The solution is pretty simple.
If you want the best casino bonuses and rewards, it makes no sense to join a subpar casino. You need to join the best.
Why get a $200 bonus when you want $2,000? Why agree to a 45x rollover when another casino offers 30x?
My point is you should join the casinos that are competitive with their promotions; they offer the most money; the best rollover terms; the most points for every $1 spent; the most cash back for your points.
Few casinos can claim the title of “best” for this category. We’ve listed the ones we feel make the cut in our list below.
You can take our word for it; just click through to your chosen casino and get signed up. Or, you can read our reviews to find the best casino for you.
Whatever you choose to do, you don’t want to take too long. Most offers are “limited time” promotions, which means you’ll want to act now if an offer catches your eye.
Let us assure you – these casinos are not listed by mistake. We have a reason why they’ve made our list. We talk about what the best casinos do (or, rather, don’t do) below, along with other need-to-know info about online casino promotions.
There are a few reasons why casinos offer bonuses and other (VIP) promotions.
Many casinos are similar in the software they use and games they offer. There’s not much that usually differentiates online casinos, other than maybe their theme or stellar support (which you don’t experience until you’re a customer).
So, a casino will offer a unique bonus package. It might be a large bonus; or a small bonus with a low rollover; or some free cash; or maybe a deposit bonus, free cash and free spins combo. Whatever the casino offers, usually it’ll be different than the other casinos.
Some people are unsure about playing online for real money. Maybe they’re scared. Or, they don’t know which casino to choose. Or, they’ve been playing for free.
Online casinos will offer a bonus because sometimes a $500 or $1,000 bonus can be just the nudge a player needs to make a deposit and become a real money customer.
Many players see a bonus and get excited. “Ooh, free money,” they think.
But the casino knows better. They know that getting you in the door is the hard part. They know that the average player loses to the casino.
The bonus is simply a carrot leading you to the casino doors.
Now let’s talk about offers for existing players, which serves a couple different purposes.
The more you play – the more loyal you are – the more the casino will give back to you. This could be in free spins, free cash, bonuses, one-on-one attention, games and more. It’s just a way to say “thank you” and maybe get you to make another deposit and/or play more.
Keep in mind that you’re still losing money (unless you’ve won a jackpot or something). So, even though the casino is giving you stuff, it’s only because you’ve given them so much of your money.
VIP programs are “rewards” too, but they also serve the purpose of baiting you to play more.
For example, say you play $30 and earn just enough points to be just shy of a free game or $10 cash back. What are you going to do? Stop playing?
Nah. Most people are going to make another deposit to try to earn the points – even if it means losing more in the process than they stand to gain.
Then there are offers – like reload bonuses – that are meant to get existing, inactive players active again. These are often free match bonuses and/or free spins and/or free cash offers to get people interested in depositing and playing again.
The bottom line – online casinos have an agenda when it comes to giving you money and prizes. The goal is for you to come in and spend money with them. But that shouldn’t be surprising.
In fact, you should take that knowledge and use it as leverage to get the best deals possible. And, to make an educated decision as to where you want to play and who you want to spend your money with.
And, to take FULL ADVANTAGE of any offers or perks that might be available to you.
Now that you know why casinos offer you bonuses and VIP perks, let’s look at exactly what types of promotions casinos offer.
These are offered to new customers. They’re usually match bonuses, but they can also be free spins, free (no deposit) cash offers, free spins, or a combination of these.
The casino matches a percentage of your deposit.
For example, if the casino is offering a 100% up to $100 bonus, for every dollar you deposit the casino will give you $1. If you deposit $100 the casino will give you $100, for a grand total of $200.
These are usually small offers, like $10 or $20. Sometimes you’ll get them once you join a casino. Other times they’ll be used as a rebate on your initial losses.
For example, you’ll make a deposit and play $10 or $20 or whatever, then the casino will compensate however much you may have lost, up to a specified max amount.
Casinos will give you free spins for one of their slot machines. Sometimes you can play whatever machine you want. Other times they’ll require you to play a specific genre of slots, or even a specific title.
This is a referral program where the casinos will pay you a “finders’ fee” for every person you send their way that signs up and makes a real money deposit.
This is often a match bonus that’s larger than your standard match bonus. These start in the 4-figure range ($2,000-$5,000) and sometimes can even exceed the 5-figure mark ($10,000+). And, depending on your relationship with the casino, you might even get more.
These offers are exclusive to mobile players. In some cases, this will be the casino’s general offer, but simply positioned or targeted to mobile players.
These are points you earn when you spend money at the casino. Each casino will give you so many points for every $1 or $10 spent.
Loyalty points will serve a couple different purposes. One, they’ll be used to determine your VIP status, if the casino has a multi-tiered VIP program. The higher up you go the more perks you can get. And two, they’re used to exchange for cash back.
These are match bonuses reserved for existing customers, either to get them back into the casino, reward them for playing, or both.
These are the most common offers. But, the truth is you can find these offers at any casino. So, what do the best casinos do that the subpar casinos don’t?
What do the best casinos do that the others don’t?
It’s not always about offering the largest match, the most money, or the most offers overall. You need to look past the surface if you want to find the casinos with the best promotions.
Here’s what we mean.
Ideally that means the smallest rollover. This is important for a couple reasons.
For one thing, the sooner you get through the rollover the faster you can cash out (if you want). The more you’re forced to play, the higher your chances of losing your money to the casino.
Getting through the rollover also means you’ll have a wider range of games you can play without getting penalized.
Many casinos won’t let you play these games to clear their offers. There are a couple of reasons for this.
One reason is odds – these games have the lowest odds or house edge. You can easily go on a streak and not only win money from the casino, but also the bonus money.
They also prohibit you from playing certain games because they don’t want players to take advantage of them. Like roulette – players could bet on even/odd or red/black with the bonus money and come out ahead. Casinos don’t like that.
The best casinos will let you play these games (within reason). But you’ll still have play through requirements.
The casinos that do let you play these games for the bonus will handicap their play through requirements. In other words, they make it so that every dollar you wager on these games only count for a fraction of what a dollar spent on slots does.
Here’s what I mean:
What this means is you’ll need to spend 2.5x as much money to clear the (same) bonus if you choose to play blackjack.
This is pretty normal.
But what the best casinos do that the others don’t, is they make this play through reasonable. I’ve seen some that want blackjack players to wager 10 TIMES MORE than slots players. That’s ridiculous.
You’ll want to find a casino that offers something like 2-5x slots players. And even then you might not feel the bonus is worth it.
The best casinos will structure their VIP program and points so that you get more for every dollar you spend.
In other words, as you earn points you’ll move up in tiers. In doing so you’ll gain a multiplier which will speed up the rate in which you earn points. In turn this also speeds up how fast you move up in ranks.
At the same time, the points you earn are being saved for cash back. The more points you earn, the more cash you get back. And the more points you earn, the faster you’ll earn them, which means over time you’ll earn more cash back at a faster rate.
Think of it sort of like compound interest.
Most casinos have general offers – a one-size-fits-all deposit or reload bonus. But the best casinos will have offers for specific games; an offer for slots and keno; an offer for blackjack; an offer for video poker, and so on.
This is important because the rollover terms aren’t nearly as bad for games like blackjack or video poker as they are from casinos who lump all their games into one promotion. Sure, the blackjack bonus will be much smaller than the slots offer, but at least you won’t have to wager tens or hundreds of thousands to clear it.
(Which many of the “other” casinos will make you do.)
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the rollover terms.
But the best casinos won’t screw you by making you rollover a bonus 50x or 100x before letting you cash out (which can equal tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars). They won’t limit how much you can bet per hand/spin/round or how much of your winnings you can cash out while playing on your bonus.
And they won’t like about it in the chat like some casinos have, only to turn around and enforce the terms listed in their T&C’s.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten through the bulk of important information, it’s now time to decide – which casino should you choose? Which one is best for you?
There’s really no right or wrong answer. And, what works for you won’t necessarily work for the next guy.
Maybe you don’t need a big bonus. Maybe you want a large match instead. Or, maybe you want a no download bonus (rebate) instead of a match bonus.
That’s something you have to think about – what do YOU want?
No one knows but you.
I know that’s not helpful. So, here’s what I’d think if I were you.
The more money you have, the more you can (and, maybe should) lean towards offers where you get more money or perks overall. Especially if the offer has a small rollover.
However, if you’re on a budget I suggest looking for a larger match bonus. An offer where you get a 200%, 300% or even 400% match. You’ll get 2-5x every dollar you spend.
This goes for VIP programs, too. You should be looking to get the most out of every casino – especially if you’re on a smaller budget. You want to get more points for the money you spend, and you want your points to go as far as possible (fewer points for more money and perks).
If you’re only going to play a few hours a month (maybe a few hundred bucks or less), then there’s no sense in driving yourself crazy trying to find the perfect deposit bonus or VIP program. Simply because you’re not going to play enough to reap the rewards worthy of your effort.
What you’ll want to do instead is find a simple, small bonus, maybe a free cash or free spins offer for new players. Then maybe a simple cash back reward program. Oh, and offers that don’t have expiration dates.
You’ll also want to consider the games you’ll play. Slots players will have tons of options to choose from whereas blackjack and video poker players will not. Craps and roulette players are (almost) out of luck.
Those are some of the things I’d think about when choosing a casino based on bonuses and rewards. It’s not perfect, but it should lead you in the right direction.
You can also use our recommendations. And if you don’t like your first choice? Then simply switch to your second choice. Keep going until you find a casino that fits you.
Whatever you do, don’t sign up to a casino only for their bonus. Because the offers that look too good to be true usually are – and they come at a price you don’t want to pay.
Here are some questions we receive on a regular basis about online casinos and their promotions.
No. The biggest bonus isn’t always better. In fact, it depends on you.
If you have lots of money to spend – that you can afford to lose – then finding the biggest bonus will probably make more sense.
But for people with smaller budgets, finding a smaller bonus that has a larger match (150-400%) will be better. They’ll squeeze as much money as they can from their small bankroll.
Either way, the idea is to get more mileage out of what you have. That’s the way I think people should think.
That depends on the offer.
If you get a match bonus, often times the money’s put into your account once you make your deposit. Then it’ll be gone once you spend (lose) it or it expires.
Other offers, like a no download offer, might have to be earned first by depositing your own money and playing enough, or by losing money and then emailing support to let them know.
Keep in mind that each casino has a different way of skipping the bonus. Some casinos give you the option when you make your deposit – you’ll check a box or something. Others will have you email and request it instead. If you don’t email them, you don’t get the bonus.
Then there are others that want you to email them to ask to decline it. But remember that you’ll need to do this BEFORE you make your deposit.
Casinos have terms that say you must rollover your deposit and/or bonus before you can cash out. What this means is you need to wager a multiple of your deposit/bonus.
For example, say the casino has a 30x play through on your bonus.
If your bonus is $1,000, you’ll need to rollover/play/wager that 30x – or $30,000. If it was a 100% match offer and you deposited $1,000 to get that, and the casino wants you to roll both your deposit and bonus over, you’d have to wager $60,000.
If you try to withdraw too soon, the casino may void your bonus or any winnings won with it.
Some casinos will let you. Most won’t. Many are just play or non-cashable bonuses. It really depends on the offer, though.
That depends. Many casinos will have you choose between introductory offers, then from there you can take part in most, if not all of their existing customer offers. But sometimes the casino lets you have them all – you’ll just need to request and clear one offer at a time.
Usually the casino will remove the remaining bonus money from your account.
No deposit bonuses are usually very small – less than $50. My guess is that many casinos view this as a loss leader. They want to get you in the door, playing and having a good time, in hopes that you’ll deposit more once you run out.
At other casinos, this is more or less a rebate offer or insurance. You’ll need to deposit money and play, then you’ll be given a rebate on what you’ve lost, essentially canceling it out. You still made a deposit, but it’s almost as if you didn’t.
It depends on the game. I think there are a few reasons.
One, the odds for slots and keno are so much worse for players. The odds are 15-30+ percent (in favor of the house. However, the odds for blackjack and video poker are less than 1 percent. There’s going to be more variance and there’s a good chance the blackjack and video poker players will win money – on top of getting bonus money. The added rollover gives them more time to lose.
For some games, like roulette, casinos put safeguards in place (if not ban it altogether for bonus clearing) to protect them from people who might game the system.
For example, you can take a free bonus offer and put it on both red/black or even/odds in craps. Sure, you’ll always lose one bet, but the other bet will win – and that’s money you’ll be able to cash out. So, the casino will lose in the long run.
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