Mervyn Davids

Mervyn Davids

Posted on 28 December 2022

Types of Bonuses and How to Evaluate Them

Here at, we focus primarily on no deposit related bonuses.

However, other kinds of bonuses exist and it would be good to learn how they work. Just because a casino site features massive bonuses does not necessarily mean they are presenting a great offer. 

In this article, you will learn how to compare all bonuses casinos have to offer and how to evaluate them so you can make accurate comparisons and informed decisions when choosing which promos to claim and casinos to play with.

What do Online Casino Bonuses Entail?

Some players just feel the urge to make a deposit and start playing without taking the trouble to understand the Terms and Conditions.

What they fail to comprehend is that such a move could cost them highly in the future. This is because the Terms and Conditions vary from one casino to another.

However, only by reading the terms associated with the Terms and Conditions can you estimate your potential losses and gains.

These are:

  • Wagering or Playthrough requirements, the number of times players have to place the bonus amount (and sometimes the deposit too) to withdraw their winnings. So if you have a bonus of $100 and the wagering requirement is 10x, you will have to place bets worth $1,000 to meet the requirements (bonus x wagering requirement).
  • Game Contribution is the percentage of placed bets on a particular game that goes towards fulfilling the wagering requirements. game weighting.
  • Win Limits restrict how much of your bonus winnings you can withdraw. They mainly apply to free bonuses that don’t require a deposit.

Types of Casino Bonuses

The differences between the bonuses offered may be subtle but distinct. Varied bonuses are aimed at different kinds of players. 

These are the main types of online casino bonuses:

  • No Deposit Bonus. No deposit is needed here; hence, the term. This is for players who want to try a casino for free.
  • No Deposit Free Spins is when casinos offer players free spins after creating a new account. This is for players who want to play slots for free.
  • Match Bonuses provide players with bonus credits in return for deposit that is considered ‘qualifying’. This is for players who want to extend their bankroll.
  • Cashback Bonuses provide players a percentage of their losses as cashback over some time. 

Now let’s take a look at all of these in more depth.

No Deposit Bonus

Apart from the stellar marketing effects the No Deposit Bonus tends to have, it   comes in the form of bonus credits you get just for signing up at the casino site.

These bonuses typically range from $5 to $20 depending on which casino you’re playing with, and to evaluate them, you would obviously start by looking at the monetary value offered.

However, there’s more to it. No Deposit Bonus also comes with win limits and wagering requirements. Casinos simply cannot let you withdraw their free cash just by signing up, without attempting to play.

Wagering Requirements For No Deposit Bonuses

So what can you expect regarding wagering requirements attached to No Deposit Bonuses?

The requirements here are usually quite difficult to complete. No Deposit Bonuses are usually wagered between 30 to 60 times before you can cash out your winnings. Other than that, you also have to wager this money in a short amount of time.

Players here should claim the bonus with the lowest wagering requirements.

No Deposit Bonuses are easy to evaluate:

Bonus Bonus Value Wagering Requirements Sum-Total to Wager
Bonus A $10 20x $200
Bonus B $50 60x $3,000

Bonus A shows that you have to wager a total sum of $200 before withdrawing your earnings. In Bonus B, you need to wager a  total of $3000 to win real money.

Often, No Deposit Bonuses come with a winning restriction of say $100 so players cannot bankrupt a casino.

Win Limits

Free bonuses always come with win limits. Depending on which casino you’ve chosen, you can expect to cash out between $5 and $200 of your bonus winnings. 

So, if you win $1000 with a bonus that has a $20 win limit, you can still only withdraw $20. 

We always display win limits in our bonus lists and reviews so you can easily compare different bonuses and find the best one.

No Deposit Free Spins

Free Spins are usually specifically-created deals by casinos for players to play slot games. 

They’re usually valid on one, or several, slots chosen by the casino. They are usually attached to particular online slots like newly-launched slots or popular slots. 

Players who like bonuses like these can expect to play for free and withdraw their respective winnings only if they meet the wagering requirements.  You need to play with the money you have won between 30 and 60 times. 

Calculating How Much Free Spins Are Worth

You can calculate the total value of free spins by multiplying the number of free spins you received by the minimum bet in the eligible slot(s).

Number of Free Spins Minimum Bet Value of Free Spins
30 $0.1 $3
100 $0.05 $5

Just like the No Deposit Bonus, the Free Spins Bonus also has winning restrictions. A Free Spins Bonus with high winning limits could help you benefit in the long run.

Wagering Free Spins

Wagering requirements, work differently when it comes to Free Spins. Here, the wagering requirement is applied to your first free spin win. 

Here is an example:

Bonus Number of Free Spins Free Spins Winnings Wagering Requirements Sum Total to Wager
Bonus A 20 10 50 $500
Bonus B 50 5 20 $100

For the best opportunity to win real money, you should claim free spins with the lowest possible wagering requirements. And as with no deposit bonuses, your winnings will be subject to the casino’s win limits.

Match Deposit Bonus

When you make a deposit, the casino matches a percentage of your deposit in bonus credits.

Let’s take an example where the casino matches your deposit by 100% up to $200.

This means that if you deposit:

  • $100- you get $100 in bonus credits
  • $300- you still get $200 as this is the maximum amount.

It is important to remember that real money you deposit goes into your cash balance but if you withdraw your earnings before wagering your bonus, you lose the bonus. 

When your cash balance is finished, you start playing with bonus credits. Every bet made with bonus money counts towards your wagering requirement.

Here is a clearer example of how match deposit bonuses work.

Bonus Deposit Percentage Match Eligible Bonus Total Balance (Deposit+Bonus)
Bonus A $100 50% $50 $150
Bonus B $100 100% $100 $200
Bonus C $100 200% $200 $300

Wagering Requirement For Match Deposit Bonuses

When it comes to match bonuses, casinos may apply their wagering requirements to:

  • Only the bonus sum, or
  • The total value of your bonus and its qualifying deposit.

Let’s take a closer look at how this work by using two examples:

Wagering Requirement Only Applied To The Bonus

Player Deposit Bonus Playthrough Requirement Total Balance
(Deposit + Bonus x Playthrough Requirement)
$150 $225 50x $375 x 50= $18,750

Let’s break down the information above:

  • You deposit $150 to claim a 150% bonus.
  • This means you receive a total of $225 in bonus funds as $150 x 1.5 = $225.
  • Now, multiply the bonus by the wagering requirements:
  • $225 bonus x a 50x wagering requirement = $11, 250 to wager.

Here, the wagering requirement only takes into consideration the deposit. However, many casinos apply the wagering requirement to both the bonus and the deposit you made to claim it.

In such a scenario, the calculation would be different:

Wagering Requirement Only Applied To The Bonus & The Deposit

Player Deposit Bonus Playthrough Requirement Total Balance
(Deposit + Bonus x Playthrough Requirement)
$150 $225 50x $375 x 50= $18,750
  • You deposit $150 and receive $225 in bonus funds. This makes for a total of $375.
  • Now, multiply the total of your bonus and your deposit by the wagering requirement:

$375 x a 50x wagering requirement = $18,750 to wager.

As you can see, it becomes way harder to wager a bonus when the wagering requirement is applied or both the bonus and your deposit.

Other Match Deposit Bonus Types

  •  Multiple Deposit Bonuses are a series of match bonuses granted on a number of usually consecutive deposits. 
  • High-Roller VIP Bonus is a match bonus that requires a larger deposit but offers high maximum amounts in return. It is usually granted to very loyal and frequent players who have reached a high-level program at the casino site.
  • Reload Bonus is typically a match bonus that is offered to existing players who have used their Welcome Bonus, to encourage them to return to the site.

Cashback Bonus

Cashback bonuses give you a percentage return based on your net losses, deposits, or wagers made during a specific period. They’re credited retroactively and usually apply to a specific period such as a day, a week, or a month. 

There are different kinds of Cashback bonuses:

  • Cashback on net losses whereby players receive a percentage of their losses in cashback over a specified time.
  • Cashback on total bets is when a percentage of all wagers is returned to players as cashback over a specified time.
  • Cashback on deposits – This is usually applied to cumulative deposits made during the set period. It is basically a match bonus that’s credited retroactively and applicable to multiple deposits.

So players get cashbacks when depositing and playing.

The cashback percentage offered by most casinos ranges between 5% and 30%. Sometimes it is offered as part of the VIP program.

General Bonus Terms

Players also need to bear in mind other terms, such as maximum bets, game restrictions, and minimum deposits, which can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

Win Limits

Winning caps apply to all free bonuses and are a standard bonus rule implemented by all casinos that limits how much of your bonus winning you can withdraw.

For example, if I claim a no-deposit bonus and win $1,000 and the bonus comes with a $20 win limit, then I cannot cash out more than $20.

Casinos set this rule to ensure that players cannot claim free bonuses and win massive amounts.

These limits are set between $10 and $200 depending on the casino you are playing with.

Game Weighting Percentages

Game weighting percentages, also known as Game Contribution percentages, specify how much of your stake counts towards your wagering requirement in a specific game.

Slots are usually 100% weighted, which means that for every $1.00 spin, the casino will deduct $1.00 from the wagering requirement. 

Other games typically have game-weighting percentages ranging from 0% to 20%. This makes it harder for you to fulfill your wagering requirement than when playing slots. See this example:

Let’s say there is a 10% game contribution in a Blackjack game. Now, the casino will deduct $0.10 from your wagering requirements with every $1 hand you play. 

Let’s look at a few examples to see how game weighting percentages can affect your chances of wagering a bonus:

Eligible Bonus Playthrough Wagering Amount
Gaming Contribution (Blackjack) Total Wagering Amount (Blackjack)
$200 40x $200 x40= $8,000 to wager. 10% 8,000 x10= $80,000

Let’s break down the table above:

The offer you claim:

  • $200 bonus
  • 40x wagering requirement.
  • Sum to wager = $8,000.

Wagering the bonus on slots that are 100% weighted

  • $1 bet = $1 deducted from your wagering requirement.
  • $8,000 wager requirement / $1 = $8,000.
  • You must stake $8,000 to wager the bonus.

Blackjack at a 10% game weighting percentage

  • $1 bet = $0.10 deducted from your wagering requirement.
  • $8,000 to wager / $0.10 deduction per spin = 80,000 spins required to meet the wagering requirement.
  • 80,000 spins x $1 bet = You must stake a total of $80,000 to meet the $8,000 wagering requirement.

 As you can see from this example, game weighting percentage greatly affect your chances of fulfill the wagering requirements.


When players look at online casinos and evaluate them, they should keep the bonus offers in mind.

Choosing the right kind of bonus depends on a multifaceted range of criteria. These vary from what players expect from a bonus as well as how much they would like to place as a deposit to the sort of games they would like to play.

Players should read the Terms and Conditions carefully and look at other terms, such as playthrough requirements, game contributions, and house edge.

Published on: 2022/12/28