Know Your Bonus - Unraveling the Red Tape

You see a promotion for $100 free money for a certain online casino, but in the fine print are multiple stipulations and restrictions. What do these conditions mean, and what should you be on the lookout for?

No Deposit Free Money Bonus Terms

No deposit bonuses come in the form of free spins where you get a certain number of spins to put toward slot machines, free cash where you are gifted a cash amount to gamble with, or free play where you can bet on the house for a set time frame. The following are the most common conditions you will encounter for these promotions:

  • Amount - The most obvious stipulation is the amount of the bonus you are receiving. Whether the number of spins, the amount of cash, or the time of free play, the amount of the promotion is the main benefit and should be used to evaluate its overall strength when combined with the other terms.
  • Playthrough - Usually stated as a multiple, this condition tells you how many times the promotion amount must be wagered before the account can be withdrawn. For example, $100 bonus winnings with 20x playthrough mean you have to wager $2,000 before you can withdraw your winnings. In addition, most table games have much higher playthroughs than slot machines.
  • Withdrawal limits - This is the max amount of winnings that you can withdraw after activating a promotion. Any winnings over the limit will be voided, though some casinos have promotions without withdrawal caps.
  • Withdrawal conditions - Even though you do not need to make a deposit to access the promotion, some casinos will not let you make a withdrawal until you have deposited a minimum amount. In the case of free play, some sites will also make you pay back the amount you bet from your winnings.
  • Game restrictions - Especially in the case of free spins, there are often restrictions on which games qualify under the promotion. Free spins usually only apply to a single slot machine.

Free Money Bonus Terms with Deposits

Deposit promotions usually come in the form of free spins given with a minimum deposit or deposit match where the casino will match a certain percentage of the deposit you make. The following are the most common conditions you will find with these promotions:

  • Amount - Once again the match percentage or the number of free spins awarded determines the main benefit of the promotion.
  • Number of deposits - Some sites will have a promotion for just your first deposit, while others will extend the benefits to the second or even third deposits.
  • Match limits - Most sites have a limit on the dollar amount they will match, for example a casino may match 200% of your deposit up to $1000 dollars.
  • Other Conditions - Similar to no deposit promotions, playthoughs, withdrawl limits and conditions, and game restrictions can all be found with deposit bonuses.

Where to Find These Promotions

Since many of these incentives are unlocked by promo code, there are many websites dedicated to collecting the current promotions. You can also review the bonuses offered by individual casinos, or you can even look up individual games to see if any sites are offering promotions for them.