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Reviewing the Best Casino Bonuses – Basics and Types

When on the lookout for the best bonuses, it is worth remembering that the amount of the bonus should not be the only factor to be taken into account when you make your choice of online casino. Very often players are attracted by a top online casino bonus without checking the conditions which apply to it. Therefore, not only do you need to be aware of the different types of bonuses, but you should also check how exactly they can be redeemed. Needless to say, we are only talking about legit online casinos, so if you are ever tempted by a lucrative bonus amount, first make sure that the operator is licensed. As a matter of fact, it is an open secret that generous online bonuses are among the favourite enticement approaches of rogue online casinos.

best online casinos bonusThis article is dedicated to providing you with comprehensive and up-to-date information on the top online casino bonuses in the UK, as well as facilitating your choice thereof. Here you will find everything you need to know about the best bonuses and how to take advantage of them wisely. Before we set out to present to you our best bonuses ranking, though, take a minute to look at the benefits and the drawbacks bonuses are generally associated with, as well as the most important online casino bonus characteristics.

Plus Points

The most common scenario as far as your bonus expectations are concerned involves a bonus corresponding to the amount of the deposit you make. In other words, the more you deposit, the larger the bonus would be. However, there are also operators whose bonuses are not bound to an initial deposit. With such no-deposit bonus offers, you just get free casino cash to spend on the chosen online casino website. Oftentimes, there are generous welcome bonuses as well as regular rewards, which altogether extend the number of games you can play if you stick with that particular online casino operator. In general, the best online bonuses give you the opportunity to play more as your bankroll increases.

Drawbacks

One of the classic aspects of online bonuses is their validity, meaning that players need to use up the rewards within a certain time frame. Of course, during this period online casino members are bound to play on that particular website. Another thing to be aware of are the overly demanding conditions that sometimes go part and parcel with the best online casino bonuses. Finally, bonuses can often impact withdrawals, which means it is not until the rewarded amount is cleared up that you can cash it out.

While it is true that a bonus that is good for one player may not suit another, there is an objective set of criteria that can be established to assess the multitude of bonuses offered by online casino operators, and, to this end, rate the best casino bonuses on the web. However, before looking at the Best UK Casino Bonuses Ranking for 2017, we discuss the essential elements of online casino bonuses that every player, from beginner through intermediate to advanced, should be familiar with.

Various Kinds Bonuses

The many casino gaming bonuses are hard to describe, especially when new operators appear every day. Here are the most important ones you should know about:

Welcome Bonuses

welcome best casino bonusAs the name suggests, these are initial rewards that are obtained when a new player registers an account with an online casino.

Any online casino would offer a welcome bonus to their new members, allowing them to reap some benefits straight away. Some operators even go as far as combining multiple generous offers into welcome packages. This is possible because, in comparison with bricks-and-mortar casinos, online casinos have far less expenses, which lets them offer bigger bonuses and better payouts. Essentially, welcome bonuses usually fall within two major categories – deposit and no-deposit bonuses.

  • Deposit Bonuses: In order to qualify for such a bonus, you need to pay a certain amount of money into your account. Afterwards, the bonus you receive either constitutes a percentage of the initial deposit (the so called bonus-deposit ratio whereby the bonus is matched with a specific percentage), or is a fixed amount that you obtain on top of your payment. Such online casino bonuses normally cover a wide range of values between 10% and 150%. As every online casino operator employs different terms and conditions regulating deposit bonuses, you should get acquainted with these before you start gambling.
  • No-deposit Bonuses: Registered players are generally entitled to more privileges, and no-deposit bonuses are exactly a sub-type of these special offers. They are available to new members, and come in the form of either cash (to be used in games) or free spins or hands. As a matter of fact, this is probably the safest and least restrictive kind of top online casino bonus because all it offers is money in return for simply signing up. The no-deposit bonus you qualify for will either be automatically credited to your account or it might need to be claimed via e-mail. Simply because no-deposit bonuses are so attractive, they might be associated with some restrictions, such as a maximum amount that can be cashed out using the bonus, or a requirement for a token deposit before withdrawing your winnings.

Cashable Bonuses and Non-Cashable Bonuses:

  • Cashable Bonuses: These rewards constitute free cash which becomes available to a player after they meet a particular set of requirements specified by the online casino. The important thing to remember here is that once the wagering terms are fulfilled, the remaining sum, including bonus amounts, can be cashed out.
  • Non-cashable Bonuses: The form of this type of bonus depends on the game a player has chosen – for instance, the rewards constitute either free hands, free spins, or any other game-specific opportunity to get into a real-money gamble and start winning. This kind of bonus is extremely useful for novice players because it provides them with a chance to try out whichever of the games on offer they are interested in. Another term for non-cashable bonuses is sticky bonuses because the money remains in the player’s account even after a withdrawal takes place.

Reload / Regular Bonuses

 cash and no-cash bonusIt is common practice for the best online casinos to reward their regular players with extra cash with every subsequent deposit. In addition, members may qualify for a number of periodic bonuses on a weekly or monthly basis. Reload bonuses are one of best bonuses. They’re often restricted to one per client and require that the entire amount of the bonus is gambled a certain number of times (at least between ten and fifteen times, or more). In addition, players might be eligible for claiming substantial reload bonuses depending on their status, or loyalty level. Yet other casinos take advantage of reload bonuses to stimulate dormant players to engage more actively in gambling. Alternatively, casino members can also obtain points for every game played, which are then transformed into online casino credits that they have at their disposal.

Referral Bonuses

Another variation of a top online casino bonus is obtained through recommending new members. The system in place at online casinos functions in much the same way any Tell-A-Friend programme does, so usually the rewards would rise progressively with the increase in the number of people that you refer to the particular online casino platform. It is interesting to note here that most of the time it is both the newcomer and the existing customer that benefit from the referral bonus system, so ultimately this is an ideal win-win situation.

High-Limit Game Bonuses

These are the so called high-roller bonus offers, targeted at people who gamble with large amounts of money. The rewards represent a percentage of the total deposited sums by a given player. Normally, in order to qualify for these bonuses, you need to have put in at least £700-£800 over a set period of time. Imagine how high the stakes in high-roller games are, given that wagering requirements for ‘whalers’ (as these skilled gamblers are also called) are five- or six-digit numbers. Of course, it is only the best online casinos that can afford to host such games, and if you end up with the luck of the draw, you can really cash out big time.

Payment Method Bonuses

payment method bonusesReputable online casinos usually offer a wide variety of ways to execute a deposit, hence the choice of a certain payment method is what determines this type of bonus. Be it direct methods, eWallets or pre-paid cards, most of them are associated with certain additional rewards customers are entitled to upon selecting a particular means of payment. The exact percentage you get is denoted next to the relevant deposit option. For instance, opting for Clickandbuy, Neteller, or Paysafecard might result in a 10% bonus, while Skrill, Ukash, Bank Transfer and Instant Wire Transfer will yield 15% extra rewards.

Tournaments

These can be offered in any of the games, from slots through roulette to blackjack, and constitute another successful method of generating additional money to use at an online casino. To put it simply, you compete against other players after you contribute a participation fee, and whoever manages to win the highest amount, gets a prize – one of best casino bonuses the site can offer. To start up, you need to register for the casino tournament, and at the beginning, you are entitled to a set amount of free casino money that you can play with. Importantly, you have to use this money before the tournament ends in order to qualify for rewards. Such promotions are usually low-risk, and many of them are offered on a daily basis. They often present a fast way to increase one’s bankroll, which explains their popularity among players.

Raffles

These are quite entertaining because they give players the opportunity to participate and win awesome prizes. Raffles can be organised on holidays such as Christmas or Easter, or take place in the form of any-time promotions. Raffles can even be based on the number of comp points collected. Sometimes, entry tickets for raffles are offered with subsequent deposits. Common gifts in online casino raffles are cars or other top products, trips and gadgets.

Comp Points

Players accrue comp points relative to the total amount of money gambled at a given casino. The points earned are then converted into a cashback bonus. The majority of online casino operators run such systems so if we take a look at the Winner Casino’s programme, for instance, we will see that one comp point equals a £10 bet. Earning 100 points amount to £1 of bonus, and this is how additional rewards can be accummulated and used up. It is worth mentioning here that VIP players are entitled to much lower comp point-bonus amount ratios, so they can generate higher incentives to play more.

VIP Bonus

vip_bonusIt will not be an exaggeration to say that upon joining the VIP Club of a given online casino, you will access the best bonuses and special rewards like skyrocket in terms of number and amount. Next to exclusive deals, loyal members can often convert their comp points into bonus at better rates, and gain access to higher table limits and more withdrawals on a monthly basis. There can even be a variety of levels of VIP status, starting at gold and followed by platinum and diamond. Most online casino VIP programmes also assign a personal account manager to each privileged player, who provides timely support and advice. There are also glamorous events organised specially for VIP casino members where the latter are treated to lovely surprises.

Offers Taylored to Individual Players

As was the case with one of the purposes reload bonuses serve, which was already mentioned above, a lot of online casino operators would send out custom offers to members who have not been playing regularly within a past period. The aim is to remind such players that they are welcome to resume gambling by offering generous rewards. Sometimes people who only play for free and have not made deposit payments will also be contacted in this way. The good thing about such online casino bonuses is that they are usually top of the tops, and hence are really worth taking advantage of. For instance, a great deal may constitute a 500% bonus in return for a minimum of £20 deposit. Sounds good, right?

Having discussed the wide range of types of online casino bonuses, we are moving on to some of the important variables associated with these rewards. Let’s first discuss the bonus amount which is the most conspicuous factor attracting players to a given online casino operator.

Amount of the Best Bonuses

It is as simple as that – you see the figure, and you jump at it. The best thing we can advise as far as online casino bonus amounts are concerned is to check all the conditions accompanying the deal. The waggering requirements are key at this stage because these will determine the exact way the awarded bonus will need to be redeemed. Therefore, do not act in haste but make a well-informed decision about whether to take up the offer or not. In truth, some bonuses provide an amazing value for money. A case in point is Ladbrokes, where the first deposit bonus is 100% matched up to £500.

Wagering Requirements

wagering requirementsBasically, these are conditions set in place to counterbalance the risk that any given online casino runs when offering top bonuses to its patrons. These requirements are pre-determined and are sometimes also referred to as ‘playthrough’. In essence, wagering requirements affect the winnings realized through using a bonus that can be cashed out. A simple example should make it clear: if a bonus amounts to £100, and the wagering requirement is 20, this means you need to wager a total amount of 20 times £100 (or £2000) before they allow you to take the £100. Makes you think twice, right? Naturally, the more lavish the bonus, the greater the wagering requirement which will need to be complied with in order to qualify for withdrawing the bonus.

Wagering Contributions Based on Types of Games

So far it has been plain sailing but this is where things get quite complicated. Some games will have a different rate of contribution to the wagering requirements for using up bonuses, and others will not be eligible for bonus deals at all. Normally, slots will be set at 100% of their bet value towards the wagering requirement while blackjack or roulette will be matched against lower values. Illustrating this point through figures gives us the following calculation: playing slots, every £100 bet is regarded as £100 played through; however, gambling in blackjack counts for 10% towards the wagering requirement so each £100 bet is regarded as £10 wagered. Please note that this is just an example so refer to the actual values set by your online casino of choice.

Bonus Validity Period

This is yet another aspect of online casino bonuses to be taken into consideration. The majority of online casino operators specify a thirty-day validity period, which means that you will have to calculate how much you need to wager for that particular number of days. Working this out successfully is a pre-requisite for the good management of your bonus amount. Watch out for online casinos whose bonuses expire after 24 hours as you will most likely be unable to meet the playthrough requirements, even if they are fairly lenient.

Bonus Codes

bonuses coupon codeSuch are required only by some online casinos. You will know that you need a bonus code unless the promised bonus amount is added to your account straight away, allowing you to begin to gamble immediately. In order to claim a bonus demanding a bonus code, you should search the website of your chosen online casino operator, locate the relevant code, and enter it into a specially designated field. The exact conditions specifying where and when to enter the bonus code will be laid out on the online casino’s website. This suffices to get hold of the bonus amount and start playing using it.

In a nutshell, the best bonuses are characterised by fair conditions for converting free cash into real earnings. Starting off from a turnover of fifteen times the overall amount of the reward and the deposit, some wagering requirements can reach as many as fifty to a hundred times. Normally, challenging conditions of that extent are in place for games such as blackjack and roulette.

Top 5 Casino Bonuses

Taking into account all the above-mentioned characteristics of the bonus programmes of major reputable online casinos in the UK, we have rated a range of operators, which has resulted into the following Best Bonuses Ranking:

  • 888 Casino: Winner of the ‘Best Casino Bonus 2017’ award, 888 Casino boasts a top 100% bonus for deposits of up to £100, which is valid for three months and has a wagering requirement of 30 times. In addition, players at this online casino are eligible for £88 no-deposite bonus with the same playthrough requirement as the one above. As far as raffles are concerned, 888 Casino offers Live games – play Blackjack for a chance to win £750 daily. Poker tournaments are also all the rage at 888 Casino, unfolding at three stages (beginner, middle and late) and providing a choice between Sit & Go, Multi Table, or Heads-Up tournaments.
  • Ladbrokes: This is another highly trusted and preferred online casino operator whose most loved games are Blackjack, Premium Roulette, Plenty O’Fortune, Ghost Rider, and Gladiator Jackpot. The ranking Ladbrokes obtains is certainly not surprising given the top bonuses they offer. Firstly, their Welcome Bonus amounts to £100 for deposits up to £500. If members of this online casino would like to cash out on their bonuses, a wagering requirement of a minimum of 20 times the sum of the deposit and the bonus is in place. This playthrough condition is remarkably reasonable and deservedly attracts players. What is more, Ladbroke’s Comp Point programme is very well developed and rewards £1 for every 100 points. Needless to say, numerous daily deals are also available both for regular and VIP customers.
  • Betfair: Betfair places the greatest emphasis on deposit match bonuses which are in the region of £200 to £1000 and vary related to the games players opt for. Extra rewards are also offered as limited-time promotions so Betfair members have a wide selection of additional perks to choose from. New casino customers are entitled to a free £5 bonus as well as a £10 Live Casino bonus, and no bonus codes are required. The VIP Loyalty Programme as well as the Comp-Point System provide the most active players with incentives to gamble more actively. Last but not least, playing at Betfair’s Live Blackjack tables, if you get a green card, you automatically qualify for their regular Sunday live draw.
  • Mr Green: Another award-winning operator, Mr Green Casino focusses on slots and aims at attracting new customers through offering 10 free spins for UK players in the slot games. These are followed up by a match-up of up to £350 on the first deposit. This amount is eligible only for slots since Mr Green Casino is a renowned leader in this type of games, operating slot platforms by Microgaming, IGT, Thunderkick and Net Entertainment. The bonus is counterbalanced by a 35-time turnover before securing a withdrawal.
  • Winner Casino: Grabbing the ‘Best Casino Platform of the Year’ at the 2014 EGR awards, Winner Casino boasts a great variety of games running on the Playtech platform. It also guarantees a flawless mobile gaming experience through its state-of-the-art mobile application. Upon using Winner Casino’s bonus code ALLWIN, you get a £30 free no-deposit bonus and the opportunity to secure up to £6000 high roller bonus. Last but not least, their VIP system is very well developed, spanning five levels and offering ever better rewards and exclusive promotions along the way. Getting to the next step of the hierarchy is awarded with a separate VIP welcome bonus.

Other Refferals

  1. Casino marketing research (Gamblers on the market)
  2. Optimising the casino for customers (Gambling generations study)