There are so many online casino sites today, all offering a wide range of bonuses, that it can be hard to understand where to begin. Of course, once you have chosen your preferred site and selected the best casino bonus for you, you still have to find the best slots games to play.
We are here to help you navigate your way through the world of online casino bonuses and slots. In our guide, we’ll explain the differences between the various online casino bonuses. We’ll also help you to understand the most important features to look for in a casino site and slots games. So let’s get started.
What is a Casino Bonus?
A casino bonus is a little extra something provided to players by the casino. It is usually a reward for performing an action. It could be a welcome bonus, thanking the customer for joining the casino, or it may be some sort of loyalty bonus, rewarding the customer for their continued patronage.
Such bonuses are often awarded to online casino slots players, since they tend to be loyal to a specific casino. But the gambling space is so competitive nowadays, particularly online, that the casino bonus can be a mighty weapon in the arsenal of any gambling company’s marketing team.
The right bonus can be the difference between attracting a new customer or not. Casino bonuses are also an important retention tool, since they help to prevent people from jumping ship to a competitor. You will even find examples of sports betting companies offering casino bonuses, in an effort to cross-sell their products.
Land-Based Casino Bonuses
The origins of casino slots bonuses begin with land-based casinos and the idea of complimentary perks, or comps. Particularly in places like Las Vegas, where there is a high concentration of casinos in a small area, casino marketing teams quickly realized that they needed to smarten up when it came to attracting and retaining players.
Comps are usually issued to regular players, often in the form of free food and drink, or free play bonuses on slots. But they come in other forms too, such as when a VIP player is in town and the casino really rolls out the red carpet treatment with classy transportation, entertainment and high-end accommodation. All for free, of course.
Thanks to the internet, online casinos are booming. New sites pop up seemingly every day. But how do they attract new players? Primarily, they use various casino bonuses as part of a welcome offer.
The most common casino welcome bonus is the deposit match. As the name implies, the casino will reward you for making your first deposit by giving you an amount of money equal, and in some cases in excess of, that deposit amount.
For instance, let’s say the online casino in question has a 200% deposit match bonus and you make a deposit of $100. The casino will fund your account with your $100, but they’ll add a further $200 in bonus credits. These bonus funds are usually playable in any area of the casino, and do not normally apply to slots only.
The bonus is often automatically credited upon making the deposit, but you may be required to enter a specific bonus code in order to qualify. Be sure to read the Ts & Cs to avoid disappointment.
Always popular among slots players, some casinos offer a bonus of free spins, no deposits necessary. This essentially means that you can play video slots games at the casino for free, but keep your winnings.
Most free spin casinos will dictate which games the spins apply to. But a handful allow you to use the free spins on any game of your choosing. Free spins are frequently awarded as part of a loyalty program, but they sometimes appear as part of a welcome offer too.
It is also common for online casinos to have daily or weekly free spins promotions. Such an offer may be something along the lines of “free spins Fridays”, where once per week, players can collect free spin bonuses for carrying out certain criteria. This may be playing a specific casino game or making a deposit of a certain amount.
No Deposit Bonus
A type of casino bonus that is increasingly popular, is the no deposit bonus. No deposit bonus codes are attractive to players because they can literally gain something for nothing. All you must do is register at the online casino and you’ll receive bonus money to play with.
No deposit casino bonus codes are completely risk free. The player never needs to fund their account with real money. They also get to keep any winnings earned from the bonus money. These bonuses are a great way to build up a bankroll, as well as helping to learn the rules of any new games without risk. It is easy to see the appeal of no deposit bonuses.
The casino reload bonus is a retention tool, similar to that of a deposit match. Although they are not usually as generous as deposit match bonuses, the mechanics are essentially the same. Top up your account with real money, and the casino will give you a percentage bonus.
Reload bonus amounts tend to be anywhere between 25% and 100%, but it varies by casino and by offer. They may be part of the welcome package, or they may be awarded to loyal players as part of a VIP or loyalty scheme.
How Do Casinos Determine Free Play?
Free play comes in many different forms. Most online casinos have a large and specialized marketing team. There are different parts of the team working on player acquisition strategies and others on player retention strategies.
Free play is often awarded to existing players who are valued by the casino because they play often. This may be as part of a clearly defined loyalty or VIP program, whereby the more you play at the casino, the more loyalty points you earn. As you gain more points, you progress up through the tiers of the loyalty scheme and the rewards, including free play and bonuses, become bigger and bigger. Loyalty programs are part of the casino’s retention strategy.
But free play is also given to new players, to entice them to join the casino site. Sites will use the aforementioned casino bonuses, either standalone or bundled together as part of a package. Such welcome offers fall under the casino’s acquisition strategy and are determined by the casino’s wider marketing budget.
No Download Slots Casinos
These days, more and more casino players are on the lookout for free slots, no download required. And that’s understandable, given the obvious advantages of no download slots. As a result, we are seeing more and more no download slots sites appearing, offering attractive casino bonuses to new players.
Benefits of No Download Slots
The main benefit to playing no download slots is the convenience. No download slots allow you to simply navigate to the site in your browser, log in and play. With a no download casino site, there is no need to sit around waiting for a chunky piece of software to download and then install.
This can be a time-consuming, painful process, which you need to repeat for every single device you own. Not to mention the times when you want to jump right in and play, but today is the day that the casino software is forcing an essential update on you. None of this is an issue with no download casinos and slots.
Of course, there are other benefits too. Where no download is required, there can be no risk of accidentally installing malicious software on your device. These days, it’s more important than ever to be aware of cyber fraud, so minimizing the risk as much as possible is always a good idea. No download slots also save precious storage space on your device.
Disadvantages of No Download Slots
There are not many downsides to playing no download slots, in truth. But it’s worth flagging that, for players who are in more remote areas, where mobile internet or Wi-Fi may not be freely available, downloading a casino to your device can help to save data. Having the casino downloaded directly onto the device means that the software needs to communicate slightly less with the site server.
Finding the Best No Download Casinos
Although personal opinions will always come into play, all of the best no download casinos have key similarities. Aside from the range of online casino bonuses offered, here’s what else you should be looking for when choosing an online casino:
- Reputable License. A license from a trusted, reputable gaming authority ensures that the online casino is being held to the highest standards. Game integrity, social responsibility and the character of the site’s owners are all ensured if the site has a proper license, from the likes of Malta Gaming Authority or the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.
- Site Security. Encryption is a must when dealing with payments processing and personal player data. Look out for certification on the site telling us that technology such as SSL is in use.
- Certified Games. All of the best casinos and software providers play by the rules. All slots and casino games should be certified as being fair and random by an independent testing lab such as GLI or BMM Testlabs. Keep an eye out for these certifications.
- Payment Methods. An online casino is useless if its players are not able to fund their accounts. And nobody likes it when they are not able to get their hands on their money. A broad selection of convenient and secure payment options are essential for any casino site.
- Customer Service. We all face problems from time to time. Whether you need help understanding online casino bonuses or you have a payment issue, a knowledgeable customer support team that’s quick to respond is crucial.
How To Find The Best Slots
Everyone will have their own opinion of what constitutes the “best” slots. But there are certain things that all of the most popular slots have in common. Let’s take a look at the key factors to consider, when searching for the best online slots.
Volatility and Variance
The volatility of a slot, sometimes referred to as variance, refers to how often the game pays out a prize. A low volatility slot means that the game will frequently pay out. As a result of the increased number of prizes paid, they tend to be smaller than average. These low volatility slots are better suited to players who are a little impatient when it comes to winning.
High volatility slots pay out much less than the average game, but when they do, the prizes are much bigger than average. These slots are for those players who are patiently seeking the biggest payouts, and who can tolerate a long run without a win.
Return To Player (RTP)
The Return To Player percentage is one of the key factors in determining a slot’s popularity. The higher the RTP, the more money the slot will pay back to players. And higher payouts are always good, right?
The RTP is a theoretical value. Let’s say that a slot has an RTP of 97%. This means that, over an infinite period of time, for every $100 the slot game takes in, it returns $97 back to the players. The game is still random though, since the random number generator (RNG) determines exactly when the payouts are awarded.
So in the short term, there will be variance, which creates the excitement that we associate with casino slots. But in the long term, the amounts paid out will match the RTP value of the game.
Audio and Visuals
Take a look at any online casino offering slots and you’ll see a number of recurring themes. Fantasy, Ancient Egypt, The American Wilderness – no matter what you can think of, there will almost certainly be online slots featuring this theme. The in-game graphics and sounds will be based on whatever the game’s theme is.
Pleasing sound effects with an immersive soundtrack and colorful graphics are all part of what makes up the appeal of slots. More modern slots even feature compelling storylines, with charismatic protagonists. A good example of this is the Rich Wilde series of games produced by innovative slots developer Play’N Go.
Understanding Casino Bonuses and Slots - Final Word
Hopefully, our guide to casino bonuses and slots has helped you to understand everything that you need to know to get started. You should now be familiar with all of the different types of casino bonuses out there. As well as the most important factors to look for when choosing an online casino site and the best slots games to play.
So why not put your newly acquired knowledge to the test? Check out the wide range of video slots available to play at Slots.GG and grab one of our attractive online casino bonuses today.
Understanding Casino Bonuses - FAQ
Are online casino bonuses worth it?
Absolutely! Although there are always terms and conditions attached to online casino bonuses, it still represents a good chance to get something for nothing. Be sure to fully understand the Ts & Cs in order to avoid disappointment. Then just kick back and enjoy your free spins and bonus money!
How are people winning on online casinos with free spins?
They’re winning in exactly the same way any other casino player would be winning – by getting lucky! Free spins are only for use on slots games and there is no strategy involved with slots. It’s simply a case of whether or not today is your lucky day. If you are enjoying free play on slots at a free spin casino, you have just as much chance to be lucky as anyone else.
What is deposit free spins at an online casino?
As the name implies, deposit free spins are simply casino free spins with no deposit required. Casinos may award such deposit free spins to an existing player as part of a loyalty bonus. Sometimes they feature as part of a welcome offer for new players. But either way, free spins are literally giving you the chance to enjoy free play on slots games, without needing to risk any of your real money.
How does casino free play work?
It depends what type of free play we are talking about. Free spins are a very specific type of casino free play, where the player can only use the bonus credits on named slots games. But there is more general casino free play, such as bonus funds gained as part of a welcome offer. Players are usually able to use these bonus funds to play any of their preferred casino games. Always read the terms and conditions of a bonus, in order to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment.
What are the best free online slots?
That is a difficult question to answer, given that everyone will have a different opinion on what makes a good game. Some people are more interested in the game’s RTP. Others care more about slots volatility. Some enjoy games with a specific theme, while others are loyal to a certain casino software developer. No matter what your preference though, Slots.gg is a great place to start. They offer slots games to suit all tastes, including free to play slots such as Rome: The Golden Age, by Netplay, Book of Keno by Evoplay and 243 Crystal Fruits Reversed by Tom Horn Gaming.