Land-based casinos offer comps in the form of free meals and accommodation for their players. Online casinos wishing to reward newcomers and keep their veteran players happy offer, more appropriately, casino bonuses in the form of "free money" or credits added to their players' accounts.
Welcome and Sign-up Bonuses - Sign-up bonuses, also known as welcome bonuses, are usually the most attractive of the bonuses offered to players. Players starting from a point of knowledge and understanding of bonuses can profit well from these offers over time. Most welcome bonuses are offered to players who deposit a minimum amount of money into their online casino account. These deposits are usually matched by a percentage of the money deposited. Some casinos will even offer more than 100%.
Welcome bonuses come with a number of restrictions such as a required amount of wagering before the bonus money can be withdrawn from the account. Many casinos require wagering to the tune of ten times more than the initial deposit plus the bonus amount. Wagers that result in both wins and losses will count towards the required amount.
House Advantage - In order for casinos to ensure that they do not lose out in the long term, often certain games are excluded from those that can be played when using bonus money/credits. The games usually offered are those that have a high house advantage. Games that are often excluded are roulette, baccarat and craps. While blackjack is excluded less often, it is also sometimes excluded. Playing blackjack with bonus money is certainly worthwhile. Blackjack players may wish to find online casinos which allow them to play blackjack with bonus credits. Essentially, games that are lower risk to the player increase the value of the bonuses if they are used for those games. Players will find that bonuses can almost always be used for slot games.
Wagering Requirements - Once a player is aware of the wagering requirements for specific bonuses, it is important to keep track of those requirements and ensure that they are met. If a player withdraws money from their online casino account, they will not receive the bonus and any winnings resulting from the bonus if all requirements have not yet been met. It is useful to maintain a spreadsheet if gambling in more than one casino. A spreadsheet can help players to keep track of their deposits, withdrawals, winnings, and how much has been wagered, both for bonus purposes and for tax purposes.
Terms and Conditions - Reading and understanding the terms and conditions are very important. Players should be aware that terms and conditions can be amended, and should not assume that the same terms will always apply in the same casino. Reputable casinos will answer any questions regarding their terms and conditions via their customer services departments. Keep an eye open for information on the following: Maximum bonuses, games which are excluded, bonus percentages, wager requirements, and whether bonuses are in fact cashable or not.
Blacklisted Online Casinos - Players should always check out casino sites before placing any money with them. Those casinos that have been blacklisted are not trustworthy and should be avoided. Trustworthy casinos, such as those represented on this site, are safe places for players to deposit their money.