Digging into casino bonuses
All online casino bonuses out there carry terms and conditions – these are non-negotiable, and apply to all offers, from free spins and no deposit offers to match bonus promos. It’s highly important that you read through and understand these terms so that you don’t accidentally fall break any of the casino’s rules. To give you a better idea of what to look for we’ve plunged deeper into the casino bonus and promotions to break down some of the most common questions surrounding casino bonuses.
Pay attention to bonus terms and conditions
All casinos on planet Earth attach various terms and conditions alongside their bonus offers. That’s why it’s vital to know what these terms are, and how they impact your play. Below, we’re going to breakdown some of the more notable terms and conditions to be aware of. Remember, you’ll find bonus-specific terms available directly on the casino’s “Promotions” page. There’s usually a “click here for more info” link which will direct you to the full terms.
Bonus Validity: Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the first things you should focus on is whether or not the bonus is still valid. Many of a casino’s promotions are offered on a “time-limited” basis. In reality, this means that they’re only valid for a specific period of time. This time-frame varies depending on the iGaming site you’re playing at, but we think that generally speaking bonus codes and specific one-off promos are valid for 7-14 days. Standard welcome bonus offers are, many times, valid for months at a time. You will find information pertaining to the validity of a bonus directly from the bonus’ terms and conditions page.
Country Exclusions: Imagine a scenario for a moment: you’re a player from the United Kingdom, and you head to a casino’s website using their German URL. Do you truly believe German bonuses will be available to you as a British player? It’s unlikely. Any iGaming business has varying features for customers from different countries. This is why it’s really important to check that the bonus you’re planning on claiming is available.
Maximum Amount: Many casinos like to cite the maximum bonus figure in their marketing materials and advertising. This is great – but be aware that the greater the size of the bonus is, the more tough it will be to complete the wagering requirements. This is why, in some situations, you can actually be better off choosing a bonus of a smaller value, so as to allow you to clear the turnover requirements more quickly.
Wagering Requirements: To aide in offsetting the possibility of bonuses being claimed by “bonus abusers”, all iGaming casinos implement something called wagering requirements. In some countries these are called turnover requirements or rollover restrictions. Let’s imagine you claim a bonus worth £13.50. If that bonus came with wagering requirements of 10X, that would mean you’d need to wager £135 before you would be able to withdraw the bonus funds as cash. Now, if you were to claim the same £13.50 bonus and the wagering requirements were 30X, that would mean you’d need to turn over £405 before the bonus became cashable. We highly recommend you choose a casino with the lowest wagering requirements possible. This ensures you have the best chance of turning a profit and actually converting the funds back into withdrawable, real cash.
Time Period: Remember when we’ve previously discussed bonuses only being valid for a certain length of time? The same rules apply once you’ve actually claimed a bonus, too. You will find that today, once a bonus has been added to your account it will be valid for up to 30 days. Be wary of sites that have 7-day periods, as it’s easy to forget about a bonus. If you have failed to complete the wagering requirements by the time the bonus time period runs out, you will lose the entire bonus – so be careful, and make sure you don’t run into any problems here.
Game Exclusions: Different casino games have different payouts. Take video slots, for example; they generally payout at around 96%. Many iGaming games on the second hand can reward as highly as 99.9%. Naturally, some games are much better suited to using bonuses than others. Due to this factor, most sites will put game exclusions in place. This means you will not be able to use your bonuses on certain games. Similarly, some casinos will change the way certain games contribute towards wagering requirements. Baccarat, as an example, is unlikely to count for more than 5% towards wagering requirements, while most slot machines will contribute 100%.
Max Bet Limits: Limits are usually set by iGaming operators needing to control the figure of cash that a consumer may wager on an individual bet. This is very important to open your eyes to, as going over the maximum bet limit may mean that you’re unable to continue using your bonus. You may also be blocked from withdrawing any funds associated with that bonus. Thankfully, the limit put in place by most online casinos is quite high – usually £5 or £6 – so it’s only the highest-staking players who may be affected by this rule.
Other Considerations: Many times, players will see a No Deposit bonus and think… great, let’s claim it. However, oftentimes the terms associated with these types of bonus can be quite rigorous, so you’re often better off just taking a regular matched deposit bonus instead. As pointed out earlier, always try to read the bonus terms and conditions before claiming anything as this will help you to only choose the best bonus for you.
To pay, or not to pay: that is the question
Varying on the iGaming operator in question, many free spins will be gifted while some clearly require you to complete an “action” to select them. Naturally, both of these options come with some unique pros and cons, and below, we shall show you some of the main pros and cons associated with each.
No deposit free spins
The main pros of these types of free spins are:
- A deposit is no longer necessary
- You can enjoy winning real cash without risking any of your own funds
The main cons of no deposit free spins are:
- You generally get fewer spins
- The spins are usually of a lower value
- Almost always, cashing out rules are applied
- The wagering requirements can be very high
Free spins with deposit
The main pros of free spins with deposit are:
- You can cash out as much as you like
- The terms and conditions are usually less strict
- You get a higher number of spins, worth more per spin
The main cons of free spins with deposit are:
- You must stake up your own hard-earned funds
- Your deposit is often “stuck” in wagering requirements too
We are often asked by players about free spins. Free spins are a common format of bonus delivered by casinos, and thus it’s useful to know more about them. Let’s take a look – within the following text – what some of the key summaries are to look out for when choosing a free spins bonus.
- Can I choose the value of free spins?All casinos automatically set the value of free spins. This means that, essentially, what you get is what you're given. Once you open a slot machine, the free games will be there to use right away - you will usually see the game’s buttons actually greyed out, so they can’t even be touched.
- Are there maximum cashouts from free spins?This depends entirely on the offer, and the casino. It you claim a no deposit bonus, there’s a good chance there will be a total win amount - any winnings above this amount are voided automatically. However, if you’re awarded free spins by completing actions like making a deposit, there are unlikely to be any maximum cashouts.
- What happens if I win a progressive jackpot while playing?This is one of the only scenarios where a maximum win limit doesn’t apply. If you’re lucky enough to scoop a progressive jackpot while using free spins, that jackpot is yours - in its entirety. The funds are actually paid out directly from the game developer (the people who make the games), so in many cases casinos don't even have any leighway over it.
- Can I accumulate free spins to use at a later date?Very rarely. Most casino will require you to use your free spins right there and then. As soon as you open up a game the free spins will be sent to your registered members account - you don’t possess the option to “save” them for a later date.
- What are mega spins?Mega spins - also called enhanced free spins, super free spins or giant free spins - are simply free spins that are worth more credits. The spins are played out at a higher coin amount, meaning that the amounts you win are greater. Perfect for those looking to win larger amounts on the slots.
- Can I choose the slot games?In virtually all scenarios, the slot machines where free spins can be played on are chosen by the casino. Some promotions will be specific to a certain machine (meaning you can only play them on that game) while others will give you a choice of machines to choose from.
- Are winnings from free spins real money?This depends. Some casinos will credit winnings from free spins to your account as real cash - meaning you can head to the cashier and withdraw it. On the other hand, some sites will credit it to your account as bonus funds, meaning that it comes attached with wagering requirements and terms.
- Why can’t I withdraw free spin profits immediately?As pointed out earlier, if the casino credits your free spins winnings back to your account as bonus funds, you will need to complete wagering requirements on them. The exact requirements vary depending on the iGaming site, but are generally set at between 10X and 40X.
- Why do casinos offer free spins?Many casinos hand out free spins as a way of enticing players into trying new games. Some welcome bonus offers are now also designed to give players free spins, so there’s a number of reasons why they’re offered.
- Can I play free spins on Roulette and Blackjack?Free spins can only be played on a overly-specific number of predetermined slot machines. There are, however, some specific bonuses which can be used on casino table games. For instance, 888Casino give all new players £88 to use on selected table games.