Welcome Offers Explained
As explained above, welcome offers are incentives for players to join a particular casino. With so many competing online casinos, the welcome offer is another way that casinos can tempt players. Sometimes it may be the only thing that truly separates two online casinos from one another, as today many offer a fantastic collection of games for players to enjoy.
However, while welcome offers sound brilliant and a great way to ensure that you will have plenty of money to play with, they do come with terms and conditions attached. These terms and conditions can vary greatly from casino to casino, and it is essential that you fully understand them before accepting any bonuses. If you have not, then you may find yourself in a position where you are unable to withdraw any of your winnings, or worse, be banned from playing at a casino.
Welcome Offer Terms and Conditions Explained
Every welcome offer that you find will come with something called wagering requirements, sometimes referred to as play through requirements. The basic point of these is to ensure that people do not abuse bonuses by simply claiming them and then withdrawing the money, which would be tantamount to the casino giving players free money.
A wagering requirement is how much players need to bet before they are able to withdraw the bonus money or any winnings. They are generally expressed as a multiple of the bonus amount, such as 25x. For example, if you were to receive a bonus of €50 that had wagering requirements of 25x, then you would have to wager the bonus money twenty-five times before you could make a withdrawal, i.e. €1250.
At first, this may sound like you will have to deposit and spend a huge amount of money just to receive a relatively small bonus. However, when playing with the bonus money, you can use any winnings you make to help fulfil the wagering requirements. For example, if you were lucky enough to hit a big win of €1,000 on a slot machine, you can then use that money to continue playing and meet the wagering requirements. This means that it is possible to fulfil the requirements without having to deposit any additional funds.
In the above example, the wagering requirements applied to the bonus amount. However, occasionally they may apply to the deposit amount plus bonus amount. For instance, you may see 15x wagering requirements on deposit plus bonus amount. In this instance, if you were to deposit €50 and receive a €50 bonus, then you would have to bet €1,500 to fulfil the requirements.
There is a further aspect to wagering requirements that must be understood. Not all games contribute to the requirements equally. For instance, slots may contribute 100%, which means that all of the money you bet playing slots goes towards the wagering requirements, while games such as Blackjack or Roulette may contribute 10%, which means that for every €1 bet on these games, just €0.10 goes towards the wagering requirements.
The reason casinos do this is because games such as Blackjack have a far lower house edge and skilled players can win relatively consistently. This means that the casino must adjust the requirements accordingly.
When you look at a bonus’ terms and conditions, you should be able to find a full list of games and their contributions. You may also find that some games do not contribute at all, and it is important to take note of these as if you play them with bonus money then you may end up forfeiting the bonus.
Winnings Caps and Time Limits
Some casinos will also impose caps on how much can be won from bonus money. For instance, it may state that winnings from the welcome bonus cannot exceed €500. You should take note of this as it may affect how you plan to fulfil the wagering requirements. Furthermore, you may be required to meet the wagering requirements within a certain amount of time otherwise, the bonus may be withdrawn.
Most online casinos will also have terms and conditions relating to bonus abuse. There are many different forms of bonus abuse, and some of them are more obvious than others are. For instance, casinos generally ban players from creating multiple accounts in order to receive multiple bonuses. A less obvious form is placing very large bets using the bonus money in the hope of hitting big wins. Because of this, many casinos impose caps on the size of bets that can be placed using bonus money. For instance, it may say that you cannot place a bet larger than €5 with the bonus money, or it may be expressed as a percentage of the overall bonus. Once again, by failing to adhere to these conditions, players risk losing the entire bonus and any resulting winnings.
How to Spot a Good Welcome Offer
When you are researching a welcome offer, the first thing to do is look at the basic wagering requirements. If they are huge, such as 50x or even bigger, then you may wish to avoid them. The industry average appears to be in the region of 30x, but some are lower than this.
You also need to check that the bonus is applicable to the type of games that you want to play. For instance, there is no point in Blackjack players claiming a bonus only to discover that they can’t use it to play any games other than slots. Incidentally, many casinos will have separate offers for slot players and card and table game players.
Essentially, all you need to do is make sure that you have understood the terms and conditions, and check that you believe that you can meet them by playing the games that you want to.
How to Claim a Welcome Offer
Casinos make it very easy to claim their welcome offers. The first thing you will need to do is create an account at your chosen casino.
Depending on the nature of the welcome offer, it may then be offered at different points. A no deposit or free spins bonus may be offered as soon as you have completed the sign up process. A deposit bonus is likely to be offered when you make your first deposit.
Sometimes the bonus is applied automatically (although, there will always be the option to opt out of receiving the bonus), while at other times you may need to enter a bonus code. The code is usually provided during the sign up process or in an email sent to you once you have registered at the casino.
After you have received the bonus, whether it is free spins or money, you can then start to play at the casino straight away and make full use of the bonus in your account.
Hopefully you now understand all that you need to about welcome offers. Here you will find recommendations of the casinos that we believe have the best welcome offers around. Take some time to explore them, find the right casino and welcome offer for you, and you will be having fun in no time at all.