Casino bonus offers can be tricky. Many of them sound nice on paper, but in reality are not that great.
As you probably know, nothing comes for free. And this certainly applies to deposit (match) bonuses. There are terms attached that can lower your chances of winning cash.
We will explain more below on how to differentiate between the casino bonuses, and how to tell the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly. To start off though, we will jump straight in with the best bonuses we could find. And by best, we mean offers that give you higher winnings odds.
Best Welcome Bonus Offers 2023
Casino Bonuses – Good, Average and Ugly
On this page we will speak about deposit bonuses (aka match bonuses). Before that, here is a short comment on no-deposit bonuses.
For no-deposit bonuses, like free chips or spins, there is no such thing as bad. However, there are huge differences between them. While they are all free, only some come with chances of winning any cash.
Personally, we don’t love this type of bonus because they all come with low maximum cash out limits. It can be $20 to $50, and sometimes even $100. The limits ruin all of the fun.
The thrill of a casino is that you can leave with more than $20. There is always the dream of winning that life changing jackpot. But that hope can not exist while playing no-deposit bonuses.
Now that is out of the way, lets focus on real bonuses.
What Splits the Good from the Bad: Things to Notice
Cashable vs Phantom (Sticky)
This is the most important part to check. In many cases, the bonus is given for play through only. Meaning when you go to withdrawal, the amount is deducted from your balance. Unless you hit a insanely high jackpot, you chances of cashing out is pretty slim. This type of bonus is good for extending your playtime or for betting higher amounts.
This promotion is very common in USA online casino sites and a bit in Australian casinos.
Bottom Line: unless you are low roller and just wish to increase your playtime, stick to cashable offers only.
The next thing in line are the wagering requirements (WR). This is the amount of dollars/euros/pounds you need to bet before you can make a withdrawal. So you will naturally want a lower wagering requirement.
WR can be defined as the multiplier of the bonus, or the multiplier of the bonus plus the deposit.
Generally speaking: below 40 times the bonus (or 20 times bonus + deposit) is very good. Above 50 times the bonus and deposit is considered bad.
Of course, WR for cashable bonuses tend to be higher.
Some bonus offers come with maximum cash out limits. Meaning even if you win $1,000,000, the amount you can withdraw is only 10 times the deposit, or whatever number is stipulated in the terms. This is generally ok for no-deposit bonuses or free spins, but it is horrible on deposit bonuses.
Bottom Line: Stay away from match bonuses with a max cash out limit (or you will find out the hard way)
Players tend to chase high percentage bonuses as they get more “free money” for every dollar deposited. However, it’s important to notice that in most cases, high percentage bonuses carry low winning odds. The reason is that they are usually phantoms and have crazy WR.
Bottom Line: bonus percentage is much less important than you think. Most 100% – 200% offers will give you much better winning odds than some 450% promo.
A few additional things to check:
- Make sure that the game you want to play is not restricted in the bonus terms. Some casino games (like blackjack or specific slots) are restricted under the bonus. Don’t mess with that because if you break the rules, the casino won’t pay you.
- Max bet: many casinos have a maximum bet amount on bonus offers – check it and follow it.
Most important: after completing the wagering requirement – cash out!