Casino Welcome Bonus

Casino welcome bonuses offer extra cash to play with and provide you with more play time and more opportunities to catch a lightning and walk away with a big win.

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Welcome bonuses are probably one of the best things about online gambling. Most Canadian online casinos offer generous bonuses for new players joining for the first time, giving everyone almost a countless number of opportunities to boost their gambling bankrolls time and time again.

Casino welcome bonuses come in different shapes and sizes but are usually related to the amount of the first deposit. A casino can match a part or the whole of the deposit a player makes after first joining and sometimes they'll even go over 100%.

These welcome packages often contain many other perks players can look forward to, so joining a brand new casino is usually an exciting and entertaining experience overall.

Understanding Welcome Bonus Offers

As mentioned, for the most part, a welcome bonus offer will usually be tied to a player's first deposit. For example, a casino might offer a 100% cash boost for all new players making a deposit, so if they deposit $10, they'll get started with $20 in total. The bonus money can be used for playing all sorts of games (with some restrictions) but unlike the real money, it can't be withdrawn immediately.

When it comes to these cash offers, different casinos catering to Canadian players have different proposals in place. For example, some casinos might only match 50% of the first deposit, while others will go a step further and offer 200% or more. These different offers also usually come with different terms and conditions tied to them, which is explained further in the text.

Free spins can also often be a part of a welcome bonus offer at an online casino. In addition to the cash boost, a casino might issue 10, 20, or even more free spins for a particular slot or group of slots. These play just like real money spins and whatever a player ends up winning is added to their bonus balance. So, essentially, free spins are just another part of the welcome bonus but they don't have an exact value attached to them.

Claiming a Welcome Bonus

Most online casinos these days make it as easy as possible for new players to claim their welcome bonus offers. Usually, the bonus will trigger immediately after they make the first deposit since a large of majority of players prefer to play with the bonus. In these cases, should you prefer to play without a bonus, you should immediately contact the support team before placing any bets and ask them to remove the bonus.

In some instances, especially if it is a non-standard bonus offer that comes from a third-party affiliate site, players might need to use a special welcome bonus code at some point. The code is inserted either during the registration process, during the deposit, or when claiming the bonus from the cashier. In any case, these codes are very important if you're trying to claim a special bonus because they give the casino a way to recognize the offer you want to receive.

How Do Welcome Bonuses Work: Wagering, Restrictions, etc.

Once a player receives a welcome bonus offer, the funds are usually immediately available for play. This means you can use the bonus funds in pretty much the same manner like your own money. However, there are some differences between real cash and bonus money, as bonuses usually come with certain restrictions and requirements players must adhere to. Some of the most usual ones that Canadian players need to be mindful of include:

  • Wagering requirements
  • Restricted games
  • Game contributions
  • Maximum bet

Wagering requirements

The term “wagering requirements” (or simply wagering) is closely connected to almost all casino bonuses and welcome bonuses are no different. These describe the amount of play one needs to put in before bonus funds become eligible for a withdrawal.

For example, a $100 welcome bonus with 35x wagering will become available for a withdrawal once a player places a total of $3,500 in bets on eligible games. Trying to withdraw money before clearing wagering requirements can often result in forfeiting the bonus.

Game contributions

Game contributions are closely linked to wagering requirements. Not all bets placed on all games will contribute towards the wagering in the same amount. For example, betting $1 on most slots will usually clear $1 from the wagering. However, betting $1 on roulette may only contribute $0.10 or not at all. Make sure to get informed about these before you start playing.

Restricted games

When player receives a welcome bonus, they need to adhere to a set of rules enacted by a casino. Restricted games are usually listed somewhere in bonus terms and conditions and represent all the games that you aren’t allowed to play while using bonus funds. These can be some or all table games, certain slots with high RTPs, some progressive jackpot games, etc.

While some Canadian casinos have measures in place where players are automatically prevented from playing any restricted games, this isn’t always the case. That’s why players should always be careful and read all the important rules before they start playing. If there is anything you aren’t clear about, reach out to customer support and simply ask them.

Maximum bet

For the most part, you’ll have to stick to the maximum bet rule when playing with a welcome bonus. This denotes the highest amount a player is allowed to wager on any single slot spin, a hand in a card game, roulette spin, etc. The usual amount is right around CAD 5 but the exact number is always stated in the relevant terms and conditions.

The reason casinos attach the maximum bet rule to their welcome bonuses is to prevent abuse by those players looking to take advantage of their promotions. Not having the maximum bet in place would open casinos up to different manipulation attempts, so that is the number one reason it exists. It isn’t there to mess with honest players and, if you really want to, you can usually talk to the support and state your case to have the maximum bet restriction manually removed.

Sticky vs. Non-sticky Welcome Bonuses

When it comes to welcome bonuses available to players from Canada, there are usually two large categories to be aware: sticky and non-sticky bonuses. Although it may not seem like a big difference to an inexperienced player, there is quite a bit of difference between the two, as the latter are much more player-friendly.

The clue is in the name, as sticky bonuses are the ones that are activated the moment you make the deposit and claim the bonus offer. The bonus money becomes mixed with your cash and your entire bankroll is pretty much locked in until you meet wagering requirements or bust. Even if you happen to win while playing on your own cash, i.e. without effectively dipping into the bonus balance, you still can’t make a withdrawal until the wagering is completed.

Non-sticky bonuses are much more favorable in this sense. The bonus money remains separate from your deposit and anything you win while playing with your own cash is effectively yours to keep and do with as you like. For example, if you have $100 in cash and $100 in bonus, if you hit a big win while still playing with your original $100, you’ll be able to cash out everything apart from the bonus without having to meet the wagering.

Clearly, non-sticky bonuses are much better for players as the wagering only comes into play when you actually start playing with bonus funds. By this point, you’d be bust anyways if there weren’t for the bonus, so it is effectively a second chance you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Welcome Bonus Advantages

The first and the most obvious advantage of a welcome bonus is all the extra cash you can get. By doubling your gambling bankroll right off the bat, for example, you’ll get to play much longer. This means you’ll also get many more chances to get that one big bonus on slots and put yourself in a position to make a decent cashout.

Welcome bonuses are also good purely for entertainment purposes. Simply put, these will prolong your stay on a casino and give you more play time. This is especially important for someone looking to just have some fun and depositing a small amount of like $10 or $20. Playing with $40 instead of $20 can be quite a difference, especially given the fact most slots require you bet at least $0.10 a spin.

Finally, there is also the challenge element to the whole thing. When you get a welcome bonus, your goal is to beat the wagering and cash out some profit. With this in play, you have an actual goal and once you achieve it, you can stop and feel you’d accomplished something. This is good not just for entertainment but also helps with bankroll management and making more withdrawals instead of pushing too hard and losing.

Downsides of a Welcome Bonus

Although it is hard to argue against free money in a casino, there are some downsides to welcome bonus offers. Wagering requirements are the first and the most obvious one. Once you claim the bonus, you won’t be able to simply stop and cash out whenever you feel like it. Instead, you’ll be locked in until wagering is cleared.

This can be somewhat unsatisfying when you do happen to hit a big win but can’t withdraw the money but have to keep playing instead. Sometimes, this will turn out for the best and you’ll end with even more money to cash out; sometimes, however, you’ll end up giving it all back in the process. This isn’t an ideal situation, obviously, but it is a tradeoff you have to accept if you want to play with a welcome bonus.

Sometimes there are also time limitations to consider. Most casinos catering to player from Canada are quite reasonable in this regard but there are some that will only give you a few days to meet bonus wagering requirements before the bonus expires. This creates a kind of pressure that a majority of players would definitely rather do without.

Making Most Out of Your Welcome Bonus

Once you get the welcome bonus loaded onto your account, there are many ways to go about it. At the end of the day, it is hard to really go wrong because you’ll need some luck by your side to get through the wagering anyways. That said, there are some strategies that can help increase your chances of making the wagering and walking away with some extra cash.

First and foremost, there is no need to be too risk-averse when playing with bonus funds. Since there is no way to cash out any winnings until you make the wagering, you want to get to a position where turning over the initial amount thirty five or forty times is actually realistic. For this, you’ll need a solid win to keep you going.

So, playing slightly higher than you would usually when using bonus cash is probably the right way to go. Additionally, try to find slots that have a decent potential to produce these big wins. Playing on a game with low volatility may seem like a good approach but wagering requirements are usually set up in such a way that you’re very unlikely to get through them without a couple of big hits along the way.

Welcome Bonus FAQ

What is a welcome bonus?

Welcome bonus is a cash boost that casinos offer to new players on their first deposit. Usually, the welcome bonus will match the full amount or the percentage of your initial deposit.

How do I claim a welcome bonus at an online casino?

Although things vary from one casino to another, usually making a deposit is all that it takes. In some instances, you’ll need to use a special welcome bonus code to claim your offer.

Should I play with a welcome bonus?

This question is a bit complex to answer. If you want to have more fun and more play time, then taking a welcome bonus is definitely a good idea. However, taking a bonus usually also means that you won’t be able to withdraw money before meeting wagering requirements so it boils down to what matters more to you.

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