One of the most important aspects of choosing an online casino to play at is the kinds of bonuses they offer. Bonuses are promotions that casinos offer in order to encourage people to sign up to play with them, reward existing players, or incentivize lapsed players. The goal of any casino bonus is to keep punters invested in the casino and playing their games, typically by extending their bankroll in some way. Since bonuses add money to your account, they can only be used on real money games.
While different casinos offer different specifics, bonuses generally come in a few different varieties.
Australian Casinos with Top Bonuses
Top Rated 1
King Johnnie Casino600+ Pokies98% Payout
Ozwin Casino200+ Pokies96% Payout+ 1 more
Casinonic1500 Pokies98% Payout+ 1 more
Pokies Parlour2,000+ Pokies98% Payout
PlayCroco Casino120+ Pokies95% Payout+ 1 more
The welcome package or bonus is the promotion you can take advantage of when you sign up for an online casino with a new account. Since its purpose is to encourage people to sign up with a specific casino, it is generally the best bonus they can offer, with a generous amount of money and hundreds of free spins commonly up for grabs.
However, its extravagant nature means that it can be a bit risky for the casino, so it’s not uncommon to see a welcome bonus broken up over a certain number of deposits, each with their own match bonus percentage and specifics. Because of this, it’s a general rule of thumb that welcome bonuses, while often quite generous, are never as great as advertised – many bonuses are only “up to” a certain amount.
Some online casinos may also offer a specific bonus for downloading or using their app to play mobile pokies. These mobile bonuses generally don’t tend to be as flashy as a casino’s main welcome bonus, but they are another incentive to further engage with a specific casino.
Free spins for online pokies is an extremely common form of bonus, offered by casinos to encourage punters to check out specific machines, either because they have agreements with the providers or to serve as loss leaders to further engage. Free spins are generally the only specific pokies bonus, and may be offered as part of a welcome bonus or as a deposit bonus.
While they are similar to simply playing a pokie for free, free spins allow you to keep whatever winnings you might earn during their use, just as though you were playing real money pokies. This includes any bonus feature triggers you may activate while playing.
The one downside of free spins is that because they are for specific games, you can’t choose which pokies to use them on. That said, free spins are generally offered on high-quality games from trusted providers including BetSoft and NetEnt, so you may find a new favourite.
Deposit bonuses are also incredibly common, and as their name implies, revolve around offering something to the player when they make a deposit. Due to this, welcome and free spin bonuses could also be thought of as deposit bonuses.
The reason deposit bonuses are so prevalent is because their fulfillment condition is something that people would do anyway: put real money in their casino accounts. While deposit bonuses may offer multi-step rewards like welcome bonuses do, their criteria are typically far more straightforward.
For example, a deposit bonus might offer 30 free spins in exchange for a minimum deposit of $20, up to five times. There’s no need to worry about which deposit is tied to which match percentage; you deposit $20 five times and you get the 150 free spins.
Deposit bonuses are variable and flexible, and while they all follow a similar format, requiring real money to be deposited, every online casino has their own take on them. In assessing whether you’d like to play at a casino long-term, consider what deposit bonuses they have available; are they interesting or compelling enough that you’ll still want to claim them in six months or a year?
No Deposit Bonuses
On the other hand, no deposit bonuses are incredibly rare, and aren’t offered nearly as much as other types of bonuses. As you may expect, you can claim this bonus without depositing any real money into your casino account – it is effectively bonus money.
That being said, no deposit bonuses are subject to conditions and requirements, just like every other bonus. No deposit bonuses are much smaller than bonuses that require a deposit, and while $50 is $50, you can typically only bet so much of it at a time, and there’s often a max cashout limit on bonus winnings. They also usually require a much higher wagering requirement than other bonuses, so if you claim one you can expect to play at that online casino for quite a while before you’re able to make a withdrawal.
As enticing as no deposit bonuses can be, they should be thought of more as welcome bonuses; casino bonuses that offer a significant upside, but don’t speak to what the overall experience will be like.
Much as every online casino offers its own bonuses, many will also have different ways of claiming them. In order to claim a bonus, you may have to click on a button, select a bonus from a dropdown menu, or input a bonus code.
Luckily, the method to claim a bonus from a specific casino doesn’t change; there is generally only one way to claim a bonus, and that is how you will claim all bonuses from that casino.
When you claim a casino bonus, you are agreeing to abide by the casino’s terms and conditions, as well as accepting the wagering requirements, which are discussed below. Some bonuses may only let you bet a certain amount, may expire after a certain amount of time, or may only be available for a specific window.
Each and every individual bonus comes with a wagering requirement – an amount of money that must be bet on casino games or pokies before any real money from that particular bonus can be withdrawn.
The casino sets the wagering requirement, as well as which games are able to contribute to it, and in which percentages. A fairly standard wagering requirement is to bet 30 to 50 times the amount of the bonus. For example, if you claimed a bonus of $100 with a 40x wagering requirement, you would need to have bet $4000 before you would be able to withdraw either any remnants of the bonus itself, or any winnings earned from that bonus.
Online pokies typically contribute 100% – every dollar you bet on a slot is a dollar that contributes to the wagering requirement – but it’s not unusual to see far smaller contribution percentages for other games. A $1.00 bet on a game of Blackjack might only contribute eight cents towards your wagering requirement. Because every online casino has different wagering requirements, and even similar bonuses may have dramatically different conditions, make sure you carefully read not only the conditions of any specific bonus you’d like to claim, but also the casino’s general terms and conditions.
Wagering requirements are how casinos ensure that punters don’t just claim bonuses and then immediately withdraw them. In order to have get a payout of their bonus, punters need to put in the work to earn it over time.
With that said, it’s important to note that wagering requirements are wholly unique to casino bonuses; if you wanted to, you could deposit and withdraw as much real money as you’d like through normal means. While casino and pokies bonuses can be a lot of fun, there’s no rule that you need to use them.
Frequently Asked Questions about Casino Bonuses
What games can I use bonuses on?
If the bonus you’ve claimed is for a dollar amount, you can generally use it on any game at a casino, including online pokies, video poker, and table games. However, there can be exceptions; a list of games that a bonus cannot be used with can be found in a casino’s terms and conditions.
Is claiming a bonus the only way to get free spins?
While free spins are the only specific pokies bonus, you don’t need to claim a bonus in order to earn them. Many modern online pokies offer bonus games and features, including free spins and multipliers, as part of the games themselves. These bonuses are completely independent of any offers from the casino you could claim. You can find out which games offer these types of bonuses by reading our pokies reviews, and with enough play and a little luck, you can earn heaps of bonuses.
What is a cashback bonus?
Certain online casinos will offer Australian players a cashback bonus, which means that a percentage of the money they’ve lost while playing will be returned to them. For example, if you’re playing online pokies and you lose $10, a 50% cashback bonus would see $5 returned to your account. Cashback bonuses are great for punters who play a lot, as they are likely to have higher losses, and while not every online casino offers one, they are increasing in popularity.
What is the best online casino to claim bonuses at?
Since every casino offers a unique suite of bonuses, different punters will have different preferences on what sort of bonuses they like. There is no single best casino for Australian players, but you can find out which casino is more likely to appeal to you by reading our reviews of some of the top casinos.