THE SLOT BUZZ GUIDE TO CA SLOT BONUSES
WHAT IS A CASINO OR SLOT BONUS?
An online casino bonus or a slot bonus is a promotion an online casino makes for players as an incentive for them to join and deposit money. In most slot sites, these casino bonuses include bonus funds, which can be enjoyed on the latest slot games.
If not in the form of bonus funds, slot sites award players with free spins. These free spins can even be claimed by registering a new account or by making a minimum deposit. The same goes for promotions that award bonus funds instead of free spins.
Even though these bonuses are sometimes free (no deposit bonuses), they are not free cash. That’s because you can never use that bonus money to make a withdrawal.
You have to gamble it first, which is precisely why every bonus has wagering requirements, or in other words, the number of times you have to wager the bonus funds until you get the chance to withdraw the winnings.
Naturally, these online casino bonuses can come in many shapes and forms and with different requirements, but the basic premise is almost always the same. The casino gives you bonus spins or funds to use on its slot games, and you only have to give something small in return.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ONLINE SLOTS BONUS
DEPOSIT SLOTS BONUS
Deposit bonuses are the most common type of slots bonuses. Almost every casino offers them as welcome bonuses to entice players to join the casino.
This type of offer is beneficial for both the online casino and the player. The player gets a specific percentage of their deposit for free, and the casino gets the player to spend money. In short, everybody wins. All slot sites love these bonuses as they are the easiest for predicting the revenue they’ll make.
This type of bonus is often called a deposit match bonus, as the casino matches your deposit.
Deposit bonus example – The casino offers you a deposit bonus of 200% up to $300. This means that you will get 200% on the deposit you make, but only up to $300. So, for example, if you deposit $150, you’ll get an additional $300 for gambling. All deposit bonuses follow this format, but the match percentage and the amount covered vary from casino to casino.
HINT – When claiming deposit match bonuses, make sure you check the minimum amount required for depositing and the maximum amount covered. If a bonus covers only a small amount but has a high percentage, it’s worth it. Both the match percentage and the maximum amount must be sufficiently high for you to get the most of it.
NO DEPOSIT SLOT BONUS
No deposit bonuses are offers that don’t require players to deposit funds. This is why many Canadians love these bonuses, as they don’t need to commit. However, remember that these bonuses are rare and always cover small amounts of either bonus spins or bonus funds.
Also, always ensure you check the terms. No deposit bonuses typically have tougher terms like winning limits. You’ll rarely get to withdraw more than $100 of your winnings. If you win more, it will simply disappear.
No deposit bonus example – An online casino offers a $30 no deposit bonus. You only need to register to get it, but you have to play slots with bonus funds and claim winnings up to $100.
HINT – Make sure to check the terms carefully before you claim the bonus. Almost every no deposit bonus is worthwhile unless it states that you can’t withdraw your winnings at all.
BONUS HINT – Always make sure to check our site for a good no deposit bonus. As these are rare, we ensure to list every good one whenever we find it on the Canadian online casino market.
FREE SPINS OFFERS
We already mentioned free spins as they are one of the most common bonuses you can get for online slot machines.
Free spins are bonus spins you get to use in specific slot games, and they work the same as in-game free spins. In other words, you get to spin the reels for free for as many times as the number of free spins you gained.
In most cases, free spins bonuses don’t come independently but as part of a bigger casino bonus. For instance, you’ll commonly see free spins grouped with first deposit offers in a single welcome bonus. What’s more, some of the best casino bonuses are welcome packages that contain a lucrative deposit bonus and a couple of dozen free spins.
Free spins example – An online casino offers a free spin casino bonus of 30 free spins for Starburst. This means that you get 30 bonus spins to spend on the popular Starburst slot game.
HINT – Free spins always come with specific terms, like all other bonuses. However, they have much lower wagering requirements than deposit promotions, typically up to 7x at the most. As for other terms, the winnings will usually be capped, and you’ll have only a day or up to a week to use them before they disappear.
BONUS HINT – Always check the promotions page of online casinos to see if they offer reload bonuses. Those that do often award free spins regularly, usually once a week or once a month.
SLOT SITE WELCOME BONUS PACKAGE
Welcome bonuses are the most important type of promotion in online casinos today. They are so widespread that you’ll rarely run into a casino that doesn’t offer a welcome bonus. What’s more, if it doesn’t, it’s not worth your time at all.
Welcome bonuses come in many shapes and forms, but the underlying thought is always the same — their design entices gamblers to join, which is why they will always require a registered account. What’s more, you’ll usually be required to make the first deposit as well, which is why most welcome bonuses are, in fact, welcome deposit bonuses.
On the other hand, the best welcome bonus you can get is in the form of a package — a package of more than one deposit bonus or a first deposit bonus plus free spins.
Slot site welcome bonus package example – A casino offers you a welcome bonus of 100% up to $500 + 50 free spins for Gonzo’s Quest. To claim it, you’ll have to create a casino account and deposit at least $20, but it would be preferable to deposit more to get the most of the bonus funds.
HINT – Always read the bonus terms, as they tell you how many times you have to wager the amount you get, how long the bonus lasts, and more. Don’t choose welcome bonuses that carry terrible terms, like a 60x wagering requirement.
BONUS HINT – Some welcome bonuses come with bonus codes, and you have to use them while claiming the bonus. In most cases, you’ll get these bonus codes from the casinos or their affiliates.
CASHBACK SLOTS BONUSES
Cashback bonuses are promotions a casino offers to its loyal players. In other words, you can only claim them if you’ve been a member for a while and if you’ve deposited money more than once.
In all cases, what you get from these casino bonuses is a specific percentage of the money you’ve lost while gambling. In other words, the casino will cover your loss if you gamble. In most cases, this is less than 50% and up to a specific amount.
This type of casino bonus benefits players looking to gamble a bit more but are afraid to lose their money. However, bear in mind that you’ll most likely have to play specific games to get the cashback.
Cashback bonus example – The site you’ve been a member of for a while and spent money at offers a casino bonus of 25% cashback. You must play several slots to get the cashback, and you won’t be able to get more than $100 back. In essence, you should only gamble up to $400 to get $100 back. Naturally, if you win, you’ll be able to gamble more because the cashback promotion only covers the money you’ve lost.
HINT – Check the terms before you claim a cashback bonus. That’s because many cashback promotions have wagering requirements, meaning you’ll have to wager the money you get as a cashback before you get to withdraw it. The wagering requirements should be very low, or the bonus won’t be worth it.
OTHER SLOTS PROMOTIONS AND BONUSES
The types of bonuses we’ve covered are only the most common ones you’ll get to find if you want to use them for playing slots, but there are others as well:
- Prize draws – Some online casinos like to run regular prize draws. They typically do this every day or every week. The rewards can range from bonus funds and free spins to actual prizes like smartphones and tablets. You’ll usually have to make a deposit, wager a specific amount, or play particular games during a specific timeframe to enter the draw.
- Slot tournaments – Some casinos that focus heavily on casino slots tend to offer tournaments for players who play online slots regularly. In these tournaments, you get to wager in specific slots as you usually do, but you also stand a chance to win bonus funds, free spins, and even non-cash prizes. Naturally, every tournament is unique, so the prizes and requirements for participation will usually vary greatly.
UNDERSTANDING SLOT BONUS TERMS AND CONDITIONS
As you probably already know, the unfortunate case is that all bonuses and promotions have to come with specific terms and conditions. In the following few sections, we’ll cover all the most important ones.
You can always take a close look at the terms of the welcome bonus or other bonus you want to claim to see all the things that they cover. Fortunately, most of them won’t affect your game by much, but the ones we’ll cover definitely will, so pay attention to those.
1. WAGERING REQUIREMENTS (WR)
Wagering requirements are the most important bonus terms to every casino and every player. That’s because they show how many times you have to wager the bonus cash before you get the chance to withdraw your winnings.
These requirements allow gambling sites to stay in business and, most notably, prevent players from abusing promotions. Even though no player likes rollovers, without them, casinos will never get to profit, and the whole industry will fall apart. And none of us want that to happen.
However, some casinos might get greedy and effectively make their wagering requirement too high for any player to complete without losing money. The industry average is 30x to 40x. Anything above 60x is way too much, and anything lower than 30x is rare and practically ideal.
Wagering requirements example – A casino lets you claim a welcome bonus of 100% up to $300 that carries a wagering requirement of 35x. You decide to deposit $100 and get an additional $100 as bonus funds. If you want to withdraw that money, you will have to wager 35 x $100 = $3,500. Once you wager that amount, you can withdraw your bonus winnings.
Bonus balance and real money balance – Most online gambling sites separate the real money balance from the bonus money balance to make the requirements easier to understand and follow as people complete them.
The real money balance contains the money you deposited and the money for which you’ve completed the wagering requirement. The bonus balance consequently contains all the bonus funds that you haven’t wagered through. Once you do, it will always transfer to the real money balance, so you’ll know exactly how much you can withdraw.
However, it’s important to note that every casino will make it a rule that you have to first wager your bonus money before you get to gamble with the real money balance. This effectively means that you won’t get to withdraw your deposited money before you wager the bonus funds you were given.
HINT – The higher the wagering requirements, the less money you should deposit. That’s because it’s much easier to complete the requirements the less money you have to wager.
So, if you run into a massive first deposit bonus that covers up to $1,000 or $2,000, there’s no reason to deposit more than $100 or $200, especially if the matched percentage is higher than 100%. If you do, you’ll effectively have to wager a massive amount of money before you get to make any withdrawals.
Wagering requirements and game weightings – Game weightings is a bonus term that always comes with wagering requirements. It shows you the percentage of the wager that counts toward meeting the requirements per each type of casino game.
For instance, most slots games contribute 100%, meaning that all the money you wager on them will count towards WR completion.
However, most other casino games will contribute only 50% or less. For instance, table games typically contribute only 10%, meaning that if you wager $50 in a blackjack game, only $5 will count toward completing the wagering requirements.
HINT – You shouldn’t be playing online casino games that don’t contribute 100% towards the wagering requirements if you have a WR to complete. It’s best to stick to slots until you’ve completed the requirements, as slots always contribute 100%. But make sure to check the terms, as some individual slot games might not count as much, as all casino operators have a few exceptions.
2. SLOT BONUS EXPIRY
Most bonus funds expire at some point, and the same is true for extra free spins. What’s more, all casinos that have expiry times will delete all unused bonus funds automatically as soon as they expire. That’s why it’s necessary to check this bonus term and complete the wagering requirements before you reach the expiry time for your bonus funds.
In most cases, bonus funds last up to 30 days, which is enough time for most to complete the WR and gamble responsibly at the same time. However, not all bonuses have great expiry times, as some bonuses expire after 14 days or less.
Also, free spins typically last much less, around a day or up to a whole week, rarely more.
So, as this bonus expiry term is always present, make sure to check it so you don’t deposit an amount you then can’t gamble responsibly in the allotted time.
3. MAXIMUM BETS WITH BONUS MONEY
Most slot sites impose maximum bet limits on their bonuses. The maximum amounts effectively show how much of a bonus bet you can place. For instance, if the maximum bet is $5, it means you can’t wager more than $5 in a single spin in any casino slot. The same goes for all other casino games.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SLOT BONUS? HERE IS A 5 POINT CHECKLIST
You’ve already learned all the important things you needed to know about bonus offers, but here’s a quick checklist so you can easily spot a good bonus offer worth claiming:
- What is the minimum deposit? The minimum deposit amount should never be higher than $10 or $20. More importantly, you should never have to deposit more than what suits your gambling habits.
- What is the percentage match? You want every casino bonus offer to cover at least 100%, while everything above that is excellent. If you get 200% or more, then the percentage match is ideal.
- What are the wagering requirements? As we already mentioned, the WR should never be higher than 50x, while everything between 30x and 40x is great. If it’s less than 30x, then it’s ideal. Also, remember that the perfect combination is a low WR and high match percentage, so the lower the WR and the higher the match percentage, the better the bonus offer is.
- What games can you play? The bonus should allow you to play the games you like to play. Don’t go for bonuses that have many slots as exceptions to the 100% contribution term you get for most slots.
- When does the bonus expire? You shouldn’t go for slot bonuses that don’t offer at least a couple of days to complete the WR, especially if the number of free spins you get is high. As for bonus funds, the expiry time should always be around 30 days. Naturally, if you can gamble responsibly with other expiry times, then, by all means, go ahead. As long as you are comfortable, you’re good.
RECENT CHANGES IN ONLINE SLOT PROMOTIONS
In recent years, the online gambling industry has been under pressure to become more transparent with its bonuses and promotions.
This is especially true for casinos carrying the UK Gambling Commission license. Due to these pressures, you’ll run into more and more casinos that remove harsher terms altogether, while some reduce them for fairness purposes.
Furthermore, you’ll never run into bonuses that don’t list all of their terms for the players to see.
Another important change to know is the terminology. You’ll be seeing offers with the term free in it less frequently as time passes. That’s why an increasing number of slot sites call their free spin offers bonus spins or extra spins. In general, any potentially misleading term will switch into something more concrete.
Additionally, it’s worth knowing that more and more casinos are starting to offer better and more strict exclusion programs and deposit limits players can set on their own. It’s all about responsible gambling and reducing problem gambling cases in numerous western countries, especially the UK, EU countries, and Canada.
Remember that you always have to gamble responsibly, no matter what changes are occurring in the world of online betting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does a slot bonus mean?
A slot bonus is a casino promotion that has something to do with slots. You might get free spins for slots, bonus money for playing slots, or something else. You only need to respect the terms and complete the prerequisites for claiming these bonuses.
Are slot bonuses predetermined?
The amount of bonus you get is predetermined, while anything you win from those funds is entirely random. Games still use RNGs to give out random results, so everything that happens and the money you lose or get is entirely based on luck.
Is it safe to get a slot bonus?
Of course. As long as the casino itself is trusted, safe, and has a good online reputation, you can claim its bonuses without worrying.