Before we jump into the different types of bonus offers available, let's answer the question of “why do online casinos offer bonuses?” Bonus offers are just another form of marketing for the online casinos. Think of a car dealer that will give you three free oil changes with the purchase of a new car.
The dealer is not in the business of giving away free services, but give you the oil changes in hopes that when you need larger repairs, you will think of the positive experience that you had and come back for the paid services.
Sportsbooks give away free money to let you get a taste of their site in hopes that you will come back when you want to play some slots, tables games or video poker long after the bonus funds have come and gone.
Online Casino No Deposit Bonus
Online casinos will often reward you for registering a new account with some free play to check out their site. No deposit bonuses are just as they sound, no deposit necessary and you get a chance to play with house money with absolutely zero risk.
No deposit bonuses are typically pretty small, around $10-$25, but free money is free money. Some no deposit bonuses come in the form of free spins that are tied to a certain game.
Online Casino Deposit Match
An online casino deposit match is when an online casino will match your real money deposit up to a certain percentage. For example, if an online casino offers a 100% deposit match up to $1,000 and you deposit the full amount, you will start your online casino journey with a bankroll of $2,000 ($1,000 deposit + $1,000 bonus funds).
These deposit matches will come with wagering requirements to convert the bonus funds to withdraw-able cash. Wagering requirements are typically between 5x and 25x the bonus funds, meaning that if a site has 5x wagering on that $1,000 bonus, you would need to wager $5,000 to convert the funds.
Risk-Free Online Casino Play
When an online casino offers risk-free play, this allows you to play for a certain time period, typically 24 hours, and any losses at the end of the time period will be reimbursed up to a certain percentage.
For example, if an online casino offers 24 hours of risk-free play up to $1,000 and you end up winning $1,500, nothing else happens and you are done with the promotion. You are then free to keep playing or withdraw your winnings. If your $1,000 bankroll shrinks to $550, you will get $450 in bonus cash as a refund.
There will likely be wagering requirements to convert the refunded bonus credit to your cash balance.