What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?
A sign up bonus is an opportunity for you to boost your initially deposited playing funds with free casino cash, and thus extend your online playing time as well as your ‘win window.’
Sign up bonuses are one of the most popular methods used by online casinos to entice you to ‘sign up’ or register for a new casino account and make an initial deposit (and hopefully many more thereafter). They are ‘up front comps’ designed to reward you even before you spin your first set of reels, roll your first pair of dice or get dealt your first hand.
Because the UK online casino industry is so highly competitive, most top online casinos pull out all the stops when it comes to putting together and promoting their respective sign up bonuses. This is all by design to make it as hard as possible for you to turn them down.
In other words, online casinos design their bonuses to be so generous that you’re forgiven for almost feeling like you’re throwing good money away by not taking advantage of them, which in some ways you are. Take, for example, the world renowned sign up bonus of 21 Casino, where you can literally double your deposited funds up to any amount you want.
Yes, you read the last sentence correctly - any amount you want.
This premier UK online casino’s jaw-dropping sign up bonus is an invitation to deposit any sum you desire which it will then match pound for pound. So, for instance, if you had £1,000,000 available to deposit, you would receive another £1,000,000 free for a total of £2,000,000 in real money playing funds.
While admittedly not many people have a spare million quid to play with online, the point is that no matter how big or small your chip stack (total playing funds), you will always find an online casino willing to accommodate you by matching your deposit whatever it is.
Best Sign-Up Bonuses
Types of Sign Up Bonus Offers
Strictly speaking, a sign bonus is any online or mobile casino bonus you can unlock and claim by signing up for a new casino account. The main types of sign up bonus offers include:
No deposit bonus
A 100% free bonus that only requires you to sign up for a new casino account to unlock. Being free, this type of bonus is usually much smaller than a matching or welcome bonus.
Free spins bonus
A 100% free bonus where by registering for a new casino account you’re awarded a specified number of free spins to use on one or more specified slot games - no deposit necessary.
Free play bonus
A 100% free bonus that lets you play a pre-determined slot game with a specified amount of real money credits for 1 hour in which to rack up as much as you can - no deposit needed.
Welcome / Matching bonus
A percentage-based sign up bonus offers that requires you to make an initial deposit before you can claim it. This is the most common and generous type of sign up bonus.
This is a bonus offer that has been specially negotiated on your behalf by GamblingKingz and the UK online casinos we feature to give you even more bang for your gaming buck.
High roller bonus
This is a percentage-based online casino bonus aimed at newly signed up players with larger than average playing funds. With these the biggest deposits garner the biggest bonuses.
Many sign up bonuses can only be unlocked with special bonus codes or coupons. In most cases, however, you’ll find these bonus coupons or codes are listed in the casino’s bonus or promotions page which just need to be copy and pasted into the required field during your new account registration.
Why Choose Casino Sign Up bonuses?
Most people love the idea of getting something for nothing, and no industry in the world understands this more than the global casino industry.
Whether you frequent the world’s most renowned and glamorous land casinos or seek the convenience and discretion of 24/7 virtual casinos, you’ll encounter generous rewards in the form of comps (free meals, room or tickets) at land casinos, and bonuses at online casinos just waiting for you to claim and enjoy.
And enjoy them you should because they’re crammed with benefits. One such benefit, for instance, is that 100% free online no deposit, free spins or free play bonus offers let you ‘try’ an online casino, its facilities and games without spending so much as a single penny.
Sign Up Bonus Involve Real Money for Free
Better value you’ll be hard-pressed to find. Sure, you can play the free play or demo games offered by most online casinos, but that’s for play money. Sign up bonuses involve real money for free, where you can keep some if not all of your winnings.
This is made possible thanks to a section in the bonus terms and conditions (and every bonus has them) known as wagering requirements
This is the pre-determined number of times you must play through (wager) your bonus credits before you can convert your winnings to bonus cash (in the case of no deposit bonuses), or cash out your winnings (in the case of welcome or matching bonuses).
Where else other than online casinos can you claim free bonus cash and convert it into real, withdrawable cash?
Sign Up Bonus Terms and Conditions
As mentioned above, every online casino bonus (sign up or otherwise) that you’ll encounter has terms and conditions attached - without exception. This is to protect the casino and you, the player, from any misunderstandings, disputes or nasty surprises down the line.
This is why we recommend you always read and understand the terms and conditions of any sign up bonus you’re interested in claiming - before you claim it. Do that and you’ll know exactly what to do (and not to do) if your objective is to bank / cash out bonus winnings.
Here are the most common and important bonus terms and conditions you must adhere to if you want to give yourself the greatest chance of banking your winnings (that is, of course, assuming Lady Luck is generous enough to yield you some good fortune):
|Wagering requirements||This is the number of times you’re required by a casino to bet or play-through your bonus before you can bank it or cash it out. For instance, in the case of a £200 sign up bonus with a 20x wagering requirement, you would have to play through the bonus (make bets worth) no less than £4,000 (£200 x 20).|
Wagering requirements fluctuate from bonus to bonus and casino to casino. This is why it’s a good idea to compare them before your sign up. UK online casinos with too-stringent wagering requirements on their bonuses should be avoided, because if a casino isn’t generous with its bonuses, it may be even less so with its pay-outs.
|Minimum and maximum deposit||In the case of deposit sign up bonus offers, the bonus terms and conditions always specify the minimum and maximum deposit amounts. For instance, in the case of the Bet365 Casino (insert link) standard new player welcome bonus, you must deposit no less than £20 to unlock the bonus.|
As part of the same bonus offer, the maximum bonus that can be claimed is 100% of your first deposit up to £200, for a grand total of £400 in real money playing funds. This is not to say that you can’t deposit more funds if you choose, just that you’ll only be awarded a bonus of up to £200 by the casino and not a penny more.
|Game exclusions||Not all casino games contribute the same percentage to your wagering requirements, which is exactly why they are highlighted in the bonus terms and conditions. This is to let you know which games you can play to help you meet your bonus wagering requirements and which will not.|
For example, in most online casinos slots and Keno contribute 100% to the overall bonus wagering requirement. Baccarat, however, only contributes 25%, while Craps and Roulette contribute 20%, and most variants of Blackjack contribute 10%. Right at the bottom is video poker which only contributes 5%.
|Country exclusions||Just like online casinos are free to accept (and block) players from any countries they choose, they are also free to bar players from particular countries from being able to claim their new player bonus offers. In this case, the excluded countries will be listed on the sign up bonus terms and conditions.|
|Bonus time limit||Every online casino bonus has a time limit which is typically 30 days from your initial deposit, or when you unlocked the bonus in the case of a no deposit bonus. Once the 30 days are up, your bonus will automatically be cancelled and you will forfeit any winnings you may have accrued in your bonus balance.|
|One bonus at a time||Even if you come across UK online casinos with multiple bonus offers, when you check the T&Cs you’ll see that you’re only ever permitted to claim and use one bonus at a time. Only after that bonus has been played in full and/or has expired, are you allowed to select another bonus or promotional offer.|
|Early withdrawal forfeiture||If you try to transfer or cash out any funds from your real money account before you’ve met the bonus wagering requirements, your bonus will be automatically cancelled and any bonus winnings you may have accrued will be forfeited.|
|Bonus expiry||Most online casino bonuses have an expiry date which is highlighted in the bonus T&Cs. As such, make sure you read these so that you don’t sign up for a new bonus offer that is due to expire before you’ve had a chance to make the most of it.|