Casino Bonus Rules: Turning Bonuses Into Real Money

Written by:
Jon Ridehalgh
Fact checked by:
Ross Timmins
Updated:
June 12, 2024

Online Casino Bonus Rules

Online casino bonuses are the best part of playing at online gambling sites after the games themselves.

A large bonus can draw in a massive player base, and given the competitive industry, these bonuses are the easiest way operators outdo one another. From deposit match bonus offers to free spins, cashback, and more, players have a world of bonuses waiting to be claimed.

But there are always bonus rules attached to these offers. These rules are crucial in order to convert bonus funds into real money for withdrawal. So if you’re looking to not just claim a flashy bonus code but actually rake in real cash returns, this guide is your bonus compass.

Find out all there is to know about casino bonus code rules before you go ahead and claim one.

Online Casino Bonuses With Most Lax Rules in 2024

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Promo Code: GAMBLEUSA
Visit BetMGM.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ years of age or older to wager. MI, NJ, PA or WV only. Excludes Michigan Disassociated Persons. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable site credit, unless otherwise provided in the applicable Terms. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling Problem? 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI), 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA & WV).
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Our experts have reviewed, vetted, and shortlisted the best bonuses on the market with the most relaxed rules. They’re not only easy to claim, but these top deals also offer attractive match bonuses, free spins, or no-deposit rewards that will add significant value to your gameplay.

How Do Casino Bonuses Work?

Casino bonuses are incentives to make you want to play at an online casino, so it stands to reason that there are no complicated processes behind how they work. Operators make it easy for players to use these bonuses. You only have to make a deposit to trigger the bonus code. Or, in the case of a no-deposit bonus, you receive it immediately after signing up. Then, you use the bonus to play games.

Sometimes, the casino will require you to opt in for the bonus in order to receive it. You can do this by marking the relevant box during registration or directly under your account menu when you log in.

Is it possible to win real money from a casino bonus?

Yes, bonuses are designed to offer real money value. If you use them the right way, you can win and withdraw them as real cash. The catch here is that it all depends on the set of rules accompanying the bonus.

Bonuses themselves are not real money and are not added to your real money balance. Instead, you find them in a separate bonus balance. You must complete certain bonus conditions to transfer bonus cash to your real balance.

What Are Casino Bonus Rules?

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Casino bonus rules are a set of terms and conditions that dictate how a bonus offered by a casino can be used and withdrawn. Think of them as a guideline or a contract between players and the casino. They’re in place to ensure both parties understand the expectations and requirements associated with the promotional offer.

The rules can stretch from instructions on how to deposit to how to use the bonus and, ultimately, how to cash in on your winnings. However, it’s worth noting that just as different operators will provide different offers, they also implement their own casino bonus code rules, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It all depends on the casino.

Types of Online Casino Bonus Rules

Several casino bonus code rules may apply to a bonus offer. Casinos have sole discretion about how they design and reward their bonuses, so different sites may have some or all of these as part of their bonus terms. Here are the major rules bonuses typically require:

Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements are the most important rule that accompanies a casino bonus. It tells you the number of times you have to bet the bonus amount before you’re allowed to withdraw the bonus as real money. It’s also called the playthrough or rollover requirement.

Imagine a 100% match bonus up to $100 with a 30x wagering requirement.

Suppose you deposit $50, you’ll receive $50 in bonuses. Applying the wagering requirement, you have to bet ($50 x 30) $1,500 in order to withdraw the bonus and its winnings.

You can expect almost every bonus to come with a wagering requirement. The only exceptions are the so-called “no wagering bonuses.”

Game Restrictions

One thing to note about online casino bonuses is that they are usually not available on all games. Instead, there’ll be a list of selected games that you can use the bonus on. For any other games, the bonus will not be valid.

A typical example is free spins that, by design, can only be used on slots. Still, most free spins deals will not be eligible for all slots but may only be playable on one or a group of selected slots.

Many times, live dealer casino games are restricted for bonuses unless it’s a dedicated live casino offer.

Qualifying Deposit

Apart from the no deposit bonus, you’ll usually have to make a deposit before you can receive the offer. The qualifying deposit is the smallest amount necessary to activate the bonus. The standard at most casinos is $10, but it can be lower or higher than this.

The qualifying deposit isn’t necessarily the minimum deposit amount at the casino, so it’s essential that you don’t assume this is the case but confirm the actual amount. Depositing less than required may make you ineligible for the offer.

Expiry Date

Bonuses don’t last forever. There’s a validity period during which you have to use up the bonus money or free spins after it’s been credited. This may be as little as 24 hours or as long as two or three months. It depends on the casino and the type of bonus.

Free spins usually have a shorter expiry date. The same goes for no deposit bonuses. Large match bonus deals usually have a longer validity period.

Note that the expiry date may encompass the time needed to use the bonus and clear the wagering requirements.

Max Bet

The max bet is the highest amount you can use per spin on slots or round of gameplay when using the bonus funds. Free spins will usually be given a preset value per spin. On other games, you need to make sure you set the bet amount within the maximum bet limit. Placing larger bets may void your bonus when it’s time to collect on your winnings.

Max Cashout

This refers to the highest amount you can win from a bonus. For instance, if the max cashout or max win is $100, even if you were to rake in, say $500 in bonus winnings, you’d only receive $100. Casinos implement this bonus rule to protect themselves and ensure players don’t win too much money that they wouldn’t be able to pay out.

Game Contribution

Game Contribution

Certain games are better for completing the bonus rollover requirement. This is because of the game contribution percentages. Basically, casinos will allot a percentage to different game categories, which will determine how much of a bet on the said game will contribute to your bonus wagering.

  • As a standard, slots typically have a 100% contribution, which means if you place a $5 bet on a spin, the full amount counts towards your wagering requirements.
  • Suppose blackjack is given a 50% contribution percentage; this means if you were to place a $5 bet, only $2.5 would count towards the wagering requirements.

This means you’d need to bet twice as much on blackjack as you would on slots before you can withdraw your winnings. It’s essential to check the bonus rules to know which games will help you play through the bonus faster.

Country/State Restrictions

Some bonuses are open to all players regardless of location; some others have geo-restrictions. You’d have to be from any of the allowed countries or states to be eligible for the offer.

Country restrictions may mean that only players in certain locales can receive the bonus, and others won’t. Restrictions can also mean that there are different deals available for different countries.

Player Status

Some bonuses are reserved for new players, while other bonuses are specifically for existing players only. Welcome bonuses are the major incentive for new players, and they’re often the largest deals available at the casino. Existing players can claim regular bonuses that may not be as large but offer long-term value.

Sticky Bonus

The idea behind a sticky bonus is that the deposit amount sticks to the bonus. Where a bonus is described as sticky, wagering applies to both the bonus and deposit amount.

Let’s consider once more the example of a 100% match bonus deal up to $100 with a 30x wagering requirement.

If you were to deposit $50, you’d receive a $50 bonus. You’d have to bet $3,000 (($50 + $50) x 30) before withdrawing your bonus winnings.

The sticky bonus may come with a lower wagering requirement, which makes many players believe it’s more generous. That’s why it’s important to read the terms to fish out such details.

Payment Restriction

Not every payment method may be accepted for the qualifying deposit. E-wallets like Skrill and Neteller are often restricted at many online casinos. Some will only accept payments from a single category of payment methods, say debit cards.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use other payment methods to fund your account. It simply means that you will not receive the bonus if you use a restricted method. Your deposited funds will, however, appear in your account as usual.

Some casinos will be lenient and allow you to get the bonus if you make a subsequent deposit with an accepted payment method. Others will be stricter, and you will no longer have an opportunity to receive the bonus if you use the wrong method on the very first deposit.

Why Do Online Casinos Place Bonus Rules?

It’s easy to understand why casinos place bonus rules. Any bonus, no matter the type, is theoretically offering free money. A match bonus is free cash, while free spins are free credits to win free money on slots gameplay. But casinos are profit-minded businesses, so it wouldn’t make sense for them to give away free money. Hence the advent of casino bonus rules to regulate how players can win from these bonuses.

As we’ve mentioned, wagering requirements are the major bonus condition for turning your bonus into real money. And they serve to ensure that players don’t just sign up, take the bonus money, and leave. Instead, wagering requirements guarantee that the casino gets something in return for these incentives, which is players investing their own funds and potentially bringing in a profit for the casino.

Bonus rules are not designed to make it impossible for players to benefit from the bonus. That’s why we don’t appreciate casinos that feature unreasonably high wagering requirements or other unfavorable terms. Instead, bonus rules are meant to protect the casino’s interests while simultaneously allowing players a fair chance of winning.

Finding Online Casinos With Fair Bonus Rules

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Visit BetMGM.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ years of age or older to wager. MI, NJ, PA or WV only. Excludes Michigan Disassociated Persons. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable site credit, unless otherwise provided in the applicable Terms. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling Problem? 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI), 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA & WV).
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Bonus rules are not always fair. So, it’s worth looking deeper than the surface in order to determine which casino offers have a fair chance of winning.

Check the Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions are a very important document on the casino website. Here is where you’ll find all the bonus details you need to know, from wagering requirements to expiry dates, game contributions, and more. It may be tedious to read through the terms, but you’d be better off doing so if you want to get the best out of your bonus.

Choose your Casino Wisely

Quality casinos are recognizable for their quality bonus offers. So, if you want to get fair terms and conditions, you should look for top-rated casinos licensed and regulated by reputable authorities, much like the ones we recommend.

Watch Out for These Tells

Having reviewed the bonuses of so many operators we can easily spot the warning signs. Offers attached with any of the following should be avoided:

  • Higher than 40x wagering requirements
  • Offers exclusive to low RTP games like scratch-offs, classic slots, and keno
  • Bonuses with 24-hour expiry times
  • Non-cashable bonus funds
  • Promos where your deposit needs to be $50 or higher
  • Betting limits below $1 or specific denominations per payline
  • Offers that come with vague terms like forbidding strategies or betting patterns
  • Bitcoin-only promos, since they incentivize non-reversible payments

And don’t forget that no matter the quality and rules of the bonus, if a casino is unregulated it is free to not pay the winnings even when you’ve met the bonus rules.

Strategies & Tips to Complete The Casino Bonus Rules & Win Real Money

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the different bonus details, here are some tips to ensure you maximize the bonus and end up with your real money winnings:

  • Keep an eye on time limits and pace your play accordingly to maximize your chances of meeting the requirements in time.
  • Practice bankroll management to help you manage stakes and extend playtime.
  • When allowed by the bonus terms, seek out games that have a low house edge to increase your chances of walking away with a profit.
  • Opt for low or medium-variance slots, as these tend to provide more frequent, smaller wins, which can help you maintain your balance while working through the bonus.
  • Avoid playing back all your winnings once you’ve met the wagering requirements. Make sure to cash out at least a portion of it to ensure you walk away with a profit.
  • While bonuses can offer a better chance at profit, they aren’t guaranteed. So maintain a level head, play responsibly, treat gambling as entertainment, and know when to walk away.

Casino Bonuses With No Rules Attached

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Reading the fine print not only tells you which rules the casino requires. It also tells you which rules you don’t need to worry about. Below are some of the casino bonuses with lenient rules:

  • No rules bonus –This bonus has no rules for claiming it. It is offered for free, and there are no strings attached.
  • No max cash out bonus – This bonus doesn’t have max cash out limits. You’ll receive as much as you win, but wagering requirements and other terms will apply.
  • No deposit bonus – Just as it sounds, you can receive this bonus without making a deposit first. You can use the bonus to play right away, but other terms will apply before you can withdraw your winnings.
  • No wagering bonus – The no wagering bonus is one of the best offers on the market. You may have to fund your account to receive this offer, but whatever you win with the bonus is yours to keep immediately.
  • Non-sticky bonus – The non-sticky bonus is one where you only have to wager the bonus amount. It doesn’t require you to wager the deposit amount, making the wagering requirement more attainable.

Bonus Abuse Casino Rules & Scenarios

Abusing casino bonuses is one way to forfeit your bonus offer. You may believe you’ve got a great technique for exploiting the system, but casino operators are a lot smarter than you think. They actively search for suspicious activity or any violations of the terms and will punish this by voiding the bonus completely or even banning your account.

Bonus abuse rules are often listed under the terms and conditions, but almost all casinos will have an additional disclaimer warning against any attempt to exploit the system beyond the ones presented in the terms. We’ve compiled some of the bonus abuse scenarios you should avoid.

  • Multiple Accounts: One of the most common forms of bonus abuse is when players create multiple accounts to claim the same bonus multiple times. This is strictly prohibited in almost all online casinos.
  • Low-Risk Betting: Using bonus money to place simultaneous bets on opposing outcomes (e.g., betting on both red and black in roulette) to meet wagering requirements without significant risk is often considered abuse.
  • Irregular Play Patterns: This is a broad category, but it generally refers to strategies or patterns of betting that are only used to exploit bonuses. This could involve only playing certain high-return games or using specific betting patterns.
  • Proxy Play: Using third parties or software to play on your behalf, especially to meet wagering requirements, is viewed as bonus abuse.
  • Using Disallowed Games: Some bonuses restrict the games you can play. Playing prohibited games with bonus funds can lead to the forfeiture of bonus money and any related winnings. An example is using a slots-only bonus to play blackjack, a prohibited game.

FAQs

What are bonus wagering requirements?

This bonus condition requires you to wager your bonus amount a certain number of times before you can claim it as real money. For example, a 20x wagering requirement.

What are game restrictions?

Game restrictions are a bonus rule that differentiates which games you can use the bonus on and which ones you can't.

What is a qualifying deposit?

A qualifying deposit is simply the minimum amount you need to deposit into your casino account in order to trigger the bonus code.

What is bonus expiry?

Bonus expiry is how long the bonus will remain valid. For instance, a 30-day expiry means the bonus will be valid for 30 days after you receive it. Afterwards, it will become void.

What is the maximum bet limit on a casino bonus?

This is the maximum amount you can wager at a time when using bonus funds. The max bet applies per spin on slots or per round on other casino games.

What is max cashout?

This is the maximum amount you can receive as winnings from your bonus gameplay.

What does game contribution mean?

Game contribution refers to how much a game will contribute towards clearing the wagering requirement. It is represented as a certain percentage of bets, usually 100% in the case of slots and lower for others like blackjack.

What is a sticky bonus?

A sticky bonus is one where the rollover requirement applies to both the bonus amount and the deposit amount combined.

What is a payment method restriction?

This is a bonus condition that indicates which payment methods are eligible for claiming the bonus and which are not. You have to deposit with an accepted method in order to receive the bonus amount or free spins.

What is the player eligibility bonus rule about?

This refers to the category of players that can claim a bonus. Some bonuses are reserved for new players, others for existing players or VIP-level players. Some bonuses are all-inclusive. Player eligibility may also refer to the geographical location where the bonus is valid.

With a decade of expertise in testing, reviewing, and writing about online slots and 20 years of real-money gambling, Jon is armed with a wealth of experience to understand and inform you about the most complex areas of casino bonuses, along with how to avoid the most common pitfalls when claiming and using casino and sportsbook bonuses.

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