All You Ever Wanted To Know About Online Casino Bonuses

What are online casino bonuses?

Quite simply, these bonuses represent free cash for you to play with. An online casino is in the business of making money, and that’s what it understands best. So, in competing for your custom and loyalty, it will offer you various types of bonuses. The first one is the welcome bonus, which encourages you to take the plunge and sign on, and you will be offered other types of bankroll-boosting bonuses down the line.

How are online casino bonuses offered?

When a bonus is offered by an online casino, it is done to strengthen the relationship. Thus, you could be incentivized to start or continue playing. Or, you could be offered a reward for your loyalty after playing a certain number of games for certain period of time. Broadly speaking, bonuses are sign-up, loyalty or deposit based and they encourage you to play more games with the online casino concerned.

Different types of online casino bonuses

Each online casino has its own style and trading personality. This is reflected in its game selection and its bonus structure, among many other factors. One of the main criteria we use to select the top online casinos for Canada is the categories and quality of bonuses it offers. Are they substantial? Will players feel sufficiently rewarded? Are they straightforward, or conversely, subject to all sorts of tiresome conditions?

Types of bonuses

Here are the most popular types of bonuses that you will come across:

  • Welcome bonus:Also known as a sign-up bonus or a first deposit bonus. This is the online casino’s flagship offer - a bid to encourage you to sign up. It will therefore be quite generous – you could double or even triple your bankroll and the deal will only apply to your very first deposit. Expressed as a percentage, it will specify a certain cap up to which it will match your deposit. For you to benefit to the maximum, you’ll want to deposit as close to the upper limit of the cap as possible. After all, you are being provided with free dollars to play with beyond your initial bankroll. Bear in mind that the biggest bonuses are not necessarily the best. They might look impressive, but they may require more financial input from you in order to release the bonus. As always where finances are concerned, read the small print.

  • 100% Matching bonus: This means that the online casino will match your deposit, dollar for dollar within a certain range, from a minimum amount up to a specific cap. Online casinos offer a broad range of cap limits, some sites might indicate say, $150 and others could be in the thousands of dollars, so be sure to check. This cap will be shown prominently, along with the percentage of the matching bonus.

  • Deposit bonus: This is a bonus that rewards you for making a deposit into your real money account. These can have high wager conditions or may require you to make an additional deposit.

  • No-deposit bonus: The casino provides you with a small amount of money to start playing before you deposit some of your own Canada Dollars. This might be done to bridge the gap whilst your payment option is being approved. They are also awarded to mark certain milestones, for example the Anniversary Bonus acknowledges that you’ve played for a year. In order to release winnings that come from playing with a no-deposit bonus, you will probably have to invest some real money of your own.

  • Cash back bonus: This returns a percentage of your losses. It usually does not require an additional deposit from the player and has low wager conditions.

  • Free spins bonus: This perk gives you free spins on a popular slots game selected by the casino’s choice. You can usually keep your winnings and it’s a fun way to experience genuine online casino thrills.

  • Freerolls: A free buy-in to an online gaming tournament. This encourages you to remain excited, engaged and coming back for more action-packed games time after time.

  • Additional bonuses: Once they’ve got you through the door, so to speak, with their welcome bonus, now they want to retain you as a player and keep the adrenalin pumping. You may be offered matching bonuses in the 25% to 50% range from time to time.

Why are online casino bonuses important?

For new players, it makes sense to capitalize on the lucrative sign-on bonuses. Understanding precisely what the bonuses are offering you can be extremely valuable when deciding on whether to claim one. The more value you squeeze from your online casino, the more fun you’ll have and a bigger bankroll to win with.


Playthrough is another word for wagering or betting. Playthrough requirements indicate the number of times the casino wants you to place bets before you can claim your winnings. This will vary from game to game.

Why are bonuses only at online sites?

This is because the online casino doesn’t have to invest in the massive infrastructure and staff compliment that land-based casinos do. They can afford to tantalize their players by encouraging them to make deposits by means of cash bonuses and VIP points.

How are casino bonuses unlocked?

In order to clear your welcome bonus, you will have to play actively on the site. Every time you place a bet, you receive points towards unlocking your bonus money. The more often you bet and the bigger your wagers, the sooner you can clear your bonus. More points are generated by slots than by other games such as blackjack, due to the different house edges. As your points accumulate, you will notice bonus money trickling into your account in small amounts.

Some online casinos may allow you to invest a certain amount of real money before withdrawal of the bonus. Others may state that the bonus must be deducted from the winnings payout. On the whole, the casino wants you to gamble with the bonus, sometimes more than once.

Don’t void your bonus!

Every bonus has an expiry date, after which any uncleared money disappears. Check out the fine print to see how long your bonus remains valid.