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PlayersBest Awards – Best Casino Bonus

Last Updated on 16/05/2024

If you ask us, the best online casino bonus is one that provides players with new, creative and exciting ways to get value from their time on the site. Like setting a course into the vast unknown, the final destination can be achieved in a multitude of ways. Value could be added in extra spins, cash or access to tournaments, for instance. That said, we always view the quality of these rewards by how they’re activated. Not only do the bonuses have to provide value in theory, but getting them has to be both reasonable and attainable. The best promotions should always be a win-win for both the player and the betting site. You should get an incentive to play and, in return, the operator should attract and retain more customers.

Here at PlayersBest, our analysis sees the best casino sites in the world coming through our Lab. This means our standards for the best online casino bonus are as high as the moon. To find out more about what kind of promotions you can expect, variety and quality-wise, as well as online casino recommendations, head on over to our lab.

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The Different Types of Online Casino Bonuses

There’s a huge variety of promotions out there. Understanding them, what they offer and how they work is absolutely vital to finding the right casino bonus for you. Here, we’re going to break down many of the key types of bonuses. Do keep in mind though there’s plenty of scope and variety within these categories. This should, however, give you a jumping-off point in understanding how they work and how they can benefit you.

Welcome Bonuses

This is the most common type of casino bonus and, in our experience, can offer the most value. Often when we make bookmaker comparisons in terms of bonuses, these end up being the benchmark. The reason for that is simple: bookmakers are often at their most generous when it comes to getting new customers. Of course, there’s a built-in downside, which is that it holds no value for existing customers.

In terms of the best welcome bonus an online casino can offer, there’s a lot of leeway. Typical rewards include bonus spins and deposit matches. Really though, as long as they are offered exclusively to new players, we would view it as a welcome bonus.

No Deposit Bonuses

We don’t see this kind of bonus as frequently as many of the others on this list. In a way, we view that as an indication of their generosity. This kind of bonus does not require any kind of deposit from the player. This obviously separates it from the vast majority of other promotions, which provide a return for some kind of deposit or set bet amount.

Now, these types of bonuses will usually only be for a small amount, which is understandable. We still think a very small no deposit bonus offers an awful lot of value. It’s something for nothing, at least initially. For us, one of the most overlooked advantages is that these promotions allow you to try out a site without putting down any money. Do keep in mind though restrictions may apply before winnings can be withdrawn.

Bonus Spins

Naturally, this is only really relevant for casino bonus comparisons, as they apply to slot games. Often, bonus spins are rewarded alongside other bonus types, but they can make up their own promotional offer. These allow people to test out new and popular slot games. In fact, one of our favourite things about bonus spins is their ability to shine a spotlight on specific casino titles. You may find yourself with a new favourite as a result of this kind of promotion.

Cash Back Bonuses

This promotion can give you money back on certain games if you lose. This could be a percentage of losses over a certain period of time, like a weekend, for example. No one likes losing but the ability to curb money lost is a big positive. This type of bonus is perhaps most common when used as part of a sports accumulator, where you get some money back if one leg loses. For information on this and some of the other best sports promotions out there, check out our awards for the best sports betting bonus in our betting bonus comparison.

Regular Bonuses

While this and the following bonus type are similar, we assure you there are distinct differences. Regular bonuses reward you for frequent play. For instance, you may get a bonus for weekly deposits of a certain amount. You may also be rewarded for betting on certain days. When we look for the best online casino bonus, consistency is something we take very seriously. The best deposit bonus for casino sites are regular ones. That’s important because they show that the operator thinks about their ongoing customers as much as new ones. That’s absolutely vital in order for us to provide any kind of betting site recommendation to you.

Loyalty and VIP Bonuses

How to define when a promotion is a loyalty or VIP bonus has always been interesting to us. In a way, many different promotions reward repeat customers of a betting site. It’s not too dissimilar to how you may get your sixth cup of coffee free at your favourite coffee shop. These kinds of bonuses though usually reward very high usage with tiers and set bonuses. They may have a points-based system, for instance. A certain amount of dollars wagered may be worth a set amount of points, and those points may provide different rewards. These can include cashback, bonus spins or dedicated support, for example.

Refer a Friend Bonuses

If you get a friend to sign up to a betting site, you can often receive something in return. Usually, the friend also needs to deposit and/or bet a certain amount for you to receive your reward. For instance, if you refer a friend and they bet £100 over three months, you may get £30. This is just a hypothetical example. Of course, how good this bonus is will depend on the specifics of those terms.

Tournaments, Cash Drops and Prize Draws

We don’t necessarily view this as one set of promotions, as there are so many different variables. A promotion could, for instance, provide you with free entry to a poker tournament or the tournament could be for who has the highest winning per slot. Cash drops are where bonuses of any kind are awarded at random when you play certain games, usually slots. Prize draws are very similar to this, as you usually get entered for playing specific games.

There’s a huge amount of scope here. However, what binds them all together is that you’re getting access to potential winnings as a reward for playing on certain games or meeting certain criteria. It’s access to potential winnings, rather than a set reward amount, which sets these apart. For that reason, these bonuses are usually rewarded as part of typical play or usage.

Mobile-Exclusive Bonuses

The only thing that makes these stand out is, as the name suggests, that they are exclusive to mobile. Still, there’s no reason that this type of promotion couldn’t be amongst the best online casino bonus options out there. For us though, the key benefit here is to highlight often excellent betting apps. We want to point out before moving on that this list is just intended as an overview. Really, when it comes to the search for the best online casino bonus, the only limit is the generosity and imagination of the operator.

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Assessing the Value of a Casino Bonus

Never judge an online casino by your first glance. Ultimately, the terms and conditions are what makes the best online casino bonus. They can send the bonus quality into space or meteor strike your initial hopes. For instance, you may be offered a 100% bonus on your deposit. However, if the terms can never reasonably be met, then that bonus is as good as useless.

On the other hand, quality bonuses with reasonable terms and conditions can improve your betting experience and provide real value. It’s also important to consider the value that a promotion has for you. We understand that not everybody bets the same way. For example, if you’re not interested in slot games, a bonus spins won’t be of much use. That said, the true value of any casino bonus, regardless of preference, lies in the terms and conditions. We’re going to go through the key terms and conditions for you to look out for next. That way, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to avoid disappointment and find your ideal online casino and best bonus.

We always recommend you do check them out for yourself though. Although the casino bonus comparisons we produce at PlayersBest are done to the highest possible standards, they can be subject to change. For that reason, it’s always best practise to look for yourself. With that in mind, the restrictions and requirements outlined here will be key in determining whether it’s worth pursuing a casino bonus or not.

Important Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions

Here, we’re going to break down the most important terms and conditions you should be paying attention to in order to find your online casino best bonus. They’re vitally important in every aspect of the quality of a betting site. We consider them one of our most important considerations when picking nominations for our casino awards. Of course, We always advise for the full terms and conditions to be read before committing to any promotion. That said, some terms are more common than others. These include;

Wagering Requirements

In our experience, this is the term that will make or break a promotion. Wagering requirements are essentially how much money you need to deposit or bet in order to receive your winnings from a bonus amount. So, if you have a 20x wagering requirement, you need to play through the amount of the bonus 20 times before you can withdraw.

Time Limits

Wagering requirements often need to be settled within a certain timeframe. This will also have a big impact on the value of a bonus. For example, if you can meet the wagering requirement reasonably within a month but only have a week to do so, that will seriously damage its usefulness to you. Another common time limit is how long you have to make an initial deposit after registering.

Game Types

Not all games count towards the wagering requirements. Often, they will also count different amounts. For instance, slots typically count 100%, whereas table games count for much less. For certain promotions, only specific games they wish to highlight will count.

Payment Method Restrictions

Often, deposits made via e-wallets and cryptocurrencies will not be eligible for bonuses. This is so common that we don’t view it too harshly when looking at the best online casino bonuses, as it’s often beyond the control of the operator.

It’s worth pointing out too that some casinos (and betting sites in general) do have promotions that are specifically for users of things like cryptocurrencies. As far as we’re concerned, more is better when it comes to promotions. So, more inclusion of payment methods is a positive. We just keep in mind that it’s often logistical and safety issues beyond the control of the operator which creates these restrictions.

Geographical restrictions

Just as complicated in its reasoning are geographical restrictions. To be honest with you, the number of reasons there can be for geographical restrictions on bonuses are too vast to go into detail here. They can be due to political, historical, legal reasons and more. All that matters for you though on a practical basis is whether your country is restricted. This should be pretty easy to find, as most terms and conditions should have restricted countries clearly outlined. If not, you can check with customer service but in our experience, that’s not usually necessary.

Redeeming a Casino Bonus

We’re often surprised by how many people get concerned about the actual practicalities of redeeming a casino bonus. For some reason, a lot of people believe this is going to be a needlessly complicated process.

Such messing around would deeply hamper a promotion’s chances of being considered among the best online casino bonus offers. Not only that but it’s just not something you’ll likely have to worry about. The best bookmakers and betting providers want you to sign up to their site and use their bonuses. They’re hoping to keep you as a customer for a long time. The smart ones will realise that a good experience here will make it more likely for you to choose them long-term as your favourite betting site.

Usually, all you need to do then is complete the criteria for unlocking the bonus. Many times, we’ve found ourselves to have unlocked a bonus without even realising we were doing so during ordinary play. In fact, ease of use is something we consider very seriously when determining the best online casinos in general. The typical experience should be stress-free. That said, there are a few other key things to keep in mind when redeeming a casino bonus, which we’re going to cover here:

Check if there are any bonus or promo codes to apply

One of the very few pitfalls of redeeming casino promotions are bonus or promo codes. We’re sure you’re already aware of these. They are codes you put in, often during registration, to unlock a bonus. With some online casinos, this is because there are multiple welcome bonus options.

In any case, forgetting to put in a bonus code can mean you miss out on great promotions. The only advice we can give here is to check if there are any needed before signing up. If you do forget, then there may be nothing you can do. However, we have had experience with this before and found some customer service teams can be rather forgiving, assuming we contacted them quickly.

Ensure no one else with your IP address has redeemed the bonus already

While people often realise they can only use a promotion once, they may not realise the extent of this rule. Usually, that extends to your home, email and IP address. In other words, if someone who lives with you has used that promotion already, you may be locked out. We’re sorry to say that does mean if your flatmate recommends a promotion, you may not be able to access it. This may seem harsh but it’s for security and fraud reasons and is very common.

Choose promotions that suit your style of play

Ideally, the process of redeeming a bonus comes naturally. We mentioned at the start of this section that we have received bonuses in the past without realising it. That’s because the best promotions are ones that you would unlock during normal usage. The likelihood of this happening is something we always consider during our online casino reviews, as it’s the best way for promotions to work.

Obviously, part of this is down to your personal preferences. There’s no right or wrong games to enjoy, for instance. That’s why we always say it’s not just about finding a good casino site but the best casino for you. Discovering promotions that suit how you like to play is part of that. Once you start regularly using promotions, your betting experiences will be out of this world.

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