First Deposit Bonuses

The first deposit bonus is an integral feature of any online casino. Okay, of ALMOST any casino. Some of them are so lame that they offer you nothing, but still hope that you will go and play there. Shame on them. However, most gambling websites offer welcome treats for newcomers - these bonuses are special promos which are available only to those players who have just registered and haven’t made a deposit yet.

What Are the Types of Welcome Bonuses?

There are two main types of first deposit bonuses: matching bonuses and free spins. In case of the matching bonus, the casino will match your deposit with a special reward. For instance, there is a 200% casino bonus up to €200. You deposit €40 and get €80 of credits. You deposit €50 and get €100 extra. And so on, up to €200. Free spins can usually be used on specific games.

Most casinos offer bonus funds or free spins (or bonus funds AND free spins), but certain gambling websites have pretty unusual welcome bonuses. For instance, we have seen a number of online casinos offering Amazon vouchers. Yes, we are serious, Amazon vouchers! This is exactly what you are dreaming about when making your first deposit at an online casino, right?!

Now, here are two more types: bonuses which require special promo codes and bonuses which don’t have such a habit. This is pretty clear - in the first case, you have to enter a special code when claiming the bonus or during the registration process - these codes are specified in the bonus conditions or our reviews!

How Do Welcome Bonuses Work?

Regardless the type of the welcome bonus, there is one main rule which you have to know - free spins are not really free, and the bonus funds are not free money. Things don’t work like this! There are wagering requirements which you have to meet, and in some cases they can make you suffer. However, some really cool casinos offer wager-free bonuses. Don’t think that you will get something like a 200% deposit bonus up to €1,000 - such free bonuses are usually all about spins.

Okay, let’s figure out what those wagering requirements are. For example, a casino offers you a 400% first deposit bonus. You deposit €20 and get €80 as a bonus. Let’s imagine that the wagering requirement is 40 times the amount of the bonus. This means that you will have to bet at least €3,200 before you will be able to request a cashout. You simply multiply the amount of your bonus by the wagering requirement (80x40), and that’s it! Here is another example - the wagering requirement is 30 times the sum of your deposit and bonus. In this case, you will have to bet at least €3,000. Just calculate the sum of your deposit and bonus (20+80), and multiply it by the wagering requirement (x30).

A Few More Interesting Details

Here are several more things to keep in mind when claiming and playing the welcome bonus:

  • Some casinos offer different bonuses for different countries;
  • In most cases, the wagering requirements must be met within a certain amount of time. Sometimes this amount is too small, so it is important to check the bonus conditions carefully!
  • Some bonuses can’t be withdrawn even after you are done with the wagering requirements. We call them sticky or phantom bonuses. In the worst case, the amount of the bonus is simply deducted from your withdrawal. We hate such casinos, and always highlight their tricky conditions in our reviews;
  • Usually, there are limitations on the amount of winnings. Let’s say, you have €700 of winnings, but the casino’s maximum is €500. This means that you will be able to withdraw only €500, while €200 will simply disappear;
  • Limitations on the maximum size of a bet are also possible;
  • Some casinos offer so-called highroller bonuses. These welcome offers seem to be more attractive, as you can get more bonus funds. But the minimum deposit amounts are higher too. While standard bonuses usually require you to deposit something between €10 and €30, the minimum deposit of a high-roller bonus can be even €300!
  • Certain casinos offer separate welcome bonuses for live games or sports betting, so make sure that you claim the right one. Some sites even have special offers for mobile players;
  • Bonuses may also have lists of restricted countries. Some of them even have lists of restricted deposit methods;
  • At some casinos, you can get a free play bonus. This is a sign-up bonus - you register and receive a certain amount of credits without making a deposit. You can even get €1,000! However, these credits are usually available within a very limited amount of time. Other potential no-deposit bonuses include free spins and tiny amounts of bonus credits.

What are the Best Welcome Bonuses?

There is no perfection in this world, but the best deposit bonus should look like this:

  • At least a 100% match;
  • At least up to €100;
  • The wagering requirements should be not more than 40 times the bonus or 20 times the sum of the deposit and bonus. The lower - the better!
  • No limits on bets and winnings;
  • The bonus is not sticky;
  • It is really great when a casino offers not a single bonus, but a welcome package which covers your first several deposits. Offering both a matching bonus and free spins is also a cool option;
  • The bonus can be used on slots. Some casinos allow playing the bonus only, for instance, on Bingo games, and that’s not really our cup of tea.

Now you know how to distinguish an amazing first deposit bonus casino from those websites which offer eternal sufferings instead of normal bonus conditions. So, it is time to choose a casino and grab their welcome treat - good luck to you!