Decoding Bonus Terms: What Players Need to Know

There are advantages to playing with a bonus. No-deposit free spins, for example, give players the chance to try out their luck without having to spend their own money. Match deposit bonuses, on the other hand, require a deposit, but they are also great, as players get to play with double the money. But there’s a catch! Both the free spins and the match deposit bonuses come with specific conditions. These are called bonus terms, and include wagering requirements, game contribution terms, limits on how much you can deposit, win, or bet, and expiration dates.

Keep reading to find out more. By the end of this guide you should’ve learned everything you need to know about bonus terms and be able to tell the difference between a good and a bad deal.


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Navigating Essential Bonus Terms

Not every online casino bonus is worth claiming. Some come with unfair terms that might lower your chances of winning rather than improve them. These conditions include high wagering requirements or unfair limits on bets or winnings. To avoid issues with bonuses in the future, check out the detailed analysis of casino bonus terms provided below.

Wagering Requirements

Playthrough conditions, also known as wagering requirements, can be defined as the total amount of bets you have to place in select games before you’re eligible to withdraw. For example, if you deposit $100 and receive a 100% bonus match with a 30x playthrough requirement, you need to place bets totaling $3,000 in specified games before you can withdraw any winnings.

Game Contributions

Not all games contribute the same towards wagering requirements. Slots, for example, may contribute 100%, while live dealer games might contribute less or none at all. This is because casinos adjust game contributions based on the house edge and skill level of games. Slots, being more chance-based, contribute 100%, while live dealer games, involving skill and having lower house edges, contribute less.

Expiration Dates

Bonuses come with expiration dates and the validity period varies among casinos and specific bonus types. For instance, meeting the wagering requirements for a welcome bonus may have a timeframe ranging from 7 days to a month. Similarly, playthrough conditions for winnings from free spins may also have an expiration date, ranging from 24 hours up to a few days.

Maximum Bet Limits

There is a maximum bet limit when playing with a bonus. This limit varies based on the type of bonus and the casino’s terms, but is typically set at $3 to $10 per spin/bet. Some casinos will use a software that prevents betting more than that limit, while others may solely rely on outlining this in the bonus terms.

Maximum Win Limits

Certain casino games, like jackpots for example, can potentially pay out thousands, if not millions. To prevent significant financial losses, casinos will often impose limits on how much you can win, especially when playing with a bonus. This is also seen in free spins or other goodwill bonuses, which don’t pay out more than $50-$100, regardless of how much you win.

Restricted Regions

To comply with gambling laws, some online casinos may restrict certain jurisdictions from receiving a bonus. This is done due to legal and regulatory considerations, which vary greatly from one country to another. To ensure you are eligible to play with a bonus, always check the bonus terms, and/or ask the casino’s customer support.

Deposit Methods

Many casinos encourage or discourage the usage of certain payment methods, by making bonuses associated with those deposits eligible or not. This is often done to incentivize the use of preferred payment methods that benefit the casino in terms of efficiency or cost-effectiveness. Players may

benefit from better match deposit bonuses for crypto, or free spins issued exclusively for e-wallets.

Qualifying Bets

Some match deposit bonuses come with the following term “Only real money bets count towards bonus wagering requirements”. This means that bets made with bonus funds do not contribute to playthrough requirements. So, once your deposit is used, the bonus money won’t help towards wagering requirements. It is an unfair bonus term, which can significantly lower chances of winning.


Maximize Wins: Bonus Types and Pro Tips on Terms

Understand the mechanics of popular casino bonuses: learn the steps to claim them, and familiarize yourself with the essential requirements. From welcome bonuses to free spins, below you will find out more about how to properly use these promotions and maximize your chances of winning.


Online casinos give back a percentage of net losses. The cashback percentage may vary, and is often associated with your status in the loyalty ladder. Our suggestion: Check the frequency of cashback distributions, and whether it is awarded as bonus funds or real money.

Welcome Bonus

This may be a match deposit bonus and/or free spins. Welcome bonuses are highly regulated, so we encourage players to pay close attention to bonus terms. Check the wagering requirements, eligible games, expiration dates, and any limits on bets or winnings.

Referral Bonus

Refer-a-Friend programs are a great way to play with friends, and benefit from their participation. You’ll earn a commission on their deposits, potentially reaching up to 40%. Our advice is to check for any limits on revenue share, or rules on deposits.

Loyalty Programs

Or VIP clubs are set in place to reward top players and high rollers. Here’s how it works: The more you play, the faster you will climb the loyalty ladder, and claim rewards. Familiarize yourself with level up bonuses and the loyalty points conversion rate.

Free Spins

Most online casinos issue free spins during registration, as part of a promotion, or simply for reaching a certain deposit threshold. It is important to understand the value of each spin, wagering requirements linked to winnings from free spins, and the maximum win limits, if any.

Reload Bonus

Reload bonuses (deposit bonuses) reward players with an extra percentage of their deposits allowing them to play with more funds. Similar to welcome bonuses, reload bonuses come with wagering requirements and an expiration date. There may also be limits on bets and winnings.


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Bonus Abuse Policies

Bonus abuse policies are measures set by online casinos to prevent any misuse of bonuses. These policies are in place to prevent certain players from taking advantage of promotions in an unfair manner. Bonus abuse can take various forms, such as creating multiple accounts to claim the same bonus multiple times, playing restricted games, or employing low-risk betting strategies. Here are some examples of actions that might be considered bonus abuse by online casinos:

  • Multiple Accounts: Creating multiple accounts goes against casino’s terms, especially when the sole purpose is to claim the same bonus multiple times, violating the one-bonus-per-player rule.
  • Low-Risk Betting: Employing irregular betting patterns or intentionally placing low-risk bets to meet wagering requirements without genuine gameplay, also known as “bonus hunting”.
  • Using Prohibited Games: Playing restricted games that are excluded from bonus wagering requirements to meet the conditions more quickly. Always check the list of prohibited games.
  • Withdrawal before Wagering: Withdrawing funds before completing wagering requirements, attempting to secure profits without fulfilling bonus terms. This leads to a bonus being canceled.
  • Bonus Stacking: Accumulating and using multiple bonuses simultaneously is often discouraged by online casinos. Stacking bonuses to create an unfair advantage can have consequences.

Breaching bonus terms may lead to a loss of your bonus or any winnings associated with it, depending on the casino’s terms and conditions. It is important to understand the terms associated with bonuses to ensure compliance. You can find the required information in the casino’s terms and conditions, the bonus page, or ask customer support.


Seek Assistance from Customer Support

Many online casinos offer live chat customer support. Their agents are online 24/7 and ready to help. You can ask them anything, especially when bonus terms appear unclear. Speaking with a human in real time is the most convenient way to find out how bonuses work. This way you can fully understand the requirements for a bonus, and avoid any unintentional breaches.


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Shawn holds the esteemed position of Lead Content Manager for our premier website, Kika Casino Canada. With an extensive background as a seasoned and passionate gambler, he has now evolved into a highly-regarded expert in the gaming industry. Shawn is deeply committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our content, meticulously crafting top-notch reviews and insightful news articles. His area of expertise lies in the comprehensive analysis of casino bonuses and their accompanying terms and conditions, enabling our readers to make well-informed decisions in the dynamic world of gambling.