In the world of online gambling, casino bonuses can be like finding a hidden treasure chest filled with extra playing power.

But how do online casino bonuses work? If you’ve ever wondered about the ins and outs of online casino bonuses, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll break it down in simple terms, so you can understand how these bonuses can boost your gaming experience and potentially lead to bigger wins.

After all, free is free so if you find yourself being offered a juicy deal then this is what you need to know.

Why Do Casinos Offer Bonuses?

First things first. If you’re new to the world of online casinos you may be wondering why they even offer bonuses.

There are a few reasons. The first, and main one is that they are a great marketing tool to attract new players.

The more they offer, the more likely you are to choose them over their competition.

Secondly, bonuses keep existing players engaged and encourage them to return to the casino.

Various loyalty programs and ongoing promotions reduce the likelihood of you switching to a different casino.

Now that you’ve signed up and they have kept you as a customer, they want you to play more.

So bonuses give you additional money or time to play with, allowing you to explore more games and maybe bet larger amounts than you might have planned.

Outside of those reasons, these offers are also useful for casinos that want to test out new games or boost their popularity. Offering bonuses specific to these games can generate interest and drive traffic to them.

What Is The Difference Between Online Bonuses?

Online casinos offer a variety of bonuses to attract and reward new and existing players.

Welcome Bonus

Also known as a sign-up bonus, this is offered to new players when they create an account and make their first deposit.

No Deposit Bonus

This bonus is usually given to new players and does not require a deposit. It means you can try out the various games for free and potentially win real money.

Deposit Match Bonus

Casinos match a percentage of your deposit, usually 100% or more. For example, if you deposit £100 with a 100% deposit match, you’ll have £200 to play with.

Free Spins Bonus

Often combined with other bonuses, free spins allow you to spin the reels of specific slot games without using your own money. However, they may have wagering requirements.

Reload Bonus

Offered to existing players, a reload bonus is similar to a deposit match bonus but applies to your second or third bonus.

Cashback Bonus

Players receive a percentage of their losses back as bonus funds. This bonus can help reduce any losses over a specific period.

VIP or Loyalty Programs

Casinos reward loyal players with points or tiers that lead to various perks, such as exclusive bonuses, higher withdrawal limits, and personalised customer support.

Refer-a-Friend Bonus

Players can earn bonuses by referring friends to the casino. Once the referred friend signs up and meets specific requirements, both receive bonuses.

High Roller Bonus

Designed for players who make substantial deposits, high roller bonuses offer larger bonus amounts with higher wagering requirements.

Birthday Bonuses

Some casinos offer special bonuses or gifts to players on their birthdays as a token of appreciation for their loyalty.

Game-specific Bonuses

These bonuses are tied to specific games or categories, such as slot bonuses, table game bonuses, or live casino bonuses, encouraging players to explore different gaming options.

Tournament Bonuses

In casino tournaments, players can win bonuses based on their performance and rankings. These bonuses often come with specific terms and conditions.

Seasonal or Holiday Bonuses

During special occasions or holidays, casinos may offer themed bonuses, such as Christmas or Halloween promotions.

That’s a fairly hefty list of different bonuses and not all of them will be on offer at the same time.

However, choosing the right casino bonuses online will certainly give you extra cash to play with that you didn’t have before.

The trick is, knowing which bonus offer will give you the most. As most of them are quite specific, we have taken a look at the bonus offers that you are most likely to find.

What are the good points and the bad for each of them? That way, you can be sure to make the right choice and get the best casino bonus offer that works for you.

Deposit Bonus Offers

It’s fair to say that this is by far the most common of the bonus offers. The reason for this is that the casino is asking you to put some money into your account before they give you your bonus.

Generally, this will be offered to a brand new customer to make it more appealing when signing up.

The trick here is to make sure that you understand how the first deposit bonus works. Many of these offers will match what your first deposit is. But some will be as simple as, deposit £10 to get £30 back as a bonus.

So, let’s say, you are looking to play slots and to get as much bonus cash into your account as possible. A match-up bonus with a huge percentage of return will get you the most back.

For example, the casino is offering a 100% match up to your first bonus and you deposit £150. The bonus you receive in this case would be £150.

It all depends on how much you want to put in first, so the bigger the commitment made by you, the bigger the return.

So where’s the catch? Well, expect some wagering requirements to be placed on the bonus cash. This means that you won’t be able to withdraw this money without wagering more money.

Plus there may also be a time limit set to the bonus, meaning that the bonus expires after a given period.

But if you know that you are going to be happy with the terms of the bonus, you are going to be playing with a whole heap of cash that you didn’t have before.

The best advice is to take the time to read over what the offer is. The general rule of thumb is that the simpler the offer, the fewer requirements may be placed on it.

Free Spins

Now, if you are very keen on slots, you’ll have a good idea of what this is. Without stating the obvious, as soon as you sign up, instead of bonus cash you will get free spins to use on slot machines.

For example, the casino may offer you 50 free spins when you sign up. So off you go and get playing.

The key things to look out for here is if there are wagering requirements, when the spins offer expires and where can you use them.

For instance, some of these offers will only allow you to use the spins on one game only and come with strict wagering requirements.

However, if you have a look around, there are Free Spin Offers with no wagering requirements placed on them at all and let you choose which slot to use them on.

Additional Offers

The online gaming industry is very competitive. This is why the offers for you to join are so great. But, what happens once you have joined?

Well, just as the casino will offer you a benefit to becoming a customer, they don’t want to lose you either.

Mr Play


Welcome Package


Terms and Conditions apply. New players only. 18+. Min Deposit £10. Welcome package splits over 3 deposits, 35x wagering requirement applies to match up bonus. Offer valid for 1 week. 100 spins split to 20 spins a day for 5 days. 50x wagering applies to spins. See full terms. 18+ #ad. Please bet responsibly.

What this means is that there are many additional bonus offers. For instance, you may well come across a staggered deposit bonus.

This basically means that the first bonus will be followed by additional bonuses once you make further deposits into your account.

On top of that, every casino has a promotion or offers page. These will change weekly or monthly but it’s worth taking a look especially around big events that casinos want to capitalise on.

Hopefully we’ve answered your original question of how do online casino bonuses work and our best advice is to look around for the big new customer offers.

Make sure you play on a licensed and trustworthy casino site and read through the terms and conditions for all offers very carefully.

After that, enjoy the bonus and have fun playing.