$8,888 + 350 free spins
If you are looking for the most bang for your buck when you join a casino, the welcome bonus at Uptown Aces is definitely the leader in that regard. A packed $8,888 in free money awaits the first time customer at this popular online casino, based on six consecutive match bonuses.
Starting with a 250% match bonus on your first deposit and going from there, all new players can get up to $8,888 in free casino chips. But hat’s not all, a 350 free spins will also be given away, and none of the bonuses have a max cashout limit.
$7,777 + 300 free spins
Not to be undone by the competition, SlotoCash is also running a multi-bonus welcome offer to all customers joining one of the oldest online casinos in the world. Their $7,777 free money offer is split into only 5 bonuses, giving you overall more in matched free chips. And 300 free spins boost this bonus towards the top of our welcome bonus rankings.
300% Match and 100% Cashback
The Lucky Tiger casino has really stepped up its bonus offerings, especially when it cones to the welcome bonus. When you open an account here, your first three deposits each can qualify for match bonuses, totaling up to $8,400.
But that’s not all: Your first two deposits also come with a 100% cashback and the third – with 50%! It’s nearly impossible to bet this kind of generosity that gives you double the chance to win.
$2,500 + 500 free spins
The Red Stag casino is very well-known for its no-deposit bonuses, but the welcome bonus doesn’t disappoint either. Your first seven deposits here all carry a large match offer, starting and ending with 275% of your deposit amount. Not only will you get free chips, but the casino will give you a total of 500 free spins to come along with them.
100% Match on First 8 Deposits
While the Miami Club online casino publishes no deposit bonus codes regularly, we find that their welcome bonus is not among the best, it’s actually the worst of this premium selection of casinos. A 100% match bonus will come with your first eight deposits at Miami Club, which is not too bad, but we are disappointed that the max deposit bonus for each is capped at only $100. A good place for those not looking to deposit a lot and want to enjoy the free chips and spins that come with the plenty of no deposit bonuses this casino offers.
For those players looking to try the online casino games for free, nothing beats the no-deposit bonus codes. But if you want to really increase both your free chips you get from the casino, as well as have unlimited amount of money you can win there, it’s hard to overlook the welcome bonus. Long recognized as the largest possible bonus you can receive at an online casino; the welcome bonus is an excellent tool in a player’s arsenal to start their adventure at a new casino with the maximum bankroll possible for the least amount of money.
The online casino welcome bonus
But before we dive too deep into the various intricacies of the welcome bonus, first we must talk about what is the welcome bonus in the first place. If you are already aware, feel free to skip to the next chapter. Otherwise, read on.
How it started
Since the establishment of the first internet-based casinos, they have always been in competition with one another for the limited number of players available out there. The casinos did not have the easiest of goings at the start, with most gamblers preferring the traditional brick & mortar casinos over their newly created counterparts. But with the conveniences of the online casinos quickly beginning to outweigh the lack of social setting the land-based casinos provide, more and more people began switching their gameplay online. And the welcome bonus was certainly a major driver of this migration to virtual gaming.
The welcome bonus was, and still is, a great tool for the online casinos to compete with one another, by offering potential customers larger and larger bonuses. Since the web-based casinos don’t have nearly the overhead of the traditional ones, it was cost effective enough for them to lure players with large amounts of free chips. Sometimes from the regular, land-based casinos, other times from their online competitors. Either way, to this day the welcome bonus remains one of the major instruments for the online casinos to sway potential customers to sign up with them over their rivals.
What is a welcome bonus and how the welcome bonus works
So what is the casino welcome bonus and how does it work? The welcome bonus is the first bonus offer that the online casino gives their new players. Oftentimes it is the largest amount the casino is willing to give to its customers and is being used as an engine to drive sign ups to their property.
As implied, the welcome bonus is available only to customers who have just signed up for a casino account. In order to qualify for it, the customer mustn’t have had an account with the casino before and when they open one, they can claim their welcome bonus. It is literally a bonus to welcome you to the online casino.
The way it works is also very simple. The welcome bonus is the gigantic free chips offer anyone will see when they visit the casino’s website. It is heavily advertised due to its sheer size and it aims to entice the player to choose this particular online casino over any other.
Once the player has created their account at the casino, they instantly qualify for the welcome bonus. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people will receive the bonus right away. Nearly all welcome bonuses are based on the first deposit you make at the casino. There are a few exceptions, which we will come back to later, but it suffices to say that this is how the casino welcome bonus works.
This particular promotion is based on a percentage of the first deposit the new customer makes at the casino. Although oftentimes the bonus advertised will show a large amount of money. For example, you may see a welcome bonus advertised as 400% up to $10,000, with the amount of money in much larger font than the percentage. But the way the welcome bonus actually works is as follows: the casino will give you a certain percentage of your first deposit in free casino chips, in addition to the amount you funded your account with.
Thus building up on our example, if you deposit $100, the casino will match you another $400 and you can start playing with $500, instead of just the $100 you deposited. A far cry from the $10K advertised, but this is precisely because the welcome bonus is usually dependent on a percentage, rather than a set amount of money. Of course, you still get to enjoy a very large amount of the casino’s own money relative to your deposit. When was the last time you visited a land-based casino, and they just handed you a stack of money as a “thank you” for visiting the property?!
Is the casino welcome bonus a scam?
And speaking of a casino handing out free money to their players, a lot of people who are trying out the online casinos for the first time are indeed suspicious initially of the welcome bonus. And who can blame them? With the history of gambling through the ages, the mere suggestion that a casino may give you free chips just for opening an account certainly may sound like a scam.
We can assure you that the welcome bonus is a real thing at the online casinos. Every casino these days is offering a bonus when a new customer makes their first deposit. Some of them are clearly larger than others, as you can see from the list at the start of this page, but it is nothing unique. The offers themselves may be exclusive, but a welcome bonus can be claimed at every online casino.
How do the casinos make money from the welcome bonus?
You may wonder how the casinos make money, if they are just giving away money for free like that? For the answer we can draw a parallel to the offline retailers and their “loss leaders”. Many stores will have heavily discounted, often popular, items right at their entrances. They don’t make profit on those, as a matter of fact, they actually lose money on them, but they used them to drive customers to their stores, who in turn purchase other items from them, items with normal profit margins.
Well, the online casinos use the welcome bonus in the exact same way. This type of offer can be looked at as the cost of accusation the online casino has to pay to get the customer. They know that their customers as a whole in the long run will end up losing more than they win, considering that the house advantage is baked into every casino game, from blackjack and other table games to the video slots, the casino will always get to keep a percentage of the money their players’ deposit. In a way, the welcome bonus is their loss-leader, the tool to get feet through the door, so to speak.
To be honest, there have been plenty of online casino scams, the welcome bonus included, but it has never been a bonus scam, as much as rogue casinos. Potential players do indeed get lured in with large welcome bonuses, but it’s the casinos themselves that are the scam, and the bonus is just one way they try to cheat their players. Therefore, it is very important to not only look for the biggest casino bonuses, but only compare those among reputable establishments. It’s OK to look for ways to maximize your bankroll, as long as it’s done within a pool of top online casinos, rather than what you found on Google with a simple keyword search.
Types of welcome bonuses
Now, let’s look at the different types of welcome bonuses you may run into with the many online casinos out there.
As already discussed, the most common scenario for calculating the welcome bonus is by basing it on a percentage of the first deposit the new customer makes at the online casino. As such, the major type of welcome bonuses is the percentage-based bonus. With this promotion, the casino adds free chips to the player’s account once they make their first deposit, the exact amount of free chips dependent on an advertised percentage. For instance, if the casino is offering a 200% signup bonus, should a new customer deposit $200, they will get an additional 200% in free casino money added to their bankroll right away. This is the most common type of welcome bonus for new players.
Even though the percentage bonus is the most prevalent form of welcome bonus, on rare occasions the casino may run a money-based promotion. For example, the online casino may offer $300 when the player deposit $100, or in another instance, you may receive the offer to get $200 when you deposit $50. This type of welcome bonus may appear to be very similar to a percentage bonus, but unlike it, it has a set amount one must deposit to receive a set amount of free chips. Whereas with the standard welcome bonus, you can deposit any amount you wish and will get a bonus based on it, up to a predetermined number. This type of welcome bonus is unusual and rare, but it’s worth mentioning for the sake of completeness.
Speaking of unusual welcome bonuses, a lot of people email us asking the following question:
Is there a no deposit welcome bonus?
Yes, there is. A few of the top online casinos also offer no-deposit welcome bonuses to their potential customers. As a matter of fact, some of the no deposit bonus codes listed on our home page can be redeemed by both new and existing players, while others take it a bit further and can only be claimed by new players. On each bonus code have indicated whether the offer applies to new, existing, or both types of customers.
The more important question one should be asking is: should I take the no-deposit welcome bonus or not? The answer will depend on your circumstances, but here are the two primary scenarios to consider.
Firstly, if you plan on playing at the online casino with real money, we recommend against taking the no-deposit welcome bonus. Don’t forget, the welcome bonus (of any variety) can be claimed only once, since it applies only to the customers who have never had an account with the casino. So, one you redeem the welcome bonus of your choosing, you become an existing customer. Therefore, that large 500% match bonus is no longer available to you. Thusly, if you wish to maximize your bonus money, take the standard welcome bonus first, then simply wait for a no-deposit bonus code to come around; or use one of the ones available for existing players.
However, if you want to play the casino games for real money, but without risking any of your own, now or in the future, you may want to consider the no deposit welcome bonus. It gives you free chips to play the casino games, you do have the chance to cash out real money, but unlike the standard welcome bonus, you don’t have to make a deposit. In that case, the no-deposit bonus code for new players is the better choice.
Requirements, Terms, Conditions
Of course, all this free money the online casino is willing to give their new customers don’t come without strings attached. Just like any other kind of bonus, the welcome bonus also comes with requirements and conditions. Here are the most common things you should consider and look out for when claiming a welcome bonus.
The number one on the list is the wagering requirements. Every time you redeem a casino bonus, the playthrough requirements must be met, whether you made a deposit to claim it or not. The wagering requirements are a predetermined amount the player must wager before the bonus and, more importantly, the winnings from the bonus, can be withdrawn by the customer.
To give you an example of what this may look like, consider the following as part of the T&C of a welcome bonus. The casino may have this: wagering requirements 20x bonus and deposit. In this example, it means that the player must wager an amount equivalent to twenty times the combined amount of the deposit and the bonus. If you deposited $100 and received another $300 in free chips as a welcome bonus, in that case, you must wager 20x ($100+$300), or $8,000 total. Be mindful of the wagering requirements, because while you may be able to cash out your initial deposit, unless you meet those requirements, you won’t be able to withdraw your bonus and winnings. Always make sure that you have completed the requirements before requesting a payout from the casino, if you used a bonus of any kind.
While not the rule, an exception to it is that sometimes the welcome bonus may come split into multiple parts. A few online casinos will advertise a large welcome bonus, but in reality, the offer will consist of a few bonuses you can claim in a row. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since it allows you to get the maximum amount of free chips without having to risk a large amount of money all at once.
For example, the SlotoCash casino has a $7,777 welcome bonus, but unlike other standard welcome promos, here the total amount comes from your first 5 deposits you make at the casino. For example, the first deposit will give you a 200% match, the second 177%, the third 150%, etc. This way you can deposit a smaller amount, yet still get the bonus, and more importantly, do it a few times in a row.
As noted, this is not very common. Most online casinos will simply give you one shot at the welcome bonus, but with a larger match percentage.
On this list of the important information that is part of the welcome bonus terms and conditions we must include the country of residence. The internet is a multi-national system and as such, both our website and the online casinos themselves receive visitors from all over the world. The casinos opt to do business with most of those countries, but the welcome bonus may not be available to all of them.
You may think that this type of restriction would be applied to countries on the smaller side of the spectrum, but you’d be wrong. It’s not surprising to see players from countries such as the United Kingdom, Poland, Malaysia, Brazil, etc. being excluded from the welcome bonus. This could be done for legal reasons or for high incidence of bonus abuse, but whatever the case, don’t simply assume that the welcome bonus is available to anyone. Make sure that you check to see if your own country is on the list of those not able to enjoy it.
Other things to consider when claiming a casino welcome bonus
There are a few other intricacies you may run into with the welcome bonus. These may not apply to the promotions at every casino, but they are common enough that warrant a warning and a deeper look into the bonus’ terms and conditions.
Scope of the welcome bonus
What we mean by scope here is the people it affects. For example, a welcome bonus may be available based on an address, rather than an account. So if both you and your spouse decide to open an account with a casino with address-based scope, the bonus may be available to only one of you, and denied to the other, since you most likely share the same address. So, even though these are two separate accounts, both being new players, still only one person per household or address can claim the welcome bonus.
Rule of thumb is that the minimum amount one must deposit to claim the welcome bonus is the minimum amount allowed to be deposited in general. In other words, if a casino has a minimum deposit of $20 with a credit card, you can deposit that $20 and still claim a welcome bonus to go with it. This is not always the case, however. With the introduction of crypto-currency, ewallets and other exotic forms of banking, which allow for much smaller sized transactions, sometimes as small as $5, a casino may have a separate minimum deposit requirement for the welcome bonus. If you aim at depositing the smallest amount possible, make sure you check the welcome bonus terms and conditions beforehand.
Is the bonus sticky or not
Another unusual feature that you may run into is the sticky welcome bonus. A sticky bonus is free chips which are not cashable in the end. You can only withdraw your deposit amount and any winnings from the bonus, but the bonus amount itself is removed from your balance once you request a payout. This is common with some traditional deposit bonuses, not so much with the welcome bonus, but it does happen sometimes, so watch out for it.
Can you play slots with a welcome bonus?
Absolutely! One of the biggest concerns for players is whether they will be able to enjoy the hundreds of video slots when they claim the welcome bonus. Their worry is understandable since most bonuses do have restrictions on the types of casino games you can play with them. But the slots are almost never part of those restrictions. As a matter of fact, the video slots are the primary game to use not only the welcome bonus, but any other free casino bonus. Rest assured that you can play the video slots with the welcome bonus.
Casino games can you play with a welcome bonus
Now that we know that you can play slots, what other casino games can you play with the welcome bonus? In most cases, any of the casino games available – slots, table games, such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat, specialty games unique to the casino, Keno, scratch cards, the list goes on and on.
However, just because on can generally play any of the casino games with he welcome bonus, it doesn’t mean that this is always true. Some casinos will limit you to just video slots and specialty games, for example. It is therefore imperative to make sure that the games you want to play can be played with the welcome bonus.
Another thing to consider is that while you can generally play all casino games with the welcome bonus, difference types of games will have different wagering requirements. The video slots are the most generous when it comes to covering those requirements, but when it comes to certain table games, they could be quite stringy on that front. It is typical to see higher wagering requirements for cashing out your bonus winnings when you play blackjack compared to slots, for example. One should certainly read the welcome bonus requirements, especially when it comes to playing the various casino games available.