Online casinos are bigger and better than ever. They may have had a dodgy reputation in the past, but the industry as a whole has pulled its socks up and forged ahead into cleaner waters. Strict licencing and regulation along with heightened online security and trustworthy payment providers, as well as a mammoth selection of mind-blowing games, have made online gambling a legitimate pastime for many a casual player. If you’ve been umming and ahing about signing up to an online casino, it’s time to um and ah no longer. There’s never been a better time to jump in!
Thanks to online casinos, players no longer have to travel long distances in order to play their favourite gambling games. Traditional land-based casinos are still hugely popular but for most people they are inaccessible. Online casinos and mobile casinos offer convenience and because of the nature of the format they offer more games than a land casino ever could.
Savvy game designers have utilised advancements in technology to create games that take players on an exciting journey – think incredible graphics, immense storylines and intricate game mechanics. The games fall under various categories; slots, table games, live casino games and bingo games, for example. As a player, you’ll be hard pressed not to find a game that takes your fancy. Online casinos offer betting limits to suit all budgets and best of all; they offer awesome bonuses that help players get up and running.
A Warm Welcome
As a new player, you’ll be offered a welcome bonus from whichever casino you decide to join. A welcome bonus usually takes the form of a match deposit bonus that you can claim when you make your first deposit into your new casino account. An example of a match deposit bonus is 100% up to £150. This means that if you deposit any amount of money up to but not exceeding £150, the casino will match the amount and add it to your account.
Sometimes an online casino will also throw in a few free spins and sometimes the match deposit bonus will be spread out over your first three or four deposits. You can use this bonus to try out all the games you’ve never tried before, you can experiment with different betting limits and you can put a few different strategies to the test.
A bonus like this will come with wagering requirements – more on those later – and possibly a time limit, so be sure to check the T&C’s. Be careful not to get carried away; remember half the money in your account is money you put there yourself. Practice responsible gambling from the start – this could mean setting yourself a budget and sticking to it or setting yourself a time limit.
No Money Upfront
Before you go ahead and claim a juicy welcome bonus, it pays to seek out a no deposit bonus first. No deposit casinos are not hard to find, especially with the help of a trusted review site like this, and, it’s well worth the effort. A no deposit bonus gives you the chance to explore an online casino and play a few games without having to spend a single penny of your hard-earned cash up front.
Most online casinos will ask you to sign up for an account prior to claiming and using the free bonus. The most common form of no deposit bonus is the cash deposit. Casinos without deposit will give you a specific amount of money, usually £5 or £10, and you can use that money to play any game within the casino. The second most common form of bonus without deposit is an offer of free spins. These free spins are usually attached to a specific slot game or perhaps a selection of slot games, but there are some casinos that allow you to use the spins on any game you like the look of. Another offer that might come your way is the ‘free play’ offer – this can come in the form of casino credits or the casino will let you play any game for free for a limited time.
Swings and Roundabouts
The benefit of a bonus, aside from the chance of winning something for nothing, is that it gives you the chance to really get the feel for how an online casino works. Testing out the games will help you feel more confident when it comes to real money betting. You can also get a good idea about how the casino treats its players just by thoroughly reading the terms and conditions. And you can use the bonus as an opportunity to contact customer service to see how responsive they are.
As previously mentioned, the welcome bonus and the no deposit bonus do have strings attached. You’re unlikely to find any bonus that doesn’t come with wagering requirements – there are some out there, but we’re talking needle in a haystack. The wagering requirement can be set anywhere from x10 to x100. We would advise that you look for a bonus with a wagering requirement of no more than x45.
Basically, if the requirement is x20 it means that you have to use the amount of the bonus 20 times before you can withdraw any winnings. So, if your bonus is £20, you’ll need to make £400 worth of bets before making a withdrawal. You’re probably thinking that this sounds impossible, but actually this is entirely doable – you just need Lady Luck by your side!