Online casino bonuses — pros and cons

If you inform yourself on casino portals like Gambletroll, sooner or later you will stumble upon bonus offers from various online casinos. «200% up to 500 euros welcome bonus» is what it says. In this blog entry we are looking into the question of whether you can accept an online casino bonuses with a clear conscience or whether you should keep your hands off it.

This is how an online casino bonuses works

Why do casinos even offer a bonus? New players are recruited by the fact that the casino credits the customer account with a certain percentage of bonus in addition to their own deposit. A 100% bonus, for example, means nothing less than doubling your own capital. For example, if you deposit € 100, you can gamble with € 200 instead of € 100.

Of course, like other businesses, casinos must be profitable and make a profit. Therefore, the casino does not just give you this € 100, but you have to wager this bonus money before you can make a withdrawal. Of course, the casino has in mind that if you are unlucky you will lose both your bonus money and your deposit. If this occurs, you would not win € 100 in casino bonus, but lose your deposit of € 100.

Immediate payout — unfortunately that doesn’t work

Of course, as a shrewd player you could say that you get the € 100 bonus and then request a payout immediately. If an online casino allowed this, word would have spread quickly and the casino would be bankrupt in no time at all. To prevent this from happening, casinos have implemented the wagering requirements. A bonus cannot be paid out until these have been met.

Due to the wagering requirements and the associated lower flexibility, the question generally arises whether it makes sense to play with a bonus at all, or whether it would not be better to forego a bonus entirely. In this article we want to take a closer look at this question and cover the advantages and disadvantages of casino bonuses. To get it right up front: Whether it makes sense to accept an online casino bonus depends on the casino. There are bonus terms and conditions that do not even allow the player to withdraw their own deposit. There are also fair bonus conditions that allow the player to withdraw the deposited money at any time. If you are looking for such a fair casino, you should take a look at our tests of Bitstarz or Drift Casino. Both can score with really fair bonus terms and conditions.

The three most common welcome bonuses

For everyone who would like to delve a little deeper into the topic, let’s first compare the different types of online casino bonus offers. First, let’s take a look at the three most popular welcome offers that are given out by casinos.

Online Casino Bonus Types

The deposit bonus

This is the classic among the bonus offers. For a deposit of a certain amount, a percentage will be added to you as a bonus. This bonus is usually limited in amount. A 100% Welcome bonuses up to 100 euros, for example, is a common offer. So if you would deposit € 50 in this case, you would receive € 50 as a bonus. With a deposit of 200 euros, you would only receive a bonus of 100 euros, as the maximum welcome bonus is capped here.

Deposit Bonus

Our tip: Find out more about the bonus conditions in advance (for example in our real money casinos). If your deposit is blocked by accepting an online casino bonus, it is better to forego the bonus.

Free spins bonus

One bonus that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the free spins bonus. After making a deposit you will receive a certain number of free spins for a certain slot machine. If you win on these free spins, these winnings will be credited to you as bonus money. In most cases, these winnings are then subject to the wagering requirements for a withdrawal. Free spins therefore sound quite attractive at first. The bottom line is that it is only additional bonus money that can be won but not paid out immediately.

Free Spins Bonuses

Our tip: The following also applies to free spins: If you cannot get the money you have paid in until the wagering requirements have been met, you should forego the bonus. Unless you are an experienced player and you are sure that you can meet the conditions.

No deposit free spins

No deposit free spins is used by casinos to give players the opportunity to test the casino under real money conditions without obligation. As a rule, you will receive around 20 free spins for a certain slot with this bonus after registration. Everything that you win with the free free spins goes directly to the bonus account. Some casinos only activate this bonus when you make a first deposit. Which makes the term free spins without deposit absurd.

No Deposit Free Spins

In addition, winnings from these free spins are usually limited. This is of course a big disadvantage if you should have a lucky hand and win a higher amount with these free spins.

The wagering requirements for the bonus

As already mentioned, online casinos also have nothing to give away. Therefore it is actually logical that a casino bonus cannot be paid out immediately as real money. In order to be able to withdraw the bonus, wagering requirements must be met in almost all online casinos. These can be found in the casino’s terms and conditions. As a rule, such wagering requirements are between 20 and 40 times the wagering of the bonus (details on this in our tests).

So if you receive a € 100 bonus, you have to wager a total of € 2000 with a 20-fold wagering requirement so that this bonus can be paid out. It is important to mention a small but important difference: Some casinos use the sum of bonus plus deposit as a criterion for sales. This means that with a € 100 deposit and a € 100 bonus, a value of € 200 is assumed. With a wagering requirement of 20 times the bonus plus deposit, € 4000 would have to be wagered — exactly double that. We therefore recommend that you read the bonus conditions of the respective casino carefully before you decide to play with a bonus.

Special rules for table games

Another point to keep in mind are the rules in the fine print for table players. Since the house advantage with Black Jack or Roulette is sometimes significantly lower than with slot machines, these classic casino games usually have lower values in terms of bonus sales. While slots are 100% valid, table games only count for around 20%. In our example above (20-x bonus) you would have to wager € 10,000 on table games before a payout can be made. If you prefer table games, you should inform yourself very carefully about this point. If the wagering requirements are not attractive enough, it is advisable not to use the bonus.

The real money and bonus accounts

The wagering requirements are not that easy to understand, especially for newcomers to the casino. After all: Nobody has to do their own math here. The casino software calculates the wagering requirements for you. Usually it works like this: The casino divides your player account into two different accounts. On the one hand you have the real money account. All deposits and funds that you can withdraw from are located here.

On the other hand, there is the bonus account. This account contains all funds that are bonus funds and cannot be paid out. If you now begin to meet the wagering requirements of the casino by diligently playing, the bonus money will gradually be transferred to your real money account. You can virtually see live whether you already meet the wagering requirements for paying out the bonus or not.

The rejection of the bonus

If you decide that you do not want to accept the online casino bonus, you should proceed differently depending on the casino. Because the way in which online casino bonuses are credited differs from casino to casino. Some providers automatically credit the bonus after the first deposit. In this case, you should not start playing, but contact customer service beforehand and inform the staff that you do not want to accept the bonus. Customer service will then delete the bonus from your account and you can only play with your deposit.

At other casinos it is common that the player can actively apply for the bonus when registering — or not. So pay attention to this when making a deposit. As a rule, the option bonus yes or no cannot be overlooked. Still other casinos offer bonus codes that you have to enter in order to receive the bonus. In this case, not activating the bonus is pretty easy — simply by not entering a bonus code.

Casino Bonus Yes or No — What is the optimal strategy?

It depends on the one hand on the casino and on the other hand on your player profile whether it makes sense to use an online casino bonus or not.

For these types of players a bonus makes sense — or it doesn’t

If you fall under the category of the so-called fun player, then we would recommend you to use a bonus. As fun players, we define players who play in casinos primarily for entertainment reasons and who can cope with losses. So if you play with small stakes and you don’t care if you lose a deposit completely, then it makes sense to use a bonus. Because the bonus gives you the opportunity to play longer and extensively test the casino’s offerings.

For the players among you who see the game in the online casino more as a strategic game and want to play as profitably as possible, a bonus can be a hindrance. Especially when big winnings are made that are worth paying out, the bonus can get in the way. If you do not use the bonus, your flexibility for withdrawals is in any case significantly higher and less complicated. Players who rely on being able to withdraw the money at any time should also keep their hands off the casino bonus or the casino in general. Basically, you should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. Even for pure table players, a bonus is usually not worthwhile, as the wagering requirements are much higher.

In these casinos you can accept the online casino bonus — or not

At the beginning we mentioned the casinos Bitstarz Casino and Drift Casino as good examples. Here we want to explain why you can accept a bonus with a clear conscience at Drift and at Bitstarz.


At first glance, the bonus offers from the Best online casinos are extremely inviting. If you take a closer look at the whole thing, however, a casino bonus can have quite a few disadvantages. Above all, the loss of flexibility with payouts should be mentioned here. If you accept a bonus and thus no longer have the freedom to pay out your own credit, then the disadvantage clearly outweighs it. In the end, it depends on whether you want to test an online casino with less risk, or whether you are speculating on winnings that you want to cash out immediately.

Finally, we still give you a tip: Before you register in a casino and accept the bonus, read the general bonus conditions and / or terms and conditions of the casino carefully. If anything is unclear, contact the respective customer service to be on the safe side. They will be happy to answer your questions here.

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