A casino welcome bonus is a gift that casinos give to new players as a thank you for signing up with them. In most cases, you will be given extra money to play with after you make a deposit.
However, there are many different types so exactly what you get and how much depends on each offer. This means it’s important to understand what is available so that you can choose the best welcome bonus casino for you.
Best welcome bonus casino
To make things more interesting, there are many different percentages and maximum caps available. We’re going to explain the most common types here, complete with our pick of the best casino welcome bonuses in 2021 for each section.
100% welcome bonus
The 100 welcome bonus is one of the most popular casino bonuses around at the moment. We’ve already explained 100% up to £100 above so we’ll look at different take instead.
Example: 100% up to £200. In this case, the casino is willing to match what you deposit in full but up to £200 instead. Here are some examples:
- Deposit £100 = £200 overall (£100d + £100b)
- Deposit £300 = £500 overall (£300d + maximum extra of £200)
200% welcome bonus
- No Deposit Bonus
- Up to 50 Free Spins
- First Deposit Bonus
- Up to 150 FS + Up to £500 Welcome Bonus
A 200% welcome bonus is less common but it’s more lucrative! It means that a casino is not just willing to match your deposit but add even more extra money on top.
Example: 200% up to £200. This casino welcome offer works by taking what you deposit and doubling it. You are still only able to get the maximum extra money of £200 – but this means you don’t need to put as much of your own money down to get it. Here are some examples:
- Deposit £100 = £300 overall (£100d + £200b)
- Deposit £150 = £350 overall (£150d + maximum extra of £200)
300 welcome bonus casino
A 300% welcome bonus is very rare. In fact, none of our recommended casinos have one in stock. Therefore, our pick for the best 300 welcome bonus casino is all to do with extra money.
Example: 100% up to £300. As it’s 100%, this means that the casino is only willing to match what you deposit. However, they give you the opportunity to land a lot more extra money in total if you wish. Here are some examples:
- Deposit £300 = £600 overall (£300d + £300b)
- Deposit £500 = £800 overall (£500d + maximum extra of £300)
What is a welcome bonus?
A welcome bonus is a reward that a casino offers to new players for signing up. The exact reward depends on the offer, but it’s usually either extra bonus money or free spins. At all of the casino sites we recommend, you will be offered a welcome bonus.
Welcome bonuses can be extremely lucrative, as it’s the casino’s chance to tempt you to play at their site so they will often try to offer something particularly generous or different. You can activate a welcome bonus in the following way:
- Go to your chosen casino
- Create a new account
- Make a deposit
- Receive the welcome bonus
Some casinos need you to choose a welcome offer manually. For example, you may need to select it from a drop-down list or input a promo code when making a payment. These things completely depend on each site but they should be clearly signposted so that you don’t miss out. If you’re ever in doubt then you can contact the casino’s support team who will walk you through it.
You should be up and running in a matter of minutes.
How do casino welcome bonuses work?
You need to keep in mind that the small print often defines what the best online casino welcome bonus is or isn’t.
How do I know what I’ll get?
Most casino welcome bonuses work by giving you more money to play with on top of what you deposit. Exactly how much extra money you get depends on three things – how much you deposit, how much the casino is willing to match your deposit, and what the maximum bonus amount is. It might sound complicated at first but bear with us and it’ll soon be simple.
Example: a very common welcome offer is 100% up to £100. The 100% part means that the casino is willing to match your payment in full – so if you gave £50 then the casino would give you £50 extra money. However, there is a limit.
The £100 part tells you the maximum amount of extra money the casino is willing to give. So if you were to deposit £150 then they would only give £100 extra.
All that extra money you’re given? Unfortunately, the casinos don’t just let you take that out. Instead, you need to wager it.
Pretty much all casino welcome bonuses will have what’s called wagering requirements attached. This means you need to use your bonus to bet over and over until you’ve reached a certain number. Wagering will be stated as something like “x20”. This means you’ll often need to multiply what you get as extra money by 20 to know how much you need to bet. Again, it sounds complicated but it’s best explained in an example.
Example: 100% up to £100 with x20 wagering on the bonus. You deposit £100 and get £100 as extra bonus money. As the wagering is on the extra money only, this means you need to multiply £100 * 20 = £2,000. So, before you can withdraw your extra money and any winnings, you need to use it to bet a total of £2,000. Unfortunately, casinos often enforce a maximum bet policy of £5 per spin/round so you can’t just race through it quickly.
For more information on this and to access a special wagering calculator which does all the sums itself, you can read our complete guide on how to beat wagering requirements.
What do you play with first, the extra money or your own deposit?
It might sound odd – and this does actually depend on your preference – but you may want to play with your own money first. If you do and the bonus is forfeitable, this is how it works:
- Play with your own money first
- If you win: withdraw the winnings by giving up the extra money
- If you lose: use the extra money as a second chance of winning
Essentially, a forfeitable bonus gives you a second bite of the apple. However, sometimes you might not want to use your own money first, like when you’re trying out a new game for the first time. You just want to test it out without placing any real money bets to see if it’s good or not. In this case, you might decide to go for a non-forfeitable offer instead.
Treading along a similar path – is the offer a cashable welcome bonus?
What we mean by this is whether you get to keep the actual bonus part or just the winnings. Example: You get £100 as extra money, you manage to complete the wagering and finish with £200 overall:
- Cashable welcome bonus = keep the full £200.
- Non-cashable welcome bonus = remove the initial extra money from the total winnings (£200 – £100 = £100).
A casino should explain in the offer’s terms and conditions whether you get to keep everything in full or not. You may also hear of cashable being a non-sticky bonus and non-cashable as a sticky bonus. However, no matter the terminology, they mean the same thing.
We mentioned earlier how a casino welcome bonus takes a variety of forms. In some cases, casinos may include more bonuses after the first as part of their welcome offer or package. These are known as reload bonuses. So, instead of receiving a boost on your maiden deposit only, you might actually get more for your second, third, fourth deposits too.
Although it’s not always clear if a casino welcome offer includes reloads, the size of the package often gives it away. Example: if you see something along the lines of £1,000 welcome bonus then you can assume this is spread across multiple payments, not one. Of course, if you ever see an offer specifically state that it’s across many deposits then you know there are reloads included.