BONUSES, and in particular welcome bonuses, are one of the main reasons to opt for an online casino versus taking a trip to a brick-and-mortar casino. As a new player, the online casino rewards you for choosing them by giving you the option to attach a bonus to your very first deposit.
This bonus will vary from one online casino to another but is usually a combination of bonus cash and free spins. Sometimes the site will even throw in a stack of loyalty club points to sweeten the deal. But beyond the excitement of increasing your deposit value for free, there are certain terms to take into consideration. In this guide, we’ll tell you which the best casino welcome bonuses in the UK are the best value, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls and rookie mistakes.
Top casino welcome bonuses for UK players
- Mr Q
- Mr Vegas
- Spin Hill
- Magic Red
- Mr. Mega
- Grosvenor Casinos
- Griffon Casino
- 32 Red
- Dream Vegas
- All British Casino
- Mr Play
Mr Q no deposit
Verify your mobile number for 10 Free Spins
18+ only| To qualify registered customers must successfully verify their mobile number. Qualifying customers will receive 10 free spins on the Squealin' Riches slot game. The free spins will expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.
£100 bonus + 100 free spins on Book of Dead
18+ new players only. Minimum deposit: £20. Maximum £100 bonus. Max bet with an active bonus: £2. Wagering requirement 100% match bonus: 30 times sum of deposit + bonus. Max redeemable from welcome bonus: £500.
100% up to £200 + 11 wager-free spins
18+ new players only. Min deposit £10. Maximum bonus £200. Any amount over £200 will not form part of the player’s first deposit. Wagering requirement 100% match bonus: 35 times sum of deposit + bonus. Terms and conditions apply.
100% up to £200 + 100 free spins
18+ New depositing players only. Min deposit £10. Wagering requirements apply 35x. 100 spins includes 3 deposit. Terms and conditions apply.
Win up to 1,000% matchup bonus
18+ new players only, £10 min fund, £2,000 max bonus, max bonus conversion equal to lifetime deposits (up to £250), 65x wagering requirements. Terms and conditions apply.
Up to £200 + 100 Free Spins
18+. Min deposit £20. Max bonus £200. Offer valid on first deposit and applies to new players only. Winnings must be wagered at least 35x. Terms and conditions apply.
Deposit £50, play with £100
18+. Min deposit £20. Max bonus £140. Offer valid on first deposit and applies to new players only. Winnings must be wagered at least 30x. Terms and conditions apply.
Up to £200 + 100 free spins
New players only. 18+. Min deposit £10. Wagering requirement apply 35x. Offers valid for 72hr. 100 spins includes 3 deposits. Full terms and conditions apply.
Deposit £20, play with £50
18+. New customers only. Minimum deposit and max bonus apply. Bonus is playable on selected games only. Wagering requirements apply. Full terms and conditions apply.
Deposit and get up to 200 bonus spins
18+. New customers only. Minimum deposit and max bonus apply. Bonus is playable on selected games only. Wagering requirements apply. Full terms and conditions apply.
What is a casino welcome bonus?
A welcome bonus is a one-time special offer that attaches to your very first deposit at an online casino, online sportsbook, or another kind of online gambling site. The offer will generally give you more money to play with in the form of bonus cash. It will often also come bundled up with free spins.
Welcome bonuses are completely optional, and you’ll be able to decide whether you want to activate your offer or not during the registration or deposit process. The offer is designed to give new players a head start, exploring all the different casino game options with a boosted balance.
For example, you might be offered 100% up to £500, plus 100 free spins. That means your deposit will be matched up to a maximum of £500. If you deposit £20 you’ll get £50, and if you deposit £250 you’ll get another £250 for a total of £500. Keep in mind that the additional bonus cash comes with wagering requirements. We get into more detail on these further on in the review.
What makes a good casino sign-up offer?
It’s easy to get dazzled by a casino bonus that offers huge sums of money and an enormous pile of free spins, but things aren’t always as they seem. Instead of simply going for the biggest bonus you can find, you should opt instead for the one that offers the best value. Here’s what makes a great casino bonus:
- Realistic wagering requirements – Bonus cash is always burdened by wagering requirements. These dictate how many times the amount needs to be turned over (churned) before it becomes real, withdrawable cash. As a general rule, a wagering requirement over 50x is virtually impossible to meet, and require a significant lucky streak. Welcome bonuses that come with 35x wagering or less are considered to be the fairest in the industry.
- Quality game allowances – More often than not, your bonus cash and/or free spins can’t be used site-wide. Instead, the terms and conditions will list specific games your spins can be played on, or exclude particular game titles. If the games have low RTP then your chances of hitting winning spins are significantly diminished. Check out the games you’re allowed to play on, and make sure they’re well known titles from quality providers.
- Fair game weighting and bet size – Not all games contribute equally to wagering requirements. Slots usually contribute at 100%, but table games generally stand at about 10%. Weighting percentages are always buried in the fine print, so take a look and make sure the weighting fits your playing style. Check out the bet size cap too. If you’re limited to 2p spins then you’re unlikely to ever get anything great out of the bonus.
- Generous timeframes – Once you activate your casino bonus, you need to get to work turning it over to meet wagering requirements. There’s always a time limit attached, but the expiration date will vary from bonus to bonus. Shore timeframes make it impossible for recreational players to succeed. That’s why you should be looking for bonuses with an expiry of about 30 days.
For example, a 100% bonus up to £100 with 30x wagering and 30 days expiry is far better than 300% up to £1,000 with 70x wagering and 14 days expiry.
Most popular casino welcome bonuses
As we already explained, there’s no set formula for a casino welcome bonus. It can come in multiple formats. However, players seem to prefer a generous combination of bonus cash and free spins, so this is the most common offer on the market. But these offers can come with different rules and triggers. Here are the different types of bonuses you’ll come across:
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A deposit bonus is a way to raise the value of a deposit by bulking up the real cash deposit with bonus cash. It’s the online casino’s way of saying thank you for making a deposit at the site by giving you more to play with. For example, deposit £10 and get an extra £20 in bonus cash. They’re a fantastic way to expand your reach beyond your true budget. Of course, the additional bonus cash comes with wagering requirements.
Extra spins bonuses
An extra spins bonus is one that could come with free spins or without. These are usually staggered offers that allow players to complete checkpoints for an extra set of free spins. For example, you could make a deposit of £10 or more to trigger 100 free spins, and then a further 50 extra spins on your second deposit. In truth, casinos can formulate these offers any way they like, mixing bonus cash and loyalty points to make offers all the more tempting.
No deposit bonuses
No deposit casino bonuses are rarer than regular welcome bonuses. These award new players the option to acquire bonus cash ro free spins (but usually free spins) before even making a single deposit on the site. The thing you should know about no deposit casino bonuses is that they’re usually much smaller than the welcome offer, and the wagering requirements are higher. Even if your bonus translates into a win, you’ll eventually have to deposit anyway in order to play through the bonus win and turn it into cash.
A match bonus is literally when the casino matches your cash deposit with a second amount in bonus cash. These are usually calculated in percentages of 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%. For example, a 100% deposit match bonus means that if you deposit £30, you’ll get another £30 in bonus cash on top. A 50% bonus means that if you deposit £30, you'll get another £15 in bonus cash on top. Your bonus cash comes with wagering requirements. These can be as low as 5x, but they usually come in at about 35x. We don’t recommend accepting wagering requirements higher than this.
Why do we love welcome bonuses?
Some players treat welcome bonuses with suspicion. That’s probably because some less reputable sites construct bonuses that look great on the surface but, in reality, fail to deliver any real value. In the worst scenarios, some welcome packages serve only to trick players – and these sites are what give other honest sites a bad name. Stick to our recommended casino bonuses for a safe gambling experience.
Choosing a good and honest casino bonus will allow you to:
- Extend your budget – For recreational players with small deposit budgets, activating a casino bonus will give them double or more to play with. This allows players to spin and bet for longer, and get more out of the experience.
- Try out new games – Having more to play with will allow you to try out a wider range of games. However, most bonus offers also come with free spins linked to particular games you might not have heard of. With the huge range of slots on offer, it's tempting to just stick to what you know, but a bonus could take you out of your comfort zone.
- Increase your winning chances – Everyone knows that the trick to winning big on slots is hitting the bonus round. Higher paying slots come with higher volatility, which means the wins are bigger but they’re slower to hit. If you have more money to spin, then your chances of hitting a super rewarding bonus round are greatly increased.
What to look out for when accepting a casino welcome bonus?
Every bonus offer, welcome or otherwise, comes with a list of terms and conditions. Much as they’re not fun to read, it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Here are some of the key points to take note of before accepting a bonus:
- Time limits – Your bonus will always come with an expiry date. You need to complete wagering within the time specified or the bonus will be cancelled and you’ll lose out on any wins generated with the bonus cash. Ideally, 14 to 30 days are required to give you enough time.
- Wagering requirements – Rollover requirements are a necessary evil of almost every bonus offer. The key is to make sure they’re fair and achievable. Ideally your wagering requirements are limited to 35x, with a 50x wager being the absolute highest you should accept.
- Wagering contribution table – Knowing the game weighting or wagering contributions is key to successfully turning over your bonus. As a general rule, slot games contribute at 100%, table games contribute at 10% and all other games at 0% – but this can vary from site to site. Also take note of games that are excluded from your wagering contribution.
- Match percentage – This one can be a little tricky to work out. Most welcome offers keep it simple with a 100% match percentage. That means you get the full amount you deposited once again in bonus cash. So if you deposit £20 you get another £20. However, deposit match bonuses could also be set at other amounts like 50% and 25%. With a 50% deposit match, if you deposit £20, you’ll get £10 in bonus cash.
- Maximum bets and winning caps – Most casino bonuses come with limits. These limits cover how high you can set your bets, as well as the maximum amount you can win. These two factors are key indicators to determine the value of the bonus. If your win is capped too low, then it’s not worth the trouble of trying to meet wagering requirements. And if your max bet is also low, it could make it too hard to achieve big enough wins to churn the bonus.
- Limited games – The games you’re permitted to play with your bonus can mean the difference between success and failure. Older slots tend to pay out in very low amounts, and if your bonus can only be used on lower quality games then it’s probably not worth your time. Look out for bonuses that come on flashy, big name games to really ramp up your chances of success.
How to cash out a welcome bonus
We’re not going to lie to you. Turning your bonus cash into real cash will require an element of luck. But players get lucky all the time and it’s very common to successfully profit from the right welcome bonus.
- Activate the bonus with your first deposit – this usually comes in an opt in format, or requires you to check a box confirming your choice.
- Use your bonus to play eligible games – these are generally slot games, but read the terms to find out exactly which games contribute to your bonus wagering.
- Meet the wagering requirements – turn your bonus over the states number of times in order to turn it into real cash.
- Track your progress – on most sites you’ll find a tracking bar in your account section which tells you how far you’ve come.
- Withdraw your win – Once you’ve met the wagering requirements, your remaining profit can be withdrawn as real cash from the cashier section
What is the best welcome bonus?
The competition is fierce out there. As a result, it’s hard to make a decision on which site offers the most generous casino bonus. We made our decision by creating a short list of our favourite offers, and then comparing that list to choose the one that really stands out.
Duelz Casino is an extremely exciting online casino, particularly because it’s highly gamified and built on a fantastical theme. Try it out for yourself with their welcome bonus of 100% up to £100 and 100 Free Spins on Book of Dead.
We chose this bonus as our favourite because of its very fair 30 x wagering requirements on bonus cash. Wagering requirements are only boosted to 45 x on winnings from the bonus free spins. All you have to do is make a deposit of £20 or more in order to activate the offer, and you’ll be able to place bets up to a maximum of £2. Your maximum bonus win is capped at a very generous £500.
How long does it take to see my welcome bonus in my account?
Assuming that nothing went wrong, once you opt in to your welcome bonus and make a deposit, the bonus will appear instantly in your account. What’s important to note here is that at this stage, the bonus cash isn’t eligible for withdrawal. You’ll need to wager the bonus cash for the stipulated wagering requirements before you can cash out. The good news is that you’ll be able to get started on meeting those wagering requirements almost instantly. Simply register, deposit, and get wagering to give yourself the best chance at a big win.
Why do online casinos give away welcome bonuses?
As nice as the thought might be, online casinos don’t give away bonuses for the goodness of their hearts. While players can certainly benefit from big bonuses if they’re smart about which ones they choose, the online casinos also benefit in the long-run. Here are the main reasons why an online casino gives out welcome offer and other bonuses to players:
- To encourage players to make their first deposit by boosting their budget for free
- To compete with other online casinos in a very saturated space
- To give players the opportunity to explore more of the site’s games
- To give players a reason to log in a second time and engender loyalty with rewards
- To encourage longer sessions which in turn usually results in multiple deposits
Can I get casino bonuses even if I’m not a new player?
You absolutely can. While you can only ever claim a welcome bonus once, the majority of good quality online casinos have a ‘promotions’ section loaded with other offers and bonuses. These are in place purposely to keep players engaged with the site long after any benefits from the welcome package have dried up. These bonuses are usually a combination of free spins, deposit match offers, network promotions, cashback, and much more. As with all promos, it’s very important that you take a couple minutes to read the terms for each before making your choice. The things to look out for are minimum deposits, maximum win cap, wagering requirements, time limits, and game restrictions.
Can I win real money with a welcome bonus?
Welcome bonuses are designed to help players land bigger wins then they could with just a basic deposit. The catch is that there’s a decent chance you won’t win at all. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as casino gambling games never offer a guarantee of success. But with a little planning, skill and a decent dose of luck, you could see yourself withdrawing a real cash win thanks to a well-appointed welcome bonus. All you need to do is play games and place bets using your deposit and bonus cash. Each time you win you contribute to wagering requirements. The trick is to continue your upswing until wagering is met, without running your funds down to zero.
Are there fees for casino bonuses?
Not really. Casino bonuses come as an added benefit to your regular deposit. However, you can consider the actual deposit made by the player in cash as a fee. Every bonus (unless it’s no-deposit bonus) comes with a minimum deposit requirement. So if you usually only deposit £10 and the bonus requires £20 to be activated, you can consider that additional £10 as an activation fee of sorts. The plus side is that the funds are yours to use as you please, and are never lost to the casino. The short answer is that so long as you choose a quality bonus, it’s a free roll route to potentially much larger wins and payouts than you would manage with your regular deposits.
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
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- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.
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