Affiliate Disclosure: At BestCasino, we strive to match players with the best casino offerings. Because of this, some of the site links that are suggested are affiliate links. This means BestCasino will get a commission payment at no additional cost to you if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit.
As a result of our editorial standards being created to be commercially independent and adhere to a professional methodology, all product reviews and suggestions continue to be unbiased.
What are casino deposit bonuses?
There are some things players can do to get a more fun gambling experience and to increase their chances of winning. One example is sticking to slots that have high RTPs and avoiding lower RTP games. Another thing is playing with a bonus when there is a good deal up for grabs. Most casinos offer both new and active players deposit bonuses from time to time, and bonuses could have a tremendous impact on your playing sessions. Using good deposit bonuses is one of the best tips we at BestCasino give our readers who are just starting out.
Before we look at the benefits of deposit bonuses, we should have a look at how they work. Let us imagine that you get a pretty standard offer of a 100% bonus up to £50. If you deposit £50 or less, your balance is instantly doubled. In this scenario, a deposit of £50 will maximise the bonus and give you a total of £100 to play with. Naturally, the casinos wouldn’t just hand out free money left and right, so there is something called wagering requirements attached to most online casino bonuses. When the wagering requirement applies, you are required to play through the bonus amount a specific number of times before you can cash it out. Don’t worry if you find wagering a bit confusing for now, we’ll come back to it later in the guide.
When you are equipped with a deposit bonus, you will be able to play slots and casino games with a bigger balance. While that doesn’t mean that you will get a big win that leads to a valuable withdrawal, it certainly increases your chances. A bigger balance lets you play for a longer time, and you’ll have more chances of scoring a nice win. You could also choose to increase your bet and go for greater prizes since you have a boosted balance. However, it’s important to take the wagering requirements in mind when going for a deposit bonus – if the wagering is too high compared to the bonus you get, it might not be worth taking at all. It’s all about striking a balance and knowing when a deal is worth taking or not.
Deposit bonuses can be structured in several different ways. Many casinos combine the deposit and bonus amount into one balance, and the wagering needs to be fulfiled before the winnings can be withdrawn. Other sites separate the real money and the bonus money and let players withdraw as long as they haven’t touched the bonus money. This is the most advantageous structure for the player, as it works as a “parachute” in case you lose your initial deposit. While most sites either let you activate an available bonus on the deposit page or automatically adds it to your balance, you might be required to apply a bonus code at some places. There are also different types of casino deposit bonuses, and you can read more about them in the next couple of parts of the guide.
A deposit bonus is a good start
Visit any online casino, and we bet that one of the first things you’ll see is a banner promoting a welcome bonus of some sort. Casinos advertise big welcome offers to new players to get them to make their first deposit, and welcome deposit bonuses are often some of the most valuable bonuses one can get. The UK online casino market is one of the most significant gambling markets in the world, and operators stand in line to get a slice of the cake. But players from the UK are also well-informed and picky, so casinos need to go an extra step to have any chance of succeeding. Offering new customers a nice and valuable welcome casino deposit bonus is one of the best ways of attracting players.
First deposit bonuses are often bigger and better than other types of casino bonuses. As a brand new player, you’ll often be offered a match deposit bonus of 100% for putting in money for the first time. You could even triple or quadruple your deposit at some casinos, and some sites give you bonuses on your follow-up deposits as well. First casino deposit bonuses can give you hundreds of pounds extra to play with, and you’ll often get shiny free spins on top.
Casinos do a lot to get new players to play at their site instead of going somewhere else, but there are some limitations that one should know about. The common saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” is just as true in the casino world. If you come across a website that promises you enormous bonuses of several thousand pounds, you should take a very close look at the wagering requirement and terms and conditions. A great welcome bonus isn’t necessarily a good indicator of the casino’s quality, and many rogue casinos with shady practices want you to sign up and deposit.
For some of the best casino welcome bonuses on the internet, you are welcome to check out our comprehensive casino reviews. We only recommend trustworthy online casinos that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. These casinos have transparent and fair bonuses that are safe for everyone to use. We also let you know about the specific wagering requirements and bonus terms for casinos we write about so that you know exactly what you’re in for before you sign up at the site.
Deposit bonus is a great way to boost your balance
A casino’s welcome offer is not the only thing that should matter when you’re looking for a new gambling home. If you are the type of player who prefers sticking to one site, you should find a casino that rewards you for playing. Many online casinos have loyalty programs and promotions that are designed to keep you entertained for an extended period and to make you come back again and again. While loyalty rewards can bring a lot of extra value to the table, you should also stick to sites that offer frequent reload deposit bonuses.
You can get reload bonuses after you’ve made your first deposit at the casino – hence the term “reload”. While few of them are as good as the welcome bonus you first got at the same casino, they’ll give a nice boost to your balance, and they are usually worth taking. A typical reload bonus will give you between 25% to 100% extra up to a specific amount, but it heavily depends on the casino and what kind of player you are. Most online casinos have advanced tools that let them filter players by how much they deposit and play for. This way, they can offer special and tailored bonuses to different segments of players. A high roller that is gambling for thousands each month would probably not be very happy with a 50% bonus up to £30, while it might be good enough for someone who plays a little now and then.
VIPs and valuable players do always get the sweetest treatment at any online casino, and one of the benefits of sticking to one casino instead of jumping from site to site is that you’ll most likely get better rewards and casino offers down the line. After playing at the casino for some time, you might get fatter reload bonuses that is much more valuable than the standard offers. And if you do become an exclusive VIP member, you can expect to be treated with extra bonuses, free gifts, dedicated support and much more.
You will most likely receive an email or SMS whenever a new casino bonus is available on your player account. Because of that, we recommend that you opt in to receive communications from the sites that you play at the most. You never know when a great deal is waiting, and you could be missing out on some fantastic bonuses. When you are eligible for a reload bonus, you can usually activate it on your personal account page or on the deposit page.
Deposit bonuses when playing on mobile
You most likely use your phone for pretty much everything this day and age, and the same is probably true for playing on online casinos. Most of us prefer playing slots on our mobile devices when on the go or while relaxing on the couch. Thankfully, the mobile casino experience has become much better over the years, and today you will get the same experience when playing slots on your phone. The popular games you know and love are all available on mobile, and they are just as fun on the smaller screen.
Just a few years ago, mobile players could be missing out on several promotions and reload bonuses at certain sites. That is not the case any more. After mobile devices took over the gambling market, all the operators have made sure that players on the go can claim the same bonuses as desktop users. That means that you can pick up free spins, compete in competitions, join giveaways and use casino bonuses wherever you are, whenever you want.
If you are primarily a mobile casino player, you should stick to sites that have all the features you are looking for. Modern mobile UK casinos should have live support, a wide selection of payment methods, and hundreds of slots and table games. Many casinos have a dedicated app that you can download from the iOS app store or Android market if you want to, but all you need to play mobile games is a web browser or a phone that can handle the graphics of the latest video slots.
Casino deposit bonuses for table games and live casino fans
When playing with bonus money, it’s generally a good idea to stick to slot machines. The reason for this is that the wagering contribution is often capped on live casino games such as poker, roulette and blackjack. Most casinos cap the wagering on table games to just 10% which means that only £1 goes towards the wagering progress for every £10 you bet. Card games and roulette are outright banned at some sites, which means that you can not play them at all with bonus funds. If you are a fan of table games or live casinos, you might want to avoid bonuses with table games restrictions in place.
There are however ways to get bonuses on classic casino games. Casinos that have a big focus on table games or live casino do sometimes offer special welcome bonuses for these games. For example, you could find a live casino welcome bonus that only can be used on the live casino tables. The structures of these types of bonuses are usually different from deposit bonus slots bonuses, and the bonus amounts and wagering requirements are also different. A common type of live casino bonus is cashbacks. Cashback bonuses work as a refund where you get a percentage of your money back if you are unlucky and lose in the live casino over a specific period. Live casino cashbacks usually gives you real money without wagering requirements.
As always, it’s important to check the terms and conditions before claiming any type of casino bonus. If you don’t want to play anything other than table games, you should read the list of restricted games in the terms. If table games are allowed, but the wagering requirement contribution is capped at a lower percentage, you might need to play for a long time to clear the wager. In that case, you might be better off playing at an online casino that has special bonuses for live casinos and table games. In the next part of the guide, we’ll give you some handy tips and tricks that can help you beat the wagering requirements.
Tips and tricks when wagering a casino deposit bonus
We gave a short explanation of bonus wagering earlier in this guide, but we’ll dig a bit deeper into it in this section. Virtually every online casino bonus has a wagering requirement attached to it. Before you can withdraw the bonus funds or the money you won with it, you must beat the wagering requirement. Bonus structures vary a lot from site to site. Some casinos lock your bonus and deposit into one combined balance, while other casinos separate the funds and let you play with your real money first. However, the most important factor is the size of the requirement itself. Most casino bonuses have wagering requirements ranging from 30 to 60 times the bonus amount, but this can go both lower and higher. Bonus wagering might seem like a daunting task, but it can be made a lot smoother by following a few useful tips and tricks.
First of all, it’s generally considered a good idea to play slots with low volatility. The volatility of a game basically indicates how frequently it is designed to pay out wins. Slots with low volatility usually give you wins very often, but you will rarely get a huge win. High volatility slots have a much lower payout frequency, but they can pay out massive wins in return. Because of this, low variance slots are your best bet when wagering, especially when you’re close to finishing the requirement. They keep your balance more steady for a longer time, which in turn increases your chance of successfully beating the wager.
Our second tip is that you should always aim to play games with high RTP (Return to Player). The RTP is the percentage that goes back to the player in the long run. It is the theoretical payout over the course of billions of spins, so it doesn’t necessarily give a similar result over a short playing session. However, the RTP matters a lot, and while the average RTP is much higher online than in brick and mortar casinos and betting terminals, it can vary a lot from game to game. We recommend playing slots that have an RTP of 95% or higher, especially when you are trying to clear the bonus wagering. Many slots list its theoretical RTP in the info sheet.
Remember to always look at the list of restricted games before you load up the first slot. If you accidentally play a restricted game, you might risk losing your bonus funds and winnings. Also note that most casinos apply a time limit to their bonuses, which means that you must complete the wagering requirement within a specific time – usually around a month. Completing any wager within the time limit should be quite easy, but it’s good to have in mind in case you won’t be able to play for a while. The main trick for beating bonus wagering is not to take on a bonus that is too difficult to complete. The bigger the requirement is, the more luck is needed to turn it into a withdrawal!
Deposit bonus usually comes with terms and conditions
No matter which casino bonus you take, there is almost certainly a set of terms and conditions attached to it. These bonuses are usually not self-explanatory, so new players need to learn the most basic rules before claiming a bonus for the first time. Breaching the terms could cause you to lose your bonus funds and winnings, but it depends a lot on the severity of the breach and on the casino itself. It’s best not to take any chances, so we’ve listed some of the most common terms and conditions that you will come across when playing with a deposit bonus.
- Maximum bet per spin: Handing out deposit bonuses is a considerable risk for the casinos, and one way to limit that risk is by adding a maximum bet limit in place. On most sites, you are not allowed to bet more than between £2 and £5 per spin on slots. The max limit varies a lot from casino to casino, and other games might have a different limit.
- Restricted deposit methods: You’ll find that you are often not allowed to use certain deposit methods when claiming a casino bonus. These are primarily e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill. If you have no other way to deposit, you should find a casino that let you claim bonuses with your preferred method.
- Restricted slots and games: Playing a restricted game is probably one of the most common reasons for players having their bonus funds confiscated. Some slots are often excluded from bonus play as they can be bonused abused by those who wish to do so. You should always find a small list of restricted games in the terms, or you can ask the support to supply you with the list.
- Time limit: Completing the bonus wagering can take quite some time, especially if you prefer playing with very small bets. Don’t take too long, however, as most online casino UK sites have a time limit on their bonuses. You usually have at least a few weeks to fulfil the wager, so it shouldn’t be an issue most of the time.
- One bonus per person: Once you have claimed a welcome bonus or reload bonus, you are not able to get it again. You can not register multiple accounts to get the same offers again and again, as only one account is allowed per person, IP or address. If the casino notices that you have more than one account, you risk losing your bonus funds.
- Maximum withdrawal limit: Some casinos have a limit that we’re not big fans of: maximum withdrawal limits. When a maximum limit is in place, you’re not able to withdraw more than a certain amount after you’ve cleared the bonus wagering. Thankfully, this is not a rule we see that often any more.
The list above features some of the most common bonus terms and conditions, but it’s important that you check each individual casino for yourself. All UK casinos have unique terms, and it’s too easy to breach one by accident if you’re not aware of them.
Deposit bonuses at latest casinos
Now that we have covered most of the things about deposit bonuses, you might be ready to start playing. At BestCasino, we spend countless hours checking out online casino UK sites to give you informed reviews. Our top lists only feature the sites that fulfil all of our requirements, and all of them treat their players with generous casino bonuses from time to time. To help you separate a good casino from a bad one, we’re going to list some of the things that we take into consideration when reviewing a new casino.
- Operator licenses: Online casinos that operate in the UK market must have a license from the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission). If you find a UKGC license in the footer of the website, you can safely register and play without having any worries about the security. Most sites do also have a license from Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney or Curacao as well.
- Deposit bonuses: The best casinos are the ones that treat their players with frequent rewards and generous casino bonuses. Check out the promotion section of the website before signing up an account, as it might give you an indication of how often you’ll be able to sink your teeth into juicy casino bonuses and promotions.
- Live casino bonuses: Some players prefer sticking to the classics. Most casino bonuses are meant for slotting, but some casinos are specialised in live casino and table game bonuses. If you love the thrill of live gambling, see if there is a live casino welcome bonus available.
- Selection of slots: There’s no point playing with a deposit casino bonus if you don’t like the games that are on display. Most UK online casinos have the latest and greatest slots from popular game providers such as NetEnt, Blueprint, Yggdrasil, Novomatic, Play’n GO and many more. You should be able to see the list of available slots in the games browser in the casino.
- Mobile site: You probably play casino on your phone just as much as on your PC, if not more. If so, have a look at the mobile casino version and make sure that the games and features you need are in place. You don’t want to miss out on a great mobile casino deposit bonus when you’re on the go.
- Customer support: Technical issues happen from time to time, or you might have a general question regarding casino bonuses or wagering. When things go wrong, it’s good to know that a support agent is just a few clicks away. Most UK casinos have live chat support that is available around the clock so that you can get help whenever you need it.
Casino deposit bonuses can give players a lot of extra value for their money. When you use a deposit bonus, you’ll have a bigger starting balance and a greater chance of beating the casino’s house edge. Seasoned online casino gamblers will tell you that casino bonuses are the player’s best friend, as the chance of ending the playing session with a withdrawal is increased when equipped with a valuable bonus.
There are many different types of bonuses. Online casinos always try to outdo each other by having the best welcome bonuses on the internet. If you shop around a bit, you can find some excellent bonuses that double or even triple your first deposit. The most generous UK casinos will also follow it up with frequent reload bonuses and other great promotions.
Before you claim a casino offer, you should have a look at the wagering requirements. A typical deposit bonus requires you to wager through the bonus amount between 30 and 60 times before a withdrawal can be made, and sometimes more. The lower the requirement is, the better, but if you use the tips and tricks we listed earlier in the guide, you will have a better chance of beating it. You should also get to know the terms and conditions that apply for the offer so that you know the rules you need to follow when playing with bonus funds.
Frequently asked questions
What is a deposit bonus?
Is a deposit bonus the same as a reload bonus?
- Example on a reload bonus: 50% bonus up to £50.
- Example on a deposit bonus: 100% bonus up to £100.