Get more from your games with our guide to online gambling bonuses

Bonus Guides

Due to the competition that online gambling websites are up against in South Africa, one of the ways casinos aim to differentiate themselves is by offering cash and non-cash offers to players who sign up for the first time. How do you know which ones are legitimate though? With our online gambling guide to bonuses, we’re here to help you find out by covering things like:

  • Why online casinos give away free money
  • Wagering requirements and game restrictions
  • No deposit bonuses
  • Free play bonuses
  • Cashable vs. non-cashable bonuses
  • Sticky bonuses
  • Best bonuses available

Why do online casinos give away free money?

If you’re gambling online, a guide to bonuses is essential to help you navigate your way through the many offers available. It’s not a trap. Most reputable sites offer alluring gambling bonuses to entice first time players and to stand out from the competition. There are two main reasons why they do this. The first is because they simply have to, especially considering the amount of competition online in 2018. The second is because online operators have far fewer overheads than land-based casinos, and can actually afford to offer their players bonuses that are worth their while.

How do wagering requirements and game restrictions work?

One of the most important topics in our 2018 guide to online gambling bonuses is how wagering requirements and game restrictions work. Many bonus offers come with fine print that’s really worth understanding before you sign up. Most online gambling sites have wagering requirements and game restrictions in place to protect themselves and the bonuses they give away. For example, you may get a welcome bonus of 20 x deposit. That means you need to play the deposit amount 20 times on a specific game or games before you can withdraw the bonus amount. Details like these should be on the Ts & Cs section of your chosen site and you should make a point of reading them before signing up and accepting any kind of bonus.

What are no deposit bonuses?

When you don’t feel like risking your own real money playing for the first time, most top sites offer free cash to new players. The upside is that you can try out a game with minimal risk and see whether it’s for you or not. The downside is that no deposit bonuses are small, wagering requirements are usually quite high, and winnings are generally capped.

How do free play bonuses work?

It’s easy to misunderstand what to expect when you sign up, but with an online gambling guide to bonuses you can avoid disappointment. Free play is when an online casino gives you a set amount to play with and a specific time period in which you’re challenged to win as much as you can, up to a limit. Once the set time period is up, whatever you’ve won over and above the initial amount given is yours to use as a bonus as you continue to play. The best advantage of this kind of bonus is that you’re able to get a real feel for the various kinds of games available.

Cashable vs. non-cashable bonuses

Some top sites allow players to keep their bonus money after meeting wagering requirements. These are sometimes called redeemable or cashable bonuses. Non cashable online gambling bonuses refers to the free money that a casino gives players which can’t be withdrawn. They can, however, be used to continue playing specific games and can be used to increase a bet size.

Sticky bonuses

There are two types of sticky bonuses. The first kind is when all winnings from the bonus can be cashed out, but the initial bonus is then removed from your account completely. The second is probably best and very similar, except the bonus won’t be removed if you withdraw, which makes it more appealing.

Guide to online gambling bonuses you’ll see most often

It’s always a good idea to read the terms and conditions of these bonuses to see whether there is real money on offer or credit that can only be used to play other games.

  • Welcome bonuses A certain amount given to new players for signing up.
  • Matching deposit The amount you deposit is matched by the casino
  • Percentage deposit A percentage of what you deposit is matched by the casino
  • Reload bonuses These are given to existing customers to keep them returning, and come in the form of matching or percentage bonuses.
  • Loyalty bonuses This is a system that rewards players every time they bet, and gives them bonus incentives to work towards as they raise their VIP status.
  • High roller bonuses Given to players that make deposits over a certain amount.
  • Refer-a-friend bonuses Offered to players who successfully refer and sign up a friend.
  • Free trial bonuses This kind of bonus allows players to try out the games without making a real money deposit, but is not allowed to be cashed out.

We hope this 2018 online gambling guide to bonuses will help you navigate your way through all of the offers a little easier. Now it’s time to sign up with one of the top recommended South Africa sites to get more from your game!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are online casino bonuses?

Bonuses are given to online casino players for a few different reasons.

Typically bonuses are given when players sign up and make their first deposit (or several deposits) at that casino. Other promotions called loyalty bonuses are given when players spend enough time or wager enough money at the casino within given parameters.

Am I eligible to receive one?

Every casino does their bonuses differently. If you are looking for the best bonuses available, always read a casino's bonus rules and regulations before signing up.

However most online casinos will offer some sort of real money bonus when you sign up and make your first deposit, or even a bonus for your first three-to-four deposits.

Are casino online bonuses worth pursuing?

Absolutely. Bonuses are a great way to extend your gambling budget immediately upon joining an online casino.

Since some bonuses have special 'tasks' you must complete before activating, or require you to use them on set games, they are also a great way to branch out and play casino games you might not otherwise.

Do I have to make a deposit in order to receive one?

That is usually the case for welcome bonuses.

Sometimes casinos do give out bonuses for other things, such as playing with them a certain amount of time or wagering a specific amount of money. Others give out free spins and money for things like playing certain games on designated days.

Are the bonuses bigger for certain types of gambling over others?

Yes, especially when it comes to accruing points for loyalty bonuses.

Some games only contribute toward a bonus' requirements just a little compared to other games. Other games are excluded from bonuses altogether, so it's always important to read a casino's rules and stipulations when bonus hunting.

When can I withdraw this bonus money?

Different bonuses have different 'play-through' requirements that must be met before you can withdraw the bonus money.

Usually this play-through rate requires you to wager 3-5x of the bonus' value. This is so that players don't just sign up to get bonuses then immediately withdraw those funds. But after you meet this playthrough rate the bonus money is all yours to withdraw and keep.