First Deposit Bonuses
First deposit bonuses are a way for casinos to attract and welcome new players, offering big bonuses for the first time players make a deposit.
Online Casino Gems has compiled a list of top-rated online casinos that offer first deposit bonuses, so you can start winning today. Don’t know how to claim a first deposit bonus? No problem. We'll walk you through the entire process and give you ideas on how to use it.
Everything you need to know about First Deposit Bonuses
First Deposit Bonuses – Online Casino Gems
The competition in the online casino industry is always cut-throat. In a bid to stand out and become more appealing to players, most casinos offer a diverse range of promotions, rewards, and bonuses. First deposit bonuses are some of the most common and the most lucrative promotions players can expect in the online gambling scene.
This page is all about first deposit bonuses – what they are, how to claim them, and much more. We have also rounded up one of the most comprehensive lists of reputable online casinos that offer first deposit bonuses. Click on any casino on the list to read our top-down review and find the first deposit bonus codes.
What is a First Deposit Bonus?
A first deposit bonus is, without a doubt, one of the most popular types of welcome bonuses you can find in the online casino industry. This is a bonus that a casino will credit to your account for signing up and making your first deposit. Often, the amount of credits or bonus you will be awarded equals a predetermined percentage of your first deposit, usually 100% or larger.
By definition, this type of bonus is valid once and therefore applicable to new customers only. In fact, this is often a match bonus which is part of the sign-up package offered by an online casino, and may include free spins. Like all casino offerings, this bonus typically comes with a set of terms and conditions, including a wagering requirement, cash-out limit, etc. That’s why it pays to read through the fine print that comes with the bonus.
Although first deposit bonuses are designed to attract new customers, they can help increase your bankroll, enhance your gambling experience, and increase your odds of winning. Again, it’s worth remembering that you can redeem this bonus once per online casino. As such, you need to make the most out of it and gamble your bonus wisely.
How to Claim a First Deposit Bonus
This is the simplest and the most hassle-free casino bonus as far as claiming it is concerned. While the process differs from one casino to the next, the steps you need to take are as follows:
Step 1. Choose the right casino
There are hundreds if not thousands of online casinos that offer first deposit bonuses, but that doesn’t mean that all casinos sites are created the same.
The first due diligence step is to read online casino reviews. We’ve taken a top-down look at each casino on the list below. Ultimately, we critiqued each casino based on the number and selection of games, bonuses it offers, perceived fairness, reputation, player ratings, and other important metrics.
Step 2. Sign up with the casino
The next sensible step is to register a new player account with an online casino of your choice. Usually, the whole registration process is very easy and should take you less than ten minutes to pin everything down.
Step 3. Deposit money
Once you have opened and verified your casino account, you will have to make a deposit. There’s always a minimum deposit you have to make to be eligible for the first deposit bonus. Make sure to meet or exceed this limit.
Step 4. Claim your bonus
Depending on the casino site, you may or may not be required to use a bonus code or coupon. But the former is almost always the case. If so, enter the bonus code or send it to the customer support via the live chat feature, phone or email. The procedure of using the code is often laid out clearly by the casino.
Step 5. Receive and use your first deposit bonus
More often than not, the first deposit bonus will be credited to your new account the moment your payment is finalized. The casino usually matches your deposit at a specified rate up to a certain amount.
Take Bovada Casino, for instance. The USA-facing casino offers a 100% first deposit bonus up to $100. The minimum deposit required is $10. That means if you deposit $80, you will get $80 in free bonus. With the bonus capped at $100, you will not get anything beyond that amount even if you deposit more than $100.
On the same note, if you make a deposit of $8, you will get zero ( first deposit bonus because you haven’t satisfied the minimum deposit condition.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the use of a first deposit bonus is subject to a plethora of terms and conditions (T&C). Ignoring these T&C’s often leads to forfeiture or being banned from the online casino altogether.
How to Read First Deposit Bonus Rules
First off, you need to understand the lingo that’s used in the bonus T&C’s. Here are the most common terminologies that are used to describe the bonus rules:
(a) Wagering requirement – You have probably come across this term several times online. This can be also referred to as a play-through requirement or rollover requirement. Wagering is a multiplier number that indicates how many times you have to bet on the bonus amount in order to be eligible for a cash-out.
In other words, you won’t be able to cash out or request a withdrawal of the winnings until you play through the bonus amount a given number of times. The wagering requirement is quite easy to fish out of the terms and conditions attached to the first deposit bonus. Almost all offerings, promos and bonuses you find at an online casino have a wagering requirement.
In order to know how first deposit bonuses work; you’d want to know how to determine and calculate the wagering requirement. And, by the same token, figure out the amount you can potentially win playing with the bonus.
Let’s use an example where the wagering requirement is 50x. If you’re awarded a first deposit bonus worth $100 after depositing $100, you will have to bet the sum (bonus + deposit) 100 times. That means you have to wager 50 x $200 which equals to a total of $10,000.
(b) Minimum deposit – This is pretty straightforward. It’s the least amount you are required to deposit to qualify for a first deposit bonus. This is usually $10 or $20, but some online casinos can push the figure to $50 or even higher especially for high rollers. Needless to say, you will not get any bonus if you don’t meet this condition.
(c) Cash-out limit – Trying to meet the wagering requirement means that you have to make numerous bets. If lady luck is on your side, you can garner equally many wins. Unfortunately, the amount you can cash out from bonus winnings is usually capped. This is called the cashout limit and indicates the maximum withdrawable amount.
Most online casinos cap their bonus cash-outs at around $1,000; some may lower it to $100. Of course, you don’t want a casino that has a withdrawal limit that’s too restrictive.
(d) Applicable games – First deposit bonus is not always eligible for play on all casino games. The casino often specifies a slot or a few slot games you can play with the bonus. The most common applicable slots are NetEnt’s Starburst and Dead or Alive.
In some cases, the bonus is applicable across the casino, with a few exceptions. Scratch cards, table games, and live dealer games are typically excluded.
(e) Match bonus – Nearly every first deposit offer is a match bonus. This is a fancy way of saying that the casino will match your deposit at a given rate. For example, the first deposit offer can be a 200% match bonus up to $1,000. In short, the casino will credit a bonus that’s equal to 200% of your deposit amount, but the bonus total can’t exceed $1,000.
(f) Time limit – Like every bonus offered by online casinos, first deposit bonuses come with a duration-of-use limit. This is the period you are given to wager on the bonus from the time it’s credited to your account.
Some casinos have no time limit for their bonus. Otherwise, it can be anything from one week to three months. When this period elapses, all bonus and winnings you haven’t cashed out will be reverted to the casino.
(g) Restricted countries – Online gambling is a highly regulated activity. In light of that, most casino sites have a long list of countries and territories whose players aren’t allowed to register and therefore are not eligible for their first deposit bonuses. By far, players from the U.S. are the most restricted due to the stringent American laws on online gambling. There are also interstate gambling restrictions that you may need to be aware of.
(h) Games contribution – Not all games are eligible and thus doesn’t contribute to the wagering requirements. The game contribution is a term that shows you which casino games contribute and by what percentage. This is essentially the percentage of your wager that’ll count towards the play-through requirement.
That’s right; the entire bet may not count if you wager on casino games like scratch cards, bingo games, video poker, table games, and so forth. However, all’s not lost because some table games count around 10%-20% towards wagering contribution. Casinos are not keen on table games because they are tactical or strategic in nature. That’s why online slots contribute 100% while a table game like Baccarat doesn’t.
Why Take Advantage of First Deposit Bonuses?
Why not, right? A first deposit bonus provides you with a great opportunity to start with a bigger bankroll and get started on a more positive note. With more credits on hand, your chances of winning will be heightened.
If you take advantage of a 100% first deposit bonus, for instance, you have a chance to double your bankroll right from the get-go. Ultimately, this kind of welcome bonus can help enhance your gambling experience and you can have more fun.
The downside, however, is that nearly all first deposit bonuses come with wagering requirements and cashout limits. This can be a huge bummer to players who want to cash out and enjoy their winnings sooner than later. So choosing to take advantage of first deposit bonuses is usually a trade-off.
How to Maximize your Winnings with a First Deposit Bonus
1. Keep an eye on your bankroll – The fact that you have to meet a wagering requirement can make you lose track of your bankroll. Be patient, and stick to your loss and win limits. If you think the wagering requirement is too high, you can skip the bonus altogether.
2. Play games with a high return to player (RTP) percentage – You have a limited selection of online slots you can play using the bonus. That doesn’t mean that you should waste the bonus on any game. Instead, you should do a little homework to figure out which allowed slots have high payback percentages. The higher the RTP of the game, the more likely you will win at the slot.
3. Go for online casinos that offer a higher match bonus percentage – Ideally, you want to build your entire first bankroll using the first deposit bonus. As such, you need to sign up with casinos that offer a deposit match bonus percentage of at least 100%.
4. Read the small print – Don’t ignore the terms and conditions attached to the bonus. That’s a sacrilege. Go through each rule, gauging if it’s worth it to claim the bonus. Pay particular attention to the rollover requirement, withdrawal limit, and time limit.
5. Scout out for reputable casinos – The online gambling scene is riddled with con artists, scam casinos, and other fly-by-nights. Don’t fall prey to them. When choosing the right casino, be on the lookout for a gambling license, customer support reliability, the integrity of the website itself, and trust other players. If an online casino has attracted several complaints, go with your instincts and take your deposit elsewhere.
6. Check security and fairness – Don’t ever deposit to an online casino whose URL doesn’t start with “HTTPS”. The site should be supported by high-grade encryption technologies like SSL, TLS, and AES. Make sure that the casino games have also been tested for fairness by a reputable organization like iTech Labs, eCOGRA, TST, GLI, and Gaming Associates.
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