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Best Slot Bonus Offers

The best casino and slot sites with the biggest and best welcome bonus offers for 2021 – compare casinos to find the best deposit bonus offers for UK players.

Casino & Slots Offers – What You Need To Know

Best Slot Bonus Offers

  1. What is a casino deposit bonus?
  2. What types of casino bonus are there?
  3. What’s a good deposit bonus offer?
  4. Why would you want to opt out of a slots offer?
  5. Wagering requirements – the hidden drawbacks
  6. Restrictions on bonus play

What is a casino deposit bonus?

A casino deposit bonus is a player reward that can be claimed after depositing some of your own money at an online casino, whether it is a first deposit – welcome bonus- or a subsequent deposit – redeposit or reload bonus.

Casino deposit bonuses are normally a percentage of the deposit made, with a maximum specified, rather than a fixed sum.  For example, in the case of a 50% bonus (up to £100) you’d be able to claim the offer after depositing anything from the minimum (usually £10, which would reward you with a £5 bonus) to £200 (which would reward you with the maximum £100 bonus).  If you deposited more than £200 you’d still only get £100 bonus.

Bonuses can also be presented as what you’d have after making the £10 minimum deposit but this can be rather confusing because “deposit £10 play with £50” doesn’t mean the same as “deposit £10 get £50 bonus”; the £50 in “deposit £10 play with £50” is made up of £10 deposit plus £40 bonus.  Here’s the SAME offer presented in three different ways:

  • Deposit £10 Get 400% Slot Bonus
  • Deposit £10 Get £40 Bonus
  • Deposit £10 Play With £50

Casino deposit bonuses are not real money, although they can be used like real money to play any game they are valid on.  When you play with a bonus, your winnings will be paid as a bonus rather than in cash and this will continue until you’ve completed whatever wagering requirements are attached to the bonus.  For example, with a wagering requirement of 50x, a £20 bonus would need to be played through 50 times before winnings turned to withdrawable cash, so you’d need to complete £1000 of bonus play.

Not all UK slot sites give out bonuses.  At No Wagering casinos, the player rewards are free of wagering requirements and usually consist of wager free spins, loyalty points that can be redeemed for cash, cashback or other no-strings freebies.  Many players, however, prefer to accept the wagering requirements and other baggage that comes with a deposit bonus, because deposit bonuses are typically MUCH bigger than No Wagering offers.  A bigger bonus means more play, and that means more entertainment value.

What types of casino bonus are there?

Four different types of casino bonus offer are commonly used by UK operators.

Slot Bonus

As you’d expect, this type of deposit bonus is for playing slots.  It’s not quite that simple though as it may not be all slot games (progressive jackpots are frequently excluded and other games may be too) and it may not be only slot games (Slingo and scratchcards are other types of game that are sometimes included).

Slot Spins

These are valid on one slot only, or sometimes a list of a few slots.  Sometimes, free spins pay out in cash but most of the time, free spins slots offers are really a type of casino bonus offer.  Why? Because the winnings are paid as a slot bonus (although you won’t know how much bonus you’re getting until you’ve finished playing the spins) complete with wagering requirement.  It may be a regular slot bonus or it may only be valid for the slot you just played the free spins on.

Live Casino Bonus

This type of bonus is for playing live dealer games and if you think that just means blackjack and roulette, you’re way behind the times! Most online casinos with a live casino area also feature non traditional live dealer games such as Dream Catcher, Mega Ball and Playtech Live Slots.

Bonus Game

By far the best known example of a bonus game is the Mega Reel at Jumpman Slots sites; instead of getting a straightforward deposit bonus, players spin the reel after they deposit to find out what (if anything) they have won. Most of the prizes in the Jumpman offer are slot spins but at other sites – Moon Games for example – it’s possible to win a slot bonus, or loyalty points that can be redeemed for a bonus.

What’s a good deposit bonus offer?

A few years ago when operators had to pay substantially less tax on bonuses and could prevent players from withdrawing if there was a bonus on their account, deposit bonus offers of 200% or even more were common, some giving players the opportunity to claim literally thousands of pounds worth of bonuses over several deposits.

In 2021, 100% slots bonus up to £100 is a good benchmark and we aim to feature offers that are at least that good on this page.  If an offer falls short of the 100% up to £100,  it can still be included if there are extras such as free spins to add to its value and appeal.  You’ll also find a few offers where a large bonus in percentage terms is valid on small deposits only so while the amount that can be claimed is less than £100, it represents excellent value.

Why would you want to opt out of a slots offer?

Bonuses are free money, right?  So why would anyone want to opt out of an online slots bonus? Well, there are a couple of reasons, both to do with play order.  When you claim a slots welcome bonus, the bonus normally comes after cash in the play order and what this means is that you won’t even start to play with your bonus until there is no cash in your account.

Bonuses can encourage players to spend their cash faster than intended

Slot bonuses come with an expiry date after which they will be removed if not used, and the clock starts ticking when you claim the bonus, not when you start to play with it.  The quicker you empty your account of cash, the more time you’ll have to play with the bonus before it expires.

Bonuses can interfere with withdrawal of winnings

Gone are the days when online casinos could refuse any request for a withdrawal if the player had an incomplete wagering requirement. At UK slot sites, gambling regulations mean that players MUST be able to withdraw any remaining deposit and any winnings from their deposit at any time and indeed they can!  But what happens to any remaining bonus when such a player makes a withdrawal?  Usually, it’s forfeited.  The choice is, do you take your winnings and lose your bonus? Or play through your winnings till there’s nothing left so you can play with your bonus?

Wagering requirements – the hidden drawbacks

You’ve accepted a bonus, played with it and won.  Congratulations!  Now, you’ve got to complete the wagering requirements in order to convert your winnings to cash.  Although playing through your winnings a specified number of times may seem simple, it rarely is as there’s lots of things lurking in the terms and conditions to complicate things:

Time limits

Most slot bonuses expire if they are not used within the specified time limit, and this usually means completing the wagering requirement, not just playing through the bonus the first time.

Limits on what you can win

Many online casino bonuses come with what is called a max convertible or max conversion; this is usually a multiple of the original bonus but occasionally it’s a fixed amount.  The max convertible is the maximum amount of winnings you can convert to cash after playing through the wagering requirement.  For example, if you accept a £50 bonus and it says “5x max conversion” in the terms and conditions, this means that however much you win from your bonus the maximum amount of winnings that will be added to your cash account when wagering has been completed is 5 x £50 = £250.  If you won more than £250, tough – the remaining winnings will be removed from your account!

Does cash play contribute?

If cash play contributed to wagering requirements, it would be possible to complete them without ever actually playing with the bonus.  In most cases these days, only bonus play counts.

Is the deposit included?

35x wagering requirement sounds better than 50x wagering requirement, right?  But what if the 35x includes the deposit?  If it’s a 100% bonus offer, that DOUBLES the wagering requirement; a 35 x (deposit + bonus) wagering requirement is the same as a 70 x bonus wagering requirement!

Game weighting

“Game weighting applies” is another item you may notice in the terms and conditions of a slots bonus offer.  What it means is that different types of game fill the wagering requirement faster than others.

Weighting on games other than slots

If games other than slot games are able to be played with bonus, they will usually contribute at a lower rate; table games (if allowed) tend to contribute at 10% or not at all and this is because of their much higher RTP.

Games that contribute at 0%

Games that contribute at 0% can be played with a bonus but don’t count towards the wagering requirement. They typically include:

Overly complex game weighting

Some casinos – Aspire casinos for example – have massively long lists of games that only contribute at 50% (or less) to wagering requirements.  As well as making things confusing for players, it makes the headline wagering requirement sound better than it really is; unless you genuinely never want to play any of the games on the list you might want to think of the wagering requirement as double what is stated in the terms and conditions and then see if you still want the offer!

Restrictions on bonus play

Most online casinos have rules for what you can and can’t do with a bonus, and most of them have been put in place to prevent behaviour which players have used in the past to neutralise wagering requirements.  A thorough read of the terms and conditions before starting to play with a bonus can save you from running foul of any of these restrictions; in the case of some of them the casino won’t actually block you from doing the thing but will retrieve your bonus if you do, so you’ll need to be careful not to fall foul of any of them inadvertently.

Excluded games

Not only do these games not contribute to wagering requirements, they cannot or must not be played with bonus and in some cases must not be played at all while the player has a bonus active.

Maximum bet size

Many online casinos have a maximum allowed bet size while playing with bonus; £5 a spin or 50p a line is common but if you deposited with an e-wallet such as Skrill it can be as little as 50p a spin.

No using the gamble feature

Many slot games have a feature which allows you to gamble your winnings after a winning spin and this is often not allowed when playing with bonus.

No switching to a game with a different weighting after a big win

Suppose you get a substantial win with your bonus while playing a game that contributes at 30%.  Changing to a 100% weighted game to complete the wagering requirement would be considered as abuse.

Bonus rounds must be played immediately

If you are playing a slot with bonus and trigger the bonus round, you must play it immediately with your bonus.  What you mustn’t do is close the game before the bonus round starts and take any action (such as making a deposit) that will cause it to be played with cash instead (as you would then be able to withdraw any winnings).  The same goes for any game where you collect tokens towards triggering the bonus round – what you mustn’t do is collect most of the required tokens, switch to a different game and play through the rest of your bonus, then return to the original game to trigger the bonus round with cash.  As you’d imagine, most of the games where it would be possible to do this swiftly end up on lists of excluded games.

General anti abuse clauses

A more general prohibition on irregular play and bonus abuse allows online casinos to take action against players thinking up and using new strategies to neutralise wagering requirements.

Let’s face it, casinos are businesses and are aiming to make money not lose it, so if they didn’t put clauses like this in the terms and conditions to protect themselves against this small minority of players, they might have to stop running slots offers and welcome bonuses altogether.

Indeed, wagering requirements are normally set, with the RTP of slots and other games in mind, so that the vast majority of players will run out of bonus before completing them.

What’s the point, then, of a slots welcome bonus, if there’s little hope of ever withdrawing any winnings? Well, little hope isn’t the same as no hope – and even if you aren’t that rare lucky player who manages to play through the wagering requirement and have winnings left over, you can have a lot of fun trying!

Sue Dawson
Head of Content

Sue Dawson has been writing about (and playing) online bingo and slots since 2013, putting her unique spin on everything.

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