Casino players have plenty to choose from when it comes to online casino bonuses. Some casinos give you free bonus money simply for signing up. The best casinos will offer both a no deposit bonus and a welcome bonus. These can be worth $1,000 or more at some major casinos.
We cover everything you need to know on casino bonuses in the US. You will also find out how no deposit bonuses and sweepstakes casinos work. After we explain the types of casino bonuses available for you as a new player.
You should be aware of playthrough requirements before claiming a bonus. This term refers to the number of times you will need to wager the bonus money by playing either slots, blackjack games or playing at a live dealer casino.
Regulation for online casinos is rolling out on a state-by-state basis. At the time of writing, you will find real money casinos in PA, NJ, MI and WV.
Elsewhere, bills are at various stages. If your state does not yet allow legal online gambling, you can still enjoy casino bonuses at sweepstakes casinos.
If you’re looking for a no deposit offer, you have plenty to choose from. Most of the online casinos provide an instant real cash bonus, which you can use to test out the games.
Here is an overview of the best no deposit offers at US casinos, along with some details of the terms and playthrough requirements:
A matched bonus on your first deposit is the single largest bonus you will get from US online casinos. The standard format is to match your first deposit with real bonus money. For example, offers will say a 100% bonus, up to $500. If you deposit $500, you will get $500 in bonus credits. If you only deposit $25, then that amount will be matched instead.
To take advantage of your bonus codes for matched welcome bonuses, you need to find a way to deposit at the casinos. Many players are happy to use their credit cards, which are quick and convenient.
If you are planning to take advantage of multiple deposit bonuses, it can be worth investing the time into other methods.
Prepaid debit cards branded by the casino sites, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill, and pre-verification for e-checks, which make them instant, are all possible. If you prefer, you can deposit and withdraw via the cage of the live casinos that are partnering with each online casino brand.
Rebate bonuses offer significant risk reduction for new players at online casinos. However, they are not entirely risk-free.
These types of offers need a deposit. The casinos then refund your losses in your first 24-48 hours. This refund comes in the form of bonus credits. You need to wager these bonus credits on the slots or table games at least once. Again, table games and video poker will have weightings, with some of them completely excluded.
Rebate casino bonuses are popular. You can enjoy playing with your first deposit with the knowledge that you get a second shot if you get unlucky. This gives you a chance to try slots from different slot software providers, try out the table game selection and even try the new live dealer casinos.
No-loss offers are typically capped at $100, though some go as high as $250. Slots are best for meeting your wagering requirements, with table games weighted to require more betting.
Regulation is rolling out piecemeal as states regulate their online casinos. If you live outside of the currently regulated states, you can play slots and limited table games at sweepstakes casinos. They use laws designed for free-to-play sweepstakes draws or games and use them to offer casino gaming where you can win real money.
There are casino bonuses available at sweepstakes sites, including LuckyLand Slots, Chumba Casino and the FunzPoints Casino app. You can get free play (and you can win real money with it), match bonuses and enjoy promotions tied to social media.
Sweepstakes casinos stay legal by not directly selling you chips that you can use for gambling. You buy play-money-only chips and receive redeemable chips as a “free” gift. Many slots have jackpots, and if you win, you can legally exchange your chips for cash and withdraw to your bank.
You can find out more about the sweepstakes casino model and the types of casino bonuses on offer at these sites on our sweepstakes casinos page.
There is no risk in accepting a no deposit bonus from an online casino. No credit card information is needed and there are no future commitments required.
If you plan on making a profit from this bonus, it pays to read the terms and conditions. The first thing to note is that no deposit bonuses restricted to one per household. Players thinking of signing up their families or roommates should think again.
Casino bonuses sit in a separate account from the money you deposited. To move your bonus funds to your cash funds, you need to wager it a set number of times. This rule protects the casinos from people receiving a bonus and instantly withdrawing it.
The playthrough is based on the bonus plus the deposit amount. If you deposit $100, get a 100% match and have a 5x playthrough, then you need to make $1,000 worth of bets before your bonus money can be withdrawn. The bonus money is then considered “cleared.”
The playthrough is key to your chances of making money from no-deposit promotions. This requirement is the number of times you will need to wager the bonus before you can withdraw it.
The best casinos (for example, Hollywood Casino) offer a one-time wagering requirement, while the worst requires you to bet your bonus 25 times.
Things are not as simple as just betting your bonus a set number of times. Casinos will apply weightings to certain games. Here is a typical example:
Some games could be excluded altogether. Examples include French roulette, video poker and live dealer casino games. Typically, casinos will not let you cover too many outcomes for bonus clearing. Betting on both red and black (with a small bet on zero) is banned at roulette tables.
The amount of time you have available to complete your no deposit bonus will vary. Casinos will give a short duration, with the quickest at just a few days. If you check this before you start playing, you can avoid your bonus money getting removed when the time limit is reached.
Before claiming just any bonus, you’ll want to compare the offers, along with the terms and conditions. Some bonuses are easier to clear than others, while some are only valid on specific games.
Playthrough requirements are more important for these bonuses as you will have to play a lot more to get the full benefits. Some casinos will clear the entire bonus in one lump sum when you complete the wagering (the standard is between 1x and 25x the combined bonus plus deposit amount). Other casinos will clear your bonus funds into your cash account in increments.
Weighting for playthrough applies to table games and novelty games in the same way it does for the no deposit offers covered above. You should also check for excluded games. These do not count at all for bonus clearing.
Time to complete matched welcome bonuses varies. Depending on the amount of your bonus, you need to make a realistic estimate of whether you will finish the playthrough in time. Look for at least 30 days, with 60+ even better.
The key differences to look out for are:
We explain these factors, along with the different types of bonuses below. Amounts of welcome bonuses are from $10 to $35 for no deposit bonuses and $100 to $1,500+ for matched deposit bonuses. No-lose (also called rebate bonuses) usually have a cap of around $100 and are strictly time-limited.
The playthrough is a crucial element. It describes how many times you need to bet the bonus money before it is “cleared.” Once you clear the money, you have completed the bonus and you can withdraw your casino winnings.
The playthrough can vary from 1x to 25x, based on the combined deposit and the bonus amount. You must consider weightings for different games. Table games require 5x to 10x playthrough compared to slots at many PA online casinos.
There are two solid reasons for casinos giving away completely free play on their mobile casino apps. No deposit casino bonuses have been hugely popular at casinos in New Jersey. This type of deal also exists in regulated gambling jurisdictions around the world.
The first reason is that the casinos get a chance to showcase their platform, games, ongoing bonus offers and other gambling areas. They are betting the $20 (or so) in free play will lead to enough players being impressed by what they find to become long-term customers.
The second reason is that the market for online casinos is competitive. Each player will only have a handful of apps, and each brand wants to be on your smartphone or desktop. If a casino does not offer a no-deposit promo code, it could lose out to those casinos that do.
Keep in mind that not every player will win from no-deposit deals. While some will be disciplined enough to complete the playthrough and cash out, many will play loose and wild with the free money, aiming to “go big or go home.”
Bonus codes will unlock the welcome bonus offers covered above at many different PA online casinos. Even if you are able to take advantage of them all, maybe in the future, ongoing promotions and loyalty schemes become the single most important factor.
Loyalty schemes usually have tiers. If you focus your casino play on one brand, you can climb to loyalty higher levels. Doing so will unlock bigger rebates and bonuses and even get the attention of a dedicated host at the highest levels.
When you compare the casinos for ongoing offers, look out for free spins, reload bonuses, loyalty points boosts and special offers for new games or holidays.
If you stick to reputable website casinos in your state, including sweepstakes casinos, then you will have a generous choice of bonus offers. Welcome offers include matched first deposit bonuses, no-deposit/free-play type bonuses and no-lose or loss rebate offers. If you are organized enough, you can take advantage and love these deals for every casino in your jurisdiction.
Keep in mind that not all casino bonuses are created equal. While two bonuses may look similar, there are often huge differences when you compare the fine print. Things to look for include limits on what you can win, or super-high playthrough requirements.
Welcome bonuses at online casinos are a great way to build your casino bankroll. Ongoing offers are important for the longer term. If your casino does not have a loyalty scheme, plenty of promotions and regular reload bonuses, then it may well be worth finding a better place to play.