Best Casino Bonuses in 2019 – Your Complete Guide
Choosing an online casino bonus can be one of the most difficult decisions for players. Some know exactly what bonus they want. Yet, for others, the sheer volume of online casino bonuses can be overwhelming – especially for beginners.
When the Casino Professor first began gaming, the casino bonuses on show were fairly limited. These days, there’s been a mini-explosion of innovation – with no deposit bonuses, welcome offers, free spins, casino bonus codes, reloads, and much more!
If you’re already familiar with these casino offers then you can select the best for your gaming needs using the Professor’s handy filter tools on this page. Alternatively, we’ve put together this comprehensive casino bonus guide for you which explains all the different online casino bonuses and how they work.
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What is a Casino Bonus?
Enrol in the Professor’s Casino Bonus Tutorial
Before we delve into the details, the Professor wanted to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the wider connotations of “online casino bonuses” to begin. Here he is in his own words:
Casino bonus definition: A casino bonus is a reward that casino sites offer to players. Casino bonuses take many forms – such as free spins, deposit match bonuses, cashback and more – and they are activated either by signing up as a new player or by making a deposit.
It’s almost compulsory to offer what’s called a Welcome Bonus to new players once they sign up (more below). That’s because you are much more likely to register at a site that offers you a reward – it’s simply human nature! However, there’s much more to casino bonuses than just the welcome package…
Previously, a casino bonus would often only be offered to new players to get them to sign up. However, due to the mass influx of new casino sites nowadays, you are much more likely to see additional casino offers that you can trigger long after you’ve signed up.
Of course, this means there are plenty of different casino offers and promotions to tackle. Ready for a casino bonus tutorial?
No Deposit Bonuses Vs Deposit Bonuses
Although it’s difficult to call one bonus “the best”, the Professor has undoubtedly spotted a few favourites. While different players from different regions prefer different rewards, there is one specific area that is especially popular – no deposit bonuses.
Before we go any further, the Professor is on hand to explain the difference between these two main casino bonuses.
- No Deposit Bonus: A casino offer that DOESN’T require you to a payment.
- Deposit Bonus: A casino offer that DOES require you to make a payment.
Casino Bonus: No Deposit
Being completely free, you can see why the no deposit casino bonus is extremely popular with the average player. There are several top casino sites at the moment, so it’s understandable that you want to try a few out without risking any of your own money.
That’s essentially what one of these sign up bonuses is – a nice, short casino site trial. Of course, it’s certainly possible to win real money from these bonuses, but in most cases it requires a fair bit of luck.
A no deposit bonus is given as soon as you register 99% of the time. However, in very rare moments, you might be offered no deposit bonuses after you’ve joined. This could happen if you enrol in a casino VIP program and become a loyal player, for example.
But what kind of no deposit bonuses exist – and which are the best?
No Deposit Free Spins
The most common is free spins on sign up. If you don’t know what free spins are then make sure to read the Professor’s explanation below – you’ll likely be seeing A LOT of them during your casino gameplay…
What are Free Spins? Free spins is a type of casino reward which allows you to play a slot game a certain number of times without using your cash balance. Usually, you will receive a set number of free spins, and they will be for a specific slot game. You can get free spins from a no deposit bonus OR a deposit bonus.
If you’re offered a free spins casino bonus when registering, it means you only need to create an account to play for nothing. As stated above, these free spins will probably be for a specific game only – with the exact number of spins you receive depending on each promotion.
Although there are quite a few options, some of the best casino sites with free spins on registration are Dunder, Mr Green & LeoVegas.
Sign Up Bonus Money
Instead of free spins, some casino sites decide to give you bonus money straight up to play with.
This usually ranges between €/£5 and €/£10, and the great thing is you can choose to use your no deposit bonus money on whatever game you fancy. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many who give this bonus away.
To quickly find those that do, you can see our no deposit bonuses and use the filter tools provided. Select “Cash” from the options given to bring up all the current no deposit bonus money offers – no matter what device you’re using.
Casino Bonus: Deposit
Any deposit bonus that a casino offers will usually follow on from these initial freebies. Just to recap, a casino deposit bonus is a reward that’s unlocked whenever you make a deposit using your own money.
Almost all the casino bonuses found on this page will contain a deposit bonus. To make it easier for you, the Casino Professor has more filter tools on this page above so you can quickly choose whatever fits your preferences.
The Welcome Bonus: Extra Money
So, as soon as you’ve joined a new site and have used up any no deposit offer (if one was given), you’ll almost certainly be given what’s called a welcome bonus.
A welcome bonus (also known as a welcome package) is the first bonus or bonuses you’ll receive upon joining. It could be one offer, or expand to include your second, third, fourth or even fifth deposits. It all depends on each casino.
In most cases, you will receive a set amount of extra bonus money on top of your real money. This bonus money is, essentially, additional funds that you can use to play your favourite games – but it can’t be withdrawn before the wagering requirements (see below) have been completed.
To describe how a welcome bonus works, here’s the Professor outlining the classic 100% up to €100 for you (this also applies to GBP and other currencies):
As the casino offers you 100%, this basically means whatever you deposit will be doubled – up to a maximum of €100.
Therefore, if you deposited €150, you would only receive the maximum €100 bonus money for €250 overall (€150 deposit + €100 bonus money).
Of course, this is just a generic offer -so there are different percentages and caps to choose between.
Not every casino offers a flat 100% boost, nor a maximum cap of €/£100. A few may decide on lower amounts, but most exceed these numbers – which is great!
- 100% Welcome Bonus: This will see you first deposit doubled, up to a certain amount.
- 200% Welcome Bonus: Your deposit will be trebled instead – e.g. deposit €100 to get €/£300 overall.
- A 300%+ Welcome Bonus: We’re getting into huge casino bonus territory now, with your first deposit being quadrupled.
On the other side of the coin, you also need to consider what the maximum bonus cap is.
- €/£100 Extra Funds: As above, your deposit bonus will be capped at a maximum of €/£100.
- €/£200 Casino Bonus: This doubles to a maximum amount of €/£200.
- €/£300+ Additional Money: If a site is looking to make a big splash, it may decide to up the limits to €/£300 for a huge casino bonus.
- Unlimited: This leads us to the ultimate. Although rare, some casinos may not apply a cap, so you can literally acquire whatever amount of extra bonus money you desire.
It’s crucial to consider both aspects before deciding whether casino offers are worth it.
For example, 25% up to €/£300 is a very different package to 300% up to €/£300. Likewise, that huge percentage of 300% isn’t much good if given a cap of €/£50.
Take the time to consider what’s the right casino bonus for you.
The Welcome Bonus: Free Spins
Rather than providing a match offer with percentages and extra money to think about, some casinos like to keep their bonuses simple with free spins as the welcome bonus.
Here, you will get free spins if you make a deposit.
For example, an online casino bonus with deposit free spins may be: Get 2 free spins for every €/£1 you deposit (up to a maximum of 100 free spins).
In this case, a €/£20 deposit would yield 40 free spins. However, if you deposit €/£60, you would only receive 100 free spins due to the maximum limit.
The Welcome Bonus: Extra Money + Free Spins!
A good old fashioned mix and match is one of the Professor’s favourites. Rather than split your casino bonus into two, you may be able to combine both bonus money & free spins for the full entertainment factor.
For example, casino offers may read something like “100% up to €/£100 + 50 free spins”.
All you need to do is put them both together. For example, in the case of a deposit of €/£50, you would receive €/£50 in bonus money & your own €/£50 deposit + 50 free spins.
Casino Reload Bonuses
Once your welcome bonus is finished, it’s highly likely that additional casino offers will be made available to you – reload bonuses.
What are reload bonuses? A reload bonus is a reward from a casino site that comes after the welcome bonus. It can be more free spins, an extra deposit bonus, extra money or something else. Reload bonuses often require a deposit to be activated.
Not all casinos will use the term reload bonuses. However, it’s usually very easy to spot them – just head to the site’s Promotions page (or similar) to see exactly what extra rewards are currently available.
Examples include a special VIP program bonuses, daily deals, Game of the Week promos and refer-a-friend.
Casino Bonus Wagering & Terms
There’s no two ways about it – ALL casino bonuses you will ever come across will have terms and conditions. However, they tend to vary across casinos.
Therefore, knowing the exact terms of each casino bonus is crucial to understanding your obligations. Some examples include:
- Casino bonus wagering requirements: The number of times you need to wager your bonus before you can withdraw it.
- Is the casino bonus forfeitable?: It may seem silly, but sometimes you might WANT to give up your bonus money. More on that below.
- Time limits: A casino bonus will often have an expiry date, so make sure to check yours.
- Deposit method restrictions: Many casino bonuses won’t be given if you deposit via Skrill or Neteller, for example.
The terms and conditions can be found within our casino reviews or on their site. When licensed by either the MGA or UKGC, the following rules are in place:
Casino Bonus Codes – How Do They Work?
You might need to know a special casino bonus code in order to trigger a bonus.
Although not as common as before, some sites give you the option to use a bonus code box either when signing up or making a deposit to enter a specific set of letters and/or numbers.
These casino bonus codes can be used to unlock unique and exclusive offers – or perhaps enhance standard promotions to be bigger and better.
NOTE: If you fail to enter a casino bonus code, it’s highly likely that you will miss out on the offer – so keep your eyes open!
How to Choose the Best Casino Bonus
The best casino bonuses are a mixed bag – they all depend on your preferences, and often whether they win.
The latter point you have no control over, the Professor can only wish you good luck! Yet, matching a casino bonus to your preferences is done via a few standard checks:
- Select a reliable platform: You can win all the money in the world, but if you’re at a dodgy domain then there’s a good chance none of it will ever enter your account. Visit Casino Professor’s trusted casino sites for peace of mind.
- Slot restrictions: Free spins are very often tied to a specific slot or collections of slots. But are you actually interested in playing them? If not, perhaps casino offers with fewer limitations are best.
- Inspect the terms and conditions: The Prof can’t stress enough how important it is to check the terms of each offer. A 200% casino bonus may look great on the surface, but if there is sky-high wagering attached then it’s going to be almost impossible to win anything from it.
- Make sure you’re eligible: Certain regions may well be restricted from accessing a specific offer, or else different bonuses can be made available to different regions. UK online casinos are a good example of this, with a special British casino offers often being provided.
Is a Casino Bonus Even Worth it?
Following on from that last point, you may decide that an online casino bonus isn’t worth your time or energy. Unrealistic and downright ridiculous terms and conditions can quickly erode your interest in playing, unless your only goal is to practise for your real money rounds.
Thankfully, if you’re not interested in thinking about obligations, many of our best casino sites allow you to deposit without activating any offer. Have a look at our reviews of each casino to take your pick.
Forfeiting Your Casino Bonus
Remember this topic? Sounds ridiculous, right? Because who on earth would want to lose their first prize?
Well, in some very specific circumstances, it actually makes total sense – believe it or not! When you activate an offer, the terms and conditions should state whether you’ll play with real money or bonus money first. If you use real money first, that’s when the possibility of forfeiting enters play.
Why do some casinos use real money first? Well, this is another that’s down to preference. The casinos that do believe bonus money should act as a second chance – if you didn’t win the first time, maybe you’ll have better luck the second!
Therefore, if you do happen to strike gold using your real money, there’s probably no need to use that “best casino deposit bonus” after all! That’s where forfeiting comes in. You can actively choose to relinquish your offer in exchange for withdrawing real winnings. Often, this is done by requesting a withdrawal. Again, check the casino bonus terms for full instructions.
Casino Professor’s Casino Bonus Conclusion
Congratulations, you’ve made it through my entire casino bonus guide. Phew! Hopefully you’re more clued up about casino bonus possibilities than you were before – it’s certainly come a long way since I started spinning!
If you found this article particularly interesting, make sure to give my Casino Insider page a look from time to time for more guides on casino sites. Happy gaming!