Everything you need to know about online casino bonuses

Everything you need to know about online casino bonuses

Bonuses are a crucial part of the online casino world that benefit players just as much as they benefit the casinos offering them.

For casinos, bonuses are a highly effective way to entice new players to sign up and incentivise existing players to stay loyal. For players, bonuses are an easy way to boost their deposited funds or even play real money games 100% free – no deposit required.

If you’re new to online casinos and bonuses, stick around because in this article we’ll explain what the basic types of casino bonuses are, how to use them, when to use plus their advantages and disadvantages and more.

The Basic Types of Casino Bonuses and When to Use Them

The following are the most common online casino bonuses you’ll find featured in many of the best online casinos accessed from Australia and the United States and everywhere in between.

Deposit Bonus

Online casino deposit bonuses

As its name suggests, this type of new player bonus always requires you to make a deposit to unlock i.e. no deposit no bonus.

What is it?

Also known as a Welcome, Matching, Sign Up or Match bonus, a deposit bonus is a percentage-based offer that can only be claimed by players who haven’t signed up at the respective online casino before.

A 100% Match Bonus of up to $100 is an example of a deposit bonus. Bonuses are not awarded to new players automatically which means you always have to opt-in to receive this type of bonus deal.

How do I use it?

Once you’ve signed up for a new casino account (by completing a new account registration form), simply login to the casino with your brand new username + password and head to the casino’s Cashier / Banking page.

There (if you didn’t have the choice to opt-in during the sign up process), opt-in to receive the bonus. Then choose a payment method, enter an amount to deposit, read and agree to the casino’s T&Cs and submit.

Ensure that your deposit + your matching bonus reflect in your casino account. For instance, using the example above if you deposited $100 you'd receive a $100 matching bonus for a total of $200 in playing funds.

When do I use it?

You can use this bonus to ‘boost’ your initially deposited funds i.e. your ‘bankroll’ or ‘chip stack’ by as much as the maximum specified bonus amount.

Unless specified in the T&Cs, you can use your deposit + bonus cash to play any casino games for real money such as slots, video poker, table and card games, progressives, live dealer games, keno, scratch cards and others.


  • You can increase your playing funds ‘on the house,’ so to speak.
  • You get more playing funds and thus have more chances to win.
  • You can play the vast majority of real money games with these.


  • You have to make an initial deposit to unlock them.
  • They always comes with a long list of stringent T&Cs.
  • Some have difficult to achieve wagering requirements.

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Deposit Bonus with Free Spins

Online casino deposit bonuses - Free Spins

This type of new player bonus is aimed at fans of all casino game categories, including slots with no deposit, and always requires you to make a deposit to redeem and make use of it.

What is it?

This is essentially the same as a regular percentage-based deposit bonus i.e. a Match, Welcome, Sign Up or Matching bonus except that it comes with a fixed number of free spins thrown in for good measure.

A 100% Welcome Bonus of up to $100 plus 15 Free Spins on Gonzo’s Quest slots is an example of a deposit bonus with free spins bonus. You must, however, opt-in to get this type of offer as it’s not automatically awarded.

How do I use it?

Once you’ve registered a new casino account and it’s been activated, login using your new username and password and navigate directly to the casino’s Banking or Cashier page.

On that page opt-in for the deposit with free spins bonus (if you didn’t already as part of the sign up process). Next select a banking method, enter the sum you’d like to deposit and before making payment read and agree to the casino’s T&Cs.

Now when you check your casino balance you should see that your deposit and bonus reflect. In addition, when you open the slot game highlighted in the bonus offer you should find your free spins already loaded, ready to be spun.

When do I use it?

You can use this bonus to maximise the ‘freebies’ with your initial deposit(s). Not only are you matching your deposit by a fixed percentage (if its 100% you can ‘double up’ your funds) but you get to enjoy a slew of free spins on top of it.

Plus you can use your bonus funds to play any real money game the casino has to offer (unless specified in the T&Cs).

In most casinos you’ll get to try out their newest / most frequently played slot games without paying for a single spin.


  • You can boost your funds and get free spins with your first deposit.
  • You can use bonus cash to play most games + spin reels for free.
  • The wagering requirement of these bonuses isn’t too stringent.


  • You have to make a first deposit to unlock them.
  • They all come with a laundry list of T&Cs you must adhere to.
  • Although the free spins are free, you still need to pay to redeem them.

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No Deposit Free Spins

This type of new player bonus is aimed at fans of online slot games and is 100% free to claim and use – no deposit required.

What is it?

A free spins no deposit required bonus awards a set number of free spins you can use to spin the reels on one or more of a casino’s best slots. Unlocking free spins only requires you to open a casino account, which is quick, easy and free to do.

Depending on the casino you can expect to be awarded anything from 10 up to 120 free spins without spending a cent. Also, some free spins are coupled with a single specified slot game while others are with coupled with multiple slots.

How do I use it?

To get spinning (and with a little luck winning), open a new casino account which entails filling out a brief registration form. Then login to the casino with your new login details and navigate to the casino game lobby to redeem your spins.

Search for the slots specified in the respective no deposit free spins bonus and you should find your free spins pre-loaded, ready to roll. All you have to do is spin the reels 100% for free and hope that your winnings start to pile up.

Once your free spins have finished, all winnings are converted to regular bonus cash. This is then subject to the same wagering requirement and other bonus T&Cs which you must meet in full before you can cash out any winnings.

When do I use it?

You can use this bonus whenever you want to try out a casino and some of its best real money slots without reaching for your wallet. It’s a great way to ‘test drive’ a casino’s most popular and/or latest slot titles.

If you’re fortunate enough to rack up enough winnings with your free spins to meet the respective bonus wagering requirements, you’ll even be permitted to withdraw some winnings – no catch or strings attached.


  • You can try best in class real money slots 100% free.
  • You stand a chance of cashing out real money winnings.
  • You can get to know the various slot game developers free.


  • There’s no guarantee you’ll always win something.
  • You can only use free spins to play predetermined slots.
  • Cashable winnings are subject to a maximum withdrawal limit.

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Cashback Bonus

Online casino deposit bonuses - Cashback Spins

This bonus is aimed at existing i.e. already registered + depositing players and involves a percentage refund of a player’s total losses over a given period.

What is it?

A cashback bonus is a way for some online casinos to reward their players for their ongoing loyalty. Although not mutually exclusive, in many cases casinos that do not offer reload bonuses offer cashback bonuses instead.

As such these bonus deals are becoming increasingly popular among online casino fans around the world. Plus they’re more cost-effective for the casinos offering them as they come out of a player’s losses not their coffers.

How do I use it?

Although cashback bonuses may differ slightly from casino to casino, overall the principle is the same – you get a specified percentage of your losses back over a set period, usually the week before, but in some cases daily or monthly.

Sometimes cashback bonuses are only paid out if you play certain games. These are normally games with a high house edge like slots. For example, if you played and lost $100 on slots at a casino with a 10% cashback, you’d be credited $5.

Certain casinos offer cashback bonuses by default to all depositing players while others offer it as an add-on that you have to opt-in to receive. Regardless, cash back bonuses are a good way to boost your funds on your ‘not so lucky’ days.

When do I use it?

If you choose to play at online casinos that offer all of their real money players cashback by default, you stand to benefit from this bonus on an ongoing basis guaranteed (only when you rack up losses, of course).

This is a very different type of bonus to the more typical online casino bonuses highlighted above, but one that can be very useful as a ‘top-up’ – if not a small one – on those occasions when your funds are getting low.


  • You get a percentage back on your total losses guaranteed.
  • Most cash back bonuses have zero wagering requirements.
  • Even if you deplete your funds you will get something back.


  • The cashback percentage is usually no more than 10%.
  • Some casino games might not qualify for a cashback bonus.
  • You may have to lose your whole deposit to qualify for cashback.
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