Guide to Online Casinos

Understanding Online Casino Bonuses

If you've even begun investigating online casinos, you've no doubt noticed that every one of them is offering bonuses to new players. The real money gaming industry is a very competitive place, and while the casinos give out bonuses to try to stand out from the crowd, you can certainly make them work for you.

How Online Casino Bonuses Work

Online casinos invent new bonus offers all the time in the hopes of luring new players in, which is hard to do since there are so many gambling sites out there. It's an easy way for the casino to differentiate itself, and once players try and like the site, it's often easier for them to continue to play there. Of course, casinos aren't in the business of giving money away for free, and there are always conditions on the bonuses.

The most common type of bonus is called a deposit bonus, because it is free money given to a player when they first deposit real money at that online casino. Deposit bonuses are usually given as a percentage match – for instance, a 100 percent bonus on a deposit up to $500 – or as a set dollar amount on a minimum deposit. Generally, only the first deposit for a new player is subject to this kind of bonus, but you can also find some offers for the first several deposits on new accounts.

A no deposit bonus is exactly what it sounds like: Free wagering credits given even before a player puts real money into a casino account. The catch here is that you can't cash out the credits earned in this manner, but must use them to place bets on casino games. If you end up with money in your account after the conditions of the no deposit bonus have been met, you can then cash them out, but only after making a cash deposit.

Other bonus offers will be made to returning players in the hopes of keeping them as loyal customers. For any bonus, an important concept to keep in mind is called play through or clearing – that is, the amount of betting you must do to earn the bonus. For example, a $100 deposit bonus may only be cleared once you've made a total of $500 worth of bets. Check the fine print at your online casino of choice and make sure you know what has to be done to clear any bonuses it advertises.