Large, all-in-one gambling sites such as BetMGM usually have multiple bonuses on offer, with one bonus for each type of gaming (casino, sports, poker, etc.). If you’re interested in playing slots, roulette, blackjack, and other casino games online, these are the bonuses for you. We rank the following offers as the best casino bonuses available today:
Ranking the Best Casino Bonuses
Casino bonuses tend to be louder and more outrageous than sportsbook offers and horse racing bonuses. Whereas typical sports betting bonuses might offer a $20 free bet, it is not uncommon to find casino bonuses with 400% match rates and up to $1,000 in bonus money on offer. Although it is always nice to see a lot of money up for grabs, you need to be extra vigilant when comparing casino bonuses. The bigger the promise, the greater the potential for disappointment.
The best way to analyze any bonus is to look at the fine print and see if there are any terms and conditions that make the bonus significantly less valuable than they appear at first glance. There are two key things to look for in particular:
- Wagering requirements
- Game restrictions
Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements
All casino bonuses come with a requirement that you place X number of bets before you may withdraw the bonus or any winnings achieved by gambling the bonus money. Some casino sites use the term “rollover” to describe the same thing. In either case, what this means is you need to place a certain sum of wagers before you can withdraw anything.
The wagering requirements for casino bonuses tend to fall into the range of 15x to 30x. To use a typical example, a casino bonus with a 20x rollover would require you to place a total sum of wagers equal to 20 times the bonus + deposit amount.
Example: Your casino offers a 100% up to $500 welcome bonus with 20x wagering requirements. You deposit $100 and get a $100 bonus. In this case, you would need to place wagers totaling $4000 before withdrawing the bonus money and any winnings associated with the bonus money.
We should stress that every bet you place counts towards the wagering requirements regardless of whether you win or lose money. In the above example, you are not being asked to lose $4000; you must place wagers totaling that much.
If you’re lucky, you can actually come out ahead as you meet the wagering requirements, and even then, you will still receive the bonus. However, we should also remember that the house always has the edge. Generally, the higher the wagering requirements, the less likely it is that you turn a profit while clearing the bonus.
The main takeaway here is that lower wagering requirements are always better. If you have a choice between two identical bonuses, except one has a 20x rollover while the other has a 35x rollover, the bonus with a 20x rollover is a much better choice.
Casino Bonus Game Restrictions
Here’s a term that often catches people off guard – most bonuses exclude a few games from counting towards the wagering requirements. Blackjack is a prime target in many cases – the majority of online casino bonuses do not count any wagers made at a blackjack table towards the rollover.
The reason for game restrictions dates back to the early days of online gambling. When online gambling was still a relatively new thing, casino bonuses were easy to clear with games such as blackjack. You could sign up for an account, claim a $200 bonus and clear it in an hour with blackjack for some of the easiest money ever.
It was so easy, in fact, that it spawned an entire subculture in which people specialized in taking advantage of bonuses. They would claim bonuses, clear them by playing blackjack with the perfect strategy to minimize the house advantage, and end up with a profit more often than not. It was a lucrative gig for a while there.
Naturally, online casinos caught wind of the practice and eventually began limiting which games could be used to clear bonuses. Casinos don’t mind giving away a little money here and there, but there’s no way they would cater to customers whose only intent was to hit-and-run bonuses.
The vast majority of today’s casino bonuses are geared towards casual players, not to bonus hunting specialists. Online casino sites have a good reason for implementing game restrictions, but it’s important to be aware of these limitations. If you play blackjack, you should always check the terms and conditions before you claim any bonus.
Types of Online Casino Bonuses
Cashable vs. Non-Cashable
Any given casino bonus also falls into one of two other categories: cashable or non-cashable. If a bonus is described as “cashable,” it means you may withdraw the bonus money in addition to anything won with the money after you meet the wagering requirements. After meeting all wagering requirements, you are free to withdraw the bonus funds plus anything else in your account whenever you want.
Bonuses that are described as “non-cashable” may not be withdrawn. You may still withdraw anything that you win with the bonus, but players may only use the bonus money itself to place wagers and win more money. Once you have met the wagering requirements, you’re free to withdraw anything you have won so far. As soon as you withdraw your winnings, the original bonus funds vanish.
For the most part, bigger bonuses with high match rates (think 200% or greater) are non-cashable, while smaller bonuses are non-cashable. Cashable bonuses are preferable in all instances, but non-cashable bonuses can still be useful. In both cases, it is good to know which type of bonus you’re about to claim, so there are no surprises later.
Free Spins Bonuses
Free spins bonuses are designed specifically for slot players and offer free spins, as the name suggests. In most cases, free-spins bonuses are used to promote a specific slot machine, usually, one that is relatively new. Some free spins bonuses are issued immediately to anyone who signs up for a new account, while others require a deposit first.
The advantage of a free spins bonus is that you get a chance to try a specific slot machine without risking your own money. If you get 50 spins, for example, the first fifty times you push the “spin” button, no money is taken from your account. Anything you win with your free spins may be withdrawn as cash.
It is just as important to read the terms and conditions of any free spins bonus for any other type of offer. Some free spins bonuses are as good as they sound upfront, but others may come with additional terms such as wagering requirements, maximum win limits, and more. We will always mention any relevant terms and conditions attached to offers listed here at BettingBonuses.com, but we urge you to read through the terms for any bonus you see listed elsewhere.
No Deposit Casino Bonuses
Most casino bonuses require a deposit to claim the bonus, but you will find the occasional offer that does not require a deposit at all. In that case, all you need to do is register an account, and the bonus is yours.
No-deposit bonuses are more likely to have terms and conditions that place an upper limit on how valuable these offers really are. For example, it is common for no-deposit casino bonuses to come with win limits that specify a maximum amount of money that you can win (and withdraw) by using the bonus funds. No-deposit bonuses also tend to be smaller than bonuses that require a deposit.
Wes Burns co-founded BettingBonuses.com to help bettors clearly understand offers and promotions at legal online sportsbooks and betting sites. Wes has worked in the regulated online betting industry since 2008.