Things to Consider When Choosing a First Deposit Bonus
A good rule of thumb is that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. This can certainly be the case with welcome bonuses, so it’s always a good idea to read the terms and conditions before settling on a bonus. Here are some of the terms and conditions you may come across in the small print at a first deposit bonus casino.
Wagering requirements are the most prevalent caveat attached to welcome bonuses. For example, a first deposit bonus casino bonus may state a 30x wagering requirement. In this case, if you deposit £20 and get a 100% match of £20, you would have to wager those bonus funds 30 times for a total of £600 to unlock any bonus-associated funds. At some casinos, the requirement will be attached to both the deposit and the bonus, significantly raising the amount you’d have to wager to gain access to any winnings.
Free spins bonuses may also have a wagering requirement attached, but it works a little differently. Instead of the value of the spins being considered, it will tend to be any winnings you gain from those free spins that will be treated as bonus funds. Using the above example, if you were to win £10 from your spins, you’d have to wager that amount 30 times over to unlock withdrawals against those funds.
This term is often attached to free spins bonuses, but can also be connected to deposit matches. This basically means that you would only be able to spend your free spins or bonus funds on certain games available at the online casino. For example, you may have free spins that you can only use on three specific slots, or a deposit match bonus that you can’t use to play live casino games.
When it comes to wagering requirements, not all wagers are created equally. This is due to the existence of game weightings – a condition that restricts the contributions made by wagers placed on certain games on the bonus’s overall requirements.
As a general rule, the majority of slot games will be weighted at 100%, meaning the entirety of the wager will chip away at the requirements. There are likely to be exceptions here, however, especially with slots that have a high return to player (RTP) percentage.
At the other end of the scale, wagers on table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat tend to be weighted at much smaller rates. It’s not uncommon for these games to have weights of 10%, 5%, or even 0%. Wagering requirements are already difficult to fulfil; they become impossible if your wagers aren’t working as hard as they can. For a full breakdown of game weightings, check the casino’s terms and conditions.
Most bonuses come with a time limit attached. This means you would have to claim and spend your bonus money and clear any attached wagering requirements within a set period. Time limits can range from a matter of days up to a few months depending on the casino.
A winnings cap is another common condition for a first deposit bonus. Let’s say an online casino caps any winnings from a deposit or free spins bonus at £500 –– this would mean that any funds won over that limit would be returned to the casino.
Payment Method Restrictions
Always check the small print before making your first deposit to avoid disappointment. Certain payment methods may not be included in the first deposit bonus at an online casino, meaning that if you deposit using one of these methods you will not be able to access the welcome bonus. The most common ineligible methods are e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill, but some casinos may exclude other methods, too. When depositing with an e-wallet like PayPal, you should check the bonus terms first.