Of all the innovative promotional tools that online casinos use to draw players to their sites, the first deposit bonus is probably the best known and most popular.
What is a first deposit bonus? Also known as a welcome bonus, a first deposit bonus is a reward presented to players for making their first deposit at a site where they have never played before. It may take a number of different forms but is usually awarded as a percentage of the deposit made and also comes with some wagering requirements and cash-out conditions.
Types of First Deposit Bonuses
Before signing up with any new site, it’s important to ask “what is a first deposit bonus?” All good sites offer them so it’s essentially a “buyers’” market – i.e. players should shop around for the best offers.
As mentioned, first deposit bonuses will generally take the form of a percentage of the amount deposited and will usually be capped at a certain amount. For example, a casino that offers a 100% welcome bonus with a $200 cap will effectively double whatever amount is deposited up to a maximum of $200. Casinos often require that players deposit a minimum amount in order to be eligible for a first deposit casino bonus and there are generally also certain wagering requirements involved too.
First deposit bonuses also occasionally take the form of free spins on slots or a certain number of free bets. Either way, it is important to notice that the answer to “what is a first deposit bonus?” is never “a cash prize”. Welcome bonuses are only available for play at the casino in question.
Welcome Bonus Wagering Requirements
The “catch” that players inevitably wonder about when asking “what is a first deposit bonus?” is that they have to wager the bonus amount a certain number of times before they can cash out any wins they accrue bingo for money. This can range anywhere between 10 and 60 times the amount of the bonus, although a select few casinos don’t have any wagering requirements for their first deposit bonuses at all.
This can be quite frustrating because players who prefer to quit while they’re ahead will not be able to do so until the wagering requirements are met, by which time their luck may have turned around once more.
Cashing Out a First Deposit Bonus
Once players have met the wagering requirements of their first casino bonus, they should be able to cash out their wins as normal. That should be the only requirement and players should take care to read a site’s section on “What is a first deposit bonus?” so that they don’t get duped into signing up for a bonus that is virtually impossible to claim.
Making the Most of Welcome Bonuses
Now that you know the answer to “What is a first deposit bonus?” you are ready to go out and find yours.
Start by shopping around for the largest percentages with the lowest wagering requirements. To stretch out your first deposit bonus benefits, you can sign up and deposit with multiple casinos, depending on how much money you have available for deposits.
Since the first deposit bonus is a one-time thing at each casino, it is recommended that you deposit enough money to qualify for the maximum welcome bonus. Rather go for this than signing up with multiple casinos and only claiming small bonuses. Those other welcome bonuses will still be there later.