Programs
These promotions are designed to reward players’ loyalty. However, you will enter the casino’s loyalty program automatically, even if you’ve just signed up. The more you play on the website, the faster you will progress through the levels. Each level will grant you access to valuable promotions.
For example, a new customer might only get a 5% cashback offer, but somebody who has been playing on that site for six months or more can get 20%. Also, these sorts of schemes sometimes reward you with points for playing, and you can later turn those points into cash bonuses. Loyal customers can also get extended deposit and withdrawal limits.
VIP clubs work similarly, although they sometimes also include access to special VIP tables that are unavailable to regular players and have higher betting limits. Although loyalty programs and VIP clubs are very popular among players, not all casinos have them.
Which Games Can Be Played with the Welcome Bonus?
A good casino website will have several hundred games in its library. Welcome bonuses are very popular among video slot players, but you can also try any other online casino game while using them.
Welcome bonuses are best for playing video slots because they often include free spins, and slots almost always fully contribute to meeting the wagering requirements. Free spins can only be used on one or two titles, while cash bonuses are available for the full collection of slots.
Video slots are attractive because they can reward you with massive jackpots worth millions of euros. However, since the amount of money you can win with the welcome bonus is capped, you can only hope to win a jackpot if you play with your own cash.
Table and Card Games
Table and card games include traditional casino games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps, poker, and others. Welcome bonuses are usually compatible with all these games, but they usually count less toward meeting the rollover.
You can also find bonuses that relate to specific table games, just like free spins can only be used on video slots. Blackjack is the most popular table game, which is why blackjack promotions are fairly common on casino sites.
Video poker is a 5-Card Draw variation of poker you can play without facing other opponents. A winning hand in video poker must consist of at least a pair of jacks, and that’s why this game is also called Jacks or Better.
Other versions of the game might include some extra rules, like Deuces Wild and Joker’s Wild. With the right strategy, you can lower the house edge in video poker to under 1%.
As is the case with all games other than video slots, you must pay attention to how video poker contributes toward meeting the wagering requirements.
Specialty games are the least popular casino games, but they too can be played while using the casino’s welcome bonus. The games in this category include bingo, keno, and virtual scratchcards. However, it is not advised to try your luck on these games with the welcome bonus because they barely count toward meeting the rollover.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games include table and card games that can be played through live streams. The games are run by professional dealers in real time. They are recorded in a casino-like studio, although they can sometimes be streamed from actual casinos, like in the case of dual-play games.
Casinos usually offer separate bonuses for their live dealer games. Go to the website’s Live Casino section and try to find some promotions there.
Top Welcome Bonus Casinos in 2020
As we said at the beginning of this article, almost every online casino has a welcome bonus. However, not all welcome bonuses are worth your time since some casinos tend to be more generous than others.
A casino site that has a high-quality welcome offer will give a sizable bonus amount to its players and impose optimal wagering requirements so that you can have a realistic chance of making a profit. Unsurprisingly, finding such a website is not easy. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
Together with our team of experts, we constantly work on creating lists of the best casino operators in the world. Browse through our website and find trusted casino sites where you can make the most of your welcome offer.
Final Thoughts on Welcome Bonuses — Are They Worth It?
We are going to be honest and tell you that most players who use welcome bonuses don’t actually win anything with them. Due to wagering requirements that are sometimes difficult to meet, as well as other bonus terms and conditions, ending up with a profit will require a lot of luck.
But look at it this way — the bonus money you receive is not your own money. You are already making a deposit, so getting something extra in return can only increase your chances of winning. This is especially the case with no deposit welcome bonuses that don’t even require you to make a deposit.
To give you a straightforward answer — yes, welcome bonuses are always worth it, especially if you don’t have to deposit a lot in order to claim them. And, who knows, you might even get lucky and win!
Frequently Asked Questions
First, you have to make a minimum deposit by going to the Cashier page and selecting a payment method. Once the money goes through, you need to navigate to your account and activate the bonus while also typing in the bonus code, if necessary. The procedure can vary from one casino to another, but this is the most standard way of unlocking welcome offers.
Unfortunately, no. If the first deposit bonus and the second deposit bonus are part of the same welcome package, you must use them in order.
Before you can withdraw your bonus winnings, you must make sure that you’ve met the wagering requirements. After that, go to the casino’s Cashier page and make a withdrawal request by choosing one of the available payment methods and typing in the exact amount you want to cash out.
Welcome bonus minimum deposit limits are usually between €10 and €20, depending on the website you’re playing on. Don’t forget that bonus minimum deposit limits can differ from general minimum deposit limits. Also, note that different payment methods can have different deposit limits.
The size of the wagering requirements depends on the welcome bonus type. When it comes to cash deposits and free spins, playthrough requirements are going to be around 30x or 40x. No deposit welcome bonuses tend to have the biggest wagering requirements, while cashback promotions usually don’t have any.