It’s difficult to imagine a world without bonuses. Casinos would be much of a muchness and your bank roll would of course not go nearly as far giving you less time playing which, as we all know, means less chance of winning.
In this section we cover the most common types of bonuses you’re going to come across and perhaps most importantly how to get the most out of bonuses.
Online casinos are well aware that big bonuses are the best way to attract attention, so there’s no shortage of them on offer. From a player’s perspective the skill comes from being able to determine a good bonus from a bad one which requires examining the terms and conditions as well as knowing how they compare to others. As this can be quite time consuming, we’ve compiled some of the top bonuses around and included their vital statistics.
Know your Bonus Types
This table will help you understand the different types of bonuses you’ll come across either as a new player to a casino or an existing one.
Each type of bonus has its own benefits and whether they’re suitable for you or not really depends on what you’re looking for.
VIP and High Roller Bonuses
Can be in the form of a welcome or deposit bonus. Some are invitation only but many are not. Most are in the region of 200% up to a maximum bonus of £4,000 in some cases.
Good if you deposit over £200 each time.
These bonuses are almost always non-cashable.
Nothing in this World is for Free
It’s important to remember at all times that bonuses exist for two very important reasons:
- To get you in to install, register and deposit.
- To keep you playing (and depositing).
No casino in their right mind gives out free money unless they’re going to get something back in return. However, if you know how to spot a good bonus (and with a bit of luck) you can come out the other side with some handsome winnings.
8 Simple Rules of Casino Bonuses
In the heat of the moment it’s easy to get carried away and forget the rules. If you’re going to take away anything from the previous section, make it this list of simple rules…
- Always read the terms and conditions of a bonus.
It’s a first and most important rule for a reason. There’s nothing worse than doing well on a bonus then realising you’ve infringed the bonus terms.
- Don’t play excluded games.
If you read the terms, pay particular attention to what games you can and can’t play. If you do want to play games that aren’t meant for the bonus make sure your winning won’t be voided beforehand.
- Don’t double up on bonuses.
Easy now tiger, only take one bonus at a time. Some casinos let you take more than one bonus at a time. But doubling up on bonuses causes confusion and can end in tears.
- Know your wagering requirements.
You need to know what the wagering requirements are for the bonus you’ve taken and your ‘Bonus + Deposit’ from your ‘Bonus’ only. It makes a difference.
- Know the difference between cashable and non-cashable.
Do you get to keep the bonus and the winnings from the bonus (cashable) or just the winnings (non-cashable)? Cashable is always best.
- Games with a higher house edge have bigger bonuses.
Slots bonuses are always the most generous as they have a high house edge. Games such as blackjack, roulette and video poker with a lower house edge have less generous bonuses attached to them.
- Make sure you allow casinos to email you.
If you don’t allow the casino to contact you, you’ll rarely get to hear about other bonuses and promotions. If you don’t fancy having emails from the casino, set up another email address just for gambling and use that.
- Take it easy.
Don’t play like a high roller if you’re not. Enjoy the experience and don’t start doubling up when you have a winning streak or vice versa. For most people settling on a bet size that’s between 0.1% and 0.5% of your total balance will ensure you have a good run at it and walk away happy rather than feeling like you’ve been robbed
Understanding Casino Bonuses
If you’re looking to get the most out of bonuses we strongly suggest you read the below information.
It contains detailed descriptions of terminology that’s commonly used in almost all casinos. As with everything on Jackpot.co.uk you are encouraged to contact us if you have any specific questions.
Taking up a cashable bonus simply means that you can withdraw the bonus money. Picture this: after you complete the wagering requirements on a bonus, you have £400 in your account. £50 of that is bonus money. When you go to make a withdrawal you are allowed to withdraw the entire £400. 90% of the bonuses on Jackpot.co.uk are cashable bonuses.
Using the above example, you have the same £400 in your account. However, this time when you go to make your withdrawal, the £50 bonus is taken off the £400 leaving you with £350. Non-cashable bonuses are simply a way of casinos trying to protect themselves from people who meet the wagering requirements and still have bonus money left in their account. It goes without saying, in both cases, any winnings are always yours.
This means the amount of money that you have to bet on a game before you can withdraw. Wagering requirements can be on the bonus only or the bonus and deposit. For example, if you deposit £20 and get a £20 bonus you will have £40 to play with. If the wagering requirements are 20x the bonus and deposit, you will have to bet £800. But if the wagering requirements are 20x the bonus you will only have to bet £400 of your money. The latter is obviously the better option.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
Always Read the Small Print
Ah yes, the terms and conditions. Just like the warranty for your car, the mortgage for your house and that 2 for 1 offer at Pizza Express, casino bonuses are subject to terms and conditions.
In theory, if any one of these terms and conditions are broken then the casino has the right to withhold your winnings from you. In practice, a bit of judgement is exercised every now and then but believe us when we say that it’s best to toe the line.
Avoid 200%+ Bonuses like the Plague
Higher wagering requirements
A high percentage deposit match might seem like free money, but anything over 100% is probably too good to be true – and the reason for that is the wagering requirements that come with a big bonus.
Get anywhere close to 200% and you’re probably looking at having to play through and win your bonus money 50 times over bef
Easy Does It
Don’t get aggressive. Take your time.
The desire to hit those ‘playthrough’ or ‘wagering’ requirements as quickly as possible, combined with the headrush of having all that free money in your account, can make it tempting to raise your stakes, or even to bet it all on one hand or spin.
Conservative gambling is still the best way to make it through 40x playthroughs and still have some balance left to take as real money – so bet small, and at low odds, but check the Ts & Cs too because overly conservative Roulette or Blackjack betting is often outlawed under deposit bonus deals.
Low Wagering Requirements are Ideal
The first issue that we need to tackle is that of wagering requirements. These are attached to every bonus because, if they weren’t, you could simply take the money and run.
Basically the wagering requirements are the number of times that you have to bet your bonus in order to be able to withdraw it and your winnings. The amount can vary from 10x up to 50x or even 100x so remember; lower wagering requirements are better.
Only Certain Games Count Toward Requirements
The games that count towards the wagering requirements often differ too. This is because some games have lower house edges than others meaning that a player could easily wager the required amount on a game where they have a good chance of winning.
For example, blackjack rarely contributes much towards requirements as a player could reach the playthrough target without too much risk. But rather than not allowing these more advantageous games to contribute at all, casinos do allow them to make up a small percentage of the requirements. So blackjack may be able to account for 2% of requirements, for example.
In addition to this, always check whether the listed wagering requirements count against just the bonus or the deposit and the bonus. A little trick to look out for is when the requirements are multiplied by bonus and deposit. This makes them look smaller than they would if it were multiplied by just the bonus. To illustrate, requirements of 15x bonus and deposit is actually exactly the same as requirements of 30x a 100% bonus.
Below are a few examples of how wagering requirements work:
100% deposit match worth up to £150.
Wagering requirements of 20x bonus and deposit.
It’s really quite hard to overemphasise just how varied online casino promotions can be.
In over 10 years of monitoring online casinos at Jackpot.co.uk, we’ve seen just about everything given away, ranging from Hollywood movie roles to plain old coffee makers!
Types of Casino Promotions
The phrase ‘online casino promotions’ is a fairly broad term that can include a wide range of different offers from straight up percentage bonuses to physical prizes and experiences. However, there are a few tried and tested promotion methods that online casinos tend to stick to when running promotions. Below are some of the most commonly found.
Wager Based and VIP Giveaways
Almost all the casinos listed on Jackpot.co.uk offer some kind of wager based promotions and VIP giveaways. As you would have guessed, these are all based on how much you wager. If you wager a certain amount a month then you’ll either get points you can redeem for cash, entry into a prize draw for a large prize or a straight forward gift from the casino.
To show just how amazing some of these promotions can be, below is a short list of some of the prizes that have been offered over the years:
- 24-carat diamonds (we’ve only seen one but still worth a mention)
- Gold bars (Various weights and sizes)
- Hollywood movie roles (Intercasino did this)
- Holidays – lots of them (Caribbean –we Brits love a bit of that Caribbean it seems)
- Cash in hand bonuses (Usually £1,000 +)
- Computers and laptops (Lenovo, MacBook)
- Watches (Rolex and Omega brands)
- Mobile phones (iPhone mainly)
- Cars (BMW, Mercedes, Ford and Mini)
This list just scratches the surface of what’s out there. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the casinos which offer the biggest prizes aren’t necessarily the best ones. So if you do see what looks like an amazing promotion, be sure to dig a bit deeper.
Slot tournaments (or tourneys as some call them) may be one of the most popular promotional formats in bricks and mortar casinos, but for some reason only a few online casinos do them properly. They often run over a predetermined time frame with only a certain amount of seats available, so you have to be quick. They’re very appealing as they’re easy to play and for a relatively small buy-in the winner/s can walk away with a massive profit. The casinos love them as they get players to register at the casino and cost very little, if anything, to run.
The most common tournament format is as follows:
- Players pay a buy-in ranging from £1.00 to £20.
- These funds are placed in a prize pool (casino takes a small % as profit).
- Limit on players is reached. Typically around 40-100. The bigger the number of players, the bigger the prize pool.
- Tournament starts and ends.
- The 10 players with the biggest coin score share the prize pool.
In some cases the casino will have a fixed prize pool and/or fund it themselves without taking a cut of the buy-in.
Similar to tournaments, online casino races require players to sign up and play certain games where they earn points. However, rather than the players with the most points at the end winning, casino races provide prizes to players that earn a set amount of points first.
Casino races tend to offer slightly lower prizes than tournaments but can be great ways of earning extra cash if you get there in good time.
Know someone who also likes gambling online? Well refer-a-friend is just what you need. Casino will pay you money if you get one of your friends to register and deposit.
This list is not exhaustive so it’s always best to check the promotions page of the casino for the latest freebies on offer.