Types of Bonuses and How to Evaluate Them

For new players, especially, the world of casino bonuses can seem both confusing and overwhelming. 

There are many different types of casino bonus, and working out the value of each type doesn’t follow the same process. 

The present article will go over what different types of casino bonus are available and how to work out which is best for you.

What Do Online Casino Bonuses Involve?

A casino bonus is an incentive given to new players in return for either making a deposit or creating an account. 

However, it needs to be known that casinos aren’t just giving away free money. 

There are terms that regulate how you can and can’t use your bonus.

Usually, they involve:

  • Wagering Requirements – All bonuses (unless specified) have wagering requirements. This is a multiplier that determines how many times you have to wager your bonus. For example, if your bonus is worth $10 in bonus credits and the wagering requirements are 50x, you have to wager (10 x 50) $500 before you can withdraw your bonus winnings. 
  • Game Weighting Percentages – Some high odds games only contribute a portion of your stake to the wagering requirements. 
  • Win Caps – These determine the maximum you can withdraw as real cash using your casino bonus. Most deposit bonuses do not have win caps.

Casino Bonus Types

As stated, there are many types of casino bonus, all of which have their own unique rules and provide you with different benefits. 

The most common types of casino bonus are:

  • No Deposit BonusesYou’ll receive bonus credits of between $10 and $50 after you create a new account. No deposit is required. 
  • No Deposit Free SpinsYou’ll get a number of free spins between 10 and 50 free spins after you create a new account. No deposit is required.
  • Match Deposit BonusesThe casino will match your deposit value by a percentage. These may double, triple or even quadruple your bankroll. 
  • Cashback Bonuses – You will be reimbursed for your losses over a period of time. The reimbursement will likely be in bonus credits. 

We will take a closer look at these bonuses below.

No Deposit Bonuses

A no deposit bonus is a free type of bonus you get for registering with a casino.

This bonus will reward you with bonus credits. Most are between the value of $5 and $20, but they sometimes go higher. 

The amount you receive in bonus credits is obviously one way to compare similar bonuses. However, you also need to be aware of the wagering requirements and the win cap.

No Deposit Bonus Wagering Requirements

So, what should you expect from no deposit bonus wagering requirements? 

Most of the time, it’s hard to meet the wagering requirements of no deposit bonuses. In the majority of cases you will be expected to wager the value of your bonus between 30 and 60 times. 

Moreover, you only get a short time to use your bonus before it expires. 

We recommend you go for the no deposit bonus with the lowest wagering requirements.

Comparing them is straightforward:

Bonus Bonus Value Wagering Requirements Sum-Total To Wager
Bonus A $20 10x $200
Bonus B $40 50x $2,000

As you can see, Bonus A is way more valuable because the wagering requirements give you a fair chance of winnings. 

With Bonus A you only have to wager $200 using your bonus. With Bonus B you have to wager $2,000 using your bonus.

Win Caps

Casinos do not want to incur too heavy a loss by offering a free bonus, which is why they implement win caps. 

With no deposit bonuses, you may only be able to convert a portion of your winnings into real money. 

The amount you can convert into real money can vary a lot, with most being between the values of $5 and $200.

Thus even if you win $1,000’s using your no deposit bonus, you will only be able to withdraw a small portion of it up to the maximum win cap. 

Obviously, the more you can win in real cash, the better the bonus.

Free Spins With No Deposit

A lot of casinos offer no deposit free spins as a way to indulge (and attract) slots players. 

With free spins you don’t usually get to choose which slot game you play. The casino may elect a single slot game, or give you a handful of slots to choose from. Most of these will be popular slots. 

As with the previous no deposit bonus, you’ll get to win real money with your free spins so long as you meet the terms and conditions, including the wagering requirements.

Working Out The Value Of Your Free Spins

Whereas bonus credits are given as a monetary value (for instance, $10 in bonus credits), free spins are given as a quantity (for instance, 20 free spins). 

To work out the value of your free spins bonus simply multiply the quantity of free spins by the minimum bet on the eligible slot game.

Quantity Of Free Spins Minimum Bet Monetary Value Of Free Spins
20 0.1 $2
50 0.01 $0.50

As with all free bonuses, there are terms and conditions that govern how you can use your free spins. An important term to be aware of is the win cap. As before, the higher the win cap the better.

Free Spins Wagering Requirements

The wagering requirements for free spins work differently to regular no deposit bonuses. 

In this case, the wagering requirements will apply to the amount you win with your free spins.

We’ll use a table to illustrate:

Bonus Quantity Of Free Spins Free Spins Winnings Wagering Requirements Sum-Total To Wager
Bonus A 30 $20 30 $600
Bonus B 10 $5 10 $50

As you can see, you can usually discount the amount of free spins you’re going to receive. Everything depends on how much you win with your free spins
Our advice is the same as before: claim no deposit free spins bonuses with the lowest wagering requirements for the best chance of winning.

Match Deposit Bonuses

With this bonus the casino will match your deposit by a percentage up to a particular value. 

For example, let’s say you claim a match bonus worth 100% up to $100.

This essentially means the casino will double your bankroll, so:

  • If you made a $50 deposit, you’d get $50 in bonus credits.
  • If you made a $100 deposit, you’d get $100 in bonus credits. 

It’s vital you know that you can only use your match deposit bonus once you have exhausted your real money balance. 

Therefore to start fulfilling the wagering requirements, your real money account must have $0 in it. 

Here’s a table that we hope illustrates how match bonuses work:

Bonus Initial Deposit Match Percentage Maximum Bonus Bonus + Deposit Balance
Bonus A $200 50% $100 $300
Bonus B $200 100% $200 $400
Bonus C $200 200% $400 $600

Match Bonus Wagering Requirements

The key to understanding the wagering requirements for match bonuses is that it can apply either to: 

  • The bonus value, or
  • The bonus value + the deposit value. 

We’ll provide you with examples that illustrate how it affects your chances below:

Wagering Requirements That Apply To Bonus Value

Initial Deposit Bonus Value Wagering Requirements Sum-Total You Have To Wager
$100 $100 10x ($100 x 10) $1,000

We can break down the information contained in this table as follows: 

  • You make a deposit worth $100. 
  • The casino matches your deposit by 100% so you get $100 in bonus credits.
  • The wagering requirement is 10x and only applies to the bonus value.
  • Consequently, you only have to wager $1,000 using your bonus. 

This is fairly straightforward. In fact, it works similarly to no deposit bonuses. Yet it is important you’re aware of this because of the alternative situation, which we’ll go over below.

Wagering Requirements That Apply To The Bonus Value AND The Deposit Value

Initial Deposit Bonus Value Wagering Requirements Sum-Total You Have To Wager
$100 $100 10x ($100 + $100) x 10 = $2,000

This table can be broken down as follows: 

  • You make a deposit worth $100. 
  • The casino matches your deposit by 100%, so you get $100 in bonus credits. 
  • The wagering requirement is 10x, yet this time it applies to both the value of your deposit and the value of your bonus. 
  • Consequently, you have to wager $2,000 using your bonus before you can withdraw your winnings. 

As you can see, because you also have to factor in the value of your deposit, the amount you have to wager (in this case) is double what you otherwise would have to.

Other Types Of Match Deposit Bonus

  • Match Bonus Over Multiple Deposits – This type of bonus works similarly to regular match deposit bonuses, except you’ll get rewards over your first second, third and sometimes fourth deposit rather than just your first. 
  • High Roller Match Bonuses – These are identical to regular match bonuses except they are reserved for especially large deposits, usually in the $1,000’s. 
  • Reload Bonuses – These are offered to loyal players rather than new players. They are otherwise identical to regular match deposit bonuses.

Cashback Bonuses

A cashback bonus is exactly what it describes: you will receive cashback after making particular actions over a period of time, say a week or a month. 

The different types of cashback bonus include: 

  • Cashback On Losses – You’ll be returned a portion of your losses over a period of time. 
  • Cashback On Total Bets – You’ll be returned a portion of the sum-total you bet over a period of time. 
  • Cashback On Deposits – You’ll receive a portion of the sum total you deposit over a period of time in cashback. 

Cashback is rarely given in real money. Most of the time, you will receive cashback in bonus credits that come with typical T&Cs like wagering requirements. 

The percentage of cashback you receive will vary, usually between the percentages of 5% and 30%. 

You can only get a cashback bonus upon making an initial, qualifying deposit. 

Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions

While we have gone over a number of the T&Cs already in our article, the usual rules, such as minimum deposits, eligible games, and maximum bet sizes also apply. 

The following rules are also very important: 

Win Caps

A win cap basically limits the amount you can win in real money. 

It is a common sense rule that is implemented to protect a casino’s profits. Usually, though, they only apply to no deposit bonuses. 

Therefore, if you claimed a no deposit bonus and won a lot of cash, say $2,000, you wouldn’t be able to withdraw $2,000 as real money. 

Typically, you’ll get to withdraw somewhere between $10 and $200.

Game Contribution

Some casinos let you play high odds games, such as blackjack or roulette. 

But in order to rebalance the odds in favor of the casino, they will lower the percentage of your stake that goes towards the wagering requirements when you play these games. 

It’s likely that blackjack and roulette will only contribute between 0 and 20% of your stake when you play them with a bonus. Slots, on the other hand, will contribute 100%. 

The difference this makes is highlighted by the following table:

Game Amount Wagered Game Contribution Amount Contributed To Wagering Requirements
Blackjack $100 4% $4
Slots $100 100% $100

As you can see, the difference this makes is huge.

In Summary

Finding the bonus that is best for you depends on a few factors, including: 

  • Whether or not you want to make a deposit. 
  • How much you want to deposit. 
  • The types of games you play, and more. 

The way you evaluate the casino bonus changes slightly depending on the type you claim, but the general rule is to compare the terms and conditions. 

A simple way to find the best bonus is to compare such terms as the wagering requirements, win cap and whether or not the bonus is eligible on a game you’d like to play.

Published on: 2023/01/13

About the Author

Hi, I'm Ian, the Chief Editor at NoDeposit.Guide - With hundreds of reviews and thousands of no deposit bonuses, NoDeposit.Guide is certainly your one-stop destination for free online gambling. Our bonuses are updated daily and we pride ourselves on providing the highest percentage of working bonus, worldwide.