Beginner's Guide To Casino Bonuses
Finding your way around an online casino is very easy. If you’ve ever done any shopping online, the navigation will be straightforward, and you’ll be able to find the types of games you want to play simply. For those who have not so much experience we have made a handy Beginners guide to casino bonuses.
You can play online either by downloading free software from the casino or in Flash mode, meaning that games are played directly in your browser. Downloading software is simple and you are provided with a set-up wizard to help you. However, should you have any difficulties online casinos provide excellent customer support, including toll free phone numbers and online chat.
Signing Up and Registering for an Account
Signing up and registering for a casino account is very straightforward. The first step at some casinos involves downloading the software, while at others you can register an account first and then download or play in Flash mode. You will generally need to create a username and password, provide an email address, your home address and a mobile number.
Types of Casinos Bonuses
Bonuses are essentially free money that the casino gives you to play with, usually when you open an account as a Welcome Bonus, but most will offer bonuses to existing players as well. Different types of bonuses suit different players and so it makes sense to look carefully at the different offers available to find out the type that is most appropriate for you.
For instance, you may find that a match bonus is a good choice. This is when the casino matches your first deposit (and maybe your 2nd, 3rd and 4th as well), and these matches can increase your bankroll significantly. However, it’s important to consider a number of factors when you’re deciding which match bonus is best for you:
- If there is more than one tier of the match bonus, what is the total sum of the match percentage? Work out what the total series of matches represents as a percentage of your deposits.
- If there are several tiers to the match bonus, how quickly do you have to make your deposits in order to be able to activate the full bonus? It might be that you need to make a series of deposits in a limited period of time, and so take note of this and make sure it suits your budget.
- In order to unlock all of the match bonuses, what is the sum total of deposits you have to make? This will help you to decide which match bonus represents the best value for you, as some match bonuses require you to deposit more than others in order to receive the full bonus. Again, make sure that this is an amount that suits you.
You can earn match bonuses at:
- Platinum Play—100% match bonus on your first deposit (up to $200)
- Royal Vegas—3-tier match bonus worth up to $1,200 (on deposits of $2,250)
- Spin Palace—3-tier match bonus worth up to $375 (on deposits of $850)
- Grand Reef—4-tier match bonus worth up to $750 (on deposits of $1,000), followed by an additional $50 bonus after your 4th deposit
- Casino Mate—3-tier match bonus worth $200 (on deposits of $225 over 7 days)
These bonus sums are usually credited to your account immediately once you register and make your first deposit.
Alternatively a no deposit bonus might offer you better value. With these, you can pick up sums of free money that enable you to play at the casino without having to make a commitment beyond registering for an account.
When you’re looking at these bonuses, check out the maximum amount of money you’re able to win using this bonus (there will be limits), what the playthrough requirement is before you can cash out any winnings, and if there is a time limit on how long you have to use the bonus amount. This is a good bonus option to take if you don’t want to make a large initial deposit, or want to see what the casino has to offer before committing too much.
You can earn a no deposit bonus at:
- Platinum Play— 1,500 bets to play with for 48 hours, with winnings of up to $100.
- Grand Reef— No deposit welcome bonus of $25 with a 30x playthrough requirement.
- Casino Mate—$3,000 free play bonus to play with for 60 minutes.
Alternatively you might prefer to opt for a free spin bonus, where instead of a sum of money you get free spins on a particular game or type of game (read here about free spin bonuses). To earn this sort of bonus, you will need to open an account and then you might get to play your free spins before depositing any funds, or there may be a minimum deposit that you have to make first. If you opt for a free spin bonus, check the amount of time you have to use them, and if there is a limit on how much you can win.
Free Spin Bonuses can be found at:
- Jackpot City—15x free spins on Thunderstruck II, any winnings can be cashed out once you deposit $20 into your account.
- Emu Casino—10x free spins on Rook’s Revenge, winnings up to $10.
- All Slots—different numbers of free spins on different pokies are available: 25x free spins on Break Away, Break Da Bank, Immortal Romance and Gold Factory, 50x free spins on The Twisted Circus and 100x free spins on Avalon. You need to make a deposit of $25 before the free spins can be played and any winnings are credited to your bonus account.
Bonuses can also be earned by using a casino’s preferred payment, which is usually an e-wallet. It might be the case that a first deposit using a preferred payment method attracts a bonus, or at some casinos every deposit that you make using the wallet earns you a bonus.
You can earn preferred payment method bonuses at: Royal Vegas—10% match bonus on first deposits using EcoCard, NETeller, Skrill, clickandbuy, entropay, Click2Pay and uKash Platinum Play—10% match bonus on first deposits using EcoCard, NETeller and Click2Pay William Hill—$25 bonus on first deposits using Skrill.
Playthrough or Wagering Requirements
When you're deciding which sort of casino bonus is best suited to you, it’s a good idea to take into account the playthrough requirement (or wagering requirement) in order to find the best value. There are two elements to this: the size of the playthrough requirement before you can cash out the bonus amount; and the percentage each different game contributes.
For instance, if a casino offers a 20x playthrough requirement (such as you find at William Hill), you will need to wager 20x your initial deposit before you can cash out any bonus money. You can continue to play with this bonus money and it will remain in your bonus account, but you can’t withdraw it.
In addition, different games contribute different amounts to the wagering requirement. It is usually 1:1 for pokies (i.e., every dollar you wager counts as a dollar towards the playthrough requirement), but it might be 4:1 for roulette (e.g. every $4 you wager counts as $1 towards the playthrough requirement), or higher for other games. The higher the ratio, the more you will need to wager more before being able to cash out any bonus sums.
Therefore, knowing the full details of the wagering requirement will help you to decide whether the bonus on offer represents good value for you, taking into account how much and how frequently you play and the types of games that you favour.
How to make Deposits and Withdrawals
Online casinos offer different ways to deposit funds and to make withdrawals. These include: credit cards; debit cards; pre-paid cards; a variety of e-wallets, such as POLi; direct bank transfer; and pre-paid vouchers, such as UKash. Most of these methods (except direct bank transfer) credit funds to your account immediately. When you come to withdraw funds, most casinos will wait 24—48 hours before transferring the money, during which time you can change your mind and cancel your request. After this time, it usually takes between 3—5 business days until funds reach you. Go here for more information about the different kinds of payment methods offered by online casinos.
For Australian players, it’s important to know that not all deposit methods are available for withdrawals. If this is the case your funds are sent to you as a cheque. As part of this process, you may be asked to verify your identity by providing a scan of your driver’s licence or passport.