Casino Bonuses

There is very little question that one of the most important factors in the process of any player choosing one casino over another is the quality of the casino bonus that is offered. All other things being equal, players who get more bonus benefits from one casino tend to choose it over another casino. That only makes sense.

Since there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of choices available for online casino players looking for a little amusement, the competition to come up with the best incentive for a new player to sign up is very intense. That is exactly what a bonus is; an incentive to open up a real money account with a casino. There are a lot of different kinds of bonuses, and some of them offer real value to the player.

Some of them also come with different strings, because there is no such thing as free money that is going to be simply thrown at you. As the player, you are going to have to do something to earn that bonus, and in some cases, it is a much more arduous task than in others.

We will explore all the angles of this as we proceed.

Wagering Requirements

When you receive a casino bonus, it obviously isn't just a bunch of free money. As we mentioned, you have to, in effect, earn it, and the way you do that is to satisfy the "wagering requirements."

That means you have to put enough money into play so that you are able to justify them giving you the bonus money in the first place. Let's illustrate this with an example. Let's say that you are going to deposit $100 into a real money account at an online casino. The bonus is 100%, so you will ultimately have a balance of $200; that is, if you break even after your playing session. The wagering requirement for this particular casino is 25x, which means 25 times the combined amount of the deposit plus the bonus. So you would have to make wagers that amount to $5000 before you can cash in that bonus.

The wagering requirements vary according to where you're playing. The "25x" figure is pretty fair; sometimes you'll see 20x. On the other hand, sometimes it is a little stricter - up to 40x. This is a factor in evaluating the strength of a bonus program, as is the list of games that apply toward the wagering requirement. Slots players are always going to get preferential treatment, but if you play table games you'll want to see what extent they apply for certain.

Withdrawal Limits

When you find an online casino you want to play at, the first thing you do, if you want to be involved in real money games, is make a deposit. For that you will get a bonus, and if you're lucky, you may even get a bonus for the specific deposit method you use. That's all well and good, but all of these actions ultimately lead to where you want to be, and that is making a withdrawal, which means at least you have some money in your account to take out.

Of course, this may be because you want to close your account and go somewhere else, but let's think more optimistically. Maybe it's because you made a nice profit and you want to cash some of it out. You will have to go through the withdrawal process, and that is decidedly a bit slower than the deposit process, as you might expect.

Online casinos will always have a limit on how much you can actually take out of your account during any 24-hour period. And those amounts will vary according to the venue you're playing at. You're going to want to dig deep into the details to find out what those limits are, and if they meet with your approval. And you may also want to investigate how quick the whole withdrawal process is, because the casinos are very mindful that a lot of their competitors are very slow to come across with cash.

Sign-Up Bonuses

One of the most competitive areas of the online casino business involves battling over the new player. They love to grab customers who have never played with them before. Toward that end, they construct bonuses that are designed to attract these kinds of players.

Of course, if you are talking about players who haven't joined yet, the first bonus they are going to take a look at is the sign-up bonus. This is a reward for new customers who come in and sign up for the first time, and it is, more often than not, the most lucrative bonus the casino is going to offer. For players, it is a chance to get their relationship with an online casinos started on the right foot.

It is not unusual at all for a casino to offer a bonus that is 100% of the deposit that is made by the new player. In fact, it's rather customary. Naturally it means that if you make a deposit of $100 you will get a bonus of $100, thus doubling your money.

Some casinos will go even higher than that. We've seen sign-up bonuses that are 400% of the initial deposit. That is eye-popping, and if the wagering requirements on these bonuses aren't too stringent, it winds up being a pretty decent way to go. You just have to check things out.

Monthly Bonuses

After you sign up as a real money player in an online casino, you certainly want to know that they have not forgotten about you, right? Well, that's why you want to check out what they have to offer in the way of reload bonuses. The most common among these is the "monthly bonus."

Under this model you would be guaranteed a certain bonus percentage for subsequent deposits, and the general rule is that you are going to be awarded this bonus on the first deposit of the month. 

It is important for monthly bonuses, or something like them, to exist from a casinos' point of view, because it sends a message to players that they are appreciated well beyond the point where they have been brought into the fold. Even though new players are coveted, it's the long-term, loyal patron that is rarest.

If you're a customer, you are going to like the idea that beyond the initial bonus package, you have an opportunity to get some value for your money. After all, if you have gotten to the point where you are playing one month after another, you have more than likely given the casino enough business where they should appreciate you anyway.

High Roller Bonuses

When you sign up with an online casino and receive a sign-up bonus, there are certain limits. For example, you may be eligible to get a 100% bonus, but it might be limited to a dollar amount up to, say, $200. That doesn't give you a lot of room if you want to put a little more money - or a lot more - into action.

For those people some online casinos have instituted something called a "high roller bonus," which, in effect, does what the regular sign-up bonus does not do, which is to accommodate the players who are looking to deal at a higher level, financially speaking.

So it is possible that although the high roller bonus may just be 25% or 50%, it could be 25% or 50% of a great deal more money than other deposit bonuses cover. If you want to deposit $500, you may get a bonus of $125 or $250, which is more than you would get under normal circumstances.

Naturally, it is in the casino's interests to let you play like this, because after all, you are putting more money into action. So you shouldn't be surprised to see an abundance of high roller bonuses in the online casino community.

Game-Specific Bonuses

Once you are involved in playing with an online casino, you are going to be exposed to other kinds of bonus. One of those is a "game-specific bonus," which is a big treat for those who play the game that it encompasses. It is a good bet that when the casino offers a bonus for specific game, it is going to be a slot game.

Casinos will sometimes rotate this kind of thing, but in general it can be said that if there is a bonus attached to a particular game, it is one that they are interested in highlighting.

This could be something that is done in cooperation with the online casino software developer who created the game, or perhaps it's just a new arrival that would seem to have a lot of potential for success. If you look hard enough, you'll find that casinos, from time to time, put out news releases about various games they have added. This is just another way to promote the fact that they are part of the larger offering.

The object, of course, is to get more people playing the game, in the hopes that they will become big fans and continue to spend their entertainment dollar. That's only natural!

The Best Online Casinos

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Rank Online Casinos   Bonus USA? Software  
1. Golden Riviera Casino Golden Riviera Casino $/€/£ 1400 No Microgaming Download | Review
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3. Club World Casino Club World Casino $ 3000 Yes Realtime Gaming Download | Review
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5. InterCasino InterCasino $/€/£ 250 No Cryptologic Download | Review