How do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

by Anne B. Robinson

Throughout recent years, online gambling has become increasingly popular. Online casinos also happen to offer attractive bonuses to draw new players in and keep them around longer. You could say that bonuses have become a highly relevant part of online casino culture.

The more a player understands how to use online casino bonuses, the more they will be able to benefit from them.

But how do online casino bonuses work? This guide discusses the main kinds of bonuses offered by casinos as well as their benefits.

How do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

Put simply, online casino bonuses are promotions platforms use to bring in new players and keep existing ones around. These bonuses come in many types, i.e., free spins, free bonus money, cashback, and many more. The bonuses are normally displayed as percentages.

For example, a 250 percent bonus of up to 250 USD means that players will receive bonus money equivalent to 250 percent of their deposit (not over 250 USD, however). This means that if a player deposits 10 USD, they will win 25 USD worth of bonus money.

Players can use the bonus money on either all of the games the online casino offers or a select few based on the offered promotion. Note that every casino has its terms of use that players must understand before claiming their winnings.

Another fact to bear in mind is that while some bonuses may sound very appealing, you may consider looking at the terms and conditions associated with them. Some of the requirements are as follows:

  • Minimum deposit requirements
  • Game weighing
  • Restricted games
  • Wagering requirements
  • Stake limits
  • Maximum cashout limits
  • Time frames

Players must also know the differences between non-cashable and cashable bonuses. While both are beneficial, you would not want to be chasing after a non-cashable bonus thinking it is withdrawable.

Casino Bonus Types

The following are the most common bonus types online casinos offer:

Match Deposit

This bonus requires players to place minimum deposits. After that, the online casino of their choosing matches that deposit up to a set amount. For instance, if an online casino provides a 100 percent bonus of up to 250 USD and the player deposits 150 USD, they are eligible for a bonus worth 150 USD.

The match percentage offered varies from casino to casino. Usually, online casinos match deposits by 100% deposit bonus.

Free Spins

Normally you have to risk your funds to play real money slots. Free spins lets players try games without having to bet any money. They also get to keep their wins and cash them out, provided they meet the terms and conditions stated by their chosen casino.

This bonus can either be linked to a match bonus or a standalone bonus. In the former case, the player becomes eligible for both a match bonus and spins.

If a casino offers a 100 percent match bonus of up to 400 USD plus 150 free spins and the player deposits 300 USD, they will be qualified for a 300 USD bonus plus 150 free spins.


With cashback bonuses, players can recover a part of their losses if they lose money in a casino. Online casinos normally offer these bonuses at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly) for players to win back certain percentages of the funds they lost, i.e., 10, 20, 30 percent, or more.

For example, if a cashback bonus promises 10 percent back, and a player spends 1000 USD over a specific period, they will get 100 USD back. Online casinos usually specify the amount of funds players must spend to get the cashback bonus working.

Note that you will most probably need to wager the bonus money before you can withdraw it.

No Deposit

To qualify for a no deposit bonus, the only thing required is to sign up at the casino offering it. After that, the casino then grants the user either free spins or a certain cash amount. Similar to the former, players can utilize the bonus to score winnings. Players can then withdraw what is left over after meeting the T&C requirements.

For instance, if a casino offers a 20 USD deal, players will receive that amount in bonus funds. If the player has 15 USD left after meeting the T&C requirements, they can either withdraw that amount or use it on more games.

Provided they offer the chance to get free money, these types of bonuses are rarer than deposit offers. You can still find them after adequate research.


Online casinos often reward users whenever their peers register using their referral code. Usually, players will need to refer a specific number of people to the online casino to be eligible for the bonus.

For instance, if a casino promises a 25 percent bonus for every referral deposit, and the user’s peer deposits 100 USD, the user will win 25 USD.

Such bonuses usually offer free spins or money that players can use for games. Players are also required to wager the money before being able to withdraw it.

Loyalty Bonuses

Whenever a player becomes a regular at an online casino, they may be offered a chance to go VIP. VIP users are promised higher bonuses with easier conditions like lower wagering criteria.

Normal players usually accumulate loyalty points by playing games and that decides their VIP level, as well as the rewards they are eligible for.

Loyalty programs come in tiers, and players need to accumulate complimentary points to go up those tiers. Entry-level tiers offer smaller bonuses, and the top-most tiers come with exclusive offers like birthday presents, invites to exclusive events, and personal account managers. Some online casinos also offer exotic travel to their top-tier VIP players.


Bonuses can be a great way for players to enhance their online gambling experience. It is crucial to remember, however, that if some bonuses seem too good to be true, they probably are. Therefore, it helps to understand how every type of bonus works to get the most out of it. If you are lucky enough to win at a casino, managing your winnings is also a mandatory lesson.

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