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Best Online Casino Bonuses 2021

Casino bonuses and promotions are the life-blood of all online casinos. In 2021 an operator that’s able to treat new and existing players to the best offers is going to have a head-start on its competitors. This is huge these days, especially when you consider how competitive the industry has become.

Casino promotions and bonuses are pretty important to players too. Gambling can be a fun but unforgiving business at times. So it follows that any kind of bonuses that helps minimise a player’s losses is going to be received very well.

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The best online casinos recognise this and do their best to come up with compelling deals that are not only good for them, but for customers too. In fairness, it can be quite a difficult balancing act.

The major operators obviously want to protect their bottom line. At the same time, they also want to make sure that they don’t put off players. Even though gamers are free to ignore the many incentives that come their way, a miserly online casino promotion will often speak volumes about the casino peddling it.

Read on for the low-down on the some of the most common casino promotions and bonuses. Many of them are offered by the operators listed on our pages.

The Deposit Match Bonus

The ubiquitous deposit match graces the promotional sliders on thousands of casino front pages and usually forms part of a welcome offer. This kind of bonus matches a portion of a player’s opening deposit and is expressed in a percentage.

A typical example might be a 100% match of up to £200. In other words, the casino will match your initial deposit, provided it doesn’t exceed £200. Therefore, if you part with £50, you’ll receive an extra £50 on top.

Some operators feature 200% matches as well. So, if the maximum stands at £200 and you deposit £50, your account will be credited with £100.

While these types of promotions look rather generous on the face of it, they’re almost always subject to wagering rules and other caveats. Some of these stipulations take the sheen off, others not so much. We’ll be looking at these later on.

Tiered Welcome Promotions

Many welcome promotions are spread across a series of opening deposits. So an offer that promises a ‘Welcome Offer of up to £2000’ might be structured the following way:

  • First Deposit: 100% match up to £400
  • Second Deposit – 30% match up to £400
  • Third Deposit – 30% match up to £400
  • Fourth Deposit – 30% match up to £400
  • Fifth Deposit – 30% match up to £400

This actually constitutes quite a decent offer. But be aware that you’re going to have to make multiple deposits to extract the full value. You’ll also have to satisfy time limits that are also applied to each separate deposit stage – the first clue that you should check on terms and conditions before committing any funds.

Free Spins Bonuses

Free spins offers are often attached to welcome packages, although in many cases they serve as stand-alone incentives. Free spin bonuses and the like are especially popular because they allow players to try their hand at online slots without having to part with too much money. Like welcome bonuses though, they tend to be subject to wagering rules. With that said, play-through rules are often lower for free spin deals because they don’t represent as much of a risk for the operator.

No Deposit Bonus

The no deposit bonus is one of the most highly sought-after casino promotions of all. As its name subtly infers, this type of bonus requires no deposit whatsoever which means you won’t have to risk your own money. They’re offered either as fixed cash sum or as part of a free spins promotion. But don’t expect to find many ‘no deposit’ promotions promising the earth. Instead, try to think of them as small bonuses that allow you sample an online casino before committing your hard-earned.

Wagering-Free Promotions

Yes, these wondrous incentives do exist as a increasingly large number of casinos with no wagering requirements. Sure, they’ not that prevalent, nor are they that generous. But if you can lay your hands on one, you’ll be completely free of play-through rules. Often available as part of a no deposit bonus or a free spin promotion, they enable gamers to play casino games without the worry of time limits, game weighting and other such dastardly stipulations. Happy days!

Cash-Back/Re-Load Bonuses

Sometimes casinos take mercy on their customers by offering cash-back bonuses. These are usually calculated as a percentage of a player’s net losses and can range from 5% to even 30% in some decidedly rare cases. They can apply to daily, weekly and monthly losses and are often without any kind of wagering rules. Also known as insurance bonuses, these incentives often encourage loyalty among players while also ensuring that they spend their money all over again. Surely you didn’t think that insurance bonuses could be used elsewhere? As with other bonuses, stipulations are often applied and include time limits, wagering and maximum win caps.

Refer a Friend

Casinos are constantly on the look-out for new victims, sorry players. So keen are they to attract fresh-faced depositors that some reward existing customers who refer their friends. More often than not, a casino will either award a referrer with a fixed bonus or an amount that’s calculated according to the sum that the referred player deposits. In a lot of cases, an operator will only credit a referrer’s account with bonus funds after the person they recommended has played through their deposit as many as 40 times. Nice.

High-Roller Online Bonuses

High-roller bonuses are aimed squarely at players that aren’t shy about parting with big money. In most scenarios, these are reserved exclusively for VIP members. Don’t be fooled by casinos that offer VIP bonuses to rank-and-file gamers though. They’re merely standard promotions that have been dressed up to look generous and exclusive. Lurking underneath are often draconian terms and conditions. Genuine VIP promotions require players to deposit large sums in order to qualify. In turn, the rewards are often considerable. They’re usually structured exactly the same way as standard promotions and take the form of deposit matches, free spins and such like. It’s just that the sums involved are much, much larger.

Online Casino Tournaments

Tournaments are another extremely popular casino incentive. The best ones manage to infuse the fun of game-play with the tantalising prospect of winning big money. As with most online casino bonuses, they come in a variety of forms. Scheduled tournaments are the most widely played and start at a fixed time. They often require an entry fee, of which a percentage is fed into a prize pool. Sit n’ go tournaments are more casual affairs and will only commence once enough players have joined. Then there are re-loader tournaments which enable players to play repeatedly. These formats usually apply to online casino slots leader-board competitions.

Because so many people join these tournaments the prize money is often pretty substantial. In addition, some feature extra prizes for players who finish in pre-specified positions on the leader-board.

Then you’ve got traditional casino games tournaments for online poker, online blackjack and other iconic bricks and mortar games. Using either single or multiple tables, they follow a similar format to land-based tournaments and require players to compete against one another to acquire the most chips.

Gamification Promotions

Adventures and campaigns are another popular promotional method employed by online casinos. Known also as gamification, they take some of the best aspects of video gaming and apply them to casino gambling. Casumo offers one of the most well-known adventure-based schemes. In most instances, players are rewarded points, trophies and/or credits for performing certain actions on a site such as logging in, reaching a new level and staking money on a casino game. These points can then be exchanged for gifts, prizes and, in some cases, improved promotions.

Mobile Casino Promotions

Mobile-only promotions follow the same format as standardised bonuses and include similar welcome bonuses, bonus spins and other incentives. They’re often put in place by an operator whose sole focus is ‘gaming on the go’. In our book, casinos should be available across all devices. But that’s just us…apparently.

Payment Method Bonuses

Many standard payment services add fees to online casino transactions. To get around this, some operators encourage their players to deposit using alternative methods such as PayPal by offering the proverbial carrot on a stick. This particular vegetable is represented by percentage bonuses that are sometimes added to welcome offers. For example, a player may be offered a special sign-up bonus that can only be unlocked by making a first deposit with Neteller or Trustly.

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